The Bleacher Report may not exactly be the bastion of hard-hitting journalism but it is successful at what it does, and SF Insider’s in-depth report into the sport site’s tactics is thought-provoking for anybody running a website, especially if the aim is to make money and a lot of page views. An awful lot of page views.
Using SEO to drive the editorial agenda is nothing new. Any good news site should at least be taking this into account. Many already do.
How to pay for journalism? Frankly, it’s not a question to be solved anytime soon and anybody who does is a) likely to end up mildly rich and b) unlikely to be replicated.
The way to pay, though, isn’t David Leigh’s suggestion of a broadband levy. I admire Leigh as a journalist but the idea seems far too naive and unworkable. Tim Worstall and Charlie Beckett have both written excellent posts picking apart Leigh’s proposal.
One thing that Beckett pushes home is the fact that people do currently pay for journalism and that should be our starting point rather than trying to prop up models that are failing.
Nearly ten years ago, the way I first knew about the 9/11 attacks was when I received a text from a friend telling me to turn on the TV. Today, I logged onto Facebook when I woke up, after a push notification to my phone, and saw my news feed filled up with statuses bout the death of Osama bin Laden. Same device, a very different way of receiving the news.
For the last week, like many people I suspect, I’ve been semi-permanently watching the ongoing situation in Japan, from the early hours of the earthquake and tsunami, through to the current nuclear and humanitarian crisis. It’s hard not to get through an edition of the news without a lump in the throat many evenings at the moment.
From a grimly professional point of view, though, I found it fascinating that during the earthquake, the immediate response of some people was to grab a video camera and start filming, before posting the footage to YouTube or other social media sites.
I’ve never wished to be particularly down on one paper, so apologies to the paper of my hometown, the Express and Echo, but because I probably visit their website more than most, they probably get a lot of criticism. And a couple of days ago they provided another example of why local newspapers are in all sorts of trouble.
On Tuesday, Exeter City met Plymouth Argyle in their first competitive meeting in eight years. Not the most significant fixture in a busy evening of football, but in local sport terms this was as big as it’s likely to get.
Who would have thought bath screens could start a good discussion on social media? On a National Union of Journalists mailing list, of the reasonably high-up members shared with us an email he’d rather mischievously sent to a DIY store asking for their review rates after they invited him to write a customer review of his purchases.
Although done in semi-seriousness, I don’t necessarily agree that it’s an area where the NUJ should be getting involved in. For me, although the quality of reviews can be variable to say the least, they are still a useful service and the company should be congratulated for trying to engage in a form of a two way conversation and even create a community, of sorts.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read an article proclaiming the death of blogging, for reasons too numerous to mention. But while the independent blogging arena is constantly in a state of flux as it defines itself (mixing Heraclitus and Sartre, if you will), these last couple of weeks have shown how vital and how vibrant blogging can be when applied by the mainstream media.
Friday 27th August: The day the station formerly known as Lantern FM was finally killed off. Outside of North Devon it’s doubtful any tears were shed, but it’s just one of a number of Global FM stations that are disappearing off the map.
It’s a subject I’ve returned to often and one I have an avowed interest in. Lantern were one of the first stations to give me freelance shifts. I can’t say my reporting was that great (North Devon’s never been an area I’ve ever been overly familiar with) but the station got by.
Last week’s news that Global Radio is to shut half of its local Heart stations is thoroughly depressing, not least if you’re in my old area of Devon, where the five local Heart stations in Barnstaple, Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth and the South Hams will be merged into one Devon-wide station based in Exeter. My thoughts go out to my former colleagues who will face a battle to keep their jobs.
Let’s put the sentimental aspect of a former GCap employee out of the way for a moment. This is a further blow to teenagers and graduates wanting to start a career in broadcasting.
Look at the screenshot of The Sun’s World Cup Blogger Sweepstake above. If you were a PR who’s been pitching football bloggers recently you might skim the blogs and think “Wow, that is a pretty impressive line up of bloggers. They’ve even managed to get some notoriously hard-to-reach, popular and high-class well respected blogs on board. I wonder how they managed that?”