The Media Oxpecker: Lessons From the Storm
november 2, 2012 10:30 am
Rounding up media news you may have missed.
- What does the decision by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to turn off their paywalls during Hurricane Sandy say about the utility of paywalls?
If the paywall should come down because there's important potentially life-saving information on the site today, then it should come down tomorrow too, if the news organization is any good -- because that's always true. What difference does it make if they could save one life or one thousand? To the person whose life is saved, it makes none.
When Twitter-troll Shashank Tripathi (@ComfortablySmug) deliberately spread false rumors during the height of the storm, was it akin to yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater? No, says Heidi Moore. Journalists should have known better – and picked up the phone, instead of lazily retweeting his statements as fact:
While what Tripathi did was stupid, inappropriate, ill-timed and loathsome, the reaction to it was entirely out of scale to the actual offense. The truth is, Tripathi had a relatively small niche on Twitter. His influence would have been limited had not journalists on Twitter been desperate for information to share, regardless of provenance.
Not a rumor: The storm knocked out the servers of BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all Gawker Media sites.
And here's Bookbrewer CEO Dan Pacheco on the most innovative digital coverage of Superstorm Sandy.
- AdWeek's Lucia Moses checks in with U.S. News two years after it ended print and reports that the publication "has gone from unsustainable weekly to a profitable business with 15.1 million monthly unique visitors."
- The iPad may be all about the "lean back" experience, but the iPad Mini? Not so much:
The iPad Mini looks like it will bridge the gap between Apple tablets and mobile phones, forcing advertisers to experiment with what works best on such a hybrid device. Is it big, magazine-esque ads with several capabilities, or ads that have simple calls to action, possibly connected to local data, that appeal to people on the move? The answer is probably "it depends."
- "Robert Krulwich has the gall to say that I 'monopolize' -- he who gets to ask the questions, has control over editing, and in the end: the final word. Only an imperialist white man can say that to a woman of color and call it objectivity or science. I am not lost on the fact that I am the only female voice in that story, and in the end, that it is my uncle and I who cry...as you all laugh on." What went wrong with the Radiolab "Yellow Rain" story.
- Amanda Hess on the risks and rewards of reporting on memes:
Covering Internet memes can mean we’re serving up inane coverage to highly polarized groups of people. This is not necessarily a new concept in political reporting — a 24-hour news cycle online and on cable has expanded to reach the die-hard political junkies, not the blissfully unaware. But journalists on the meme beat don’t just amplify the nonsense — they also challenge and enrich the conversation.
- The Audit Bureau of Circulations reports that newspaper circulation remained basically flat for the sixth-month period ending September 30. Overall daily circulation for the 613 U.S. newspapers in the report declined by 0.2 percent.
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will lay off 70 employees and reduce the publishing schedule of its Everyday Food magazine.
- Is your paper sitting on an archive gold mine? How magazines – and possibly alt-weeklies?? – can make their archives sing.
- Ann Friedman on when to take your story pitch elsewhere and how to search for out-of-state jobs.
- "Would you rather own a magazine or a digital startup," asks AdAge columnist Simon Dumenco.
Depends on what kind of owner you are, counters Felix Salmon: "Digital startups are designed to burn all of their revenues and then some: if you’re making money every quarter, you’re doing something wrong."
If you're the kind of owner who likes old-fashioned things like owning a profitable enterprise, then, there's a decent case for sticking with ink on paper. If you own a digital startup, the chances are that it will lose money either until it goes bust, or until you sell it. But at that point, of course, you could make a fortune.
- The biggest barrier to transforming newsrooms isn't technology, it's people, says Gabriel Sama.
- Why small news should be big news for local newspapers.
- "Craig Newmark means well, but gosh is he wrong about how to fix press ethics."
- Local businesses are warming up to Facebook ads. So what's next for the social network? A classifieds service, reportedly.
- CBS has hyperlocal footholds in 156 locations across the U.S. and isn't afraid to use them.
- A crowdsourced, hyperlocal city guide launched by UC Davis students may be coming to a city near you.
- And are you ready for real-time, hyperlocal advertising?
- "Nearly 86% of publishers will offer mobile display ad inventory within the next three months," says display ad platform PaperG.
- And finally, an ode — to the dash.