Media Oxpecker: September 13, 2013

Every week we round up media news you may have missed while you were busy seeking full disclosure.

  • The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) will end its practice of reporting quarterly ad revenue figures after deciding “it was time to stop beating themselves up four times a year with the negative numbers.”

  • With yesterday’s news that Twitter has filed to go public, BuzzFeed’s John Herrman explains how the company quietly transformed into an “advertising machine” and lays out its pitch to investors:

    It’s where people go to talk about TV, sports, politics, and the news. It’s created ad products that can be overlaid on events in real time, and which scale with popularity. It can contain and monetize the internet’s constant eruptions, including the unpredictable ones but especially the predictable ones. There was early Twitter, the strange service for geeks. There was API Twitter, where apps blossomed and user numbers grew (you might also call it tech company Twitter). There was media company Twitter, with a shift to official apps and an emphasis on embedded images, videos and content. And now there’s IPO Twitter. Advertising Twitter.

  • It’s a good thing recent newspaper buyers like Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett can afford to wait it out while the publishing industry tries to turn its fortunes around — because they may be waiting for quite a while, says Ken Doctor:

    These new billionaires and multi-millionaires are getting into a hallowed industry cheaply. They know that — just as they also know the bottom may not yet have been found. But they seem to be exhibiting patience, and that’s a new phenomenon on the news scene. If your point of view shifts from revenue numbers in 2014 to the size, engagement and penetration of the business in 2018 — given the ability of cheap digital technology to reduce costs and multiply customer relationships — whole new vistas open up.

  • Local newspapers are giving sponsored content a try.

  • Video: Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman sits down with New York Times developer Tyson Evans (who you may remember from such conferences as New Orleans) to talk about the future of interactive news.

  • Can conferences save the media industry?

  • “The ability to put together a catchy headline and a controversial photo with some snarky commentary is no longer the exclusive preserve of a handful of printed magazines like Vanity Fair or Esquire.” What Tina Brown’s failure at Newsweek and the Daily Beast says about the future of media.

  • Six ways local publishers can take advantage of online promotions.

  • Jeanne Brooks and Sabrina Hersi Issa are planning an oral history project on digital journalism to compliment Riptide, the Harvard-funded oral history of journalism and digital technology which was widely-criticized for interviewing mostly rich, white men:

    Beyond gender and ethnic diversity, Brooks said that she and Hersi Issa plan to focus their study on influential players who were overlooked because their contributions to news production and consumption “fall outside of the mainstream definition of journalism,” she said—early blogs like Feministing, for instance, addressed and analyzed issues getting little attention elsewhere.

  • Follow Friday:

  • Don’t confuse the protection of free speech with the right to say whatever you want and not expect social consequences. In other words, calling someone an asshole for saying asshole things isn’t “chilling” free speech, writes Ken White, “The private and social consequences of your speech — whether they come from a barista, or your spouse, or people online, or people at whom you shout on the street — represent the free speech and freedom of association of others.”

  • And finally, a digital media dictionary courtesy of Ad Age columnist Simon Dumenco which includes handy entries such as:

    Patch — n. A mythical land of high-income leprechauns and prosperous leprechaun small-business owners.


    Yelp — n. An anguished cry, similar to a Wilhelm Scream, emitted by a local retailer who is being mysteriously bullied by anonymous online reviewers.