21st centurynews paywallsnonprofitshyperlocal


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21st centurynews paywallsnonprofitshyperlocal

  1. 1. 21st Century Media New Voices JOUR 2300 Principles of News Mayborn School of Journalism
  2. 2. Economic Realities: “New News” Payment for web access to news New Funding models for journalism Web search trends New approaches to local news
  3. 3. Today’s Strategy for Survival Generate New Revenue Paywalls New Ad Models New Distribution Methods Online Mobile Reduce Expenses Reduce Staff Eliminate Sections
  4. 4. Need to Know Terms Non-Profits • Media organizations that raise money from investors and donors to run independently from a major news organization. Propublica. TexasTribune. Paywall • A policy of limiting access to a website (or a part of a website) to users who pay a fee or purchase a subscription. E-editions • E-editions include paid online subscriptions, subscriptions on e-readers (Kindles, iPads, Nooks or others) and e-replica editions (full online reproductions of newspapers, typically viewed on a computer). Source: http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/newspapers-glossary/
  5. 5. Competition for Attention
  6. 6. Need to Know Terms Legacy Media • Media products predating the Internet, typified by a dependence on heterogeneous audiences, advertising income and one-way communication. Digital First • An editorial strategy of serving their audience as quickly and as locally as possible, meaning that legacy media organizations reorder their publishing priorities to break news over digital media first. Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 109, p. 113
  7. 7. Need to Know Terms Hyperlocal • Intense local news, “zip code news”, community news defined by geography. Engagement • Depth of involvement that a reader/viewer of news with a media product. Measured by website traffic and anecdotal evidence. Monetization • Converting something that once was free into a product that is sold. Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 120, 125
  8. 8. Nonprofits • Response to shrinking newsrooms • Extreme layoffs of experience reporters • Decline in reporting and writing enterprise stories • Pent up “watch dog” function of journalism • Wealthy investors who value a free, independent press
  9. 9. Source: http://www.knightfoundation.org/features/nonprofitnews/
  10. 10. Nonprofit Websites Propublica.org • Overview of the company: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr5ijulChXY • Launched in 2007 • Retired banker – Herb Sandler and his wife, Marion gave a gift of $10 million over three years • 34-person staff • Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage • Goal: Fill in the gaps left by the loss of investigative journalism in daily newspapers
  11. 11. Why ProPublica? Jennifer LaFleur, formerly Dallas Morning News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “ProPublica was founded to fill the gap in investigative reporting created as many news organizations have cut as newsrooms have downsized. … Investigative reporting is timeconsuming and expensive and many organizations don’t have the resources for it. We fill the gap, not only by doing our own stories, but by making our stories, data and other tools available to journalists around the country – for free.” Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 112
  12. 12. TexasTribune • Co-founded by John Thornton, Evan Smith, and Ross Ramsey • 41-person staff includes an impressive array of veteran reporters, young stars and ambitious newcomers, plus some pretty terrific tech and business development folks. • Its mission: “report, write, compile, record, shoot and post nonpartisan news and information online at our destination web site and in the pages and on the sites of our distribution partners, to which we provide content for free.” Source: http://www.texastribune.org/about/
  13. 13. Nonprofits: The Risks • Lack of funding from investors, donors – Need to diversify funding • Declining interest from readers to become members – Moving beyond the “buzz” to sustaining readers, sponsors, donors and investors – Better metrics to understand audience – Developing new and creative ways to use social media, email newsletters to reach audience Source: http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/11/what-does-sustainability-look-like-in-nonprofit-journalism/
  14. 14. Nonprofits: The Risks • Beholden to partisan issues • Risk of losing independence as donors may place demands, restrictions on what not to cover or how to cover certain issues • Demographics: Is this reaching the same audience as legacy media or a new audience? • Keeping up with technology Source: http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/11/what-does-sustainability-look-like-in-nonprofit-journalism/
  15. 15. Digital First • In 2009: The Journal Register Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy • Reinvented itself • Changed the culture of media companies, newsrooms: – “Open newsrooms” – Taking down the walls, inviting the community • Six months later it emerged from bankruptcy • Publishes 18 dailies • 350 multi-platform products from non-dailies to weeklies to magazines in six states • CEO John Paton set the tone from Day One Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 113
  16. 16. What’s so different? Jon Cooper, vice president in charge of content: “We took the old manufacturing model, in which everything went from a printing and distribution standpoint, and instead we take all the reporting resources from an entire region’s assets and array them across media forms.”
  17. 17. Defining Digital First John Paton. CEO, Digital First Media http://www.digitalfirstmedia.com/
  18. 18. What Makes a Newsroom ‘Digital First’? • Separated all print production from day-to-day operations of newsroom • Publish any time • Copy editors become “interactive copy editors” – Remake homepage – Add links, surveys – Post to Facebook, Twitter – Add Google maps Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 115
  19. 19. What Makes a Newsroom ‘Digital First’? • • • • Cover news live Experiment and take risks Engage the community all the time Use social media: tweet news, post on Facebook • Monitor social media for conversations, news tips, finding sources Source: http://www.slideshare.net/stevebuttry/digital-first-workflow
  20. 20. What Makes a Newsroom ‘Digital First’? • Embed pictures, audio and video • Link, scan or upload links to relevant documents • Stream local press conferences live • Host live chats on the web or on Twitter Source: http://www.slideshare.net/stevebuttry/digital-first-workflow
  21. 21. Digital First: Risks • • • • • Moving too fast Changing the newsroom culture Resistance from newsroom and community Rejection from advertisers Over reacting to huge spikes in traffic on certain stories • A “gimmick” that still avoids address the fundamental shift in readers, audience and advertiser demands
  22. 22. http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=aQlzEep JX-w
  23. 23. Major Trends Paywalls • Digital pay plans are being adopted at 450 of the country’s 1,380 dailies and appear to be working not just at The New York Times but also at small and mid-sized papers.1 • digital paywall movement has circulation revenues holding steady or rising with the help of increases in print subscriptions and single-copy price. • Together with the other new revenue streams, these added circulation revenues are rebalancing the industry’s portfolio from its historic over-dependence on advertising. • http://paidcontent.org/2013/04/03/a-majority-of-thebiggest-newspapers-in-the-country-now-have-paywallsinfographic/
  24. 24. Will Readers Pay for News? • The theory: – A higher-quality audience will lead to higher engagement, and better response to online ads. • In the early phases of paywalls: – Media companies experienced huge drops in audience, leading to many remove the payment mechanism – Many tried “premium content” models, asking readings to pay for unique content • Niche/Specialty content; – The Wall Street Journal always charged – ESPN Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 117
  25. 25. Types of Paywalls • Metered model – You’re allowed to view a certain number of stories per week or month before you have to pay – E.g. New York Times: 20 free visits before you pay • “Freemium” model – Subscribe to the daily newspaper and get free access to the website • Restricted – You must register and pay to see content beyond the front page Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 117
  26. 26. Why Paywalls? • • • • Create a value for content Generate incremental revenue Provide a greater value to advertisers Pushes media companies to create better, more engaging content since content is so readily available everywhere • The Wall Street Journal’s strategy: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IWDwBfwU Cw
  27. 27. Paywalls: The Risks • People won’t pay • People don’t want to pay • Sets up unnecessary barriers for readers who just want to get the news • Content is a commodity: it’s everywhere • A Band-Aid on a big problem – Too little, too late to try to make up for lost revenue
  28. 28. Hyperlocal • Covering news in your backyard • Zip code by zip code • Local, trustworthy, reliable content written by writers who live in your community • Providing news and information that affects you on a daily basis • Creates opportunities for local advertisers who only want to pay for customers who will shop in their stores in the neighborhood Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 121
  29. 29. Patch.com • AOL’s Patch.com: Launched in 2009 with an investment of more than $50 million – Grew to 900 sites – Employing hundreds of journalists – Multimedia: “Patchcast”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDQ-TYdnX_w • Struggling to survive: layoffs • Too big, too fast • Local advertisers suspicious of big, out of town companies Source: Principles of American Journalism, p122; http://adage.com/article/digital/aol-s-patch-struggling-hyperlocalwork/243674/
  30. 30. Sustainable Models? RiverheadLOCAL.com • Community website in Long Island • Four years old with sustainable revenue The Batavian • Genesse County in western New York state • Rem Reider in USA Today: So what's the mission? "To do our best every day to answer the question, 'What's going on in my community right now?' " Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder/2013/08/20/small-independent-hyperlocal-newswebsites/2676515/
  31. 31. Sustainable Models? Spot.us • Founded by David Cohn in 2008 • Reporters pitch local and regional stories • Once the story reaches a predetermined funding goal through individual donations, a reporter researches, reports and publishes the story on Spot.Us. • Stories appear as print packages, video clips and audio pieces Source: Principles of American Journalism, p. 122
  32. 32. Hyperlocal: Risks • It’s been done before: – Zoned sections of newspapers in the late 1970s • Many efforts failed due to lack of readers and advertising – Closed: TBD.com, The Washington Post’s Loudoun Extra, Microsoft’s Sidewalk • Narrowcasts the news – Readers are limited to what they can learn about the rest of the community, state and the world
  33. 33. Hyperlocal: Risks • Local advertisers don’t buy-in and choose to use other sources, craigslist, groupon, livingsocial • Funding and sustainability – You need lots of reporters and editors to do it well which requires money – You need “patience investors” • Hyperlocal sites that work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_G-3v5mY7o • Engaging the community is critical, but leads to readers potentially questioning credibility
  34. 34. Question of the Day A couple months ago, your local news website created a pay wall that requires readers to subscribe if they want to read any story. You’re getting the emails by the dozens from frustrated readers who had been used to getting the free content. You’re under extreme pressure from the media company’s owner who believe the pay wall will help save the company from future layoffs. • What do you do? Get rid of the pay wall. If so, what’s your argument? If you keep it, how will you try to retain readers?