Communication Leadership Blog

NPR head argues that newspapers should stay free

By Megan Baaske | May 26, 2009 0

Vivian Schiller, CEO and President of NPR, argues in an interview that newspapers' best bet is to continue to offer their content for free. She says that there are only a few kinds of content that people have proved willing to pay for online--real-time financial news, some fantasy sports and pornography. As the former head of, Schiller discusses her advocacy to end TimesSelect. While the service gained the newspaper $10 million annually, it seemed unlikely to grow, and therefore would not prove a useful tool to sustain the newsroom.

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Could charging for online subscriptions save print?

By Megan Baaske | May 26, 2009 0

The editors of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Post Register in Idaho both attribute their extraordinary print subscription numbers to the fact that they only offer free web content to their subscribers. All others have to pay to access their articles online. Their success may be why 28% of newspapers say they are considering instituting online fees, according to a recent AP survey. As Journalism Online CEO Steven Brill put it, "Online fees will give people one less reason to stop subscribing to the [printed] newspaper."

You can read the article from the Huffington Post here.

Spanish court grants newspapers protection over content

By Megan Baaske | May 26, 2009 0

A Spanish court has ruled that newspapers have intellectual property rights over their content. Over two years ago, the editors of 55 newspapers sued a press-clipping service Documentacion de Medios for including their stories as part of the service. Henceforth, any group seeking to use newspapers' material in a similar way will have to get prior consent from the editors.

You can read the Editors' Weblog post here.

Adam Powell

New revenue streams boost TV, while new fees may stifle Internet radio

By Adam Powell | May 26, 2009 3

WASHINGTON -- Speakers at a conference of broadcasters here last week described new revenue sources that may make the difference between profit and loss for U.S. broadcasters.

And there was bad news for streaming media on line -- which turns out to be good news for radio stations.

First, here's a look at that new revenue for television.Actually, it's not that new: it's just suddenly getting bigger - billions of dollars bigger. That new money is from political ads, a revenue stream turning into a veritable Mississippi River of money, and it comes at a time when the local TV ad business is falling rapidly - down 20 to 40% year over year - and may represent the margin of profit for U.S. television stations as early as next year.

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Geoffrey Leo Baum

Carnegie Corporation taps CCLP for examination of government's response to the crisis in the news industry

By Geoffrey Leo Baum | May 26, 2009 0

From a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism to a new tax cut for newspapers signed into law by the governor of Washington state, policymakers nationwide are responding to the crisis facing the news business.

"It's ... a time of real hardship for the field of journalism ..... But it's also true that your ultimate success as an industry is essential to the success of our democracy," President Obama told members of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Thanks to a grant from Carnegie Corporation, the USC Annenberg School for Communication's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) is launching a major new research project to document current and past government engagement in the news industry and assess new policy proposals.

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Richard Reeves

To The Lucky Class of 2009

By Richard Reeves | May 22, 2009 0

Another year, another graduation. But, of course, this is not just another year. For the graduates themselves, it is one of the most important times of their lives. For many of them, their parents and millions of ordinary Americans, it is a very, very tough time.

My graduation was last Friday -- not as a student, but as a teacher at the University of Southern California. For me it was a great year because I had great students.

I hear I'm in a dying business - not education, but my field: The things I teach, journalism and writing, are destined to go the way of old flesh. I don't believe that. More important, I don't want my students to believe that. Companies may die, not always a bad thing, but collecting and evaluating information is part of the human drive, human necessity, the human condition.

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Another way that Google can help

By Megan Baaske | May 22, 2009 0

Rory Maher on PaidContent has another suggestion for how Google, who is reportedly working with newspapers to improve their websites, might help the publications. He suggests that newspaper Web sites have trouble with search optimization. As an example, he cites how the New York Times ran a cover story on a bombing plot in the Bronx, but a search of "Bronx bombing plot" listed many small blogs and TV sites before the NYT. He suggests that Google could help these sites boost their numbers by better adapting to search features.

You can read the post on PaidContent.Org's website.

Google CEO discusses newspapers' business models

By Megan Baaske | May 22, 2009 0

eric-schmidt-thumb-300x462-81021.jpgEric Schmidt, CEO of Google, shares his views on newspaper business models and how Google can help the publications make money. For instance, though he views the transition from for-profit to non-profit organization is difficult, Schmidt argues that, "news gathering and the profitability model was always an uncomfortable relationship." He also notes that Google is working with the Washington Post and other newspapers to improve their websites and increase their monetization.

You can read the Editors' Weblog entry here.

ProPublica starts citizen-journalism project on stimulus

By Megan Baaske | May 22, 2009 0

ProPublica is launching a citizen-journalism venture, asking ordinary people to pick a small part of the stimulus bill and track its progress: "Diving headfirst into databases and wrangling answers out of government officials will get us only so far. Basic information about road and bridge reconstruction projects -- like the identity of sub-contractors -- requires feet on the ground, and a lot of them." The project is designed to combine all of the information provided by citizens to answer the question: Is the stimulus working?

You can read the ProPublica post here.

Twitter aggregator improves its features

By Megan Baaske | May 22, 2009 0

Muck Rack, a service that aggregates the Twitter feeds of journalists, has added several new features in its recent redesigns that significantly improve the site. First, new users can organize those tweets into broad beats, ranging from technology to arts journalism. This allows people to focus on the more interesting content. Second, Muck Rack has added a list of trending topics, so viewers can tell at a glance what the world's journalists are tweeting about.


You can read the Nieman Journalism Lab review here.

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