This Week in #Journalism: Journalism is moving online, can the crowd source it?


As the American Journalism Review moves online, crowdsourced photos take over for traditional photojournalism, and newspapers loose our attention, what’s going to happen to journalism as we know it?

“We want to completely crush today’s model of journalism,” cofounder and CEO Martin Roldan.  “CrowdMedia’s premise is simple: crowdsourced social photos shared on Twitter or Instagram are, more and more, becoming critically important to news coverage. So the startup offers an automated platform that gets those pictures out of social media and onto the front page of major news organizations, with rights cleared and money in the owner’s pocket … all within minutes.”

“It no longer made financial sense for the award-winning AJR to continue producing a print magazine because most American Journalism Review readers accessed content on the Web,” said Dean Lucy A. Dalglish of the university’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “In addition, philanthropy has long been an important source of funding for print magazines devoted to media criticism. That support has steadily declined over the past 10 years.”  “Now there’s another very symbolic sign of how numbered the days seem to be for much of the “print” media.”

“Bad news for teens and tweens! A new Pew Research survey of teachers around the country found that today’s digital technologies like the internet, texting and social networks make middle school and high school students likely to perform a number of academic atrocities, including using informal language in formal papers and plagiarizing. Students also have trouble reading long texts and forming complex arguments. So basically, everything everyone suspected is turning out to be true.”

“Newspapers’ declining hold on audience attention began long before the web came along, the Scottish newspaper consultant [Jim Chisholm] argues, and tablets are one of the best hopes for reclaiming it.”

“What if the price you had to pay to read a story dropped as more people clicked on it?”  “While everyone is trying to figure out a way to monetize online content via paywalls, John Battelle of Federated Media wonders whether a “group buying” approach would work better by giving readers an incentive to sign up.”

“It’s finally here. Atlantic Media‘s much-anticipated new site Defense One launched [July 16, 2013], with executive editor Kevin Baron at the helm.”  “Defense One does seem to have hit the ground running. Here’s hoping they don’t trip.”

“Publishers including Maxim, Radar Online, Guitar World and USA Today Sports Media are experimenting with a pay wall that instead of charging readers requires them to watch an advertiser’s video.”

An Argument for Print

“By convincing readers to act as distributors, Works That Work’s print edition is helping the magazine gain global readers and engage others closer to home.”  “It works like this: Fans of the magazine can ask their favorite bookstore to sell copies for a fixed price. If they agree, the reader then purchases 10 or more copies of the magazine at half price (print copies cost $20, while the digital version costs $10), and then sell them on to the bookstore at a price higher than what they paid but lower than the cover price. Reader/distributors keep the difference.”

Viral Covers

“Rolling Stone Under Fire for Cover Featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”  “It was not the image of Mr. Tsarnaev that ignited outrage, it was the frame. With its headline callouts to Jay Z and Willie Nelson on the current issue, and a history of hosting rock luminaries, there were suggestions that the magazine was conferring iconic status on a man who has been charged with a brutal act of terrorism.”

“But did it sell magazines?”

“It’s hard to measure an increase in sales” when a cover goes viral, said Larry Burstein, New York Magazine’s publisher. “I will say that when a cover goes viral, you see retweets, favorites, shares and traffic go way up.”


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