Mass media

Co-founder of Vox media explains why old media are dying

Joshua Topolsky founded Vox Media to compete with existing mainstream media.

He writes about how media are always looking for the next “new thing” to save their moribund industry and, in the process, deliver ever worsening?standards of media.

The media industry now largely thinks its only working business model is to reach as many people as possible, and sell???usually programmatically, but sometimes not???as many advertisements against that audience as it can. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying.

They are also wrong, I believe, in the long run.

And every few months???or let?s say annually???a technology, or idea, or person comes along and the very stupid and slow media industry thinks that New Thing will fix everything. Get them back to the good times. Make those pennies into actual dollars. One year it might be the iPad, the next it might be an ?amateur journalist? network, maybe last year it?s You Won?t Believe What Happens Next, maybe next year it?s video (or live video?), maybe it?s bots. Maybe it?s Instant Articles. Maybe it?s your new app.

Certainly it could be a little bit of all of those things. But actually it?s not any of them. You can always get some runway out of the New Thing. You can always get a quick hit that looks like success from the New Thing. But rarely???almost never???is the New Thing what fixes your problem.

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Charlie Hebdo Editor Slams Gutless News Organizations For Not Publishing Cartoons

Huffington Post reports:

Gerard Biard, editor-in-chief of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, on Sunday denounced the Western publications that have declined to reprint his paper?s controversial cartoons in the aftermath of the Jan. 7 mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office.

?This cartoon is not just a little figure. It?s a symbol. It?s the symbol of freedom of speech, of freedom of religion, of democracy and secularism,? Biard told NBC?s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. ?When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy.?

Biard said he was in London at the time of the shooting, when two masked gunmenstormed the publication?s headquarters and killed 12 people, including editor St?phane Charbonnier and several of the paper’s cartoonists and editorialists.

The attack, for which the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility this week, was an apparent response to the paper?s history of publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.? Read more »

A good summary of the cowardice of the NZ Herald

Yesterday the front cover image for today’s Charlie Hebdo issue was released to the world wide media.

Fairfax, via Stuff published it, so did TVNZ and 3News and other outlets.

The one publication that shirked its responsibilities was the NZ Herald. They have pointedly refused to publish any Charlie Hebdo cartoons, despite reporting on the issue.

One of the best short summaries of the situation at the NZ Herald was posted to Facebook:

The New Zealand Herald appears to have decided not to publish the latest cover page of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo.

This is of course a matter for the Herald and its editorial team. However, as a (reluctant – given that publication’s other shortcomings) reader, I find the decision worrying for the following reasons:

1) the cover is clearly newsworthy in light of recent events;

2) there seem to be only 2 plausible reasons for not publishing it – a) genuine concern that it may cause offence; and/or b) safety concerns (in case some lunatic goes postal); ? Read more »

The Charlie Hebdo front page the NZ Herald are too gutless to publish

The NZ Herald has?written a story about the front page for tomorrow’s Charlie Hebdo edition and despite being sent it they are refusing to publish it. The NZ Herald originally stated that they had chosen NOT to publish it but have now removed that comment from their article.

The front page of the upcoming “survivors” edition of the French satirical weekly?Charlie Hebdo shows a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad holding up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign under the words: “All is forgiven”.

The front page was released to media today ahead of the magazine’s publication on Thursday NZ time, its first issue since an attack on the weekly’s Paris offices last week left 12 people dead, including several cartoonists.

It also shows Muhammad with a tear in his eye.

The special edition will have a print run of three million copies instead of the usual 60,000.

It will also be offered “in 16 languages” for readers around the world, one of its columnists, Patrick Pelloux, said today.

Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, told French radio the upcoming publication would “obviously” lampoon Muhammad – among other figures – to show staff would “cede nothing” to extremists seeking to silence them.

“We are not giving an inch. The spirit of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ also implies a right to blaspheme,” Mr Malka said.

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This is the greater threat…problem is it is already here

What if Charlie Hebdo was a UK publication?

Spiked examines what would have happened.

Week 1: Magazine?s editors and staff get No Platformed by the National Union of Students on the grounds that their publication has been ?identified by the NUS?s Democratic Procedures Committee as holding racist or fascist views?. They are forbidden from all campuses.

Week 2: Individual student unions ban the sale or display of Charlie Hebdoanywhere on their premises in order to protect students from feeling the need to??succumb to media pressure to fear and loathe Muslims? and encourage students instead to ?celebrate Muslim students for their academic achievements and countless other talents?. Unions across the country justify the ban as ?an important symbolic step towards creating a culture of ethnic and religious parity on campus?.

Week 3: A petition is created, calling on supermarket chains to ?Stop Selling Charlie Hebdo?. A different petition is launched, by a campaign group called Muslim Eyes, demanding that supermarkets hide Charlie Hebdo in black plastic bags so that Muslims and others will not feel offended by its front covers. Supermarkets are called upon to ?promote the right environment in store? and not allow the open display of ?offensive material?.

Week 4: A Twitterstorm builds in support of the petition of supermarkets, with hundreds of thousands of tweets using the hashtag #CoverUpCharlie to demand that the magazine be put in black bags. A member of parliament backs the campaign. Supermarkets relent and announce that some stores will remove Charlie Hebdo from sale while others will put it in black plastic covers and on the top shelf next to the porno mags.

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Face of the day

Today’s Face of the day is a man of courage, a man who stood for freedom of expression, a man who persisted in the face of danger. His body guard was not able to save him or the others at his newspaper. I honour him, and them today and I challenge us all to not let their deaths be in vain. We too must be brave. We too must stand strong against this worldwide threat against the freedoms that we hold so dear.


Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier Photo: AFP

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was among four cartoonists killed in the Paris massacre which left 12 people dead in total.

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Youtube aiding Islamists by banning MEMRI account

Truth Revolt reports that Youtube has disabled MEMRI’s account for daring to tell the truth about islamic hate-speech.

It is nothing short of the kind of bullying as practices by Giovanni Tiso. There always seem to be some Stalinist prick that wants to stifle open debate.

Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is a valuable resource for those who want to learn what the Muslims in the Middle East are saying to each other away from the eyes of the mainstream media. Early on Tuesday, YouTube deleted the?MEMRI?account for??repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines and/or claims of copyright infringement.? In other words, someone complained that?MEMRI?was sharing truthful videos of Muslim hate-speech (what some call?Islamophobia).

Most?MEMRI?videos features Muslim speakers denouncing Israel, Jews, the West and/or the United States. ?MEMRI?translates the text into English and adds it as a subtitle on the video. Recent examples of?MEMRI?videos posted on?TruthRevolt?include?Jordanian MP: The PA Must Not Defend The Interests Of The Filthy Jews?and?Yemeni Child Leads Crowd in Chant ‘Curses Upon the Jews, And Victory for Islam’. ?? Read more »

When will TV3 make changes, something has to give



Mark Jennings should have a look at his ratings for the late news which rates pretty well considering Mediaworks put absolutely NO money or resources into it at all.

Jennings seriously needs to answer to shareholders why he thinks a Greenie who lives in Grey Lynn who uses prime time to push an agenda that excites his dinner party guests is the right formula.

Maybe it’s Jennings that needs to go and take a fresh look taken at the leftie agenda that comes out of 3news that condemns it too crap ratings.

Paul Henry is on the payroll who better reflects the public in general and would be good for a ratings jump at?7pm?

Meanwhile Seven Sharp continues to slam them in the ratings.? Read more »

du Fresne again on sneaky journalists

Karl du Fresne has another post about sneaky journalists and bias.

This one too is worth a read, but the conclusion is most interesting,

… I struggle to accept that being a political journalist necessarily requires you to neuter yourself as a citizen.

The crucial issue, surely, is how you do the job. Journalists should be judged on the fairness and impartiality of their reporting and commentary. It?s possible to be a party member and still be even-handed as a journalist. And since a journalist?s work is, by definition, highly visible, it?s relatively easy for the public and the employer to judge whether he or she?s doing the job honestly.

I can think of relatively high-profile journalists who hold strong left-wing views in private but still manage to do their work with integrity, as the journalists? code of ethics requires. There are also journalists and commentators (Paul Henry and John Campbell, for example) who quite openly lean one way or the other ? but since their politics are no secret, viewers can decide for themselves how much weight to place on whatever they might say. ? Read more »

The wailing and gnashing of old media’s teeth

And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

– Matthew 13:42

Buzzfeed has obtained a report written by the New York Times on how they are going to deal with digital media, and it is dire indeed from their viewpoint. I imagine a similar document exists at APN and Fairfax.

A 96-page internal?New York Times?report, sent to top executives last month by a committee led by the publisher?s son and obtained by BuzzFeed, paints a dark picture of a newsroom struggling more dramatically than is immediately visible to adjust to the digital world, a newsroom that is hampered primarily by its own storied culture.

The?Times?report was finalized March 24 by a committee of digitally oriented staffers led by reporter A.G. Sulzberger. His father,?Times?Publisher Arthur Sulzberger,?fired Executive Editor Jill Abramson Tuesday, a decision that doesn?t appear immediately related to the paper?s digital weaknesses.

The report largely ignores legacy competitors and focuses on the new wave of digital companies, including?First Look Media,?Vox,?Huffington Post,?Business Insider, and BuzzFeed.

?They are ahead of us in building impressive support systems for digital journalists, and that gap will grow unless we quickly improve our capabilities,? the report warns. ?Meanwhile, our journalism advantage is shrinking as more of these upstarts expand their newsrooms.?

?We are not moving with enough urgency,? it says.

It is speed which is killing them and an adherence to deadlines. Radio doesn’t have deadlines, they run news as it happens. The true legacy organisations are television and print, both run a deadline model, where most people have actually read or heard about the news by time their deadline rolls around.

The deep problems, the report says, are cultural, including a sense that the?Timeswill simply serve as a destination ? leading to a neglect of social promotion. One factor is an obsessive focus on the front page of the print paper, with reporters evaluated in their annual reviews on how many times they?ve made A1.

?The newsroom is unanimous: we are focusing too much time and energy on Page One,? the report says. ?? Read more »