Media News

A handpicked selection of today’s media-related news. With 24.000 entries, our archives chronicle 15 years of press industry developments. A goldmine for scholars and researchers.

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  • 27 April 2012 | Data Journalism Handbook

    Free handbook helps journalists use data to improve the news

    The Data Journalism Handbook is a free, open-source book that aims to help journalists to use data to improve the news. It will be launched on Saturday 28th April, at Italy’s leading journalism event, the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, which attracts thousands of journalists from around the world for a week of talks and workshops. The book is an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners - including from Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, Pro Publica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others. The Data Journalism Handbook is an initiative of the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation. The book will be freely available at datajournalismhandbook.org under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike License. Additionally a printed version and an e-book will be published by O’Reilly Media.
  • 27 April 2012 | Washington Post

    New York Times launches social media ad program

    News media outlets are increasingly realizing that online readers are finding their websites’ content through people sharing stories on social media. Finding a way to sell advertising against those readers has been a challenge. The New York Times Co. unveiled Thursday a new social-media advertising program that attempts to address that quandary. Called Ricochet, the program lets marketers pick a select number of stories from Times Co. properties, such as the Times or Boston Globe, that are relevant to their social media audiences and create special links for sharing those stories. Anyone clicking on the social media links will see the marketer’s ads next to the stories for a specified period of time. To keep a dividing line between editorial and advertising, advertisers won’t be able to pick stories that mention their brands for at least a week after the stories have run. The program’s launch client is SAP, the business software company, which is picking Times stories about topics like big data and cloud computing. It will share these stories with its 127,000 Facebook friends, 47,000 Twitter followers, 113,000 LinkedIn followers and 2,000 YouTube followers. Anyone of those people clicking on the stories will see ads from a new SAP ad campaign that rolled out last week.
  • 27 April 2012 | Washington Post

    American University launches history project retracing 60 years of investigative journalism

    American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop is launching a visual history project online to retrace some of the most significant moments in the history of investigative reporting. The website, “Investigating Power,” was launched Wednesday night at the National Press Club. Professor Charles Lewis, a former producer for CBS’s “60 Minutes” and for ABC News, is leading the project. Contributors include Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, Post reporter Dana Priest and Seymour Hersh. Lewis also interviewed journalists Mike Wallace and Daniel Schorr before they died about how they did their work. Organizers say the project examines six areas where journalism brought “truth to power.” They include the McCarthy era, Civil Rights, the Vietnam war, the Watergate scandal, post-9/11 America and corporate power.
  • 27 April 2012 | Journalism.co.uk

    Press freedom group launches Journalist Security Guide

    The Committee to Protect Journalists has launched a Journalist Security Guide, to help freelance journalists stay safe while working on stories. The guide, published online on Thursday, provides advice on how to handle dangerous situations, including issues of digital security, natural disasters and organised crime. In a statement, primary author Frank Smyth, senior advisor for journalist security to CPJ and executive director of Global Journalist Security, said: "Today's journalist is covering an increasingly dangerous world, operating in a climate where journalists are not only frequently killed, but murdered with impunity." "Investigating corruption or abuse of power can be more dangerous in many nations than covering combat. In this climate, journalists need to know how to protect their information, their sources, themselves and their families."
  • 27 April 2012 | AP

    Nigeria: 7 killed in newspaper office bombings

    A suicide bomber and a man armed with explosives attacked two Nigerian newspaper offices on Thursday, killing seven people and wounding at least 26. The radical Islamic sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility. Boko Haram said it coordinated the attacks on Nigeria's major daily newspaper ThisDay in the capital, Abuja, and an office building it shares with two other newspapers in the city of Kaduna. It threatened to target other journalists in the future. In a statement published Thursday night by the Premium Times website, a spokesman for Boko Haram said it would attack media again over what the group felt was inaccurate media coverage. The sect is blamed for killing more than 440 people this year alone in its growing sectarian fight against Nigeria's weak central government, according to an Associated Press count. The sect spokesman particularly blamed ThisDay for publishing stories the group found inaccurate. The newspaper is owned by media mogul Nduka Obaigbena, whose flashy events in Nigeria have drawn celebrities from former U.S. President Bill Clinton to rapper Jay-Z. Obaigbena also has strong ties to the country's elite and the ruling People's Democratic Party.
  • 27 April 2012 | Paid Content

    Germany to at last publish Hitler’s memoir

    After being unavailable for many decades, Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” will finally be published in Germany. Until now, the state of Bavaria has used its copyright over the book to prevent it from appearing. That copyright is finally set to expire in 2015, 70 years after Hitler’s death. According to the BBC, Bavaria is publishing the work before the expiration date in order to “demystify” it and make it commercially unattractive for private publishers. The book, which translates as “My Struggle”, combines biography with a description of Hitler’s emerging ideology. The book has been frequently described as boring and unreadable. The book is not illegal in Germany but is effectively unavailable because of the Bavarian copyright. It has long been available in other countries. Amazon has a dozen editions of Mein Kampf for sale. Bavaria’s decision to publish not only raises questions about public policy but also about the practicality of banning books in the digital age. While school districts in America have often tried to ban works like Catcher in the Rye, such books are now in easy reach of anyone with a keyboard or an e-reader.
  • 26 April 2012 | New York Times

    Harvard releases big data for books

    Harvard is making public the information on more than 12 million books, videos, audio recordings, images, manuscripts, maps, and more things inside its 73 libraries. Harvard can’t put the actual content of much of this material online, owing to intellectual property laws, but this so-called metadata of things like titles, publication or recording dates, book sizes or descriptions of what is in videos is also considered highly valuable. Frequently descriptors of things like audio recordings are more valuable for search engines than the material itself. Search engines frequently rely on metadata over content, particularly when it cannot easily be scanned and understood. Harvard is hoping other libraries allow access to the metadata on their volumes, which could be the start of a large and unique repository of intellectual information. Harvard plans also to eventually include circulation data on the items as well, said Stuart Shieber, director of Harvard’s Office for Scholarly Communication, who oversaw the project. The release follows Harvard’s decision, via the Office for ScholarlyCommunications to release much of the published research from its faculty free. The metadata will be available for bulk download both from Harvard and from the Digital Public Library of America, which is an effort to create a national public library online.
  • 26 April 2012 | The Guardian

    US: Marine discharged for criticising Obama on Facebook

    A sergeant will be discharged for criticising President Barack Obama on Facebook in a case that calls into question the Pentagon's policies about social media and its limits on the speech of active duty military personnel. Sergeant Gary Stein will get an other-than-honourable discharge and lose most of his benefits for violating the policies, the Marine Corps said. The San Diego-area Marine who has served nearly 10 years in the Corps said he was disappointed by the decision. He has argued that he was exercising his free-speech rights. Gary Kreep, an attorney for Stein, said he would pursue administrative appeals within the Marine Corps but anticipates the effort will be denied. He said he planned to file an amended complaint in federal court. The Marines acted after saying Stein stated on 1 March on a Facebook page used by Marine meterologists, "Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him." Stein later clarified that statement saying he would not follow unlawful orders. The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticism of the commander in chief.
  • 26 April 2012 | AFP

    Tunisian protesters lift sit-in at national broadcaster

    Demonstrators who claim Tunisia's state television network is backing the ousted Ben Ali dictatorship ended nearly eight weeks of sit-ins Wednesday after the government asked them to leave. Dozens of protesters had been camped outside the offices of Wataniya since March 2 in the capital Tunis, demanding the "cleansing" of the national broadcaster and jeering at journalists. Sit-in organiser Halima Maalej told reporters that demonstrators agreed to an interior ministry request to pack up after the government promised to address their concerns. Protests at Wataniya had grown increasingly tense in recent days, with demonstrators brandishing mops and cleaning equipment and angrily yelling their intention to "cleanse" the broadcaster and some of its 1,300 employees. Journalists had a shouting match Monday with protesters and five people were injured in scuffles Tuesday. Relations are strained between state media and Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party that won elections in October and now leads the governing coalition. Also Wednesday, the United Nations' cultural body UNESCO announced it would hold a three-day programme of events in Tunis to celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
  • 26 April 2012 | Rapidtvnews.com

    YouTube takes grip of mobile video

    Led by YouTube, Pandora and Netflix, video and audio streaming make up more than half of mobile data traffic, In North America the latest Internet traffic trends report from Sandvine has revealed. In the “Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2012 ”, based on data from a selection of Sandvine’s 200-plus customers spanning North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and Asia-Pacific, YouTube was found to be the largest source of mobile video traffic in every region examined, accounting for as much as 25 percent of network data and no less than 12 percent. The data also revealed that home roaming accounts for 9 percent of total fixed traffic on North America’s household networks and that audio and video streaming will exceed 60 percent of North America’s mobile data by late 2014. Smartphones and tablets were driving 9 percent of traffic on fixed access networks including 16 percent of all real time entertainment, 28 percent of which from YouTube and 9 percent from Netflix. Sandvine believes that click-to-cloud smartphone photo back-up and synchronisation will emerge as a significant source of traffic worldwide: the phenomena of the continuous cloud/client connection. This said the company would see operators worldwide adding an intelligence layer across their networks.
  • 26 April 2012 | Paid Content

    Boston Globe knocks down paywall to jumpstart subscriptions

    For the next 12 days, readers can get free access to BostonGlobe.com by entering their email address. “The impetus for the free trial is getting the word out on new features, including the Boston Globe e-paper,” said Peter Doucette, Executive Director, Circulation Sales & Marketing. The e-paper is what is known as a “replica” and mimics the traditional look and feel of a newspaper on a screen or tablet. BostonGlobe.com launched last October but so far sign-ups have been sluggish. The site has only attracted 18,000 paid subscribers so far. Part of the challenge may be cannibalization from the paper’s affiliated site Boston.com which pre-dates the new site but also draws on content from the Boston Globe. The freebie offer lasts for 12 days and is sponsored by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Other papers, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, have done similar promotions in which a select sponsor takes down a paywall, or part of it, for a short time. The Globe is also offering a 99-cent week introductory offer the first eight weeks. The site is free for print subscribers.
  • 26 April 2012 | CNET News

    Google Ideas tackles violent extremism

    Google is using technology to try to curb violent extremism around the world. Working with a think tank, venture philanthropists, and other partners, Google Ideas helped launch a new online network called AgainstViolent Extremism (AVE). "What do a former violent jihadist from Indonesia, an ex-neo-Nazi from Sweden and a Canadian who was held hostage for 15 months in Somalia have in common?" director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "In addition to their past experiences with radicalization, they are all also members of Against Violent Extremism." AVE's goal is to bring together former extremists, survivors, nonprofits, academics, and private sector leaders to combine forces and use online tools to figure out how to prevent people from becoming radicalized. Google Ideas was founded in October 2010 by Cohen who previously worked on the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning staff. The plan was to create what he calls a "think/do tank" and use technology to deal with human challenges, such as gang violence, war, and extremism. Still in beta, the AVE Web site will be managed by the London-based think tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Google Ideas' partner. The site will have videos, research, online tools, forums, and an interactive map that lists nearby events, people, and resources.
  • 25 April 2012 | Wall Street Journal

    China escalates crackdown on Internet amid scandal

    China has stepped up its campaign to clamp down on the Internet, which has emerged as a virtual town square for exchanging information about the Bo Xilai scandal and the nation's biggest political upheaval in years. The popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo on Tuesday deleted the accounts of several users, including that of Li Delin, a senior editor of the Chinese business magazine Capital Week, whose March 19 post helped fuel rumors of a coup in Beijing. The service announced the move to many of its more than 300 million user accounts, thereby turning it into a public lesson in the consequences of rumor mongering. Media insiders describe a heavy hand at the nation's newspapers, with the government at times giving strict instructions on what stories about Mr. Bo could run. Discussion of the matter nonetheless has continued, fueled in part by social media and independent news websites outside of Beijing's control. It is unclear whether the Sina notice was ordered by government authorities, who require Sina and other Chinese websites to police their own content, or if Sina itself issued the warning. But it is the most direct warning yet to Internet users to rein in the freewheeling discussion for which Sina Weibo is known.
  • 25 April 2012 | Washington Post

    AOL launches online video network, AOL On, to highlight programming

    AOL is launching an online video network that will gather its programming onto one platform, the latest bid by a major Internet destination to be a player in Web television. The company announced the video hub, the AOL On Network, on Tuesday at a presentation of programming to advertisers in New York. It said the network will feature 14 content channels available online, on mobile, on tablets and through TV-connected devices. AOL On will pull from some 320,000 short-form videos from AOL and its many publishers. The company also announced seven new original series. AOL Inc. has been trying to generate more revenue from ad-supported content to make up for reductions in its older Internet access business. AOL and other websites see expanded video offerings as a way to increase revenue because the video ads that run with them can command higher prices. The event Tuesday was part of the inaugural Digital Content NewFronts, in which digital outlets like YouTube and Yahoo are presenting their programming slates in the style of television upfronts.
  • 25 April 2012 | AP

    Brazilian journalist is nation’s 4th slain in 2012

    A crusading reporter who "breathed, dreamed and lived journalism 24 hours a day" was gunned down as he ate dinner, and colleagues said Tuesday they are certain he was killed because of his work. Decio Sa, a political reporter for the newspaper O Estado do Maranhao in northeastern Brazil, was at least the fourth journalist slain this year in the South American nation, one of the deadliest for reporters to work in. A gunman fired six bullets into Sa's head and chest in a restaurant in the state capital of Sao Luis on Monday night. He died instantly, and the killer fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice who was waiting outside, the Maranhao state public safety department said in a statement. Brazil's National Newspaper Association said on its website that Sa was killed because of his "courageous coverage of crimes committed by hired gunmen." "He was the fourth journalist to be murdered in Brazil in 2012, highlighting the pernicious effect of the impunity that surrounds attempts made against professionals who work to better inform citizens," the statement added. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says on its website that 21 Brazilian journalists have been killed since 1992.
  • 25 April 2012 | The Guardian

    Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices

    Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls. A memo from Harvard Library to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around USD 3.5m a year. The extraordinary move thrusts one of the world's wealthiest and most prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is funded by the taxpayer. The outcome of Harvard's decision to take on the publishers will be watched closely by major universities around the world and is likely to prompt others to follow suit. The memo from Harvard's faculty advisory council said major publishers had created an "untenable situation" at the university by making scholarly interaction "fiscally unsustainable" and "academically restrictive", while drawing profits of 35 percent or more. Prices for online access to articles from two major publishers have increased 145 percent over the past six years, with some journals costing as much as USD 40,000, the memo said. More than 10,000 academics have already joined a boycott of Elsevier, the huge Dutch publisher, in protest at its journal pricing and access policies. Many university libraries pay more than half of their journal budgets to the publishers Elsevier, Springer and Wiley.
  • 25 April 2012 | Nieman Lab

    Wall Street Journal dives into live, continuous coverage with its new Markets Pulse stream

    The Wall Street Journal on Monday unveiled Markets Pulse, a platform for a continuous flow of news — including blog posts, articles, videos, tweets, photos, and other elements — that readers can dip into throughout the day from their computers or from a mobile device. The idea is to provide more choices to readers who are increasingly seeking news on-the-go. Markets Pulse is built around an area of coverage rather than a finite event, which means it has the potential to be neverending. Markets Pulse also includes an embed of the Journal’s video player right next to the content whenever a live show is on. With the newspaper’s big push in video, particularly live video, having a page that is always on could help increase the return on that investment. It also gives reporters a place to put all kinds of information — short updates, tweets, and other elements that don’t always fit in a traditional article. The format may also help drive traffic to Wall Street Journal content by fostering a habit of checking for frequent bite-sized updates the same way that people routinely check their email inboxes and Twitter feeds. News streams also seem to have the advantage of stickiness — meaning readers spend time on streams longer than they do on traditional news sites.
  • 25 April 2012 | Fast Company

    New startup Assignmint wants to change freelance journalism

    New startup Assignmint has an ambitious goal: To change freelance journalism as we know it. The company, headed by former New York Press and Forbes Traveler editor Jeff Koyen, will offer a complete pitch-to-payment cloud workflow system for freelancers and their employers. It helps digitally manage work assignments, editorial calendars, invoices, pitches, expenses, contract information, and payment. Freelance journalists, meanwhile, will be able to have access to all their outstanding invoice and payment information in one place. The startup also plans to implement a clip and algorithm service to match freelancers with potential new clients. While Assignmint will only handle writers and editors when it launches in late 2012, the firm plans to open their doors to freelancers and employers from the rest of media - along with financial services, academia, IT, fashion marketing, and other fields in 2013. The company's profit model is based upon their payment system: Assignmint will handle freelance payments on an company's behalf in exchange for an employer-paid service fee. Other revenue streams will include premium subscriptions for editorial teams, white-label enterprise installations, and custom services such as tax form fulfillment.
  • 24 April 2012 | European Broadcasting Union

    European broadcasters invest EUR 15bn in content

    For the first time ever, a study commissioned by the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT), quantifies the aggregate programming spend of Europe’s commercial broadcasters. The study, Audiovisual Content and Online Growth, pegs the contribution of commercial broadcasters to the European Digital Economy at EUR 15bn annually. Philippe Delusinne, CEO of RTL Belgium and president of the ACT, said these findings were new and contributed to the overall knowledge about the significance of the sector: “We know that European television is an EUR 84bn sector – but we did not know until today how much of that revenue is reinvested in sport, news, entertainment or movies.” “When the contributions of public broadcasters, and of smaller operators, are also taken into account” Mr Delusinne added, “we conclude that overall around 40 percent of broadcasters’ revenues are reinvested in the next season’s schedule.” The report also shows the strong consumer take-up of the hundreds of new services launched by commercial broadcasters online, part of the legal offer of content widely seen as a vital tool against piracy. The report concludes by looking at the many different ways in which content can cross frontiers today, and tomorrow – providing there is quantifiable consumer demand.
  • 24 April 2012 | Washington Post

    Google spent USD 5m on political persuasion during 1st quarter amid various government probes

    Google’s U.S. lobbying bill more than tripled to USD 5m during the first three months of the year amid increased government scrutiny of the Internet search leader’s business and privacy practices. The first-quarter expenses for political persuasion are by far the highest that Google Inc. has rung up for any three-month period since the company opened a lobbying office in Washington seven years ago. At the same time last year, Google spent USD 1.48m trying to make its points with U.S. lawmakers and regulators. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., disclosed the figures in documents filed late Friday with the U.S. Senate secretary’s office. The total for the most recent quarter is more than the combined lobbying bills among four of Google’s biggest rivals. Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Facebook Inc. spent a combined USD 3.6m in the first quarter. Microsoft, one of the technology industry’s biggest spenders for years, had been spending more on lobbying than Google until the second quarter of last year. Google’s lobbying expenses have been rising steadily against a backdrop of government inquiries triggered by complaints from some of its rivals and privacy watchdog groups.
  • 24 April 2012 | Reuters

    Google to launch online storage service for consumers: source

    Google Inc is preparing to roll out a service to let consumers store photos and other content online, a source familiar with the matter said, pushing into a market now dominated by the likes of Dropbox and Box. The service, to be called Google Drive, could be announced as soon as Tuesday and would be offered with both free and premium for-pay versions, the source said. Google's "cloud storage" offering will incorporate search capabilities and allow users to store pictures, notes and other documents on the Internet and access them from any Web-connected device. Consumers will get 5 Gigabytes of storage for free with Google Drive, while various versions with incrementally more storage capacity, topping out at about 100 Gibabytes, will be available for monthly fees, the source said. It was not immediately clear how much Google will charge for the premium versions. The move turns up the competitive heat with high-profile Web startups such as Dropbox, Box and Evernote, as well as with Microsoft Corp and its SkyDrive service. Some of those services, such as Box, have offered an increasing array of business-oriented features such as online collaboration capabilities. Google Drive will work with sophisticated image search technology to let consumers sift through a wide variety of document types, which could include the likes of Adobe PDF files and photographs, the source said.
  • 24 April 2012 | Deutsche Welle

    Jordanian journalist arrested over Royal Court allegations

    Authorities detained Jamal Muhataseb, owner of Jordanian news website Gerasanews.com, on Monday after he published an article in which it was alleged that the Royal Court had intervened to stop the indictment of a former minister. Muhataseb, also chief editor of the Marra weekly newspaper faces charges of disseminating "anti-regime sentiment," according to colleagues. Jordan's Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) condemned the arrest. The CDFJ described the detention of Muhatseb as a "contradiction" of repeated pledges by monarch King Abdullah II to maintain "sky-high" press freedoms in the country. Muhatseb's colleagues also criticized the fact that the allegations against the journalist were being dealt with by the State Security Court, a military tribunal. Around 50 journalists held a sit-in protest at the press association's headquarters in the capital Amman on Monday evening, demanding Muhataseb's immediate release. On Sunday, Jordanian lawmakers voted not to indict former public housing minister Sahel Majali on charges of corruption. Majali was involved with the country's Decent Housing for Decent Living initiative, a multi-billion scheme to provide affordable housing to low-income families. The scheme failed, mainly because of alleged corruption that led to inflated construction costs.
  • 24 April 2012 | New York Times

    Your Ad, as seen on YouTube

    Small businesses are known for making low-budget television advertisements. Now YouTube is encouraging those same mom-and-pop shops to take their homegrown commercials — and ad dollars — to its platform. On Monday, YouTube plans to announce a program it hopes will position the company as a major player in the market for small-business video advertising. A blog post announcing the news and written by Baljeet Singh, a group product manager at YouTube, cites the company’s growing audience. “With a global audience of 800 million monthly visitors to YouTube, every day can feel like you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, and one video can launch a business,” Mr. Singh wrote. Many small businesses already buy search advertising on Google, which owns YouTube, by bidding on key words and setting the budget they are willing to spend. YouTube will now allow small businesses a similar option with Google AdWords for video. Advertisers will be able to buy and manage key words for video ads from the same online tool used for search and display ads. They will still be able to bid on key words and will pay only when their ads are watched. To entice advertisers to create their own ads and buy ad space, YouTube is offering USD 50m in free advertising to 500,000 companies. Companies that are new to YouTube AdWords will receive a USD 75 credit toward advertising on the site. YouTube has also selected a group of nine small-business owners to be marketing “ambassadors.”
  • 24 April 2012 | BBC News

    Spam: India leads world in junk emails

    India has become the top spam-spewing nation on the planet, suggests a report. Compiled by security firm Sophos, the report ranks nations by the amount of junk mail routed through computers in each country. India has leapt to the top of the spam chart in less than a year, rapidly overtaking the US, said Sophos. About 10 percent of all junk mail sent across the web came from or passed through computers in India, said the firm. India's rapid rise up the chart of spam producers has been helped by the rapid growth of the web in the country, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. The inexperience of the many first-time net users in India had led many to fall victim to hi-tech criminals, he said. About 80% of all junk email is thought to be routed through PCs hijacked by hi-tech criminals who use computer viruses to seize control of the machines. Once a machine is under their control they use them to send out mail on their behalf, typically relaying it from another nation. Sophos estimates that about 9.3 percent of all junk mail travels through Indian computers. In second place is the US (8.3 percent) and South Korea (5.7 percent) is third. India's rise up the rankings was also helped by the ongoing shift away from traditional email by spammers. More and more of them, said Sophos, were using social networks as the route to spread their junk messages. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were all being hit with increasing regularity by spammers, said Sophos.
  • 23 April 2012 | Reuters Institute

    Online news startups struggle to break even in Western Europe

    The first report to systematically assess how online-only news websites across Western Europe are faring has found that new start-ups are struggling to find business models that can cover their operating costs. The report, published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at Oxford University, finds that although internet use and online advertising is growing fast across Europe and there is much experimentation in the online news space, the stumbling block continues to be the absence of a viable business models for new forms of journalism. Even the most innovative online enterprises in Europe have found it difficult to break even. The report, 'Survival is Success' is based on in-depth analysis of nine case studies from Germany, France, and Italy - including prominent pure players like Netzeitung, Mediapart, and Lettera43. The study shows that the start-up scene in Europe is still at a stage where surviving for more than a few years is a form of success in itself. Out of nine new start-ups analysed across the three countries, only two, Mediapart and Perlentaucher, broke even. Mediapart (in France) is sustained by a pay-wall system around quality niche content, while Perlentaucher (from Germany) survives by combining very limited costs with a highly diversified business model.
  • 23 April 2012 | International Business Times

    Newspaper boom in Asia defies trends in West

    While the print newspaper industry has been crippled in developed western countries which are battling digital alternatives, Asian countries are actually witnessing a major boom in newspaper paid circulation. The growing trend for paid circulation in Asia has increased at a rate of 16 percent during the five-year period between 2006 and 2010, according to an upcoming World Press Trends 2011 report. The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-INFRA) said that India, China, and Japan are the world's largest newspaper markets with paid circulations of 110 million, 109 million, and 50 million, respectively. Combined, these three countries' circulations make up more than half of the world's total percentage of paid circulation. Moreover, 67 of the world's 100 largest daily newspapers are based in Asia, reports Asia 360°. These figures represent a stark contrast to the steep decline in newspaper print circulation in the United States and Europe. But In Asia, fast economic growth over the last 30 years has led to higher literacy rates as millions have been lifted out of poverty - driving new readership toward newspapers. In addition, limited Internet reach prevents free, online news from competing with the traditional subscription model.
  • 23 April 2012 | Reuters

    Helsingin Sanomat provides combo deal for iPad and newspaper

    Helsingin Sanomat is the first Finnish media company to provide its new subscribers with the option to combine their newspaper subscription with a new iPad. With the iPad, Helsingin Sanomat can be read digitally anywhere. The development of a new, package-based subscription method was requested by consumers. "Our goal is for it to be as convenient as possible to read the digital edition. More than 50 percent of Finns who took our consumer survey are very or rather interested in the option to also include an iPad in their paper subscription," says Petteri Putkiranta, Vice President, Development at Helsingin Sanomat. According to Sanoma's international iPad survey, tablets are already among the most popular online devices in households which possess one. They are used at the morning coffee table, on the sofa and in the bed. "HS Digilehti has the editorial content of Helsingin Sanomat in digital format. Our iPad app also includes Kuukausiliite and Nyt, the latest news on HS.fi and a location-specific weather service. In addition to the iPad, you can also read HS Digilehti using your computer or mobile phone," says Petteri Putkiranta.
  • 23 April 2012 | Kantar Media

    Research: Latin Americans are the most engaged with User Generated Content (UGC)

    According to a recent study published by Kantar Media, the number of internet users generating content (UGC) - reading articles or commenting - varies significantly by country, but Latin America features on the top. 47 percent of internet users in Brazil and 44 percent in Argentina read UGC on newspaper websites, compared to only 35 percent in GB and 26 percent in Germany. Latin American countries also have the highest rates of activity in submitting articles or comment on the websites of newspaper publishers, with 27 percent in Brazil and 26 percent in Argentina. This drops to only 17 percent in Germany and 12 percent in GB. Regarding how important are the truth and how much users trust the websites they visited, Kantar Media found that in Brazil people show a 73 percent of agreement and in Argentina only 71 percent - a factor that may help to explain the acceptance and willingness to contribute to content.
  • 23 April 2012 | Digital Media Wire

    Google ‘spring cleaning’ closes publisher payment platform

    BlackBerry users suffered another small indignity Friday, when Google disclosed that they’ll no longer get support for Google Synch. It’s one of the “spring cleaning” steps Google announced Friday, following chief executive Larry Page’s guidance to pare down the company’s less popular products. Google’s One Pass payment platform for online news publishers has been shut down too, with the suggestion that Google Consumer Surveys and other platforms would work as an alternative. Also deemed unnecessary the mobile app for Google Talk, which has been supplanted by platform-specific apps, the dedicated Google Patent Search, and the Google Flu Vaccine Finder (which now offers visitors the HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder instead). The photo service Picasa is also being cut back, ceasing to offer the uploader for Mac, the plug-in for iPhoto, and updates for Linux. Among the less well-known services, Google is killing off its Google Related toolbar, which suggested information that might be relevant to a person’s search, like an address or map.
  • 23 April 2012 | BBC News

    Germany: YouTube loses court battle over music clips

    YouTube could face a huge bill for royalties after it lost a court battle in Germany over music videos. A court in Hamburg ruled that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the video sharing site. It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by royalty collection group, Gema. The German industry group said in court that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted. YouTube said it took no responsibility for what users did, but responded when told of copyright violations. Gema's court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website. The ruling concerns seven of the 12 clips. If YouTube is forced to pay royalties for all the clips used on the site it will face a huge bill. Gema represents about 60,000 German song writers and musicians. If enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used. Currently, it is estimated that about 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube worldwide every minute.
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