Sanoma vernieuwt voorwaarden en gaat facturen voor freelancers versturen

Villamedia Nieuws - do, 06/04/2017 - 15:33
UPDATE Freelancers die langlopende opdrachten voor Sanoma uitvoeren, mogen daarvoor binnenkort niet zelf meer facturen indienen. In plaats daarvan stelt de uitgeverij de facturen op (iets wat self-billing wordt…
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Nieuwe investeerders voor Blendle

Villamedia Nieuws - do, 06/04/2017 - 14:22
Blendle heeft twee nieuwe investeerders aangetrokken, meldt de online kiosk in een persbericht. Het gaat om het Japanse mediaconcern Nikkei, eigenaar van de Financial Times, en het Amsterdamse investeringsfonds INKEF Capital. Hoeveel de bedrijven precies…
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Turkse journalisten hangt forse straf boven het hoofd

Villamedia Nieuws - do, 06/04/2017 - 11:48
Het Openbare Ministerie van Turkije wil tot 43 jaar celstraf eisen tegen journalisten, blijkt uit rechtbankdocumenten. De journalisten worden beschuldigd van steun aan een terroristische organisatie en ‘asymmetrische oorlogvoering’ tegen…
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Top Ten #ddj: The Week’s Most Popular Data Journalism Links

Global Investigative Journalism Network - do, 06/04/2017 - 08:50

Here are the top data journalism tweets for Mar 27- Apr 2, per our NodeXL mapping: interactive graphics (@driven_by_data); ridiculous news (@twisteddoodles); Malofiej Infographics Awards (@malofiej); Germany’s radio masts (@stimmeonline); Republicans voting with Trump (@FiveThirtyEight); & more.


[View the story “Top Ten #ddj: The Week’s Most Popular Data Journalism Links” on Storify]
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

New database details White House officials' finances

Public Integrity - do, 06/04/2017 - 01:09

On Friday night, the White House began releasing financial disclosures for scores of key employees — including familiar names such as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

Reporters from dozens of news organizations, including the Associated Press, the New York TimesProPublica and the Washington Post, then compiled and reported on the documents, which the White House released one-by-one.

The Center for Public Integrity compiled data from those disclosures into a searchable, sortable database, which provide a window into the wealth, assets and business interests of many of the people closest to President Donald Trump. The Center for Public Integrity’s news developer, Chris Zubak-Skees, extracted these details from more than 90 reports, released in PDF format, using a software tool he created.

You can search or download the database for yourself.

Within the disclosures are new details on Bannon’s web of financial ties to billionaire Republican megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah.

The Center for Public Integrity first published a graphic showing such ties in October, but Zubak-Skees has updated the graphic to show more connections.



Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Want to bring automation to your newsroom? A new AP report details best practices

In 2014, the Associated Press began automating some of its coverage of corporate earnings reports. Instead of having humans cover the basic finance stories, the AP, working with the firm Automated Insights, was able to use algorithms to speed up the process and free up human reporters to pursue more complex stories.

The AP estimates that the automated stories have freed up 20 percent of the time its journalists spent on earnings reports as well as allowed it to cover additional companies that it didn’t have the capacity to report on before. The newswire has since started automating some of its minor league baseball coverage, and it told me last year that it has plans to expand its usage of algorithms in the newsroom.

“Through automation, AP is providing customers with 12 times the corporate earnings stories as before (to over 3,700), including for a lot of very small companies that never received much attention,” Lisa Gibbs, AP’s global business editor, said in a report the AP released Wednesday.

The AP’s report — written by AP strategy and development manager Francesco Marconi and AP research fellow Alex Siegman, along with help from multiple AI systems — details some of the wire’s efforts toward automating its reporting while also sharing best practices and explaining the technology that’s involved, including machine learning, natural language processing, and more.

The report additionally identifies three particular areas of note that newsrooms should pay attention to as they consider introducing augmented journalism: unchecked algorithms, workflow disruption, and the widening gap in skills needed among human reporters to produce this type of reporting.

To highlight the challenges of using algorithmic journalism, the report constructed a situation where a team of reporters covering oil drilling and deforestation used AI to analyze satellite images to find areas impacted by drilling and deforestation:

Our hypothetical team begins by feeding their AI system a series of satellite images that they know represent deforestation via oil drilling, as well as a series of satellite images that they know do not represent deforestation via oil drilling. Using this training data, the machine should be able to view a novel satellite image and determine whether the land depicted is ultimately of any interest to the journalists.

The system reviews the training data and outputs a list of four locations the machine says are definitely representative of rapid deforestation caused by nearby drilling activity. But later, when the team actually visits each location in pursuit of the story, they find that the deforestation was not caused by drilling. In one case, there was a fire; in another, a timber company was responsible.

It appears that when reviewing the training data, the system taught itself to determine whether an area with rapid deforestation was near a mountainous area — because every image the journalists used as training data had mountains in the photos. Oil drilling wasn’t taken into consideration. Had the team known how their system was learning, they could have avoided such a mistake.

Algorithms are created by humans, and journalists need to be aware of their biases and cognizant that they can make mistakes. “We need to treat numbers with the same kind of care that we would treat facts in a story,” Dan Keyserling, head of communications at Jigsaw, the technology incubator within Google’s parent company Alphabet. “They need to be checked, they need to be qualified and their context needs to be understood.”

That means the automation systems need maintenance and upkeep, which could change the workflow and processes of editors within the newsroom:

Story templates were built for the automated output by experienced AP editors. Special data feeds were designed by a third-party provider to feed the templates. Continuing maintenance is required on these components as basic company information changes quarter to quarter, and although the stories are generated and sent directly out on the AP wires without human intervention, the journalists have to watch for any errors and correct them.

Automation also changes the type of work journalists do. For instance, when it comes to the AP’s corporate earnings stories, Gibbs, the global business editor, explained that reporters are now pursuing different types of reporting.

“With the freed-up time, AP journalists are able to engage with more user-generated content, develop multimedia reports, pursue investigative work and focus on more complex stories,” Gibbs said.

Still, in order to use this type of automated reporting, newsrooms must employ data scientists, technologists, and others who are able to implement and maintain the algorithms. “We’ve put a lot of effort into putting more journalists who have programming skills in the newsrooms,” said New York Times chief technical officer Nick Rockwell.

The report emphasizes that communication and collaboration are critical, especially while keeping a news organization’s journalistic mission front and center. The report outlined how it views the role data scientists play:

Data scientists are individuals with the technical capabilities to implement the artificial intelligence systems necessary to augment journalism. They are principally scientists, but they have an understanding as to what makes a good story and what makes good journalism, and they know how to communicate well with journalists.

“It’s important to bring science into newsrooms because the standards of good science — transparency and reproducibility — fit right at home in journalism,” said Larry Fenn, a trained mathematician working as a journalist in AP’s data team.

The full AP study is available here.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Competing news outlets in Norway are building a new standalone site dedicated entirely to fact-checking

In Norway, fact-checking is growing up.

The country of 5 million will soon get a site devoted entirely to fact-checking. Faktisk — which means “actually” or “factually” in Norwegian — is an unusual collaboration between rival news organizations that will be fact-checking everything from stories that are beginning to trend on social platforms to political debates to the media itself.

Editors at Verdens Gang, the Norwegian daily tabloid owned by Scandinavian media giant Schibsted, had been mulling over the possibility of a more permanent national fact-checking effort ahead of the country’s parliamentary election in September, with the warning posts of Brexit, the U.S. election, the fears around fake news in Europe looming large.

Instead of keeping the effort inside Schibsted, VG looped in Dagbladet, the second-largest daily tabloid in Norway.

“Six people were put into a secret dark room in downtown Oslo just before Christmas. We were told, ‘You’re going to outline a strategy for how this initiative could work, and work together.’ It took maybe just five minutes before we were all speaking freely,” Kristoffer Egeberg, a longtime investigative reporter for Dagbladet, who is heading up the new Faktisk team, told me. “One of the first things we realized was that we had to sit outside our own organizations.” The team then brought in NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster, as a third partner news organization.

Fritt Ord, a Norwegian foundation that focuses on freedom of speech issues, along with Tinius Trust (a major share owner of Schibsted), the Dagbladet Foundation, and NRK together invested 8 million NOK (just under $1 million USD) to kickstart the project.

Faktisk is skipping over what dominant platforms like Facebook might want to offer in the way of fact-checking and forming its own separate company, with its own staff of editors, reporter/fact-checkers, and developers. Jari Bakken, a VG developer currently working full-time on Faktisk, is building a new CMS to handle the work (with an assist from a few other front-end developers). All the development work will be open sourced.

“The developer team at my old paper had been asking, why don’t you use the CMS we have? We’ve spent millions developing a state-of-the-art CMS, so why are you spending time to use your own?” Egeberg said. “The answer is, we are not just making articles. We are making fact checks. We need a CMS that can cut up our fact checks into parts, that will then make it possible in the future to use it in automation and artificial intelligence efforts. Our traditional CMSes are not made for this.” (The team has met with research institutions like SINTEF and the IBM Watson group to discuss potential ways to scale tasks like social monitoring and detecting claims. Egeberg and Bakken both gave a nod to the U.K.’s Full Fact on its work in automating the fact-checking process.)

“A lot of journalism produced today is still just a chunk of unstructured text, and I think a CMS with a bit more structure than a normal article and some intelligence built into it can enhance the user experience for both the journalists and the audience,” Bakken said, pointing to various ideas that have been floated around by structured journalism evangelists. “A traditional fact check has a lot of information embedded in it that makes sense to pull out and store as structured data instead of text — the claim itself, who made it and where, where was it cited, reproduced or shared, what concepts, people, organizations, events, or locations are discussed, what sources were used to fact-check it, and what is the final conclusion or rating. The same is obviously true for a lot of reporting, but a fact check is a well-defined piece of journalism that always has these same components.”

As part of its mandate for transparency and openness, Faktisk intends to distribute and share widely any information it has checked and written up — its fact checks can be taken and embedded by any other news outlet or individual writer in their own work as they see fit. VG has an edition on Snapchat Discover in the Nordics, where the team also intends to distribute information to reach a younger audience. NRK had been planning a television program around fact-checking leading up to the country’s September elections, in which Faktisk may now also play a part.

It’s also hoping to team up with more media partners, Helje Solberg, editor at VGTV and chairman of Faktisk, said, “and based on the response so far, we expect that to happen.” (Also welcome: Facebook, if it’s interested.)

Issues around climate, international relations, and the country’s own elections will likely feature heavily on the site, and “a big job for us is to cut through and help people differentiate between what’s an opinion and what’s a fact-based statement which you can actually fact-check,” Egeberg said. “We’ll have five different conclusions on our scale from totally wrong to entirely true. We’re not using measures like Pinocchios. It’s important for us to use wording that’s quite neutral, that we’re not calling anybody a liar, which would throw gas onto the fire. We’re saying ‘this is correct,’ or ‘this is not.’ Not, ‘this is a lie.'”

In a country the size of Norway, and as a site whose founders are resistant to the idea of advertising out of conflict of interest concerns, foundations and large grants look to be the primary sources of revenue for Faktisk: “We will focus on large donations to fund Faktisk — we do not expect to significantly fund it through crowdfunding, though we acknowledge that crowdfunding can strengthen the relationship with our readers,” Solberg said.

“Initiatives like this are often only something we do before an election. It’s hard for one newspaper to keep up such substantial efforts — maybe NRK could do it because it’s public-fee-supported,” Egeberg said. “But we’re trying to gather more resources and partners to have an organization which has the stamina to keep up and live through the election, through 2017, 2018, 2019 — and hopefully be a permanent addition to the media family in Norway.”

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Media in overdrive rond gifgasaanval

Apache.be - wo, 05/04/2017 - 17:09
Oorlogsverslaggeving is een makkelijke prooi voor propaganda. VS-president Bush en Brits premier Tony Blair joegen tienduizenden de dood in op basis van valse en gefabriceerde informatie over een vermeend arsenaal massavernietigingswapens in handen van Saddam Hoessein.
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Dood in de pot in de commissie Optima?

Apache.be - wo, 05/04/2017 - 17:05
Kan er uit de onderzoekscommissie nog iets goeds komen of smelt straks het laatste restje vertrouwen van de burger in de politiek?
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

“Society 10 years from now”: This South Korean social video startup is made by millennials, for millennials

Sodam Cho dropped out of studying for the South Korean media exam after her little brother was beaten by his teacher. When the incident made the news, the tables turned for the young aspiring journalist, who was now the one being interviewed by the press. That was when she experienced disappointment in what she saw as the superficiality of South Korean traditional outlets — ask a few questions prodding for emotional quotes by deadline, then sensationalize the story without getting to know the victim’s situation.

“I was really skeptical,” she said. “They would just get one or two sentences for the story, and that would be the end of it. In contrast, I would want to sit with the person on the floor together and have a conversation.”

Seeking a more intimate connection with subjects is what fueled Cho, 27, to start Dotface (styled as .face), a new social-native video outlet for South Korean millennials launched last September. With 40 million won (about $35,000 USD) in financial support from Seoul-based media incubator and seed investor Mediati, Dotface has focused its coverage on five areas it deems important to a younger generation: social justice, LGBTQ issues, feminism, urban ecology, and how technological development impacts societies. The nine-person Dotface team provides articles and videos on community, national, and international topics, from presidential contenders to Emma Watson’s thoughts on college, guided in part by their followers’ chatter on social platforms.

Last summer, traditional outlets covered a gay pride parade near Seoul City Hall as a typical social conflict story: conservatives versus liberals, Christians versus queer-identifying people, traditional values versus loosening social mores. But Cho focused on the presence of parents of LGBTQ children who were offering free hugs to the crowd.

“I looked at all the reports later that night, and this scene was not mentioned once. In contrast, we were able to cover this because we had our own subjective standard — that embracing diversity is something to be valued,” Cho said. Dotface’s video covering that scene went viral, amassing 5 million views on Facebook alone.

window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ xfbml : true, version : 'v2.3' }); }; (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Cho believes younger Koreans are thirsting for media content that goes beyond conglomerate news, dense political coverage, and rewrites of government press releases. She says her friends often share poorly translated articles and videos from U.S.-based digital outfits like BuzzFeed or ATTN: about everything from job interviews to not wearing bras, just for something new to read. While 70 percent of Koreans head regularly to major portals like Naver and Daum for news, Dotface is attracting its audience through social media, which has erupted as a source of news, especially for those who prefer to get their news via mobile. Virtually all Koreans in their 20s read their news online, with 75 percent getting it from social media, according to the Korea Press Foundation. Dotface’s niche is on platforms like Facebook and the Korean app Pikicast, where twentysomethings congregate over news of mutual interest and share open comments. Dotface’s videos get around 6 million views a month; 42 percent of its Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 24.

Small media startups are impeded from cracking into wider audiences by a variety of policies that are intended to block spammers and fake news producers. The Committee for the Evaluation of News Partnership, an alliance of interest groups, regulates media outlets through a strict screening process that generally prevents smaller outlets from reaching the news portals of Naver and Daum. Meanwhile, Naver TV Cast, a popular web broadcast portal, allows only existing broadcasting companies’ content.

These restrictions are loosening, however, as these news portals are now branching out to partner with multichannel networks. And Cho is confident that as more media startups launch that fall somewhere between legacy media and Facebook-only verticals, the South Korean media landscape will see a revolution.

Dotface is still figuring out its business model. Some advertisers might be wary of associating with a media outlet willing to publish a documentary on the drag queen culture featuring Korean-American diva Kim Chi; Dotface also reserves the right to decline advertising from companies whose values conflict with theirs. (That said, “there has not yet been a time when an advertiser backed out of advertising with us,” according to Cho.)

window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ xfbml : true, version : 'v2.3' }); }; (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Dotface has experimented with branded content, producing videos for companies that want to reflect a message appealing to its readers. One recent video sponsored by local oil refiner GS Caltex, produced by Dotface, portrayed the endurance of a man backpacking through Patagonia. But that revenue stream is limited by the young startup’s limited connections in the ad agency and content distribution worlds.

The startup plans to continue experimenting with native advertising and Dotface-branded merchandise — such as, Cho suggested, a potential partnership with sex toy brand Tenga. It’s also floated ideas like creating community-based platforms such as a dating app friendly to both straight and queer identities.

“Entertainment agencies are trying to become media companies, and they can actually push aside content from traditional media,” Cho said. “So in reality, with all the new competition coming in, if it isn’t fun, it’s hard to survive. It’s the same for news.”

Ryu Ji-min contributed to the reporting of this article.

Photo of Sodam Cho by Elaine Ramirez.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

5 ways journalists can use Nuzzel with Twitter lists

Online Journalism Blog - wo, 05/04/2017 - 12:43

Nuzzel offers a short-cut to the most shared stories in your Twitter timeline – and is already popular with journalists. But while it’s best known for directing you to your friends’ most popular links, it has other uses. In a guest post for OJB, Andy Brightwell shows how you can use Nuzzel to burst your filter bubble, follow people in a particular location or industry, see the world from someone’s perspective, or create a niche newsletter.

Since Nuzzel added Twitter lists it’s been possible to curate ‘custom feeds’ from sets of tweeters. For journalists this means an opportunity to seek new perspectives on communities, places and politics through Twitter. Below I’ve outlined five different ways to use the feature — but first, a bit of background…

Twitter lists and Nuzzel’s ‘custom feeds’

The Twitter list feature allows you to create groups of Twitter users – including those you’re not necessarily following.

A Twitter list generates its own, separate timeline. The ‘big’ problem with the Twitter list feature has always been that your list timelines can lie dormant once you’ve curated them, away from your focus and with little attention elsewhere.  This might explain why Twitter has removed an easy way for you to search for lists.

Nuzzel, however, has given Twitter lists a new lease of life. With Nuzzel, a list can offer an insight into a set of tweeters, or a particular news story, without you having to continually revisit the list.

It can also give you a way to curate a piece of content from that list – with Nuzzel’s newsletter function.

1: Using Nuzzel to follow subject and place communities

Nuzzel’s search tool allows you to find feeds that are already curated by other users. Really, these are just Twitter lists they’ve set up to check up on groups of users, so you should bear in mind that not all of them will be fantastic.

When you find a feed you like, click in to the list on Twitter to get a feel for it and check it does what it says on the label.

Still, by searching around you can find some good ‘custom feeds’ (Twitter lists of other users.)

This also works very well for local areas – particularly cities, which tend to generate good lists.

2. Break your ‘echo chamber’ by curating a feed that contrasts with your own views

Alice Thwaite, who runs The Echo Chamber Club, uses Nuzzel to browse a Twitter list that she’s put together of people with opinions that don’t – shall we say – chime with those of the liberal persuasion.

This helps Alice to understand the subjects that are exciting right-wing tweeters – and help to inform the weekly newsletter she writes, offering contrary views to liberal readers.

In order to do this, I’d suggest you create your own private Twitter list, as per these instructions. (This won’t be a publicly available feed.)

3. Duplicate a tweeter’s followers to get their perspective

I’ve had a little go at this myself, by creating a private list of everyone arch Brexit supporter Daniel J. Hannan follows.

I use it regularly to get a good sense of ‘what would Daniel think?’ – or, more pertinently, what is Daniel seeing?

Manually putting together a list can be hard – and time consuming – but there’s a free way to copy lists from other people. You can add various lists together with the tool, to create your own super lists.

If you’re wondering how this might be useful, well it’s one way to understand a specific public figure. Donald Trump – for example – only follows 42 users, so putting together this feed was easy. (And proof, were it needed, that he spends a lot of time looking at Fox News.)

4. Create a private feed to monitor a specific group

People have been using private lists to monitor Twitter activist groups, extremist communities, and political parties for a long time. With Nuzzel you can turn a labour of love into a quick scan.

This opens up this to something more of us could actually do – either to find stories or to help provide an insight into a particular group of people or organisations.

I’d definitely recommend keeping Twitter lists like this private, although you can find some good lists already curated on Twitter and available on Nuzzel as ‘custom feeds’.

Be aware that list descriptions are often reliant on the user’s perspective. The Far Right Extremists feed, for example, is based on a list which includes the Pope and a number of US Republican politicians, who wouldn’t consider themselves extremists in any sense.

5. Turn a niche into a newsletter

Nuzzel’s custom newsletter feature does allow you to curate a regular email to subscribers, even if it requires a fair amount of time and effort.

But your custom feeds push out newsletters with zero effort and subscribing by email makes following feeds easier. Finding a community that isn’t covered well in the news — and offering a window onto it by following the main players in that space — is significantly easier.

The custom newsletter feature also allows you to add your own commentary on the links you share, and tweak the look of the newsletter. You can upload contacts to your mailing list, just as you would with Mailchimp or another more traditional newsletter service. The combination of feeds with the newsletter function provides a quick way to get started with a curation-based publishing operation.

And 6..?

Those are just five ideas — but I’m sure there are more. If you know of them contact me on Twitter @andbwell or post in the comments below.

Filed under: online journalism Tagged: andy brightwell, curation, email, filter bubbles, Nuzzel, twitter lists
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Koro 5 april ’17

Apache.be - wo, 05/04/2017 - 09:15
Het rubriekje van Bert Verhoye waarin onze hysterische wereld geconfronteerd wordt met problemen, die geen problemen zijn.
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Taco Kuiper Award: “We need probing, fact checked, fearless journalism”

Global Investigative Journalism Network - wo, 05/04/2017 - 09:12

Editor’s Note: South Africa consistently produces some of the world’s investigative reporting, despite formidable challenges put up by officials and lack of access to information. With the world’s muckrakers gathering in Johannesburg this November at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, we are particularly pleased to present a look at this year’s Taco Kuiper Awards, the country’s prestigious prize for investigative reporting, handed out last month. Worth noting is both the depth and breadth of the nation’s journalism, from political corruption to health care abuse.

When introducing the Taco Kuiper Awards, the acting convener of judges for 2017, Justice Malala, said: “We gather today to pay tribute to journalists who spend their time digging and probing to expose wrongdoing. Their work has never been more important. In the age of alternative facts we need probing, fact checked, fearless journalism of this nature.”

Not Just for Newspapers 

Some major positives were seen at this year’s awards, including an increase to 45 entries, from 43 last year, as well as the inclusion of more online, television, radio, and magazine submissions.

Veteran South African journalist Justice Malala introduces the Taco Kuiper Award, with 47 entries this year.

“In the past, the overwhelming majority of entries was from newspapers. This year just under half was from this media,” Malala commented. The 2017 awards saw 20 entries from print publications, two from radio, nine from online publications, 13 from television, and one from a magazine.

Entries were received from major and minor outlets. The submissions went through two judging panels, the first consisting of Sarah Carter of CBS’ 60 Minutes, Franz Kruger, director of the Wits Radio Academy, and Wits Journalism lecturer, Lizeka Mda. The second panel comprised Adjunct Professor in the Wits Journalism department, Mathatha Tsedu, former Supreme Court of Appeal judge Tom Cloete, Carter and political commentator, Justice Malala.

The keynote speaker at the awards event was Ben Bradlee Jr., who was assistant managing editor of investigations for the Boston Globe when its team investigated and uncovered the abuse of young boys by Catholic priests. The Oscar-winning film, Spotlight, told the story of the investigation.

Ben Bradlee Jnr of “Spotlight” fame gives the keynote speech at the Taco Kuiper Awards ceremony, organised by Witwatersrand University.

The Top 10

The two judging panels narrowed down the 45 entries to the top 10. These were:

  • Optimum’s Helping Hand and Optimum two by Joy Summers of Carte Blanche
  • Maximum Insecurity by Bongani Fuzile of Daily Dispatch
  • Moyane, Makwaka and the new battle for SARS, by the amaBhungane Team
  • The mentally ill patient scandal, by Suzanne Venter of Rapport
  • Dignity Denied, by eNCA’s Checkpoint team (Kyla Herrmannsen, Shamiel Albertyn, Sungani Phiri, Tshepo Dhlamini and Tshidiso Lechuba)
  • Hlaudi’s SABC exposed, by Charl Blignaut and Lloyd Gedye of City Press
  • Watergate, by Sipho Masondo of City Press
  • State Capture: Eskom, the Guptas and Coal, by Susan Comrie of City Press
  • State of Capture, by Thanduxolo Jika, Sabelo Skiti and Qaanitah Hunter of Sunday Times
  • Penniless Millionaire, by Sabelo Skiti of Sunday Times

The runners-up were the Sunday Times trio for their State of Capture investigative piece. They walked away with a cash prize of R100 000.

Suzanne Venter claimed the top prize of R200 000.

“When Suzanne Venter first confronted former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu with this story, she was told that ‘all this is just hearsay’ and was kicked out of the MEC’s office,” Malala said. “Venter stayed with the story for months, brought us the human side of it while exposing the corruption and insensitivity of our political leaders as they refused to accept what was happening.”

Never Giving Up Too many editors are perceiving investigative reporting as a luxury which they can no longer afford, but it is essential and they just have to find a way.

Speaking to The Media Online after winning, Venter said her story began with a tip-off through Facebook from a concerned mother whose child was being moved out of the Cullinan Care Centre to a government NGO, where he was receiving very bad treatment and moved around to make room for the incoming Life Esidimeni patients. Venter went on to visit the NGO where she was initially refused access, but managed to find a way in to document what was taking place. The story built from there.

“In my case, it’s all about not giving up,” Venter explained. “And putting in extra hours, which I did, even on my leave days. You shouldn’t miss detail. You must check out everything. Speak to absolutely everyone involved as then you find out new people and new information.” When asked what was next for her, Venter said, “I think I will just continue what I am doing. I think that each and every journalist’s work, whether it’s one article or a series, is investigative journalism. If you want to do proper journalism then you investigate.”

The Media Online also spoke to Thanduxolo Jika, part of the runner-up team from the Sunday Times. “The most important thing for me is you have to be sure and factual with what you’ve got. Don’t rush to publish a story just because you’ve got it; you must establish facts,” he advised. He added that for him and his colleagues at the Sunday Times there were still a lot of stories to uncover, particularly around the upcoming ANC policy and elective conferences.

This post originally appeared on The Media Online and is republished here with permission.

Michael Bratt is a multimedia journalist working for Wag the Dog Publishers in South Africa across all of its offerings. He writes, produces videos, proof reads, and does sub-editing.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Zwerfvuil en sluikstort kost elke Vlaming jaarlijks 29 euro

Apache.be - wo, 05/04/2017 - 08:52
Op twee jaar tijd is de hoeveelheid zwerfvuil bovendien met 40 procent toegenomen. Een serieuze tegenvaller voor afvalmaatschappij OVAM.
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Help the Center for Public Integrity win a Webby Award

Public Integrity - di, 04/04/2017 - 20:14

Great news for our investigative journalism: The Webby Awards today named the Center for Public Integrity a finalist for best political news blog or website in the nation.

The Webby Awards presents two honors in every category — a winner selected by judges and a winner selected by online voters. If you agree the Center for Public Integrity deserves honors for our political coverage, vote for us in the “People’s Voice” segment of the contest.

Cast your ballot by clicking here.

In the best political news blog or website category, the Center for Public Integrity is competing against PBS's "Campaign Connection," The Intercept, FactCheck.org and Code and Theory.

The Nation, the New Republic and the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog received honorable mentions.

All Webby Award winners will be announced on April 25.

Established in 1996, the Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet and are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Today’s announcement marks the second time the Center for Public Integrity's political coverage has been nominated for a Webby Award — it was last nominated in 2014.

During Election 2016, the Center for Public Integrity's federal politics team published dozens of groundbreaking articles and investigations as part of its federal politics team's "Buying of the President" project.

"Who's Calling the Shots in State Politics," a project of the Center for Public Integrity's states politics team, routinely exposed the powerful special interests that drive elections and policy in statehouses from coast to coast.

The Center for Public Integrity, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, is nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative newsroom based in Washington, D.C.

Its mission: To serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

If fact-checking’s going to stay relevant, it’s going to have to move past, uh, checking facts

Fact-checking has become completely entwined with partisan politics. “At a time of no trust in the media, why would the voter trust the [fact-checker] over the politician he or she supported?” Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, asked in January at a fact-checking summit in Washington, D.C.

“We’re not reaching red America,” said Bill Adair, director of the Duke University Reporters’ Lab and creator of PolitiFact.

The event, hosted by the American Press Institute, Poynter Institute, and the Duke Reporters’ Lab, brought together “more than 70 participants, including fact-checkers and other journalists, researchers, educators, librarians, and representatives from foundations and technology companies,” to discuss how fact-checking can reach a wider audience. American Press Institute wrote up their discussions on Tuesday, and offered some suggestions and thoughts on how fact-checking can modernize, improve, and reach more readers.

“Instant and tense reactions”

Fact-checking in real time is hard, but it also stresses people out:

David Mikkelson, the publisher of Snopes.com, said readers can wonder how debunking can be produced so quickly after reaching the Internet. And, as Duke University’s Mark Stencel found, instantaneous fact checks during a tense debate can cause instant and tense reactions from partisan viewers.

One idea: “finding ways to incorporate fact checks into people’s regular news consumption behavior.”

“They just don’t believe you”

“It’s not that they haven’t heard you,” R. Kelly Garrett, a professor of communication at Ohio State University, told the group. “They just don’t believe you.”

Maybe fact-checkers should disclose where they stand politically: “The public may see transparency as knowing such things as whether reporters own guns or attend church regularly or give donations to interest groups,” the API notes. They might also want to “engage with subjects or readers who strongly disagree with their findings” (which sounds about as much fun as wading into the comments), “share with their audience information about why they’re checking claims,” and “monitor and explain the partisan breakdown of the sources of claims that they check.”

Reaching people with “trust issues”

From the report:

Even when fact checks reach a larger audience, that audience is skewed — geographically, with more readers on the coasts than in the South or heartland; and ideologically, with progressives more likely to engage. Readers who most engage with fact checks tend to be Democrats who already have above-average knowledge about politics, research indicates. “We’re doing a terrible job as a group, getting our information to the people who could most benefit from it,” said Rebecca Iannucci, a project manager at the Duke Reporters’ Lab who’s working on fact-checking studies and research.

Summit attendees identified two groups that fact-checkers need to do a better job of reaching: “younger, digitally savvy” people who want information in new formats, and people who “[consume] more news through older methods…and [are] harder to reach not because of platform preferences but because of trust issues.”

“An important tactic going forward will be finding ways to bring fact-checking to people in neutral packages,” said Tom Stites, founder and president of the Banyan Project.

New formats needed

Michelle Ye Hee Lee of The Washington Post noted that each Friday leading up to the 2016 election, she and her colleagues broadcast findings from the week on Facebook Live. And, she added, fact checks had among the highest engagement of any of the news organization’s offerings on Snapchat. These non-traditional tools were a way of presenting information where readers and viewers live, not waiting for them to navigate their way through a website.

Ronny Rojas, who leads fact-checking at Univision, said that the newsroom presented fact-checks with comics and got “40 to 50 percent more traffic than comics with regular text.” It’s expensive, though.

The full report is here.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

The Huffington Post introduces a less “eat your vegetables” way to show alternate views on news

Right now, if you’re one of the small number of people who actually care about exploring the biases in your news consumption, you have to do a little work. You can install a Chrome extension, maybe, or an app. Or you can seek out alternate sources to add to your reading list. One thing these activities have in common is that they’re not much fun.

Analyzing and changing your media diet may never actually be fun, but The Huffington Post is trying to make it at least slightly more so with The Flipside, an interactive matrix that collects the latest headlines on various topics (immigration, Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Russia) from 14 publications and plots them on a grid, from most to least trustworthy and most liberal to most conservative.

Julia Beizer, head of product at The Huffington Post, wrote in a blog post Tuesday:

Today, you can dive into the Russia topic and see a mix of stories about this morning’s attack and the Trump team’s connections to the Russian government. But what’s trending across these sources paint a wildly different picture of what matters on this topic. A Daily Kos story is trending on Comey’s impact on the presidential election, while Breitbart’s trending story is on France’s Marine Le Pen encouraging Putin to partner with the West in the face of terrorist threats. Mainstream media, for its part, trends with a mix of news on the attacks and opinion pieces about Trump and Russia.

“We didn’t want to approach this in a really didactic way — like, ‘Here are five news stories you’re not seeing, liberal user,'” Beizer told me. “If you wanted to take a peek at someone else’s feed, this is what you might see. It’s a spectrum of how people cover these really thorny topics; it’s more of a grazing tool.” (And you don’t have to install anything.) The Huffington Post is linking to The Flipside from its homepage and social channels Tuesday, but eventually, the tool will be incorporated into its stories: It might appear at the bottom of a Huffington Post article to show a spectrum of how other news organizations are covering that same topic. (This is somewhat similar to what BuzzFeed is doing with its “Outside Your Bubble” feature.) There are, conceivably, other outlets for such a tool as well: Last month, at a Facebook Journalism Project hackathon in New York, members of The Huffington Post’s product/tech team collaborated with other publishers to create a Flipside-like product for the Facebook platform, which would allow users to see where a piece of news appears on an ideological spectrum without leaving the News Feed. It was the Hackathon’s winning project.

A few notes on methodology: The headlines on The Flipside are culled from the 14 publications’ Twitter feeds over a period of two hours. The Huffington Post didn’t rank the sources itself on either trustworthiness or ideology. The ideological rankings came from a 2016 Public Opinion Quarterly study that used a combination of machine learning and crowdsourcing to plot sources on a spectrum. And for the trustworthiness ratings, they worked with Snopes to categorize the outlets’ trustworthiness. (I asked Snopes for more information and hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing this post.)

When you play around with the tool, you’ll notice that The Huffington Post is included on the grid — and ranked lower in trustworthiness than outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post. In fact, Snopes gave it the same trustworthiness rating as it gave Fox News.

“Yup. We’re not at the top of the trustworthiness scale,” Beizer said. “But under our new editorial leadership, we are out there every day, trying to earn readers’ trust. That’s why I was really adamant on including ourselves in the scale.”

Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Het verdwenen belastinggeld achter Media ID

Apache.be - di, 04/04/2017 - 17:25
Hoe de Vlaamse overheid miljoenen euro steun gaf aan mediagroepen voor een project dat er nooit kwam en een put van 771.676 euro achterliet.
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

NPR’s upcoming daily news podcast sounds like a Morning Edition promo, which would be too bad

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 114, published April 4, 2017.

First things first. NPR announced Monday that it’s launching something called Up First, a take on the morning news brief podcast that draws from the DNA of Morning Edition, one of NPR’s two tentpole programs. Editions will be published at 6 a.m. ET on weekdays, starting Wednesday, and it will feature the same team of David Greene, Rachel Martin and Steve Inskeep on hosting duties.

Nieman Lab, Poynter, and NPR’s own press blog have the assorted details on the project, including the press messaging surrounding this launch (“a way to do it that makes sense for the whole system”), target demographic breakdown (young folk, clearly), and the names involved in its development (note the headlining of Morning Edition EP Sarah Gilbert and NPR GM of pdcasting Neal Carruth).

Let’s talk big picture here. The most meaningful way to read this launch is to think through what it tells us about how NPR is balancing the need innovate in order to set itself up for the future with the delicate politics and incentives strung out across the wide spectrum of local public radio stations that make up its major constituency, whose carrier fees for NPR’s major news programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered make up a sizable chunk of NPR’s revenue. (And, I suppose, whose well-being is sort of among NPR’s main reasons for being.) The Nieman Lab write-up, in particular, examines this dynamic, and it’s telling how Gilbert and Carruth talk up the groundwork that was done to attain political support from stations. “A lot of station managers we have spoken to in preparation for this launch have expressed genuine excitement about the possibility of reaching a new discrete, younger audience, and finding a way to invite them into the public radio system,” Gilbert told Nieman Lab.

But it is the way Up First resembles a top-of-the-funnel instrument more than anything else that most draws my attention. Each episode is said to be made up of the “A” segment from the 5 a.m. ET newscast that’s sandwiched between a preview of the other stories in the edition along with…well, what sounds like marketing material for public radio. “We’re also going to have language in the episodes that tells listeners — many of whom will be new to public radio content — about the public radio system, the availability of all kinds of incredible programming on our stations, guiding them in finding ways to donate, if they want to donate to their local stations,” Carruth said later on in the article.

In other words, it sounds like a big, fat Morning Edition podcast promo.

Perhaps another way to look at it is to view Up First as an audio equivalent of the morning news email newsletter digest — though not the beefy, newsletter-first constructions like Politico Playbook or CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter, but something closer to, say, The New York Times’ First Draft, whose existence is designed to pull readers to a core destination.

I suppose all of that is perfectly fine, but it’s nevertheless disappointing given what appears to be the heating-up of a content area that’s long been discussed as fertile land for on-demand audio: the newsy podcast. Up First’s launch comes about two months after The New York Times drew first blood with the format (Marketplace’s Morning Report doesn’t count, alas) in the shape of its 10- to 20-minute weekday morning news brief The Daily. Though calling The Daily a “news brief” is somewhat imprecise, as that show functions a lot more like a straightforward news magazine that feels incredibly native to the podcast format, given its impressive dedication (and resource allocation) to structuring each edition around one or two stories that are exclusive to podcast, often providing deeper or additional reporting on the biggest stories from the day before, and executing them in a rich, intimate, non-broadcast-reminiscent style. That design gambit has yielded a unique and compelling package, and though it has certainly made the occasional choice falling from its design commitments that have led to criticism (I’m still mulling over the interview in question from last week, and find myself increasingly perturbed), it is absolutely a creature of its own and is cultivated as such.

It’s bad form to sling a full judgment on Up First without actually experiencing it firsthand, so I’ll give it a couple of weeks before piping up conclusively. And I will also say that I’m fully cognizant that this is a podcast execution that’s probably unique to Morning Edition within the context of NPR, given its political complexity within the broader public radio ecosystem. I will also say that NPR’s other podcasting efforts have proven to be more encouraging, between the stuff they’ve been doing with NPR Politics and Embedded as well as whatever the heck they’re cooking up with Sam Sanders. But I’m just inclined to pour one out for a genuine go at building out a full-blown NPR News podcast, which is something I now suspect might never actually happen.

Ah well, back to Barbaro it is.

Apple freeze? Digiday has an article on the emerging windowing trend that we’re seeing in the podcast industry — prominent first with Missing Richard Simmons, and then with the Spotify deal with Gimlet over what is now known as Mogul: The Chris Lighty Story — and while the write-up mostly touched on developments that shouldn’t be particularly new for Hot Pod readers (relevant issues here and here), the piece does bring forth a genuinely juicy scooplet that might be worrying, depending on where you stand:

According to multiple people familiar with the matter, Apple was excited about promoting Missing Richard Simmon until it heard about the windowing strategy. They subsequently abandoned all the marketing plans for the show, those people said.

If true (I’ve heard talk on my end that corresponds with this, but I couldn’t corroborate on the record with full confidenc,
and if we still buy the premise that Apple continues to drive the majority of podcast listening, and if we also continue to buy that the iTunes front page is still a meaningful driver of podcast discovery, then we’re left with what is the clearest example of Apple, previously described as a dominant but hands-off of the podcast ecosystem, actively placing its thumb on the scale when it comes to dictating the shape of the space. That Missing Richard Simmons ended up being a success regardless is interesting, but nonetheless irrelevant; this is a situation that feasibly validates the fears of those who are concerned about the unchecked conduct of Apple as a governing platform.

One imagines this also adds fuel to the fire among the pockets of the community that feel that, at the rate and substance that the podcast industry is growing, the way things are with Apple can’t possibly be sustainable, with its erratic charts system, its user experience, its opacity. But then again, that’s kind of the story of all modern digital publishing.

I reached out to Apple for comment yesterday, but have not heard back.

One more on windowing… looks like The Ringer will distribute its MLB podcast exclusively on TuneIn Radio for the month of April, a development that might worry some of the more open internet-oriented folks in the industry.

Early S-Town numbers. It’s a whopper: the Serial spinoff reportedly enjoyed 10 million downloads in four days since launch day, according to Variety. That report came from before the weekend, so it’s possible there’s a bump we can’t account for, though it has traditionally been unclear whether listening happens very much on the weekends. But given S-Town’s unique full-season release structure — which encourages binges — and buzzy profile, it’s feasible to think that the show might’ve enjoyed anomalous weekend listening behavior.

Two quick things about the Variety article:

— The 10 million number refers to overall downloads, not unique downloads as a proxy of the actual size of the audience base. Back-of-the-napkin math (10 divided by 7 to spell it out, but I mean come on) places that somewhere north of 1 million unique listeners at the time of publication.

— From the piece: “In another data point highlighting the popularity of S-Town, the feed for the podcast series already has 1.45 million subscribers since Serial Productions released the trailer a little over two weeks ago. By comparison, the Serial feed has 2.4 million, and This American Life has 2 million.” I’m told that Serial Productions uses Feedburner to check these numbers, and that the number was up to 1.48 million by Monday morning. Feed subscription numbers aren’t exactly a metric that’s in vogue among the industry at this point in time, but that’s besides the point: compared against its own portfolio, S-Town has performed very well within a very short period of time.

Two curious developments from WNYC. I haven’t written very much about the station recently — probably my own oversight as opposed to the station genuinely laying low — but two things caught my eye over the past week:

— The station announced in an internal email last Wednesday that it will not be renewing its relationship with The Sporkful, the James Beard-award nominated food podcast hosted by Dan Pashman that’s been in the WNYC portfolio since 2013.

“Despite our pride in what we have accomplished, we’ve made the tough decision not to renew The Sporkful and so that means we will be saying farewell to Dan and Anne this week,” WNYC’s chief content officer Dean Cappello wrote. “That’s not a commentary on the show’s growth or the work in any way but rather a recognition of the changes that are inevitable as we continue to grow WNYC Studios.”

I’m told that the decision to part ways actually took place several months ago, with Pashman given ample runway to secure a new home. A new network has indeed moved to pick up The Sporkful, though its identity remains uncertain to me. Details of the arrangement will announced sometime over the next two weeks, ahead of the podcast’s relaunch on April 17.

For anybody keeping a record (and I know there’s a Greek chorus of you): the last show to leave WNYC was Hillary Frank’s The Longest Shortest Time, which ultimately landed at Earwolf.

(2) Several readers also flagged this job posting last week: WNYC is apparently looking for a branded content producer. Here’s the most salient portion of the job description:

You will be part of a little startup agency nested within an established, mission-driven organization populated by the most creative and pioneering audio producers in the country. Your focus will be creating original podcasts and bringing to life other cross-platform productions on behalf of our sponsor partners…

I’m still wrapping my head around this, though it does strike me as genuinely surprising — and more than a little strange — that a public radio station, especially one as big and prominent as WNYC, is moving to develop what looks like an in-house creative advertising agency. When contacted for comment, a spokesperson simply told me: “For several years now, clients and agencies have been asking us about creating custom content. And like every media organization, we’re trying to meet the needs of our clients who are eager to work with us.” Hm.

While we’re on the subject of public radio…

(1) I’m following the WUTC story, in which the Chattanooga-based NPR affiliate station fired reporter Jacqui Helbert after local lawmakers complained about Helbert’s reporting on a state transgender bathroom bill.

There’s a thick line you could draw between this incident and the Marketplace-Lewis Wallace story from February, and also between this story and the West Virginia Public Broadcasting state defunding crisis from last month, which was only superficially resolved after Governor Jim Justice pulled back on defunding and pushed toward a deal that would see the state’s public broadcasting infrastructure integrated into West Virginia University. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga owns and operates WUTC, and Helbert’s dismissal is said to have been a decision made by university officials, not newsrooms editors, providing one notable data point for a question I wondered aloud when writing up the West Virginia Public Broadcasting story: how does university ownership affect a public broadcasting system?

Anyway, the WUTC story is far from over. Since Helbert’s dismissal, NPR has condemned the decision, and the reporter has filed a lawsuit against the university.

(2) Missed this last week, but Ben Calhoun, the VP of content and programming at WBEZ, is leaving the station, according to Robert Feder (the all-powerful source of Chicago media news). Calhoun is expected to return to This American Life, where he had served as a producer between 2010 and 2014. It is unclear who is up to take over the position.

(3) On Current: “CPB board members excoriate colleague for publicly backing defunding.”

Alice Isn’t Dead returns for its second season today, as Night Vale Presents pushes forward in its intriguing attempt to build out a predominantly fiction-oriented podcast network (it has one nonfiction project, a documentary collaboration with indie band The Mountain Goats, in the pipeline) off the long-running momentum cultivated with Welcome to Night Vale. I’m told that the first season’s ten episodes collectively garnered over five million downloads, as of last week. That season ran from March to July 2016. I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Panoply readies its follow-up to Revisionist History. The project is called The Grift, a podcast on the world of con artists hosted by psychologist and author Maria Konnikova. Konnikova is a regular on Slate’s The Gist, and I suppose you could call The Grift a podcast adaptation of the work Konnikova has built out for her book The Confidence Game, which was published early last year.

The Grift appears to represent Panoply’s next step in a strategy that originated with Revisionist History, where the network partners with a known author — in that case Malcolm Gladwell, whose value in the marketplace has long been proven — to create a highly produced, non-linear podcast that more or less resembles the composition of your basic nonfiction New York Times bestseller. This also seems to be the programming zone within which Panoply feels most comfortable developing its big swing projects.

Coming up with benchmark numbers to evaluate The Grift is a little tricky. When asked about Revisionist History’s numbers, a Panoply spokesperson told me the company doesn’t share download or subscriber numbers for any of its shows at this time. I was told the same thing when I reached out a few weeks ago for numbers on Life After, the network’s most recent fiction project. The best I can come up with is a number pulled from a rosy Bloomberg profile of Panoply published ahead of its launch last summer, where chief revenue officer Matt Turck was quoted saying that Revisionist History “could draw over 500,000 downloads per episode” — citing Apple marketing support and Gladwell’s #personalbrand as factors in his prediction — which the article also notes would match the best performance of The Message.

The Grift dropped its first episode today.

Audio fiction over the past year. Last Tuesday saw the second annual Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Awards. It’s an increasingly active time in the fiction podcast space: the higher-profile projects, growing interest in adaptation deals, the rising ambition both in terms of quality and quantity. I checked in with Ann Heppermann, the awards’ founder, to get her view on what has changed in the genre over the past year or so.

From where you sit, how has audio fiction changed over the past year?

Over the past year, it feels as though there have been seismic changes as well as a continuation of certain trends. This year, The Sarah Awards saw many more submissions from audio networks — and nearly, if not all, of the major podcasting networks entered this year from Panoply to Gimlet to Wondery to Radiotopia to many others. To me, that’s a good sign. It says that those who are in the business of making money from audio believe that audio fiction is something that’s both a worthwhile creative endeavor and a profitable one. It also says to me that there is a possible future for students, like mine, who are learning and want to create fiction. Not that long ago, I would encourage young producers who wanted to create audio fiction that if they wanted to make any money at it they should look into creating works for audiences outside the United States, primarily for the BBC and Australian markets. Now, gasp, I think that there might actually be some jobs they could apply for in the near future. It’s awesome.

Creatively, I feel like we are seeing more series as well as more high-budget productions. Thrillers and science fiction seem to continue to dominate the audio fiction world — or at least, in the submissions we received from this year and last — but for this year I would say that the Sarah Awards judges chose pieces representing the vast array of work that is being created. Yes, there were thrillers and science fiction pieces amongst the winners but there were also musicals, political fiction, and whatever unique category needs to be made up for Andrea Silenzi and Randy. Maybe next year an audio sitcom or an audio telenovela or some S-Town Faulkner-esque piece will win a Sarah Award. In my mind, it feels like the possibilities are endless.

What are the challenges that are still holding audio fiction back, in your opinion?

Even though I’m extremely excited about how large networks are getting more involved and that Hollywood stars signing up for audio fiction projects, I worry that it could become more difficult for creative people with lower budgets to have their works made and find audiences. I also worry that those who are putting a lot of money in these projects will be less willing to take creative risks because they, rightfully so, have to worry about the return on their investments. So the thing that excites me, increased professionalization, also scares me a little bit.

Another challenge is that there is a lot of fantastic audio fiction happening behind paywalls that I don’t think people are finding. Audio fiction can be incredibly expensive and so paywalls do make sense, but it’s just that currently most people don’t want to pay for it. I’m sure that will change, and I know that people are working on ways to mix up their fiction offerings so that their programming consists of free as well as paywall content, but I just hope they can figure it out soon because there’s some awesome stuff behind the paywall that I personally wish had larger audiences.

Oh, and diversity. The field, as with all things podcasting, needs a lot more of it—from creators to writers to producers to actors to works in languages other an English. Diversity, diversity, diversity.

You can read about the winners of this year’s Sarah Awards, and more about audio fiction more generally, on the website.


  • Shannon Bond’s latest: “Marketers aren’t waiting for the arrival of ads on voice-powered devices – they’re already there.” (FT)
  • A couple of podcast-related honorees at the Gracie Awards, an awards ceremony presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to celebrate women in the media and media about women: Nora McInerny was named best podcast host for her work on APM’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking, and the fourth season of Gimlet’s Startup, where host Lisa Chow and team covered former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, won best podcast. (website)
  • Did you know that Keith Ellison, congressman and recently named deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, has a podcast? Well he does, it’s called We The Podcast (yep), and he just started it back up. (Vanity Fair)
Categorieën: Extern nieuws

Latvians Trust Magazines More Than Newspapers

European Journalism Observatorium - di, 04/04/2017 - 11:08

More trusted than newspapers? Privata Dzive – a celebrity magazine – is one of Latvia’s best selling publications.

Newspapers in Latvia are struggling. They are increasingly mistrusted by readers, who accuse them of pushing the political views of their owners. Revenues are down as advertisers spend their money on the country’s growing digital media sector. But despite the gloomy outlook for traditional news in Latvia, one sector of the country’s print media appears to be thriving: magazines.

Special interest print magazines, particularly about science and history aimed at younger audiences, and about the private lives of local celebrities – aimed at adults – are outselling national and daily newspapers in Latvia, confounding the general downward trend in the country’s print media.

News, lifestyle, hobby and healthcare magazines are also growing in popularity, according to a study by the Preses Serviss and Narvesen, carried out by SKDS.

The most popular print magazine titles regularly outsell newspapers across the country. The Baltic Media Health Check, published by the Riga-based Baltic Centre for Investigative Journalism, has recorded steady or increased sales and profits for many magazines, whereas newspaper turnovers have generally declined and a number of publishers are reporting losses.

Anda Rozukalne, Associate Professor and Head of the Communication Studies Department at Riga Stradins University, said Latvians (particularly Latvian speakers) read more magazines than newspapers because they are considered more ‘inspirational’ and relevant to everyday life – or at least they give the illusion that they are.

Readers consider newspapers and news sites to be either “politically influenced” or “filled with the superficial information, with a short shelf life,” Rozukalne said.

She added that readers have a more positive view of magazines. They are considered to “provide inspiration and regular support for the readers. This gives an additional value to the magazine, because magazines inform lifestyle aims and ambitions. This information helps readers make important decisions,” Rozukalne said.

In 2015 there were 322 magazine titles with a total circulation of 29.3 millions copies per year, according to the last published data of Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Magazine sales and readership figures have remained steady in the past three years. According to the latest Baltic Media Health Check, 2014-2015, the five best-selling lifestyle magazines regularly outsell newspapers. These are: Ieva (women’s magazine – Eve) which sold 56 100 copies in 2014; Privata Dzive (a celebrity magazine – Private Life), circulation 42 200; Kas Jauns (celebrities magazine – What’s New), 50 500;  Ievas Stasti (a features magazine – Eve’s Stories), 45 700; and Ievas Virtuve (recipes magazine – Eve’s Kitchen), 40 100 copies.

A number of these titles are also available online, however only print circulation figures are taken into account for this study.

Once popular newspapers are losing their credibility

The news magazine, Ir, launched in 2010, now outsells Diena (Day), once the country’s best-selling Latvian-language daily newspaper.

Ir sells 70,000 copies of its weekly print edition, according to TNS Latvia. Over the past nine years, Diena’s circulation has fallen by 70% to around 30,000 per day (although there is little doubt amongst Latvian media practitioners that the figure is considerably lower in reality). In 2015 it reported a profit of only around 60,000 euro.

Diena, once Latvia’s most popular daily newspaper, has lost credibility and readers

The story of Dienas decline is typical in Latvia. Many former readers believe the once popular liberal daily lost its independence in 2010, when a controlling stake was acquired by Viesturs Koziols, a Latvian property developer with political ties. A number of editorial staff left the newspaper at that time to launch Ir.

Readers appear to have followed Diena staff away from the paper. Diena’s circulation has declined while Ir’s has continued to grow.

Latvijas Avize (Latvian Newspaper), currently Latvia’s biggest-selling national daily – selling approximately 15,000 copies per day – is the only nationwide Latvian language paper reported to still be making a profit.

Only the weekly Russian language newspaper MK – Latvija which sells approximately 45,000 copies per issue, can compete with Latvijas Avize for sales.

Latvia’s shrinking population has not helped the country’s publishing industry. Latvia now has a population of two million, a decline of around 6% since 2000. This is largely due to emigration, according to the United Nations.

One third of Latvia’s population is Russian-speaking. This ensures a market for Russian-language newspapers, especially weeklies.

In 2015 there were 252 newspapers in Latvia, (204 of them in the Latvian language), according to the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. There are 20 daily newspapers, 12 in the Latvian language and eight in Russian.

In general, local and regional newspapers are more widely read than national dailies. Most newspapers are also published online.


Image: screenshot of Privata Dzive

The post Latvians Trust Magazines More Than Newspapers appeared first on European Journalism Observatory - EJO.

Categorieën: Extern nieuws