By paulgillin | May 22, 2008 - 10:18 am - Posted in Facebook, Google, Solutions

The New York Times has added an automated news feed to its technology page called Technology Headlines From Around the Web. Saul Hansell writes with no small amount of pride about how this robo-feed actually includes content that the Times doesn’t control. Thus the Times moves confidently, even arrogantly, into the 21st century.

McClatchy’s April revenue fell 14.6%. That’s revenue, not profit. The newspaper chain’s exposure to the weak Florida and California markets has hit it harder than most publishers. Revenue from its California newspapers was off 22.8%. Real estate and recruitment advertising sales were both off more than 35%.

The Sumter, S.C. Item will stop publishing on Monday. More newspapers are likely to follow this model as business continues to decline. Monday is the least profitable day of the week for most newspapers, while Sunday is the cash cow, of course.

Strange bedfellows: The Record of Hackensack, N.J., and the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J. will combine their copy desks and photo departments. The consolidation of six separate operations into two is expected to save $800,000 annually and cut staff by 23%. The papers are longtime rivals, but with different audiences. They say this is the least disruptive cost-saving idea they could come up with.

European thirtysomethings like news sites, says Jupiter Research. Its survey finds that 42% of online Europeans regularly visit online news sites, which is nearly three times the number who hang out in social networks. Keep in mind that Jupiter is the research firm that predicted that 35% of large companies would have blogs by the end of 2006. Two years later, that number is hovering around 12%.

The Associated Press is refining a new model for reporting breaking news it calls “1-2-3 filing.” Editors Weblog describes the process in an interview with AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll. Step one is a 50-character headline. Step two is 130-word summary and step three is something more that she didn’t specify. It sounds a lot like the way the AP has worked for a century. “”It doesn’t sound radical when you say it out loud, but it is if you inject it into your daily news decisions,” Carroll says. We’ll have to take her word for that.

YouTube has launched a citizen journalism channel called Citizen News. It’ll aggregate videos from self-described video journalists. The vid service has hired a person with the title of News Manager, and she asks the community for ideas and suggestions in this post on the YouTube blog. David Chartier at Ars Technica is skeptical. He notes that credibility has been hard to come by in fledgling citizen efforts like CNN’s iReport. YouTube’s choice of a young person in her 20s to head the effort does raise questions about its commitment. While Olivia no doubt reflects YouTube’s core demographic profile, she doesn’t exactly exude journalism experience. (via Romenesko)

Here’s a good podcast on the future of news. The topic is “Navigating Media Upheaval” and the panelists are an assortment of long-time journalists who are now navigating change with new companies. Best line is from former Wall Street Journal Publisher Gordon Crovitz. Asked what mainstream news organizations need to do to remain relevant in the new world, he suggests, “The role of the media is to mediate.” He then goes into the possible mediation opportunities between different groups, including advertisers. Bottom line: newspapers’ opportunities are to tap into very specific geographically defined groups, but most aren’t doing a very good job. Other panelists are Neil Chase, VP of author services at Federated Media, Ken Doctor, affiliate analyst at Outsell; and Jeanette Gibson, editor-in-chief of News@Cisco. The session is ably moderated by Sam Whitmore of Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey.

And finally, more morbid but priceless humor from The Onion.



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