Magazine Author

Our ongoing selection of journalism and media news.

  • 29 September 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Five ways news sites can generate links

    News organisations are trying to regulate use of their content and encourage visitors to pay for their news. Paradoxically, they need Google and other search engines to rank their sites in order to have a significant chance at earning revenue online. Incoming links are crucial to these search engine rankings. How can news organisations ensure incoming links in this increasingly competitive climate? Here are five suggestions from a blogger and someone who links to news sites every day.
  • 9 September 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    AP and Reuters: Competing visions for online news

    The AP, if its litigious actions are any indication, has worked hard to fight against linking and sharing. Thompson Reuters is embracing the link economy. The differences between the two companies go well beyond a war of words, though, but rather indicate converging approaches wire services apply to the Internet. Only time will tell which side is most successful, but watching the ups and downs of these two companies, poised in stark contrast to one another in terms of their views on the web, may tell the tale of how the news industry will operate for the next 100 years.
  • 11 August 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Hot or not: Breaking down the hot news doctrine

    In 1918, the First World War was raging and International News Service (INS) and The Associated Press (AP) were competing to get the most timely, accurate and important stories from the front lines. The competition between the two was, at times, extremely fierce and underhanded. But, after INS, which was owned by fame newsman William Randolf Hearst, published an unfavourable account of British deaths in a battle, the organisation lost its access to the Allies' telegraph lines. This effectively shut them out from reporting on the war. INS was not to be discouraged. Due to the slow delivery of news, INS realised that, if it could gain access to the AP feed, it could rewrite the stories and distribute them with only a slight delay on the East coast of the US and no delay at all on the West. That, in turn, is exactly what INS did. The AP, of course, filed suit. What implications do the resulting 1918 ruling have for the AP today?
  • 13 July 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Top journalists give tips on YouTube

    YouTube is working to make itself a major destination for working journalists. Whether that will work, especially as many news organisations work to build their own video services, remains to be seen. But the ubiquitous video-sharing platform's Reporter Center and Partner Program are worth watching. The partner scheme gives small media an opportunity to receive a share of revenue. The Reporter Center features short videos useful to anyone creating journalistic content.
  • 22 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Mastering the mobile phone frontier

    Mobile news may be called a frontier, but smart content providers are already working in this space. There are popular iPhone applications for Le Monde, The Associated Press and the BBC. This comparison of each app highlights the importance of finding an attractive and simple way to make content available via mobile phones. A clear and consistent mobile strategy cannot be underestimated.
  • 12 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Twitter and the lone reporter

    News organisations need to think about their social news guidelines, as the Wall Street Journal did a few weeks ago. Social news allows reports to speak directly to the public without passing through the filter of editors. This is a possibility that news organisations need to consider, either as something to embrace or something to curtail. Many media pundits critiqued the WSJ for limiting its reporters use of Twitter and Facebook. But having no social media policy for reporters is likely inviting disaster. As reporters and other employees share more and more of their personal lives on the Internet, the line between their personal postings and their role as a face for the company will become increasingly blurred. This will, in turn, cause more and more problems as the personal views and activities of reporters impact their employers.
  • 25 May 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Revisiting the paywall

    All newspapers should respond to the now famous changes in the news dissemination industry. But it's hard to know which business models - subscription, free, micropayment, advertising only, tip jar, nonprofit - are worth trying. While neither is likely to emerge a perfect or final response, two new attempts warrant a closer look:The Wall Street Journal and its online micropayment structure and The New York Times' reader application and Kindle DX partnership.
  • 8 May 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Collecting royalties for articles

    Think you listened to that Black Eyed Peas song for free in the club last night? Nope - royalty collection agencies gather revenue whenever a song is played in a public place like a store or nightclub. And now a new consortium wants to pump up business models for reporters working online, getting journalism over its hump online by collecting royalties on the re-publication of articles online. But the advertising industry would rather the Fair Syndication Consortium just shut up.
  • 26 March 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    The Guardian leads the way: All about APIs

    This in-depth article looks at The Guardian's use of APIs. Are they a useful tool for newspapers? Can anyone make money with them?
  • 5 March 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Content thieves: To catch or not to catch?

    With traditional media audiences dissipating and the audience on the web becoming fragmented, it's difficult to find a way to pay for original reporting and news. Fixing it won't be easy, but it is clear that the music industry model is not the answer for which editors are looking.
  • 13 February 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Twitter accounts for journalists to follow

    A collection of Twitter accounts every journalist should consider following if they're using the popular micro-blogging service for the first time.
  • 5 February 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Monitor the banter on your beat using RSS like a pro

    Really Simple Syndication is a great way to avoid becoming lost in the murky waters of the Internet. These techniques for managing RSS feeds can help busy journalists overcome feeling overwhelmed by hundreds of feeds.
  • 29 January 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Minding the gap: How to make the case for online ad spend

    How can websites better explain to advertisers the benefits of online ad spends?
  • 19 January 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Tools for liveblogging

    While it is unclear how liveblogging can or will change journalism, journalists can take advantage of these tools to provide a more immediate take on newsworthy events.
  • 7 January 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Journalspace makes the case for backing up

    There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the demise of this popular blogging platform. No matter what your site, good backups and sensible IT policies can be the key to preventing tragedy.
  • 5 January 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Prime real estate: Who’s who on the Neilsen Online list

    A look at who is who on the top 50 Internet newsgroups.
  • 15 December 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Traversing Twitter: Tweets for journalists

    At first glance, Twitter is little more than an informal chatroom where people share short messages. But, even though most of uses of Twitter are trivial, it is also rapidly developing into a most important and useful newsgathering and broadcasting services.
  • 24 November 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Hybrid economies and journalism

    In his book Remix, Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig maps the future of commerce and culture. What can journalists learn from his ideas?
  • 10 November 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Guardian feeds its readers

    There is much to be said about The Guardian's recent decision to switch to full RSS feeds. The British daily seems to be hinting that it is also seizing an opportunity and may be embarking upon a future web strategy that is less centralised and more focused on meeting the consumer's needs.
  • 31 October 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Seven simple writing tips for social news

    While blog sites are often on the front pages of social news sites like Digg or Reddit, MSM has been left out. What can the MSM do better?
  • 21 October 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Examining viral marketing disasters

    Not all viral marketing campaigns go well. For online marketers, getting a promotion to go viral is one of the greatest obtainable achievements. A viral campaign can turn on hundreds of thousands of people to your product, service or site at virtually no expense.
  • 14 October 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Introducing Reporter and Editor 2.0

    Now is a great time to start learning about the new technologies and opportunities. It's the time to start watching what others are doing along these lines and learning any lessons that you can.
  • 7 October 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Associated Press announces content marketplace

    For those on the web, the AP Member Marketplace strategy likely seems very familiar - as it is almost the exact same system blogs use to exchange content.
  • 30 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    What companies don’t understand about social media

    To maximise the benefits of viral marketing, there are several rules advertisers and others seeking to use social media need to understand.
  • 21 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Who’s on(line) first?yright

    It can often be nearly impossible to know who first wrote something on the web. But using a medium on which your reputation is your livelihood, it is important to protect what is yours.
  • 17 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Magazine layouts gain popularity with blogs

    For several years, the predominant blog layout has remained unchanged. Posts, usually shortened to fit neatly, sit on top of each other in descending order, headlines over each post. This creates a “log” feel from which the term “web log” or “blog” came. However, redesigns at two of the web's best-known blogs, Techcrunch and Mashable seem poised to shake up the traditional layout, offering slight variations that make the sites appear more like a traditional newspaper. The trend appears to be spreading.
  • 4 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Top mistakes made by journalists in social media

    If journalism is to take advantage of social media, it needs to avoid making the simple mistakes the way many organisations did with the original web.
  • 21 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Dealing with trolls

    Trolls, like other unwanted elements on the web, seek to maximise their exposure and increase the harm they can do. So no matter what the nature of your web presence, it is important to be prepared for the inevitable arrival of a troll and have a plan for dealing with the problem.
  • 20 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    An unclean slate: The gap between traditional and new media

    One of the most important plagiarism scandals in the modern era of journalism unfolded this month. But it didn't take place at The New York Times, the BBC or any other major newspaper.
  • 7 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Did I do that? Preventing identity theft

    Though there is no magical means to prevent identity theft. But being smart with your information and using the tools available can help you protect your information and keep your identity safe.
  • 31 July 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The Redlasso problem

    Even if video-sharing platform Redlasso is shut down, the love bloggers have clipping from mainstream content is not going to go away. Furthermore, as long as there is a desire to include such content, someone will line up to make it happen.
  • 21 July 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Knowing too much

    On the web, trust is everything. While it is important to obey your country's privacy laws, it is at least equally important to ensure that your users feel safe visiting your site and trust you with their information. This often means going well above and beyond what the law requires. Although this means that many of the web's most tempting information collection tools are off limits, it is important to note that the traditional means of learning about your customers still work well. There is little evidence to support the idea that such heavy personalisation actually improves advertising effectiveness.
  • 14 July 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Unpublished: The Internet eraser

    Media is no longer bound by the physical limitations of printing press or even antennae. But while this has opened up many new opportunities, it has also raised a series of difficult ethical and legal questions. What obligation does an online news source have to maintain old content? What if a journalist is found to be engaging in misconduct? What do you do after a reporter leaves the company?
  • 9 July 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Part Two: Thriving in the “Me” era

    For those who can change and are willing to, now is the time. Smaller, more nimble competitors are already entering the marketplace and may soon be better poised to exploit these market forces. If they become entrenched, they could take a huge bite out of traditional media's position on the web.
  • 23 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Avoiding the backlash: A retrospective on the AP debacle

    The Associated Press may well be one of the largest and best known names in journalism, but that has not saved them from the wrath of angry bloggers. In the past few weeks, there has been a campaign to ban AP stories, accusations of a conspiracy theory between it and two other players in the controversy and a whole slew of negative publicity, some of which has spilled over to the mainstream media. The reason for the vitriol? A series of DMCA notices sent to the website the Drudge Retort.
  • 18 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Part One: Surviving the “Me” era

    People were once people were forced to build their lives around the schedules and availability of news delivery. But now audiences are able to construct a highly personalised media experience. Devising a strategy to thrive in the user-centred media economy is more than just putting up a website. It involves looking at what the “Me” era of journalism is going to mean for journalists, and learning how to find a place not in the traditional journalism paradigm, but in the universe of the individual reader.
  • 11 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    When customers go bad

    Licensing content to other websites or news services is an exciting business opportunity for many journalists and smaller news organisations. But this opportunity is accompanied by fresh challenges. Customers will on occasion break the terms of the agreement, either posting the material for longer than allowed or posting it to sites that were not in the agreement. When this happens, it puts the content creator in an odd position. How does she protect her content from misuse while preserving the relationship with her client? It is a tough balancing act.
  • 3 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The US orphan works bill and you

    The United States is on track to pass a landmark piece of copyright legislation this year. The legislation, commonly known as the “Orphan Works Bill” would create major changes to copyright law in the country. Those changes could have major effects, including across national borders.
  • 20 May 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    How much is a link worth?

    Content licensing still in its infancy on the web, with links routinely selling for hundreds of dollars on some sites. Many companies, especially smaller ones that can't afford to set up a formal licensing system, have taken to allowing their customers to pay for content via a return link. The problem, however, is that not all links are equal.
  • 13 May 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Who is copying your content

    Understanding the basic motivations of users who copy content can help in developing a flexible strategy for handling copyright infringement on the web. There are five of the basic types of users who commit infringement on the web. Here's how to spot them.
  • 7 May 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Protecting online video

    On the surface, online video seems to be one of the easiest content formats to control. Bandwidth and storage requirements for hosting videos are above what the average Internet user can provide, the videos are contained in specialised players, making them difficult to download, and manipulating the content itself is both difficult and time-consuming. But as a quick search for the word “Reuters” on YouTube reveals, video content from prominent journalism sites is regularly being re-hosted, usually without permission.
  • 15 April 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Tearing down the paywall

    All across the world, paywalls are coming down. News sites are opening up their content to users for free. And while it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, many news organisations stand to make more money by giving their content away than they would trying to get people to pay.
  • 9 April 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Links: The currency of the web

    As the web grew it evolved a kind of informal currency, a way to reward and promote sites that had quality content. Best of all, the solution that evolved was a democratic one, allowing everyone to participate. That solution was the hyperlink.
  • 3 April 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Five steps toward revolutionary web strategy

    With the online news industry constantly becoming more competitive, both individual journalists and large news organisations are struggling to find ways to stay competitive. Unfortunately, most of the best ways to improve one's position on the web are expensive. The payoff is not always instant. However, there are several things you can do that are both inexpensive and, in most cases, produce very quick results. These steps can, potentially set your site and your work apart.
  • 20 March 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Despite billion eyes on the web, content misuse is rampant

    To a journalist who takes pride in the craft of producing high-quality work, the notion of plagiarism, especially when work is to be distributed en masse on the Internet, seems foreign. However, on the web, copying is not just commonplace, but almost expected once a work goes online - despite the near certainty of being caught. Unfortunately, the motivations to plagiarism are often grounded in the rational realities of the web itself.
  • 13 March 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Really, simple syndication

    That something like using RSS feeds is easily done from a technical standpoint does not mean that it is ethical or even legal. Although it can seem trivial to take someone's RSS content and paste it into your site, doing so without permission will not only likely raise legal issues, but also public outcry. Fortunately, there are ethical and legal ways to incorporate RSS content into your site. If done properly, RSS feeds can be a valuable tool for growing your site and provide your readers with essential information.
  • 27 February 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The European Union’s effect on copyright law

    Throughout history, European nations have taken the greatest initiative in reforming and changing copyright law. While the US has taken a lead in the digital age with the DMCA, Europe's role in carving out the future for copyright is increasing. As the EU looks to standardize copyright law across its member states, it is forcing a re-evaluation of copyright standards and causing politicians and industry leaders to look at the current situation and make difficult decisions. Couple this with a very tumultuous climate for copyright on the Internet, and you have a perfect setup for several years of copyright change on the continent that often sets the tone for the rest of the world.
  • 25 February 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Oops: Dealing With corrections in the digital world

    Even journalists make mistakes. The simple misspelling of a name can change the meaning of the story. Errors happen. Print journalists have a set protocol for handling errors. This usually involves a printed correction and an apology to any injured parties. But that system has worked with the print and broadcast media, where the message is fixed and on a static medium. It does not work so well on the Internet.
  • 13 February 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The advantages of copying

    One of the principles of copyright law is the presumption that the act of copying a work devalues it. But this maxim is not always true.
  • 31 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Be careful where you upload

    As more multimedia facets are installed in the virtual playground of the Internet, a host of companies have been founded to provide journalists, along with regular users, a place to upload their images and video. This provides a chance to save on hosting costs, but if you're not careful to read the fine print, you might accidentally give up rights to your work that you didn't intend to and could potentially see legal uses of your content of which you don't approve.
  • 23 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Got something to say? Creating a comment policy

    When it comes to providing news and information on the web, one of the most difficult decisions is deciding how much, if any, interaction you should allow your users to enjoy. On one hand, interaction promotes a positive user experience. The ability to leave comments, rate posts and communicate with authors or other visitors encourages readers to return to the site and provides them with a sense of community. On the other hand, such content carries with it a set of dangers and concerns including copyright and libel issues.
  • 16 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    A brief guide to social news sites

    As competition among online news sites grows fierce, a trend has emerged whereby organizations have begun to encourage their readers to submit their various articles to social news site such as Digg, Reddit and Propeller. The partnership between traditional media and social news makes a great deal of sense. Social news sites gain legitimacy by prominently featuring high-quality articles from trusted news sources. Traditional media receive a surge of traffic every time a story is made popular and taps into a new audience, one that is news savvy and technically literate.
  • 11 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The danger of saying “Thank You”

    If you sell a product, saying “Thank you” is a natural, polite way to close the transaction. It lets the customer know you appreciate their business and encourages them to come back. However, saying “Thanks” on the web can often be very dangerous, because thank-you pages often get indexed by the search engines, which means malicious and innocent searchers alike can find your digital goods and download them without paying.
  • 3 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Avoiding copyright catastrophe

    A look at three cases where copyright holders were so zealous in defending their copyright on the web that they accidentally created situations worse than the actual infringement. In all three situations, the value of the work protected was, most likely, eclipsed by the public relations damage that the enforcement caused.
  • 21 December 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Watermarking for the web

    It is a fact of life on the web: If you put enough photographs and images on your site, someone is going to take at least a few of them. Watermarking can be a solution. It not only greatly discourages copying, but ensures that when an image is copied, the watermarked image helps build your online presence rather than detract from it.
  • 5 December 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    A brief history of copyright on the web: Part one

    When the Internet was conceived, copyright law was not in consideration. Developed initially for a mixture of academic and military purposes, the technologies that made the Internet possible were, originally, never seen as having copyright implications.
  • 29 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Tracking images on the web

    The first web pages were text-only documents. The only beautification was through formatting and colouring. Fortunately, images were not far behind and were, in turn, followed later by audio and video.
  • 26 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Full or partial: the RSS debate

    Though it is a relatively new technology, RSS has already drastically altered online news distribution. It provides content owners with a cost-efficient way to track subscriptions and readership and offers users a simple way to stay on top of their favorite sites, all from in one place.
  • 14 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Detecting the plagiarist within

    Having your own work plagiarized, especially on the Internet, is a frustrating and important debacle, the possibility of a plagiarist within your ranks is a time bomb waiting to go off. Just as the Jayson Blair scandal brought international infamy to the New York Times, other newspapers, including The Guardian and the Melbourne Herald-Sun, have also endured the damaged reputation that an accused plagiarist on staff can bring.
  • 6 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Dealing with plagiarism in the digital age

    When all media was print, dealing with plagiarism was a relatively simple process. In the digital age though, these disputes are much more complicated. In many cases, there are no editors or managers to report plagiarism to, the disputes take place in the most public arena on the planet and there is nothing to stop a caught plagiarism from simply donning a new identity and re-entering the field.
  • 1 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    The dangers of user-generated content

    As more and more journalism becomes web-based, companies and webmasters are doubling up their efforts to make their sites interactive and involve their visitors in the process of reporting the news. The extent of this interactivity varies wildly from site to site. Some, such as the Guardian Unlimited, allow users to comment on their blog. Others, meanwhile, such as Reuters, allow visitors to upload and submit their images and video to be distributed worldwide.
  • 14 October 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Licensing your content

    As more and more content finds its way onto the web, the rules about what users can and can not do with that content has become less clear. Although copyright law is well-established and enforced in most countries, especially in Europe and the Americas, the Internet has created a truly international culture that is more tolerant of sharing and reuse than the law often allows.