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Posts Tagged ‘Nieman Journalism Lab’

I have hired five of six people for our community engagement team. Loryn Wilson will be a community host, joining Jeff Sonderman, Lisa Rowan and Daniel Victor, whom I already announced. I also have hired Mandy Jenkins as social media producer. We’re still working on hiring the mobile producer.

A graduate of George Washington University, Loryn is a veteran blogger, both on black girl blogging and on the Women’s Rights blog for Change.org. She used to work for the Center for Progressive Leadership, where colleagues say she guided more experienced staff members through unfamiliar social media waters. She served on the social media team for Becky’s Fund, an organization assisting survivors of domestic violence. She has been a panelist for programs discussing social media and digital communication.

I cringed when Laura McGann of the Nieman Journalism Lab quoted me Wednesday as saying that I’d have five of my community engagement jobs filled by the end of the week. Yeah, I had said it in a confident moment when she interviewed me Tuesday. But when I read it, I wasn’t sure I could actually get the hiring done. But with Loryn’s acceptance, our team is nearly complete.

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I am delighted to welcome Mandy Jenkins of the Cincinnati Enquirer to our community engagement staff as social media producer.

Mandy helped me by long distance a year ago when I led a Twitter webinar for the American Society of News Editors. So I think it was appropriate that I received her email accepting my job offer during the final day of this year’s ASNE convention. (more…)

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When I read the Associated Press “Protect, Point, Pay” plan, I think of the Hummer.

General Motors thought it was moving forward when it trotted out the massive sport-utility version of a military vehicle. The Hummer represented a lot of smart work by a lot of engineers and GM sold a lot of Hummers. It carried on a GM tradition of massive vehicles under the Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile brands. But how did the Hummer work out in the long run? How’s GM doing today? In a world threatened by climate change and in a nation dependent on oil from unstable regions, the Hummer was simply the wrong move.

I think “Protect, Point, Pay” may get some traction with desperate newspaper owners who want more protection and pay. It has some good features with smart engineering. But it’s simply the wrong move. (more…)

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The Associated Press is giving me an uneasy feeling again.

I want to read the full AP “Plan for Reclaiming Content Online” for myself before I draw firm conclusions. I first read of it at the Eastern Iowa Airport this afternoon on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog entry by Zach Seward. Zach acknowledges that he’s just starting to analyze the seven-page briefing, which was sent to members. He will post further blog entries on the plan and eventually will post the full plan.

I’m writing this post from Denver International Airport. If I were at work, I would inquire of colleagues and try to get a copy of it and read and react more knowledgeably. I will do that, but I want to react quickly to what Zach has reported. The report drew a swift and mostly critical response on Twitter and I want to contribute to that immediate conversation in more than tweets, though I certainly did that. The problem with commenting quickly is that I have to write this long caveat that I don’t fully know what I’m writing about yet. If any of these impressions change on full examination, I will note them.

Let’s start with a positive statement: From what I can see, this plan reflects more understanding of the digital world than earlier AP statements. Dean Singleton’s blustery warning last spring that AP would seek legal and legislative remedies for “misappropriation” of members’ stories showed a complete lack of insight about the link economy. The more recent plan to protect AP content by use of a digital “wrapper” fell flat as AP’s own explanations of its intent and use conflicted. (more…)

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Here’s how little hope executives of newspapers see for our industry: The idea that reportedly excited them most at last week’s secret meeting could make up about 3 percent of last year’s decline in advertising revenue.

Zachary Seward of Nieman Journalism Lab, who is doing an outstanding job of reporting on the meeting, tells in his latest report about the Fair Syndicate Consortium‘s plan to track down splogs (spam blogs) that reprint news web site content in its entirety and get advertising revenue from third-party vendors such as Google and Yahoo!

The report is interesting and I don’t fault newspaper executives for protecting their copyrights and their rights to advertising revenue from content they produce. But here’s what I found discouraging in Seward’s report:

  • Jim Pitkow of Attributor, who made the “Fair Syndication Consortium” pitch, estimates that pirated content is costing newspapers $250 million a year.
  • Seward reports: “Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to with knowledge of the Chicago meeting, where newspaper companies were pitched on a variety of online business plans, says that Pitkow’s presentation of the Fair Syndication Consortium was by far the most popular.”

OK, let’s do some math on that. As Alan Mutter reportedin his Newsosaur blog, advertising revenues plummeted by $7.5 billion last year (and that pace accelerated in the first quarter of 2009). So the $250 million that newspaper executives got excited about was a mere 3 percent of last year’s decline in revenue, less of what we appear headed for this year.

Sure, save that $250 million if you can. But that’s a tourniquet, not a plan for a healthy future. 

 

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Latest praise (“highly recommended reading”) for the Blueprint for a Complete Community Connection comes from Martin Langeveld at the Nieman Journalism Lab. Newspaper Death Watch says we’re “shaking up the traditional newspaper model.” And Gazette colleague Jason Kristufek asks, “What part are you going to take ownership of?”

Previous praise for C3 came from Michele McLellan, Robert IvanMark Potts  and Mark Briggs. Thanks to all.

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Updated with BeatBlogging Q&A:

The transformation we are undertaking at Gazette Communications continues to draw attention:

Those are new developments. These are other links I posted recently:

As I wrote in an earlier post, all of this means nothing but ego stroking and eventual embarrassment if we don’t deliver in the executing of our plans. Lots of people in the newspaper industry have been wrong about a lot of things before. You could compile many more links than this of people eloquently making the case that news web sites need to charge for their content. And the fact that you could find a lot of them wouldn’t change the fact that they’re all wrong.

But I am encouraged that a lot of people I respect think we’re on the right track. And I’ll keep sharing those links if they keep writing.

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