Monthly Archives: March 2005

Online news, 10 years later

[Keyword: ]. From http://www.investors.com/breakingnews.asp?journalid=26650404&brk=1

“Online news, 10 years later

“The facts of business life have blunted some of the promise of the Internet when it comes to publishing news online.

“Writing in the Online Journalism Review, Nora Paul recalls that the first “New News” seminar held at the Poynter Institute, a journalism education group, was filled with ideas. One was that the “unlimited news hole” of the Internet would allow reporters to make available all the information they’d gathered but couldn’t get into the newspaper or on the air. That hasn’t happened. “It’s a very rare happening,” said Dennis Buster, news editor of StarTribune.com in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

“The Web has also become an alert service. Paul quoted Rusty Coats of Minnesota Opinion Research Inc. as saying, “Don’t market your site by saying we’ll give you more. People don’t have enough time now. They don’t want more. They want efficiency.” See ‘New News’ retrospective.”

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On the earthquake coverage

[Keyword: ]. Brief but interesting reflection by Simon Waldman on how “citizen journalism is brilliant for colour – but terrible for context”:

“A BBC staffer on holiday in Pi-Pi describing what happened. Basically, there was a load of panic and shouting, followed by everyone running up onto higher ground. From there, everyone got onto their mobiles, to call people back home (the UK, Australia, US, etc) where people were watching satellite news channels, and finding out that the chances of a tsunami were very slight – and it would soon be safe for them to go back to their huts.”

Bank holiday round-up

[Keyword: ]. Four consecutive days away from the computer and my RSS Reader is overflowing with news items. Here’s my round-up of the best:

State of the News Media: Online media at crossroads

Keyword: . From the OPA:

“The mega-report “The State of the News Media 2005” offers up many positive points about the business of online media: more people going online for news and blogs, rising ad revenues, and increased customization and personalization of news. But on the flip side, the old-line news organizations that are funding the top sites are bleeding readers and viewers. “While business might appear prosperous, beneath the success lies a perplexing reality,” wrote Merrill Brown in a guest essay for the report. “Many of the news organizations that make most Web site journalism possible…are in some combination of strategic, journalistic and financial peril.” Still, the rise of nascent citizen journalism efforts and blogs give hope that a new media ecosystem can thrive online. The Boston Globe’s Mark Jurkowitz found that online media was still developing its voice, while Poynter’s Rick Edmonds noted that most Americans graze over multiple news sources rather than locking out certain media.

» Report: Non-traditional media gain ground, consumers (USA Today)
» State of the Media 2005: New Roles for New (Poynter)
» Study: Online media is still developing voice (Boston Globe)
» On Fox News, No Shortage of Opinion, Study Finds (Washington Post)
» A Year to Remember in Internet News (Merrill Brown guest essay)
» The State of the News Media 2005 (Project for Excellence in Journalism report)

More on the email newsletter

Keyword: . I’m a great fan of the email newsletter (see my previous posting on this topic), so it’s good to see the OJR reporting that the form is seeing a resurgence, with quotes such as this:

““E-mail is still the ‘killer ap’ for the Internet,” as far as Michael Odza, the Web publisher of Santa Fe’s New Mexican, is concerned. The New Mexican, which has a circulation of 25,000, has 48,000 registered users for its Web site, and 11,000 of them have opted to receive an e-mailed version of the daily front page.

“That’s not a number that could reel in many ad dollars. “Local advertisers in our market have been reluctant to experiment” with e-mail ads anyway, said Odza in an e-mail interview. But the daily e-mail has helped draw traffic to the paper’s lively Web site, where the number of comments posted by readers has jumped from 50 to 200 a day in the last year.”

– and this from Michael Zimbalist, president of the Online Publishers Association. :

“spam … has cooled users’ interest in getting a lot of e-mail and has created a certain amount of resistance on the part of publishers and advertisers to go wild with it.”

– or, from Rob Runett, director of electronic media communications for the Newspaper Association of America:

“Newspapers’ e-mail messages are considered the gems among the muck of all the unsolicited inbox clutter that everyone’s receiving, because people are opting in, they’re requesting messages. E-mail messages sent by the newspaper’s online operation have become tremendous advertising and marketing tools.”

But it remains to be seen what impact RSS will have on the medium, with one newspaper’s email newsletters “being outpaced both by RSS downloads and RSS click-throughs.”