Category Archives: technology

Google Exec: We’re Here to Help Newspapers

– The future of news may lie in digital devices like the iPad and Kindle — if publishers can remake their product and improve their means of reaching customers. “I think papers could better exploit the data they have,” he says in the article. “They need better contextual targeting and ad-effectiveness measurement.”

– Publishers aren’t providing what’s monetarily valuable. “The verticals that drive traffic are things like sports, weather and current news, but the money is in things like travel and shopping,” Varian says in the article. “Pure news is the unique product that newspapers provide, but it is very hard to monetize.”

– Pay walls won’t work.

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Rupert Murdoch – remove stories from Google search results…

Sky News political editor David Speers talks to News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch about paywalls, politics, and more.

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Electric Ink on BBC Radio Four

Satirical comedy by Alistair Beaton. Old hacks meet new media in the newspaper industry. With Robert Lindsay and Alex Jennings.

Via BBC iPlayer or live (see link for timings)

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Planning to charge for content? Watch this.


Tweet from Jeff Jarvis

Tweet from Jeff Jarvis




From Jeff Jarvis, referenced in the video:


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News via your home computer – 1981. It’s a “Tele-paper”!

SF Chron./ SF Examiner experiment in a download text only version of their paper in 1981. Took two hours to download at a cost of $5 per hour, when the printed copy cost 20 cents. At this time there were around  two to three thousand home computer owners in the SF Bay area, not all connected to the infant internet of course.

Some charming shots of the Examiner’s newsroom at the time. The SF Examiner is now a fast read tabloid and free.


Youtube link for HD

No advertisements, so no need for Adblock Plus 


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Sign of the times – Google buys paper mill

Google has bought a 53 year old Finnish paper mill and will replace it with… a data centre.

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“If you’re a newspaper group, your technology sucks.”

Roussel slide
Originally uploaded by jeffjarvis

Jeff Jarvis blogs about the New Business Models for News Summit at the Graduate School for Journalism (CUNY).

As a result, we saw editorial and business people entering into frank conversations we don’t often hear, willing to reset assumptions and build new models. Included in that was a general acceptance that the cost structure of the news business is way too high and has to be cut. This slide from the Telegraph’s Edward Roussel resonated strongly in the room.


Roussel also said: “If you’re a newspaper group, your technology sucks.”

Just as Roussel was blunt and frank so was his fellow presenter on the topic of the disaggregated news organization, Dave Morgan, who quoted Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy, from only the day before. Pruitt said: “We believe that the majority of the decline that we are currently seeing is cyclical and therefore temporary.” After heaping caveats of praise on Pruitt as an executive, Morgan called bullshit. Exactly so. We need tough, honest talk now.


Picture: Slide from Edward Roussel’s presentation at the New Business Models for News summit at CUNY posted by Jeff Jarvis (link: Jeff Jarvis’ flickr)

This interview with Tom Evslin, technology expert, is revealing as it provides a view of the industry and its attitudes from the outside:

Any industry under threat tries to cut its way to greatness. Particularly industries that have had a controlling situation for a period of time. When indsturies were essentially monopolies or they have a franchise it’s very hard for the owners or stockholders to realize the value is evaporating. Their first reaction is that these are temporary times and cutting back is a solution.

Often this is a good first reaction – because they were monopolies these companies typically have a lot of fat. But there comes a point where you can’t cut anymore. There is nothing left to cut and if you keep cutting the product gets damaged and its a downward spiral. That is Telecom, newspapers, and perhaps the car industry.


Tom Evslin interview:

More comment and video:


Jeff Jarvis Presentation:

Innovative Web Video Journalism Panel – video stream of talks


View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: cuny news)

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Mobile optimised websites widen the reach of regional newspapers

The deployment of mobile (cellphone) optimised websites amongst the regional press continues, with early reports of good traffic, from this Hold the front page article:

Hold The Front Page website story:

“Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves says the paper’s new ‘m-site’ has surpassed expectations in its first week. The Post is one of twelve Trinity Mirror regional dailies launching mobile phone companion sites over the next two months. Marc said: “We’ve set up specific feeds from our website, picking up the elements we want to go on the m-site. We’ll review as we go and add or take away feeds from more areas of the site.

…”In terms of users, we’ve surpassed where we expected to be by now, but I want to be cautious before declaring it a massive success. “Once the marketing noise dies down, it’ll be interesting to see what levels the site achieves.”

Also, BBC Commissioning Research indicates that 16-24 year olds are more likely to download news onto their mobile than any other age group, in contrast to the purchase of newspapers in this group:

“Young people are the age group most likely to download News on their mobile phones – over a third of 15-24s claim to do so and 10% regularly.”


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Esquire magazine’s E-Ink cover for their 75th Anniversary issue

Video here:

Evidently it’s still early days in the progress of this potentially ground breaking technology but it’s an impressive first move.

When e-ink becomes more commonplace it’s likely that the novelty will wear off (think of the National Geographic hologram cover) and more useful purposes will be devised. The Minority Report style self updating newspapers suddenly don’t look that far off. Or, more depressingly, incredibly annoying animated advertising on any flat surface you can see…

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Newspaper Society states concerns over proposed BBC hyper local video websites


The plans to create over 60 local news sites by the BBC, funded at around £23m per year for several years is again coming under criticism from the Newspaper Society; which represents the majority of local UK newspaper publishers. The proposal by the BBC comes at a time when the UK regional newspaper publishers are placing greater resources and emphasis on their own local sites and local video content. The BBC proposal is undergoing a formal round of tests against public value against the Charter of the BBC.

Newspaper Society press release:

The depth of concern across the UK local media industry at the BBC’s plans to spend £68 million* of licence fee money duplicating their online news and sport services with a network of 65 local news video sites has been demonstrated by the sheer number of submissions, meetings and presentations which companies have made in the past six weeks, said the NS in its own response to the proposals.
In an unprecedented reaction to the threat posed to local media businesses, companies representing over 80 per cent of the industry have responded directly to the BBC Trust and Ofcom as part of the public value test and market impact assessment processes, said David Newell, director of the NS. Many others have joined them in voicing their concerns through the NS.
 Full press release: Newspaper Society

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