In yesterday’s post about Newsweek’s demise, I blamed Tina Brown’s editorial decisions for Newsweek’s fall. “Star-power,” whatever that means, is not enough, not when it comes to good journalism.
I canceled my subscription last year because of the content and the cheesy tabloid feel of the magazine after The Daily Beast takeover. I am sure that many other subscribers did the same.
We didn’t cancel our subscription because we didn’t like print but because we didn’t like that kind of print.
Here is what others are saying about Newsweek’s demise:
“From the start, it was an unwieldy melding of two newsrooms: a legacy print magazine, Newsweek, combined with an irreverent digital news site, The Daily Beast [...] and it was held together by the experienced magazine editor Tina Brown, looking for one more big hit on her résumé. [...] [b]ehind the scenes, current and former employees say, there were tensions that led to an increasingly tumultuous newsroom, as financial losses mounted and Ms. Brown struggled to integrate the two operations and maintain Newsweek’s relevance.”
(Christine Haughney, The New York Times)
“There are a lot of vital (weeklies) that have done a remarkable job expanding their brand [The New Yorker, the Economist, the Week and Time]. I think the situation with Newsweek is that they lost their way editorially. I think advertisers began to lose faith.”
(George Janson, managing partner, director of print for GroupM in an interview with Reuters)
“Newsweek’s decision to stop publishing a print edition after 80 years and bet its life entirely on a digital future may be more a commentary on its own problems than a definitive statement on the health of the magazine industry. [...] [T]he magazine business has stabilized, albeit at a lower level, since the Great Recession ended three years ago. For some, that casts a harsher light on Newsweek’s decision to abandon print — affecting the nearly 1.4 million Newsweek subscribers who get their copy each week in the mail. They say it speaks to the magazine’s trouble connecting with and keeping its readers. That brings to mind some questionable covers, like the July 2011 what-if image depicting what Princess Diana would have looked like at age 50, or last month’s “Muslim Rage” cover depicting angry protesters, which was roundly mocked on social networks like Twitter.”
(The Associated Press)
“Newsweek is using a difficult print ad environment as an “excuse” for its decision to end print runs. [...] Tina Brown took Newsweek in the wrong direction. Newsweek did not die, Newsweek committed suicide. [...] The magazine lost its DNA. [...] Newsweek ignored the audience. The magazine stopped giving the audience the intellectual stimulation magazines of that genre are in the business of giving. Newsweek is not The Daily Beast and The Daily Beast in NOT Newsweek. The audience was confused and so, it seems, the folks behind Newsweek. History teaches us, time and time again, that you can’t mess with your DNA and expect to survive.”
(Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism)
Newsweek will stop its print edition after 80 years.
I stopped subscribing when Tina Brown took over and turned the venerable magazine into a pseudo British tabloid. I had never been exposed to so many royal pictures and superficial articles, until Tina Brown took over. She killed Newsweek with her news judgement and her priorities. She is responsible for this disaster. This was not primarily a New Media/Old Media clash as Brown was quick to point out.
I wrote about Newsweek’s Daily Beast take over in March 2011 and again in April 2011. I am sorry that I was proven right. I had been reading Newsweek since I was 18 until I cancelled my subscription last year and am reading Time Magazine now. I am not able to stomach the Daily Beast (“Read this, skip that”. Whatever that means.) My inner beast won’t let me. The site is visually so unattractive and cluttered that it gives me a headache, and the content is so poor to the point of irrelevance.
Blame the publisher. Blame the content. Blame executive decisions. Blame inflated pay checks and lavish launch parties. When Newsweek goes online, “regrettably, there will be staff reductions,” says the editor — who will keep her reign. Well done.
I am fed up with royalty. No matter if they’re real — or if they come disguised as editors-in-chief and publishers with a big ego. The emperor has no clothes. No matter if they reign offline or online.
Guest Post by Giuliana Lonigro
Gutenberg’s movable type printing press is often cited as the first 15th century mechanism that enabled the mass dissemination of information. But it wasn’t until the 17th century that the first newspapers were mass distributed in Europe. The last two centuries have seen bewildering advances in technology, which have all benefited journalism — from radio correspondents to broadcast television news and news organizations’ websites.
A previous blog post on this blog references a Nieman Journalism Lab article, in which Nicholas Carr postulated that 2012 would see the appification of media. Six months later, Pew’s newly released 2012 report on the state of American Journalism found that close to half of all adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners has risen to nearly 20% of Americans over age 18. Media are increasingly being consumed via mobile devices, and journalists are following suit by creating media and using apps to get their reporting done on their mobile devices.
Apps for journalists fall into several categories, including social media, reporting, workflow, blogging, photography, and video/audio recording, editing and streaming. Many of the most popular apps also seem to be favorites with journalists, with some variations for iPhones or Android phones. Below are some of the apps used most often by journalists. What apps do you use most often? Let us know in the comments section below!
- Twitter – can be used to track news from AP and other sources and also to tweet URLs to articles once they are posted. Has long been hailed as an extremely well written and user-friendly app.
- LinkedIn – can be used to find professional sources for quotes, depending on the beat(s) you cover.
- Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer – help with productivity and time management with dashboards and helping schedule tweets.
- Evernote – This award-winning app lets you take searchable notes, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders.
- 5-0 Police Scanner – to listen to radio traffic from police, fire, or ambulances.
- Skype – offers surprisingly clear connection as compared with regular mobile phone lines for interviews.
- Merriam-Webster dictionary – Because every good reporter needs to check on a word once in a while! Also features audio recordings of pronunciation.
- AP Style book ($24.99) – surprisingly pricey, but it’s considered the Bible in many circles, and it’s worth it for the reporter on-the-go.
- Dropbox – store files in the cloud and access from computer, laptop or portable devices anywhere.
- Cardmunch – works with LinkedIn by scanning pictures of business cards and automatically adding contacts to your LinkedIn profile.
- Tumblr – can post text, video, a URL, audio, photos from a mobile device.
- WordPress – The platform of choice for many bloggers; the app allows you to create and edit blog posts as needed.
- Camera+ ($0.99 for a limited time) – includes a timer, a grid to make sure photos aren’t crooked, settings for exposure and focus, a fill light and digital zoom.
- Instagram and Hipstamatic – Poynter has reported on the debate about whether these photo filtering and sharing apps are dumbing down photography and whether news organizations are cheating their audiences by their use of filters.
- ProCamera ($2.99) – this app is similar to Camera+ but also shoots video.
VIDEO & AUDIO RECORDING/STREAMING/EDITING
- iTalk Recorder – records from iPhone and emails files.
- Audioboo – records up to three-minute voice memos; audio files can then be uploaded to the Audioboo website with titles, tags, geolocation information and a photo. “Boos” can then be easily shared to social media channels.
- Ustream and Ustream Broadcaster – allows live streaming of interactive video. Allows you to poll your audience and follow other broadcasters’ streams.
- 1st Video Net – Unlike most of the apps in this post, this video editing app is for networked commercial customers of VeriCorder who are professional reporters and other content creators.
REPORTERS WHO TRAVEL
- JiWire Wi-Fi Finder – Finds Wi-Fi hotspots for public Wi-Fi anywhere in the world; works both online and offline
- Word Lens – Translates English, French and Spanish in real-time with the phone cam. A network connection is not needed, and language packs are sold separately via in-app purchase.
“Traditional outlets, of course, did not and do not report ‘for everyone,’ but demonstrably exclude and marginalize many people and perspectives, particularly the less politically and economically powerful. Progressive critics and activists, seeing corporate journalism’s ‘crisis’ as an opportunity, hoped that newly emerging outlets would avoid repeating those myopic patterns, forging not just new pay structures, but a new definition of news as something more than what powerful people say and do.”
It seems New Media have failed women miserably.
The Op-Ed Report features on its homepage an interactive count how many women are represented each given month at various new and old media outlets. At last count (May 22-28), 69% of posts in the Huffington Post were written by men and 31% by women. Salon had an even larger gap: 79% of its stories were written by men and only 21% by women.
The Op-Ed Project published a survey in May that states that women tend to write a lot of stories on ‘pink topics’ — food, fashion, family and furniture. Among the new media organizations surveyed, 34 percent of the stories women wrote were on pink topics.
But to be fair, many women writers tend to pitch their editors pink stories that they think other women want to read and they don’t submit enough op-eds on heavier topics. A classic Catch 22 that only we can resolve.
Ladies, get your pens out, err, polish your keyboards and get to work.