links for 2009-08-28

  • Kevin: An excellent overview of the use of social media by major newspapers in the United States with interviews with key editors in charge of the efforts.
  • Kevin: Steve Outing writes about a future of news conference in Aspen. About the the paid content debate: "Will news publishers charge for content online? Almost certainly, yes, for some of it — actually, for a very small part of it. I believe there is consensus among most (not all) news publishers that they can and should charge online users (and mobile, too) for the extra-special, can't-find-it-elsewhere, this-will-make-you-more-money-or-improve-your-life content they produce. And most of the news content that is the traditional fare of newspapers will remain free online, supported by advertising and additional revenue streams." He says that if publishers can get 10% their loyal online readers to pay for something, it would represent a significant source of new income.
  • Kevin: This is well worth a read, and while some of the problems might be more pronounced in the US, some of the issues are affecting newspapers in most developed countries. He points out: "Subscribers didn’t pay for news. Advertisers did." His point that newspapers are the product of monopoly thinking might be more relevant to the US than the UK where there is competition in 'national' daily newspapers. But he doesn't just criticise editors and managers, he also challenges journalists. "Journalists like to affect a garrulous Ludditism." It's definitely worth a read.
  • Kevin: We use Google Docs internally here at the Guardian to share documents and to collaborate. We also use Google Spreadsheets to publish data to our Data Store, where we publish the data that informs our stories. This is a great tutorial on how to get started with Google Docs.