The week before Christmas was the 107th anniversary for one of the papers I edit, the Sheboygan Press. We decided to create a vintage stye commemorative edition using stories from throughout more than century of history. It was fun and novel, and it was a big hit with readers and our advertisers.
If Facebook and journalism had a relationship, it would be: It’s complicated. David Higgerson urged “journalism … to get over its fear of Facebook“. He wrote: Facebook is huge, and needs to remain huge. To do that, it needs to remain relevant to users. It needs to ensure it doesn’t alienate people. That, in turn, is good news for journalists… Read more →
I’ve long been a fan of Alan Mutter aka Newsosaur, and I think that he’s right that the biggest impact for news organisations in Apple’s recent announcements is its mobile payment technology. This has the potential to take the mobile revolution to an entirely new level, and news organisations need to take advantage of this and create frictionless ways to take part in m-commerce.
Jay Rosen ties together some of the trends happening right now in digital journalism, such as the launch of deep dive digital news sites. These sites are heading 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the generalist bundles like the newspaper and news channels. When people entirely new to it ask me what’s the best way to get going in… Read more →
This is the paradox of journalism in the digital age: Journalism organisations reach more people than was ever possible in the analogue age, but those larger audiences have not translated into higher revenues. Some of this has been almost constant pressure of digital ad revenues since the beginning of the financial crisis, driven by an oversupply of ad space. Digital… Read more →
The discussion around paid content in journalism has moved on from the silly, binary free versus paid discussion to a sense that journalism has always been paid for by a mix of revenue from advertisers and revenue from readers. That mix is changing and is quite fluid at the moment. As some news groups ask people to pay for content they used to receive for free, leaders in those groups will have to ask: Will consumers see a change from free to paid as simply a change in price or a change in their relationship to news organisations? Consumers will accept one but reject, often with disastrous results, the other.
Since the arrival of digital media, most of the innovation has been focused on the editorial side of the business, while the advertising side of the business has largely stuck to pre-digital models like display advertising. Now, we’re starting to see real innovation on the ad side at news organisations. Can it turn around the flagging fortunes of news organisations?
What job does a newspapers do in the digital age? This isn’t to say that a newspaper has no role, but it is to say that just as news organisations need to transform digitally, they also need to transform their print products. This dual-transformation has been key to Clark Gilbert’s success in the US, and changes at the Financial Times underscore the importance of rethinking print and while radically transforming to serve digital audiences.
John Thompson of Journalism.co.uk has just tweeted some amazing stats about Finland’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, from the World Publishing Expo 2013. One jumped out in particular that 42 percent of their subscribers pay for digital content. That is nothing short of astounding, and I do hope that Journalism.co.uk highlights how they have been able to achieve that.
News organisations are still facing a lot of challenges. You only have to look at continued cost cutting at large groups including Tribune Group and Gannett as well as the failure to launch of Reuters Next to see that we’re still in a period of significant disruption. However, we are also learning how to be more nimble and experiment more successfully, and Joy Mayer and LSE’s Charlie Beckett’s have some good suggestions on how to get better faster.