Monthly Archives: April 2006

Publishers unite to fight Internet copyright abuse

[Keyword: ]. Another one from the latest Press Gazette on the latest internet demon: “They’re stealing our content!” scream publishers, comparing their plight, strangely, with illegal downloading of mp3s and the alleged effect on music sales (much challenged (PDF), by the way).

Now, while Google News is no Napster, the one concern worth exploring is “about the rise of RSS feeds and news services which lift copy from news websites without payment, often circumventing the need for the reader to visit the sites.”

The question is, how much are you prepared to sacrifice to attract new readers? My personal experience is that RSS feeds only serve to deliver me headlines. If the headline appeals, I click on the link to visit the website that publishes it, which surely increases traffic and therefore potential advertising? Perhaps there are more nefarious uses of the technology that I’m missing…

Interview with Google’s European vice president

[Keyword: ]. The latest issue of Press Gazette features a fascinating double-page interview with the vice president of Google Europe, Nikesh Arora – the angle being Google’s impact on news production, and the internet’s impact on the news industry generally.

You can find a chopped-down version on the Press Gazette website (presumably to force readers to subscribe) and sadly the author, Rob McGibbon, has not updated his own website with any details. But for those interested in the salient points (rather than the first few hundred words, which contains none of them), here are a few juicy quotes. If you want to read more, hey, why not subscribe to Press Gazette? Perhaps the money will help them make more improvements to their website?*

On changes to the news industry:

“[Newspapers] have to pay attention to … the unbundling of the package
… The internet is forcing a re-thinking of what is the package for a newspaper
… What elements in the bundle are going to survive?

“There are fantastic assets that newspapers could leverage more … the
journalist who can write comment pieces and editorial stuff … access to
opinion leaders around the world … their ability to write objectively and in
line with the brand of the newspaper… That element of trust is important.

“What is not fully embraced is the element of interactivity with them that
consumers want. Also, [newspapers] don’t leverage archives [enough]

“I believe there is a much larger opportunity for the provincial paper, because [local content] is very hard to globalise. [They] also have a much more loyal community.”

On changes for journalists:

“I would definitely say that all journalists … need to become bloggers… If the established journalist brands don’t become bloggers, they will leave the door open.”

*Good to see the use of and Technorati links on the website, as well as related stories. Here’s hoping for more improvements so us bloggers can plug it even more…

New York Times online launches new design

[Keyword: ]. You can read a review of sorts at Poynter, which seems particularly happy with the ‘simplicity’ of the design (it doesn’t seem to simple to me, but then perhaps I’m used to British newspaper websites like The Guardian), but more importantly gives some useful links at the end to comments from the design director, among other things.

Elle Girl US closes in print but stays online

[Keyword: ]. It used to be the case that when job cuts were to be made, website staff went first. Is it now the other way around? Possibly. Reflecting “the growing popularity of digital platforms among children and teenagers” (reports, “US teen title Elle Girl is closing its print magazine after five years but continuing to publish online and to mobile subscribers.”

Meanwhile, in a curious coincidence, the latest Guardian Jobs features the following two vacancies in the UK:

Web Editor- Sugar

You’ll be an online journalist with a minimum of three years’ experience editing commercial, fast-changing websites – ideally with some knowledge of the fast-paced teen and youth markets.Location: West London

Web Editor – Red and Psychologies

We are developing the Red brand online and require an experienced Web Editor to drive this development and create a future digital strategy for Red.Location: West London

10 sites for video sharing

[Keyword: ]. Thanks to Mindy McAdams for this link to a review of 10 sites for video sharing – some of which are well-known, others less so. For example,

“If you just want to get a video clip online and share it with friends via email or on your own blog, Vimeo wins for its speed, ease-of-use, and simple playback functions. It also lets users download the original file, and features some light community features (note that a new version is launching very soon). One of the few sites I used that I never had a problem with. Alternate choice: Videoegg.”

Mobile group in talks to create TV link for citizen journalists

[Keyword: ]. That’s the headline in the Media Guardian, which reports that the mobile phone network 3 is pursuing talks with ITN and Sky News “about feeding clips produced by its customers on to television news bulletins”. It sounds like the company may have already discovered a goldmine with its service allowing customers to send in clips which can be downloaded and watched by other subscribers (a turnover in the millions has been quoted in New Media Age), so this comes as a logical extension of that business.

Interestingly, 3 UK’s chief executive Bob Fuller is quoted as saying “The onus will be on the people, such as TV companies, publishing the content to check their sources”. The article goes on:

“An ITN spokeswoman, who confirmed that talks were under way with 3, said
they already ran background verification checks of mobile phone clips sent in
for use in bulletins. “Editorially, we want to be 100% certain that anything we
put out, whether on terrestrial TV or mobile phones, is bona fide,” she said.

“ITN already has extensive experience of packaging content for use on mobile
phones, so taking mobile-generated content and packaging it for use on bulletins
plays to its strengths. “We are looking at developing ways of capturing people’s
images and how we can use them better – using our expertise to make sure they
are produced and packaged properly,” said the spokeswoman.”