Communication Leadership Blog
A hearing called by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry produced conflicting views over whether the federal government might play a productive role in supporting the beleaguered news industry. The publisher of the Dallas Morning News said yes. But new media representatives said a federal role would be counterproductive.
Amazon and Plastic Logic are both banking on the idea that creating a larger, Kindle-like electronic device will prove popular as the new way of consuming news. Each company is racing to complete its version of the gadget, which may prove to be the saving grace for newspapers looking for a way to charge for their content. With the devices, publishers conceivably might be able to revert to long-established business model of selling subscriptions and supporting articles with ads.
UPDATE (7/16/10): You can browse the features of Plastic Logic's on their website.
TechCrunch reports that online advertising revenues dropped significantly over the last quarter, suggesting that the recession has come to online ad sales. With Google, Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft reporting on their finances for the quarter, Web revenue dropped 2 percent from last year and 7 percent from the fourth quarter.
Allowing comments on news stories is increasingly common, despite the potential pitfalls. One of the benefits of comments section can actually be increased pageviews which translate into increased online advertising dollars. It keeps readers at the site longer, can create a community of users, and increases the interaction between producers and consumers of news. All of this may result in added revenue.
When pressed at Monday's briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs expressed concern over the failing newspaper industry, but stated, "I don't know what, in all honesty, government can do about it." Even as Sen. John Kerry begins holding hearings this week on the state of the newspaper industry, it appears that the White House is not planning imminent action.
The Detroit Free Press has partnered with a local CBS affiliate, WWJ-TV, to launch a morning news show. The program will air two hours each weekday morning, and feature content produced by the newspaper's journalists, in addition to updates on weather and traffic.
National Public Radio combined computer code, archives and Google Hot Trends to create an automated Twitter account NPRBackstory. It goes like this: the code automatically detects frequent search terms, checks within the NPR archives for related stories and posts the link on Twitter, all without any human involvement. The goal of the project is to provide some backstory and context to breaking news, and to make full use of the online NPR archives that date back to 1995.
And you can follow NPRbackstory on Twitter .
MTV is promoting its new show, What You're Watching with Alexa Chung, by taking advantages of new media. Yet the television channel is taking the unprecented step of sharing the ad revenue from the show with Facebook and Twitter. While many companies and industries, including CNN and Us Weekly, have used these two sites to promote their projects, this is the first time that either site will receive revenue for hosting the organization.
Mark Glaser of PBS' MediaShift has read 600 ideas for how to best serve community information needs, and has distilled them into an eight-step plan to get the job done.
Step One: Crack open government data and access.Glaser's project is in connection with a big effort from the Knight Foundation to identify community news and information needs in an era when legacy news organizations may be greatly diminished.
You can also follow Mark Glaser on Twitter .
There's good news and bad news for newspapers in a new report by USC's Jeffrey Cole, one of the world's leading authorities on Internet trends. Cole found a significant increase in the amount of time readers were spending on newspaper online sites. Simultaneously, it found a large chunk of Americans had quit their newspaper or magazine subscriptions because they could read the same material free on the Web.