The Media Oxpecker: Our Remnant Space, Ourselves

Every week we round up media news you may have missed while you were busy getting an earful from angry merchants.

  • Can press association ad networks help newspapers compete online? Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow Matt Sokoloff says that too many newspapers are shortchanging themselves by selling their online inventory through remnant networks:

    Newspaper organizations should be focused on regaining control of inventory for their member newspapers. These organizations should contract with technology providers to create a buying desk that sells ads on the newspaper’s website as well as offering inventory from other exchanges.

  • The New York Times is trying to extend its audience, and find new revenues, by publishing ebooks of original long-form stories:

    Amazon has said it sold more than 2 million Kindle Singles in the program’s first 14 months, which may be another reason media companies want in on ebooks. Publishing ebooks is a right fit because it fits with the Times strategy of finding ways to make money, but also reaching out to new audiences on mobile devices as well as through apps like Flipboard.

  • Meanwhile, sites like The Wirecutter are subsisting mainly on affiliate revenue, reports David Carr:

    The Wirecutter is not really in the ad business. The vast majority of its revenue comes from fees paid by affiliates, mostly Amazon, for referrals to their sites. As advertising rates continue to tumble, affiliate fees could end up underwriting more and more media businesses.

  • “I don’t follow Andy [Carvin] and I never have,” says The Guardian‘s Katie Rogers regarding the supposed emperor of social media. “I felt back then that was too much noise and there was too much risk associated with having such high volume of all types of information in my feed.”

    Many of us who have argued for social media as a legitimate publishing tool seem to have had our wish granted. But there is a certain responsibility that comes with this. For me, I feel the need to recalibrate how I’ve looked at social, because it’s just not the same landscape out there it used to be. There are serious perks but also some drawbacks to this shift, mainly this: Asking people not to share information they find on social media and then talk about it goes against why people ever showed up here in the first place.

  • The audience for mobile news may be growing, but the industry still faces a huge monetization problem, says Frédéric Filloux.

  • Steve Buttry argues that the size of a community doesn’t determine quality of journalism:

    Buyouts have stripped larger newsrooms of some of their best talent, and some of those journalists have returned to smaller newsrooms to end their careers … Lots of amazingly talented journalists have thrived in smaller newsrooms, whether that was because their employers kept them happy, they escaped the notice of larger organizations or they stayed in smaller communities because of family or other considerations.

    Buttry says that journalism quality is more likely to be influenced by the health of the local economy, ownership makeup, and the leadership abilities of its newsroom execs.

  • Josh Stearns makes a case for journalism organizations to invest in building meaningful online public spaces.

  • Facebook is planning to become America’s most hated company by placing autoplay(!) video ads in users’ news feeds sometime next year.

  • Does posting a screenshot of another publication’s interactive graphic with a link to the original constitute fair use? The New York Times apparently didn’t think so. After initially threatening legal action against Atlantic Media’s Quartz unless the screenshot was removed from a blog post, a spokesperson for the Times backtracked and said, “We simply were asking for proper attribution.”

  • The Asian American population has grown faster than any other group in the U.S. since 2000, says a recent Nielsen report:

    This is a consumer base that is growing, affluent, well-educated, geographically concentrated, technologically savvy and has tremendous buying power that continues to soar.

  • By the end of the year, U.S. mobile ad spending will top $4 billion, projects eMarketer.

  • 87 percent of newspapers and magazines now boast an iPad app, says the people formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

  • Why do QR codes suck so hard? Gizmodo investigates.

  • And finally, Jack Shafer tackles the modern scourge on journalism, the “Year in Review”:

    The year in politics, the year in the Middle East, the year in energy, the year in gaffes, and others in the year-of genre require more rigor to complete than best-of lists. But the methodology is the same — download old copy, move it around, write a few transitions, add a showboating conclusion, and the job can be finished by lunchtime. All the writer need do is drop it in the copy bank by the second week of December, pour himself an eggnog, and go Christmas shopping. The writer need not return any sooner than the first week of the new year. If real news breaks out in the interval, his editors can always run wire copy.