New report on the news biz says journos still don’t get it

10 05 2011

The Columbia Journalism Review released a policy report today titled “The Story So Far: What We Know About the Business of Digital Journalism.” Some tidbits from today’s coverage of the report:

From NY Times on advertising:

If you ever watch somebody reading a copy of Vanity Fair, they spend as much time looking at the ads as they spend looking at the content,” Mr. Grueskin said, “because the ads are actually useful for readers.” (Ads having value on their own, he added, is “something that we as journalists have a hard time getting our heads around.”)

From CJR’s report on paywalls:

So, which approach is best, free or paid? Pay proponents often put it this way: High-quality journalism costs a great deal to produce, so users ought to pay to get it. Pay opponents have a counterargument: Paywalls cut sites off from “the conversation” online and will deprive them of the attention they need from blogs, aggregators and social media.

We prefer to frame it as a business issue—and in that respect, it’s possible that neither side has it exactly right. In fact, pay plans may have little immediate impact on sites that are just getting into the business. The reason is that most companies are likely to have only small streams of online circulation revenue, which could roughly match advertising declines from lower traffic. Digital subscriptions may pay off in the years to come, but only if media companies can persuade consumers using new platforms—like smartphones and tablets—to adopt a pay plan.

From Reuter’s Felix Salmon on rethinking the biz model:

If you’re going to reinvent the business of journalism for the digital era, this is a really fruitful place to start — the idea that although the business and the journalism are always going to be linked, they don’t necessarily need to be linked through the slightly kludgy old-media mechanism of simple adjacency.

Read the full report here.

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The Great Paywall of NY Times: debate of the haves and have-nots

1 04 2011

Photo Courtesy of Nieman Journalism Lab

The New York Times paywall sprang up  Tuesday, causing uproar and criticisms among the public and media circles.

This is one instance where the journalist inside me comes at odds with the business side of my industry. While I understand news companies are figuring out ways they can make profits online, paywalls are the wrong way of going at it.

A few weaknesses of a paywall are:

  1. Consumers will not pay for something they can get for free elsewhere  (e.g., big news sites that AREN’T charging money).
  2. The paywall, as of now, is porous. Smart consumers can find ways of getting around it.
  3. The ethos of cyberculture itself is rested on the ideas of free exchange of free information and open source communities. For the most part it’s about unadulterated access. The implementation of a paywall goes against this very cultural norm of cyberspace.
  4. A paywall will further separate the socioeconomic barriers between the haves and have-nots. If the entire news industry decided to have paywalls, how are citizens in lower socioeconomic standing supposed to make informed-decisions in their lives when, well, they can’t even have access to free information?

The Nieman Journalism Lab has an interesting roundtable discussion posted about forecasts into where the NY Time’s paywall will go. One writer defends the paywall. I understand news companies are here to make money, but the public interest would be experiencing a big loss if paywalls are any indication of where news sites are headed.

An interesting MediaShift article “Why the New York Times’ Pay Model is Similar to NPR and Spot.Us.”





Why I won’t be going to J-School

30 03 2011

Graduate School of JournalismAlthough America may be out of the economic recession, as a soon-to-be grad, I can say job opportunities pretty much suck. And as a soon to be journalism grad, I can tell you the job market in media sucks even more. Media students are experiencing an even tighter pinch from the one-two punch brought on by the recent economic crisis and the web’s impact on the news industry.

It’s a thought many recent college grads are considering for a long time: since it’s tough to get a job in the field I want, I’ll just go back to school. For me, it was considering graduate schools in journalism.

But after talking with media professionals, people I know currently in J-School and some research, I’ve decided that going into a journalism grad school is not the best option for me. Here are a few reasons why:
Read the rest of this entry »





Report confirms news media still have no clue how to be financially sustainable

15 03 2011

The 2011 State of the News Media released Monday by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reports what we already know about the news industry: media convergence continues to have a negative affect on newsprint readership while online readership is growing, newsrooms are continuing to shrink while community journalism seems to be growing (yes, I’m talking to you Seattle), news consumption is becoming more mobile (yes, I’m talking to you iPhone) and we still don’t know how the hell we’re going to make money from all of this.

Some other interesting points:

Want more information? You can create your own specific search results thanks to Pew’s handy database.





A juggling act for women

8 03 2011

A recent report released by the White House shows women are making strides in higher education and the workplace, but still remain at a disadvantage.

Editor’s note: the story was originally published on the March 8 issue of The Whitworthian. The story is also available online.

By Kyle Kim

Although a recent federal study shows women outpacing men in college enrollment and graduation rates at all academic levels, the report also reinforces prevailing data on the existence of gender inequality for working women.

Federal data shows females will soon make up the majority of the workforce but the percentage of women working in high-wage fields traditionally dominated by men like management, business, finance, science, technology and engineering remains low.

The findings are part of a comprehensive report released Tuesday by the White House called “Women in America.” The report is a compilation of pre-existing data documented by various federal agencies outlining the state of income, education, employment, health and violence for American women.

Read the rest of this entry »





Grads face tough prospects amidst slow job recovery

18 02 2011
Editor’s note: The following story was originally published by The Whitworthian for the Feb. 14, 2011 print issue.  The online version was published Feb. 15, 2011.

By Kyle Kim

Photo courtesy of Charline Tetiyevsky

Economists may have called an end to America’s Great Recession, but employment still remains a struggle for many.

2010 yielded the highest annual unemployment rate in 28 years at 9.63 percent, according to Labor Department data.

Additionally, 2010 marked the worst annual unemployment rate for people 25 years and over with a bachelor’s degree since the government began recording data in 1992.

But despite high annual unemployment rates, labor statistics show degree holders are the least likely group to face unemployment in terms of educational attainment.

Read the rest of this entry »





China’s advance as second largest global economy: are we getting the full picture?

2 09 2010
Editor’s note: the following radio cue sheet was written for the announcer.
The current affairs piece originally aired August 27, 2010.

A Chinese worker makes his way along a construction site in Suining, Sichuan province. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images (Courtesy of The Guardian)

INTRO:

China is known to hold titles of “World’s Largest.” They are the world’s biggest consumer of energy, have the world’s biggest car market and the world’s biggest populated country.

And now, China’s economic trajectory  is heading one step closer to possibly holding another: the world’s largest economy.

Quarterly figures released in August showed China eclipsing Japan to become the second largest economy in the world behind the US–an achievement for a country that only had half of Japan’s economy five years ago.

But what does China’s economic development really mean? And are the reports being made by the news media completely accurate?

Kyle Kim talks to Macquarie University Associate Professor of Economics, Sean Turnell to give us a deeper understanding of China’s economy.

Listen Now (2:50).

BACK ANNOUNCE:

That was Kyle Kim with Macquarie University Associate Professor of Economics Sean Turnell. Turnell has been published in numerous international journals and featured in news media including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, New York Times, CNN and the BBC.








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