Having looked last week at how journalism was traditionally funded and how those models have been eroded (or, if you prefer, blown apart) by recent developments, this week’s Journalism Technologies lecture took the story on to the present day with an examination of what media companies have been doing to try to make money.
One thing that struck me about the material when delivering it, was actually how slowly some of the themes have moved in recent years. The Daily Mail and The Guardian are still pursuing a strategy of going for huge global audiences and trying to monetise those eyeballs, and while the former is still just about making a bit of money off the back of its sister Mail Online, the latter is, yet again, facing some kind of impending cliff-edge cash crisis. The Times’ paywall is holding firm and the paper just about makes a profit, while the Financial Times and The Economist continue to enjoy more success from their focus on the sort of quality that can’t be easily replicated elsewhere.
I remember mentioning most or all of this stuff to students when I first did some university teaching five or six years ago, and it feels as though we’re still waiting to see how it’ll all be resolved. If there was ever going to be a silver bullet to solve traditional journalism’s funding crisis, the fact it still hasn’t been fired rather suggests it never will be. This great list of 52 potential money-making ideas for local journalism by Josh Stearns offers as good a roadmap as any to the variety of ways in which digital publishers will have to raise revenue now and in the future. I’m slightly more confident than I was before that when it comes to hard cash, quality journalism might end up offering better prospects than the alternatives.
Posted in Lectures
Tagged BBC News, Blendle, Clayton Christensen, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Facebook, fake news, Financial Times, Google, Halifax Courier, Huddersfield, Innovator's Dilemma, Josh Stearns, Journalism Technologies, Mail Online, New York Times, paywalls, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Susie Boniface, The Economist, The Guardian, The Times, Trinity Mirror, University of Huddersfield, UsVsTh3m
Red or Dead, by David Peace.
I’ve read quite a few of David Peace’s books. The Damned Utd and his four-part Red Riding series, all set mainly in Leeds, are absorbing, unsettling and generally great. But I realised this week I may struggle to get to the end of his novel about Bill Shankly, Red or Dead, when I got to the passage in the image above.
Peace has taken his trademark style of repetition, almost incantation, a bit far this time. It turns Red or Dead into a dreadful slog, and I’m not even halfway through yet. Jonathan Wilson in the New Statesman has one of the best reviews. But in the week in which Elmore Leonard died, and his memorable ten tips for writing published in the New York Times in 2001 circulated online again, I’d suggest Peace is guilty of ignoring number 10: try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Still on football, Addiply founder Rick Waghorn posted some interesting reflections on his 20 years as a reporter covering Norwich City. On the cover of Sports Illustrated this week is Mario Balotelli, and the story by Grant Wahl is well worth a read.
Al Jazeera America began broadcasting yesterday. Brian Stelter had a comprehensive preview in the New York Times. Meanwhile, NBC has begun its high-profile coverage of the English Premier League, to favourable reviews such as this one from SB Nation.
Back to Yorkshire to finish. A couple of interesting snippets from the excellent Leeds Citizen blog: a welcome update on its attempts to record council meetings, and grim news about counterfeit booze found at a den of iniquity which I may have been known to frequent during my student days. And those interested in local commercial radio news will enjoy Richard Horsman’s latest thoughts at his always readable blog.
Posted in What I'm Reading
Tagged Addiply, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera America, Brian Stelter, David Peace, Elmore Leonard, Grant Wahl, Jonathan Wilson, Leeds Citizen, Mario Balotelli, NBC Sports, New Statesman, New York Times, Norwich City, Red or Dead, Richard Horsman, Rick Waghorn, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated
I gave the last of my five lectures to MA International Journalism students in Leeds today. It was on social media and the role it is, and isn’t, playing in the ongoing uprisings of the Arab Spring.
As a journalist rather than an academic, I thought the students might appreciate a journalist’s perspective on it all. After putting the Arab Spring into a bit of historical context, I examined some of the ways in which social media and other new technologies were used, and looked at the response of the mainstream international media to the material being generated and shared in this way, including from citizen journalists.
But I told the students not to get too carried away with the notion of a ‘Facebook Revolution’ – just as the Romanian Revolution in 1989 wasn’t caused by people watching Yugoslavian TV in secret. It played a role as a way of spreading information quickly, but it was just one factor among many.
Here’s the full presentation: http://prezi.com/t1az4bd0nwoq/ma-lecture-5-university-of-leeds/
Posted in Lectures
Tagged 1848 Revolutions, Andy Carvin, Arab Spring, Bambuser, Boris Yeltsin, Egypt, Electric Telegraph, Facebook, Fidel Castro, Libya, Marie Colvin, New York Times, Romanian Revolution, Sandmonkey, Satellite TV, Soviet Coup, Syria, Tunisia, Twitter, University of Leeds, YouTube
My latest lecture to my international MA students at the University of Leeds was about hyperlocal news. It’s something I know a good bit about, having set up and run Saddleworth News for a couple of years, so hopefully I was able to give them an interesting perspective on this area of the media.
I explained to them that, while I learned a lot from running Saddleworth News, I was unable to find an answer to the problem of how to make journalism, and in particular websites featuring local journalism, pay. But then if I’d found that secret, something tells me I don’t think I’d have been there today giving a lecture!
Here’s the presentation: http://prezi.com/ckqvhfsdym7y/ma-lecture-4-university-of-leeds/
I’ve got one more lecture to give after Easter, and I’ve been doing a series of eight practical sessions teaching them practical journalism skills too. I’ve also been doing more teaching with the first year Broadcast Journalism undergrads, and I’ve got them all to find a local site in their hometowns to discuss in seminars later in the week, so it’ll be interesting to get their views on the value or otherwise of hyperlocal.
Posted in Lectures
Tagged Advertising, Alderleyedge.com, Didsbury Life, Facebook, Hyperlocal, Lectures, Local TV, Manchester Transport Blog, New York Times, Patch, Saddleworth News, Sheffield Forum, South Leeds Life, The Guardian, Trinity Mirror, University of Leeds, Yorkshire Post