Saturday, November 26, 2011

British hearing tars tabloids

A New York Times story sums up the British hearing into tabloid media excesses, and more than just Rupert Murdoch's empire is getting hammered in public.

It's the seamy side of journalism, and, no matter how much he protests, Murdoch is tarred by the brush his journalists used in very disgusting -- and I would maintain, unethical -- ways.

Nothing really new here, but lots of details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Women journalists harassed for their views

Jeff Soderman at Poynter explores the issue of female journalists being harassed when they use social media. It's not a new subject, but he does a good job of exploring the issue.

It seems they are especially attacked if they have opinions. It's interesting since writing with attitude and opinions seems to be the growing trend on the Internet. But sexist criticism won't surprise any female journalist; they've faced it before.

A future without daily print newspapers?

The American Journalism Review questions whether newspapers will continue daily print publication. The story, looking at the experience of the Detroit papers, which cut back three years ago, explores a future in which newspapers are only printed on certain days of the week -- with their websites becoming the platform for daily news.

Reminds me of when the Christian Science Monitor changed its focus from covering news to explaining news. It's a future that might work, although I believe that newspapers provide a lot more than just news, and, although I am perfectly happy to do crossword puzzles online, a lot of the other features -- including the comics -- would take a lot longer to find and read in online-only operations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cutting through the brush, print magazine still most popular

Trying to justify a position using solid figures sometimes can lead to incredibly confusing stories. We get that a lot with companies trying to show that digital advertising work.

In this Eric Sass piece in the digital MediaDailyNews, we find a bewildering mass of figures and interpretations (sample: "Out of 187 million American adults who interacted with magazine content and ads in the period covered by the AMS, 54% did so via the Web or mobile platforms, including smartphones, eReaders, tablets and other mobile devices. However, 95% of the total magazine audience still consumes magazine content and advertising in print form, according to Affinity, and almost half of the audience overlapped, with 48% consuming via both print and digital channels.").

Cutting through all the underbrush, we find Sass summing up the numbers (I'm guessing "exposures" = readers or pages read) "1.278 billion exposures were print-only, involving no digital component; 135 million involved both print and digital components; and 166 million, or 11% of the total, involved only digital components." In other words, the vast majority of magazine readers still look at "dead tree technology."

Beck, Olbermann prove audience matters

In my Journalism 1964 class, I teach about what is called "the lure of infotainment" and how catering to special interests can hurt journalism. It may not be journalism, but I give you Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann.

Both left popular platforms (Fox and MSNBC) to take the money and run for restricted, lesser-viewed formats. According to The Wrap, they're both "richer but not relevant." They traded popular, widely-viewed platforms for much smaller audiences, and have lost their power.

Content matters, but so does reaching an audience.