Around the Industry
In $2.5 Million Judgment, Court Finds Blogger Is Not a Journalist
Academics and Web thinkers have spent a lot of time jawboning about whether a blogger fits the definition of a journalist. It's an endless discussion, but this week in Oregon, the debate turned costly for one blogger.
Although the defendant is a self-proclaimed "investigative blogger" and defines herself as "media," the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law. Read more
Lee Enterprises files for bankruptcy
Lee Enterprises, owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, filed for prepackaged bankruptcy early today in an effort to refinance about $1 billion in debt.
The bankruptcy was expected. Two weeks ago, the Davenport, Iowa-based publisher announced it would file for bankruptcy "on or about Dec. 12" as part of a debt refinancing plan it had successfully negotiated with creditors. Read more
Survey: Readers prefer community paper for news
COLUMBIA, MO-Readers in areas served by community newspapers continue to prefer the community newspaper as their source of local news and advertising, according to the 2011 results of an annual survey conducted by he National Newspaper Association and the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. The survey is in its sixth year. Following consistent trends, the study shows that 74 percent of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a local newspaper each week. They prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48 percent saying they never read the local news online. Read more
SNA Changes Name to Local Media Association
After forty years, Suburban Newspapers of America is changing its name. Local Media Association was recommended by a committee (including the SNA board of directors and the SNA marketing committee) that represented nearly 30 member companies. It was an intense five month process that included an enormous amount of healthy debate. The membership received ballots on December 1 and when the voting ended today, the motion had carried. In fact, SNA members supported the name change by a ratio of 5:1. Read more
Major Media Companies Launch Common Online Shopping Platform
A consortium of eight leading media and publishing companies -- Advance Digital, A. H. Belo Corporation, Cox Media Group, Gannett Co., Inc., Hearst Corporation, MediaNews Group, The McClatchy Company, and The Washington Post Co. -- announced the formation of a joint venture in connection with the launch of a common online shopping platform to help advertisers reach consumers making purchasing decisions. Read more
Mobile traffic to newspaper websites increases 65 percent in past year
Newspaper publishers increased page views to their mobile content by 65 percent on average in September compared to the same month one year ago, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Many newspapers reported triple-digit page view increases to their mobile sites and apps, demonstrating that newspaper content remains a leading choice for consumers across their multiplatform offerings. Read more
Google doesn't seem to get how media works now
Google launched a news-reading app called Currents on Thursday, something it has been working on for some time - ever since it was a much-rumored skunkworks project called Propeller - and much of the coverage of the new app has called it a challenger to existing tablet and iPhone news-readers like Flipboard and Zite. But while Google Currents is superficially similar to these other services, there are some important differences that make me wonder whether Google really understands how media has changed and is changing. For a company that's usually so forward-thinking, Currents as it stands now is more than a little disappointing.
The Naked Retweet Dilemma
If journalists retweet information and links without providing any lead-in or context, does that suggest that they endorse it?
Twitter is causing new headaches for journalists. This time, it's over the question of whether and how reporters should retweet information and links to their followers. Those two little RT letters seem fairly innocuous. Twitter's help center has a wide scope for guidelines on why to retweet: Read more
GateHouse Media Launches Private Exchange
The group of publishers launching private online ad exchanges is getting bigger, with this week's addition of GateHouse Media, which owns hundreds of local daily and weekly newspapers around the country, along with their associated Web sites.
Access to the private exchange, powered by Casale Media's real-time bidding technology and management platform, is restricted to a small group of agency trading desks and demand side platforms at launch.
The new Private Exchange is only open to buyers selected by GateHouse and Casale, allowing the publisher to ensure that only suitable brand advertisers gain access to its online inventory. Read more
Warren Buffett Buys 'Omaha World-Herald' Newspaper
Another sizeable metropolitan daily newspaper has changed hands this week, with the acquisition of the Omaha World-Herald Company, publisher of The World-Herald, by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment company founded by billionaire investor and Omaha native Warren Buffett.
The purchase price of $200 million included $150 million in cash and the assumption of $50 million in debt by Berkshire Hathaway, according to Buffett, who provided details of the deal in an interview with The World-Herald. The deal also gives Berkshire Hathaway possession of a handful of daily and weekly newspapers located in smaller towns around Nebraska and Iowa.
Study finds frequent newspaper readers are more trusting
A study out of Washington State University shows that people who are frequent readers of a daily newspaper tend to be more trusting of others than those who read newspapers less frequently. The effect holds for both residents of small towns and big cities, even though researchers found small town residents are more trusting in general than city dwellers. It underscores the importance of newspapers in their communities. By reinforcing feelings of trust, the researchers said, newspapers can help make communities better places to live. When people trust each other, they are more likely to work together to improve their communities. Read more