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VIDEO EDITING ON THE GO
As marijuana legislation and cultural opinions evolve, newspapers are banking on being the most trusted sources of pot news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 32
Global smartphone prices, trust in mainstream news beats online, trust in newspaper brands by country, Facebook sees increasing value in its users, how American consume articles . . . . . . p. 18
VeeR Editor lets users edit 360-degree video on their mobile devices . . . . . . p. 8
First Amendment Watch highlights threats to the freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 9
RESTRUCTURING AN ECOSYSTEM
A.H. Belo Corp. creates a pair of marketing services divisions . . . . . . p. 12
NBA Star Klay Thompson is named Bay Area News Group brand ambassador . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 13
2018: The Year Newspapers Fight Back Publishers reflect on 2017 and goals and priorities for the new year. . . . . . . . p. 38
Dishonest Acts As more and more misinformation spreads online, can trust ever be restored? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 44
CRITICAL THINKING In 2018, what should the new year’s resolutions for the journalism industry include? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 15
PRODUCTION How to build and motivate a strong, enthusiastic production team . . . . p. 26
NEWSPEOPLE New hires, promotions and relocations across the industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 51
A NEW READING EXPERIENCE
Block Communications Inc. releases NewsSlide platform at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade . . . . p. 14
SHOPTALK Is the local news on the cusp of a renaissance? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 58
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Andrew J. Whitaker/Southeast Missourian. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 16
Columns INDUSTRY INSIGHT
BUSINESS OF NEWS
Why top editors should be involved with revenue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 20
Publishers, there’s still time to reinvent the newsroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 22
When journalists unwittingly help spread misinformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 24
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s I look back at 2017, I won’t say I’ll miss it. There were highs and lows for me personally (I lost a grandmother, but received a new niece). For the newspaper industry, it was also a year full of highs and lows. You just have to look through the pages of E&P from this past year for evidence. Whether we were covering media disruptors (bit.ly/2kQYlzH ), whistleblowers (bit. ly/2uRUvtP), or the media’s relationship with President Trump (bit.ly/2AfWmM9), everyday was a new adventure. Despite the industry’s challenges financially, there were other kind of successes that we should celebrate. Reporters from the New York Times broke the news about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations, resulting in his downfall as a powerful Hollywood producer and igniting a movement that shed light on other cases of assault. The Washington Post exposed an undercover sting operation where a woman was hired by conservative activists to plant a false story that she had a relationship as a teen with Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Those are just two examples of how newspapers continue to push for the truth—and I hope it’s something every newspaper continues to do moving forward. If this past year taught us anything, it’s that we have to be ready for anything. So, when you look at 2018, what are you expecting for our industry? Our Critical Thinking column this month asks that question: “In 2018, what should the new year’s resolutions for the journalism industry include?” For my first editorial this year, I thought I would also chime in. If you have some resolutions for our industry, I would love to hear them. Send me an email at email@example.com, and maybe we can revisit them in December to see what was accomplished (or not). Slow down and listen. We’ve heard the argument of quality over quantity before, but with news now breaking in 280 characters, journalists have to decipher what 4 |
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is worth spending their time and energy on. This is especially true when it comes to the president’s tweets. A previous Critical Thinking column asked how the media can regain control of the narrative when Trump easily distracts journalists from reporting on important political stories. How many times did news outlets report on his golf outings or when he went on a tirade on Twitter over the “liberal” media? Let’s spend more time on reporting what is newsworthy and accurate. Think outside the (print) box. As print revenue declines, news organizations continue to experiment with different business strategies. We’re seeing more newspapers take chances on event marketing, digital agencies and ecommerce. A newspaper company is no longer just about a print product. In 2018, look for more newspapers to transform into modern newsrooms, playing many crucial roles within their communities. Get rid of “fake news.” When ABC News investigative journalist Brian Ross was suspended in December for incorrectly reporting that Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser for Trump, had made contact with Russian officials before the election, it only gave more fuel to those who attack the press. Journalists must remember their role as truth seekers and reliable sources. In this issue, we debut a series of full-page house ads focused on trust: “Stronger the People, Stronger the Press.” How about we focus on that message instead? Positivity is key. Closures. Buyouts. Layoffs. Consolidations. We will most likely hear those words again this year, but many of those who stay in our industry do so because they love their jobs. They understand the importance of newspapers and the product they put out. WAN-IFRA’s World Press Trends 2017 report revealed that reader revenue now makes up about 30 percent of total digital revenue—people want their news, let’s not lose sight of that.—NY
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y r r a c l l i w o h W torch? the We’re Looking for the Future Generation of Newspaper Leaders Please help us by nominating a newsEditor & Publisher wants to recognize paper up-and-comer (or yourself) for the next generation of newspaper our “Publishing Leaders — 25 Under 35” publishing leaders, and we need your feature article that will appear in E&P’s help. We’re talking about people who are young, bright, and capable of editorandpublisher.com April issue. Nominations are open to men and tackling whatever the changing newspaper climate throws at them. People with business women age 35 years and younger. Candidates may acumen to lead through trying times and vision to be publishers, editors, advertising executives, circulaimplement bold, new strategies to move their newspa- tion managers or other newspaper leaders. Nominees must own or work for a print or online newspaper. pers forward.
Deadline: Feb. 12, 2018 • Nominate online: editorandpublisher.com/25under35
Realize that none of the problems we see today with the news media would exist if it wasn’t for one thing—the internet. (“Shoptalk: Major Brands Blacklisting Media is Detrimental to Publishers, November 2017) Internet news is a failed venture over and over again, needing money from outside sources to sustain itself. Over a decade later, online news has failed. I don’t understand why people still put their news online, or for that matter, why people go online for news. Print and TV have guidelines they must follow, they are in place; take the news off the internet and the problem vanishes very quickly. Unfortunately, nobody has the cajones to do that and is too afraid of missing out on something that has yet to exist. News downgrades the online experience of the internet.
ing its promises of searching for the truth. Only the truth and nothing but the truth. (“What’s In, What’s Out,” November 2017) Now everything is “political.” American colleagues debate the politicians and government officials, instead for asking wise questions. They are working as bad scientists, I know too much, starting based on any theory and looking for to confirm with facts, illustration by tony o. champagne when ideas are already precooked. Let me tell you, I have experience as a ment Funnel,’” November 2017) The big very professional journalist, as a political draw for newsletters as opposed to reading representative at a parliament, and as a things on social media is that there is one press secretary of a minister. I know what focus—a specific topic of interest to subI am talking about, knowing the public scribers. They don’t have to wade through life from asking inquisitive journalist and all sorts of information to get to what even from the other side: as a political interests them. Thanks for your encourageand a government official. No doubt how ment! and why American Press is suffering a big DIANA OHANIAN crisis, no matter of Bezos’ wasted money to Submitted on editorandpublisher.com resuscitate a paper. We the people—meaning regular papers readers and TV viewers Don’t Wait Until Newspapers are demand good journalism— not news based Gone on that terrible bad habit of considering Heaven help the USA if it loses real “everything is political.” It is not. news. (“Industry Insight: Recapturing Digital Advertising Dollars,” November PROFESSOR C. M. DE REBOLLEDO 2017) Newspapers had a tremendous numRETIRED PROFESSOR IN COMMUNICATION SCIber of advantages as we entered the digital ENCE U.N.A.N. age, but squandered them all. It was once Submitted on editorandpublisher.com said that “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone” is not much of a business model.” So true.
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Finding Success with Newsletters
American News Has Lost Sight of Going After the Truth
Online News Continues to Struggle
We’ve published two newsletters about France travel since 1997 and 2000 respectively and offer them at no cost. (“Digital Publishing: Creating a ‘Customer-Engage6 |
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It’s amazing how far our journalistic objectivity is left behind. I don’t find any American daily paper or TV station keep-
Send us your comments email@example.com “Comments,” Editor & Publisher, 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 Please include your name, title, city and state, and email address. Letters may be edited for all the usual reasons.
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the A section VOLUME 151
FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2018
> Look Ahead
Video Editing on the Go VeeR Editor lets users edit 360-degree video on their mobile devices By Sean Stroh
} VeeR Editor allows user to easily edit and share 360-degree video on their mobile phones
mmersive forms of storytelling offer a number of enticing possibilities for news organizations looking to enrich the journalism they produce every day. With VeeR Editor, journalists can easily edit 360-degree footage on their phones and upload the edited clips directly to platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. The free app is available for all iPhone and Android devices. “Journalism values accuracy and timeliness. Besides all the common features shared by other 360 editing tools, VeeR Editor is the first mobile app that supports both 360-degree videos and photos,” said co-founder Jingshu Chen. “Journalists can insert texts and animated stickers to properly guide audience’s attention.” In order to get started, users must first grant the app access to their camera roll and choose the clips they would like to edit. The app’s editor mode then showcases the selected clips in a thumbnail format along the bottom of the screen. From there, a reporter could do things such as re-arrange the order and speed of the videos as well as add filters and music to the footage. } Jingshu Chen, VeeR So far, VeeR Editor has been used by Editor co-founder 8 |
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news outlets such as the Associated Press and Euronews for basic 360-degree footage editing. “VeeR’s goal is to empower everyone to easily create and share VR content, so we are working hard to make sure that VeeR Editor is the most powerful and intuitive mobile 360 content editor app on the market,” Chen said. The tool currently supports footage shot on spherical cameras such as the Samsung Gear 360, Insta360 One, Ricoh Theta S and Mi Sphere Camera. According to Chen, a common complaint she hears from journalists regarding 360-degree video is that it may cause physical discomfort and consequently drive audiences away instead of engaging them. “In our opinion, 360-degree video stabilization is an essential step in post-production, and if done properly, they can skirt around this problem entirely,” she said. “Another important contributor to poor viewing experiences is the use of cheap cardboard goggles and lack of quality headsets. The VR market is going to keep lowering its threshold and it won’t be as inhibitive for everyday consumers in a couple years as it might be now.” As the understanding of the technology improves, so will the amount of journalists utilizing it, Chen said. “VeeR believes that 360-degree content is the future of journalism,” she said. “Given journalism’s natural propensity toward evoking empathy and creating real-time immersion, 360-degree recording and 360 live-streaming will inevitably become the next major trend for digital media.” For more information, visit veer.tv.
“360-degree recording and 360 live-streaming will inevitably become the next major trend for digital media.”
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the A section
Eagle Eye First Amendment Watch highlights threats to the freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition
ver the past year, clashes over freedom of expression have made their way to the top of the news. Whether it be journalists responding to President Trump’s threats against the press or the league-wide protests by NFL players, the right to express themselves has continued to spark debate amongst people from all walks of life. With the launch of First Amendment Watch, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU hopes to better inform the conversation by highlighting threats to the freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition. The website (firstamendmentwatch.org) offers daily updates, analysis, access to important legal cases, an interactive map and links to additional resources. It also features content from expert organizations such as the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. “The public needs reliable and nonpartisan information about how the First Amendment applies to these conflicts. What is protected speech? How are hate speech, } Stephen D. Solomon
symbolic speech, satire and the right to protest upheld under the First Amendment?” said Stephen D. Solomon, a professor at the Carter Journalism Institute and the site’s founding editor. “Our goal is to provide news, commentary, and legal and historical context that is critical to understanding and protecting our First Amendment rights.” The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which was unveiled earlier this year, had no influence on the development of their own site, Solomon said. “Our site is much broader in scope, covering threats to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, petition and more,” he said. “By the time the Press Tracker was launched at the beginning of August, we had been working on First Amendment Watch for more than three months and had our editorial goals in focus.” According to Solomon, much of the feedback received so far has been very positive. Some professors noted they plan on using the site for their students studying First Amendment law or journalism. Although NYU provided initial funding for the project, Solomon and his staff plan on raising money from foundations and individuals in order to maintain and grow the site. They also are looking to add a full-time staff member to assist with daily updates and build out its content. “Our goal is to add much more original legal and historical material to provide greater depth in our coverage. This would include contributions from outside experts such as lawyers, professors, and historians,” Solomon said. “We are also developing a new section to publish excerpts from top First Amendment books and another section providing historical documents central to the development of freedom of speech.”—SS
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the A section Tornoe’s Corner
OF THE MONTH The Wall Street Journal now delivers more than just the news. The paper has teamed up with Upside to launch the Wall Street Journal Business Travel Service which allows users to book flights, hotels, rental cars and Uber rides through its online booking site. Journal subscribers can receive exclusive perks and deals through its WSJ+ loyalty program. According to Suzi Watford, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the Journal, the idea stemmed from an advertisement she came across for Upside that discussed “unmanaged” business travel. “As a business traveler, it piqued my interest and I saw an immediate connection,” she said. “With the Journal’s reputation as the most trusted paper in America and with Upside’s expertise in the space, it felt like the perfect fit.” The launch of the travel site also coincides with the Journal’s refocus on membership, shifting from a subscription mindset to one that is about making their members feel connected, Watford said. “As we continue to build membership, we are keen to partner with brands that help us build complimentary products and services for our audiences,” she said. “The WSJ Business Travel Service is the first of what I hope will be many more that benefit our audience and our business.”—SS } Suzi Watford
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LEGAL BRIEFS Post-Star Publisher Accused of Unwanted Delivery of Newspapers
The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y. recently reported that its publisher, Robert Forcey, was cited for seven non-criminal counts of “throwing refuse on highways and adjacent lands.” The county sheriff’s office served the “criminal summonses” following a handful of complaints from residents who said they were receiving copies of This Week after they asked for delivery to be halted. Forcey is accused of “unwanted” delivery of the papers. The investigation began after Queensbury supervisor at-large Rachel Seeber announced the sheriff’s office would look into complaints from those who claimed they were getting the paper delivered on their property despite requesting otherwise. Forcey said the paper plans to contest the charges and argued that the Post-Star was being “targeted.”
Detroit Free Press Sued by Four Female Journalists for Pay Discrimination
According to the Detroit Free Press, four female journalists have sued the publication and its parent company, Gannett, for pay discrimination, alleging the paper has underpaid them for years. The plaintiffs are Kathleen Galligan, Mary Schroeder, Rose Ann McKean and Regina Boone. The lawsuit cites a newspaper union study analyzing payroll data from 2013-2015 for male and female employees at the Free Press as evidence of significant salary disparities between genders. Editor Peter Bhatia said he believes the claims “have no merit.” The four journalists are seeking unspecified punitive damages and equal pay for women and their male counterparts. The lawsuit also seeks to restore the wages that the plaintiffs allege they were cheated out of during the three years covered by the study. editorandpublisher.com
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the A section
During the summer of 1899, New York City newsboys (known as “newsies”) led a strike against two papers owned by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer after they raised the prices of their papers from 65 cents to 85 cents. While Hearst and Pulitzer kept their prices intact, they ultimately agreed to buy back any papers that went unsold.
From the Archive
Ontario-Upland (Calif.) Daily Report production superintendent William Nichols (left) and chief machinist Ralph Simpson take a look at a model of the N-E Measure Border Stripper which they developed. The machine strips long ad borders automatically. It also speeds up the operation, stripping 22 inches of material in 10 seconds. This photo originally appeared in the March 14, 1964 issue of E&P.
> Wise Advice “What were the challenges of rolling out a digital redesign to 110 newspapers, and how did you overcome them?” The key to our success with our recent brand refresh was building strong relationships with the creative community across the entire USA TODAY NETWORK. There are thousands of designers and content creators in our organization, with each of them being responsible for critical brand touch points that impact our consumer’s experience on a daily basis. While it was impossible to work with each designer and content creator individually, our goal was to give them the Matt Urbanos
building blocks they need to be successful. The biggest lesson I learned when taking on a project this daunting is your goal should never be the pursuit of perfection. Real impact and change happens when you empower those around you. And therefore, with amazing coordination by my team, we were able to successfully launch our refresh across many of our local news brands with very little disruptions, creating modernized, visually appealing products for our audience.
Matt Urbanos is the vice president of brand marketing and creative strategy at USA TODAY NETWORK. He has been with the company for six years. JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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Restructuring an Ecosystem A.H. Belo Corp. creates a pair of marketing services divisions
. H. Belo Corporation, owner of the Dallas Morning News, has created a pair of marketing services divisions in an effort to better serve its clients. As part of the restructuring, DMN Media has been rebranded as Belo Media Group (BMG) and will encompass the print and digital audiences of A.H Belo-owned properties in the North Texas market. Meanwhile, Belo + Co. will bring together the company’s various marketing businesses such as Vertical Nerve, Distribion, MarketingFX, Speakeasy and Connect, under a single brand. The services offered by Belo + Co. include SEO optimization and conversion, multichannel marketing automation, programmatic advertising and content marketing. “This is a realization of a strategy started five years ago when
“As we grew, it became clear that we had two very different businesses.” } Mike Orren
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the company began to buy and build marketing services businesses that could operate independently but benefit from the sales team and relationships of the core business,” said Mike Orren, president of Belo Business Intelligence, a shared service unit that provides support for both groups. } A.H. Belo Corp. has created a pair of “As we grew, it became marketing services divisions: Belo Media Group and Belo + Co. clear that we had two very different businesses.” Despite low levels of cross-selling taking place, Orren said the company’s marketing businesses were growing and profitable. In cases where customers did use multiple services, clients received markedly better results. “However, those clients were telling us that they wanted a single point of contact across our companies, preferably one who could drive strategy across the board, without worrying about which of our companies was getting the business,” Orren explained. “Finally, we found that nearly half of our customers weren’t in the DallasFort Worth area, meaning we had a national reach that lent itself to opportunities for additional media company resellers in other metropolitan areas. So we rolled all those businesses up into Belo + Co.” On the other hand, Orren said the rebranding of the DMN Media group has proved to be beneficial for both sides of the equation thus far. “We found that brand wasn’t always an asset because people assumed all we were selling was the newspaper,” he said. “It has also brought a lot of clarity in our sales teams. The BMG reps are hyper-focused on the North Texas market and specific packages of print, digital, email and programmatic. The B+C folks have a more national view.” According to Orren, traditional advertising options still bring a good amount of value, but remain much more effective when paired with digital options. “Increasingly clients just want results, but don’t know the right mix of channels to get them. We’ve even pioneered using print in a pay-for-performance model,” he said. “But where it really sings is when we can put together a plan that leverages print, digital, email, social, promotions, content, programmatic — the whole arsenal — and then dial in on the channels that are working best for the client or campaign.”—SS editorandpublisher.com
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the A section
Teamwork NBA Star Klay Thompson is named Bay Area News Group brand ambassador
s part of his pregame ritual, NBA All-Star and Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson makes sure to sit down, relax and do one thing: read the print newspaper. Naturally, when the Bay Area News Group (BANG) decided to seek out a local sports hero to tell their story, they knew exactly where to look. As the group’s brand ambassador, Thompson will play an important role in a yearlong print, digital and outdoor marketing campaign showcasing its regional brands: The Mercury News, East Bay Times and Marin Independent Journal. The main message of the campaign is to start a new ritual and read the paper.
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} Klay Thompson
“Klay loves living in the Bay Area and he wants to be well-informed about local
topics and opportunities,” said Olga Mitina, BANG marketing director. “We feel the partnership is also a great fit because of what Klay and our readers have in common: they share our commitment to supporting quality journalism in our community.” At Thompson’s request, the company will also donate newspapers to Oakland-area schools in an effort to promote literacy and education to young readers. “Klay stands out on and off the court and BANG applauds his commitment,” Mitina said. “Children and adults emulate him—we hope that translates into fans recognizing how he values reading the news in a busy world with a pro career.”—SS
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the A section
A New Reading Experience Block Communications Inc. releases NewsSlide platform at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade
} The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade each launched their own versions of the NewsSlide platform this past October.
eaders of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade can now consume the news beyond the pages of a printed broadsheet or standard newspaper website. The pair of Block Communications Inc. (BCI)owned papers recently introduced NewsSlide, an interactive platform designed specifically for Apple and Android tablets and mobile devices. Both the Post-Gazette and Blade offer their own versions of the free app that is released everyday at 5 a.m. “It’s not old print, TV or the internet—it’s a combination of all of those things,” said Allan Block, BCI chairman. “We see it as a powerful new medium for communication.” NewsSlide allows readers to slide through visually attractive stories alongside carefully crafted photo galleries, videos, interactive graphics and illustrations. Users also have the ability to read content offline as well. According to Block, inspiration for NewsSlide came from Montreal’s La Presse, which has found overwhelming success with its tablet edition. Based on the positive results, the French-language weekly decided to end its print edition last year and has gone digital only. However, Block said NewsSlide isn’t intended to replace or act as a standalone to either paper’s other products. Instead, the platform will serve as the first step toward breaking out of the current
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} Allan Block, Block Communications Inc. chairman
} David Shribman, Pittsburgh PostGazette executive editor and vice president
business model in preparation for the future. In addition to delivering the news, the platform provides advertisers with another impactful way of engaging with customers. Block said he views NewsSlide as an “e-commerce facilitation vehicle.” “This has tremendous potential as an effective sales medium for an advertiser,” he said. “Once the people are sold by the ad, they can immediately be taken to an opportunity to buy a product, service or whatever it might be.” While NewsSlide has received positive feedback from both readers and advertisers alike since its release, Block acknowledged that there is still plenty of room to grow. “I won’t handicap what the odds are that it’s going to work or not but I can say we’re going to make sure this a really good effort by producing a great product and adjusting as we go” he said. “If we succeed here, it will show others in the industry what’s possible.” For David Shribman, Post-Gazette executive editor and vice president, NewsSlide offers readers a distinctive experience that can’t be found in the print product. “It’s the difference between a silent movie and a talkie, between black-and-white television and color, between Little League baseball and MLB, or, as we like to say in Pittsburgh, between the Browns and the Steelers,” he said. “In short, it is more alive, more colorful, more engaging.” –SS editorandpublisher.com
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If you have a question you would like to see addressed, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
J-school students and industry vets tackle the tough questions
“In 2018, what should the new year’s resolutions for the journalism industry include?”
After President Trump returned from his trip from Asia, he held a press conference to lay out his vision for what he accomplished. Many news outlets reported on his ideas and how he followed through with his “America First” agenda, but the New York Times also published a story titled “My Fellow Glenn Rohrbacker, 22 Americans…I’m thirsty.” senior, University of New HaI initially thought this was satire, ven (West Haven, Conn.) maybe Andy Borowitz was guest-writRohrbacker is the editoring. But upon reading the article and in-chief of the student-run discovering it was a serious piece about newspaper, Charger Bulletin. He has been a staff member President Trump needing a drink of since 2014 and editor since water, I wondered: why? July 2016. The Hill is also a big proponent of publishing non-stories and creating a story any time the President tweets. One example is of their story on Trump’s tweet commenting on China sending a delegation to North Korea in November. The story had nine shares at that time. At a time when newsrooms, including the New York Times, are cutting down staff due to a purported lack of resources, a piece like this is being published with no value whatsoever. We have gotten so caught up in the new-story-every-hour rat race of coverage that we have thrown news judgement out the window. As one of the most highly-anticipated midterm election seasons approaches, we need to do better. Journalists need to focus on the stories that are not being told. They need to focus on the stories that get pushed aside to write about a tweet or a drink of water. Stories from the halls of Congress only brought to the light by hard working journalists are not being read, and in some cases, not even written. Journalists can fix this issue and stop covering meaningless tweets and social faux pas. We know that President Trump is unconventional, and we need to get used to the fact that he will tweet his feelings and lash out when provoked. That is not news. Despite the constant attacks from the Commander-in-Chief, the media has an incredible influence over public conversation. If constant coverage is given to frivolous things like Fuji Water, important stories affecting public policy get lost in that conversation. Newsrooms are at a pivotal moment in history, and in the midst of a puberty-like change. Technology should not be the only goal in revamping news coverage. Outlets need to take a serious look at news judgment because the public will be worse off without it. editorandpublisher.com
The new year will bring midterm elections. For journalists, that means a temptation to focus on the horse race, and not policy. We ought to resist it. Whether covering local or national races, we need to examine what politicians and would-be politicians would Suzanne Cassidy, 55 do, or are doing, and not merely their opinion editor, LNP standing in the polls. (Lancaster, Pa.) And we need to make clear to readCassidy has been LNP opinion ers what our role is: Journalists are not editor since September 2014. boosters of any one candidate; choosing one candidate over another is the preserve of the voter. If your newspaper makes political endorsements, it needs to clearly delineate opinion journalism from objective reporting. In this “fake news” era, we need to vow to help our readers to be more newspaper-literate. Explain the difference between an op-ed and an editorial, the difference between a breaking news story and an analysis piece. We can’t be defensive; we must be explicatory. It’s not the fault of readers that the lines have been blurred—that’s the result of a concerted campaign to diminish the power of the free press and its role as watchdog. As to that role, readers tend to be grateful when we exercise it— but only when we do so fairly, and in their interests as opposed to ours. Take on the school board, for instance, that is playing fast and loose with state open-meetings laws—not for gotcha purposes, but for the sake of school district taxpayers and schoolchildren. Keep an eye on other local government boards to ensure they’re complying with transparency laws. Explain those laws to readers, so they can be on the lookout for transgressions too. This not only empowers them, but helps the newspaper foster a relationship with the community. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released last October found that the number of people who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48 percent in September from 39 percent in November 2016. My theory for the rise in public confidence in journalists? Because we’re pushing back against the charges of “fake news” and rediscovering our watchdog role—and emphasizing the need to be fair and accurate. When we mess up, we correct our mistakes. We should remind readers that’s the difference between a journalist and a blogger untethered by journalistic principles. We should let them know about the professional ethics that guide us—and we should adhere to those ethics, in 2018 and always. JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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FIERY REFLECTION ď ˝ Andrew J. Whitaker/Southeast Missourian A firefighter guiding a fire truck hose puts out a ground fire and aircraft fire while area firefighters from Cape Girardeau, Gordonville and Scott City run airplane fire drills at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
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data page Global Smartphone Prices Average global smartphone sale price, 2012-2016; 2017 is an estimate
$324 Source: GfK
Trust in Mainstream News Beats Online
Trust in Newspaper Brands by Country
When asked, “On a scale from 1-5, where is 1 is poor and 5 is excellent, how good do you think each of the news sources that you use is at providing news you can trust?”
Printed news magazines
Radio news bulletins/ programs
Printed daily/Sunday newspapers
Print National Daily/Sunday
24-hour TV news channels
Based on a survey where respondents were asked to rank on a scale from 1-5 how good each news source is at providing news they can trust. Percentage shown refers to top 2 net scores.
75% 64% 58% 75%
Newspapers Websites/ Apps of National Newspapers
70% 60% 58% 69%
Source: “Trust in News,” Kantar report, 2017
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How U.S. Internet Users View Twitter Increasing the Character Limit from 140 to 280 Characters Based on a survey of 2,201 U.S. adults
Don’t Know/No Opinion
22% 16% 15% 8% 4%
19% 23% 16% 12% 11%
9% 7% 6% 6% 5%
5% 5% 6% 6% 8%
44% 50% 57% 69% 73%
Male Female Age
18-29 30-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Source: Morning Consult, October 2017
Facebook Sees Increasing Value in Its Users
How Americans Consume Articles Based on a survey of 1,052 U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 50
Based on average revenue per daily active user by quarter
Read a Full Article Time
$7.18 $7.03 $5.63 $5.71 $3.41 $3.51
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Source: Recode; Facebook data
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
36% 30% 36% 30% 35% 38%
Source: “Trust, Engagement and Transparency: What Premium Publishers Offer That Social Platforms Can’t,” Sharethrough report, August-September 2017 JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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Take Part in the Conversation Why top editors should be involved with revenue By Matt DeRienzo
onsciously or not, editors are already involved in news organizations’ revenue strategies. It’s time for them to be more intentional about it. First, let’s just say upfront that “tear down the wall” analogies are inadequate. There should be a large, immoveable force between the sale of advertising and the newsroom’s judgment about what kinds of stories are covered, how they’re covered, and the staff’s ability to pursue them. Protecting that wall, if that’s what you want to call it, is one of the most basic reasons top editors should insert themselves into conversations about revenue. The advent of sponsored content, branded content and native advertising make it impossible to maintain the integrity of the newsroom 20 |
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simply by never speaking or listening to the revenue people. A second reason, of course, is basic survival. If an editor sits out discussions about revenue and the business model, she leaves the fate of her newsroom and the level of resources it will have to other people. Other people who are likely not as versed as she in understanding and articulating the value of the product and service the organization provides. Third is the shift that is happening toward reader revenue. Newsrooms have already bent their journalism in a significant way according to a modern shift in revenue strategy. They’re built around chasing page views, based on a pursue-scale digital advertising model. Building a newsroom around reader
revenue is a different proposition. It just won’t work without editors’ leadership. And almost every other category of revenue a news organization pursues can shape the user experiences that impact a reader’s willingness to pay. While some say that readers have “always paid for news,” what if that isn’t really true? Maybe print subscriptions were more about paying for a delivery method, or a format (that included things other than news, from coupons, to comics, to classifieds), that’s no longer relevant or preferred. Digital news subscriptions, or “memberships,” are a very different ask. And editors need to help shape how that’s posed, and maybe even be personally involved in making the ask. Newspaper companies that are making editorandpublisher.com
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a push for reader revenue but still have a newsroom with the â€œmile wide, inch deepâ€? approach of chasing page views are failing at it. Newspaper companies that are expecting their traditional circulation departments to make the transition from selling print subscriptions to selling digital subscriptions are failing at it. Being so relevant and valuable to readers that they indeed will â€œpay for newsâ€? in an environment where they probably have access to free information thatâ€™s â€œgood enoughâ€? for their day-to-day life is a task for editors. A big part of that task is building relationships of trust and transparency with readers. A slick marketing campaign or sign-up prompts wonâ€™t do the trick. And for that relationship to be genuine, editors have the responsibility to look out for the well-being of those readers. Does your news organizationâ€™s advertising tech-
nology respect readersâ€™ privacy? Are you communicating with readers about how much theyâ€™re being tracked? Are you running programmatic ads offering products that defraud people? Is sponsored content and native advertising properly labeled, and conflicts disclosed? Speaking of sponsored content, thatâ€™s another major revenue category thatâ€™s emerged in recent years that editors have to be involved with. And itâ€™s not just about making sure the â€œwallâ€? of journalism independence is maintained and ethics disclosures made. Sponsored content is most effective when itâ€™s a quality editorial product. Ideally, a piece of sponsored content would be the kind of story you might assign anyway if you had the resources, and it lives up to the editorial standards you would have with a normal story. Your news organizationâ€™s sponsored content division, or efforts, should be under the control and direction of
the editor, with a dotted line to the revenue folks. For top editors, at least, thereâ€™s no escaping the role that you are playing in the revenue strategies of your organization. It shouldnâ€™t be by default. So much of the chance for success as the business model shifts is on your shoulders now. Embrace the role (and maybe ask for a raise at some point). ď Ž
Matt DeRienzo is executive director of LION Publishers, an organization that supports local independent online news publishers from across the country. He is a longtime former newspaper reporter, editor, publisher and corporate director of news.
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business of news
New Year Means New Changes Publishers, there’s still time to reinvent the newsroom By Tim Gallagher
recent American Press Institute study of 59 newsrooms (bit.ly/2yDajQN) found that their social media teams operating the same way as they did a decade ago. In other news, the sun rose today, and death and taxes are still certain. I apologize for the flippancy. I honestly appreciate the documentation and validation provided by the API team that proves what those who observe the newspaper industry know: We are not changing rapidly enough to keep up with the opportunities. There’s still time, but it will take a lot of work to convince newsrooms to change. First, let’s understand the findings in the study by API: • By far, the top activity of the average social media team is posting links to their own content, mostly on Twitter and Facebook. • Newsrooms are not prepared in structure, training and resources to 22 |
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address urgent problems in journalism: the misinformation explosion and the decline of trust. • Newsrooms are not using social platforms as tools to understand communities and to bring audiences into news creation. What’s getting in the way? No surprises here either, the study found: • There is no time or budget for training. • Newsrooms think about the number of “followers” and content referrals from platforms, instead of thinking about new content that would capture those followers and engage them. • The culture in too many newsrooms still favors traditional print reporting and the social media teams feel left out in the cold. Culture change has always been a problem for newspapers (and many other
industries as well). Despite many Cassandra warnings in the late 1990s that “We are not like the railroads who forgot they were in the transportation business; we know we are in the information business” not a lot changed. I was involved in many debates after the classified downturn of 2000 with some who said it was “cyclical not secular.” I lost that argument, but the industry suffered. We just never changed until classified websites had consumed a huge chunk of our revenue. So, is there still time to change? Maybe. Sumantra Sengupta is the MBA program director at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., who has consulted with dozens of companies in industries that needed a drastic change. He has four maxims for the newspaper business to follow if it truly wants to change. is a bell curve with 10 B There percent of workers who want to editorandpublisher.com
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change, 10 percent who won’t change and “the movable middle” of 80 percent waiting to see which way to shift. “The trick is to minimize the disruption caused by the 10 percent who won’t change and balance it with the good the good 10 percent will cause. The movable middle will go which way the wind is blowing.” The 10-80-10 has nothing to do with age, demographic, or sex. should I change? This is more C Why complex than the obvious answer— “Because you might be out of business soon.” The emergence of “fake news” on social media platforms is a good point for rallying the troops and convincing them to change. Journalists are idealistic and keeping Americans safe from fake news is a way to inspire them. Winston Churchill rallied Britain from its darkest hour by convincing England
that democracy and England were things worth saving. a risk/reward mechanism D Build that rewards change. You must reward people who act with a sense of urgency, even if they try and fail. A culture that rewards complacency will never change.
One might think that saving your jobs might be incentive enough to change, but Sengupta says it isn’t. “The good people in your organization are highly employable elsewhere…in some other industry.” But there is hope for journalists because of that commitment, that idealist notion, Sengupta says: “If you can tap into their souls, you can win.” So get tapping.
must draw a strategic roadE You map and timeline. People have to know how long and how many times the plan and the culture will be tweaked in order to reach the goal. And this plan must reach all the way through the organization. No one can believe, “If we just make this change we will have won.” No, it’s an ongoing thing and the communication has to come from up, from down and from sideways.
Tim Gallagher is president of The 20/20 Network, a public relations and strategic communications firm. He is a former Pulitzer Prizewinning editor and publisher at The Albuquerque Tribune and the Ventura County Star newspapers. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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THE DARK SIDE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
When journalists unwittingly help spread misinformation By Rob Tornoe
e all read (and in some cases reported on) how Russia used social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, to sow racial and cultural disharmony in an attempt to undermine the 2016 election. What we haven’t spoken so much about is how journalists helped them. Twitter has been and remains a powerful tool for journalism, especially when it 24 |
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comes to breaking news. Following the right experts can enhance your beat reporting and help grow your readership. It’s a boon for sports and entertainment reporters when it comes to gaining personal insight (and a fantastic quote or two) from their subjects. Applications like Storify provide a powerful way to contextualize aggregated content from Twitter to offer more insight to readers. But there is a darker side to Twitter’s
relationship to journalism that existed long before the company angered brevity-loving copy editors everywhere by expanding its character limit to 280 words. As journalists, we may not want to admit it, but in most newsrooms Twitter has an outsized importance on what we consume, cover and write about. “I always say that Twitter is at once so great and so horrible,” Adam Himmelsbach, who covers the Celtics for the Boston Globe, told Sports Illustrated. “But I also have to remind myself sometimes that I’m not writing for Twitter, and that in the end, it’s a small part of the overall audience.” Small is understating it. According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, just 24 percent of online adults use Twitter, the least popular among all the major social media networks, including LinkedIn. Its demographics skew young (18-29), educated and affluent—hardly representative of most communities that newsrooms cover. It’s also easily gamed by organizations and PR companies who have the time to commit to spending time on a platform that isn’t paying them directly. Becoming popular on Twitter, largely denoted by the number of followers an account is able to amass, often offers a false sense of legitimacy to unsuspecting reporters. One specific case speaks to how easily it was for Russian agents to use journalists to help spread misinformation. Jenna Abrams, who went by @Jenn_ Abrams on Twitter, was a popular figure on social media. She boasted nearly 70,000 followers, and her tweets were used or highlighted by several major news outlets during the 2016 election, including USA Today, the Washington Post and the BBC. She even managed to create news when several outlets reported, based largely on her tweet, that CNN aired porn during the broadcast of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” in November 2017. Unfortunately, Abrams was a fake Twitter persona created by employees at the Internet Research Agency, a “troll farm” funded by the Russian government, according to information released by the House Intelligence Committee back in November. Abrams’ account was unwittingly proeditorandpublisher.com
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moted by newsrooms and reporters looking to create posts based around the real-time social media response to breaking news events. In one instance, news organizations highlighted a tweet she wrote about Kim Kardashian. Another that went viral was a tweet defending the Confederate flag. With legitimate news agencies helping to spread fake information in the guide of a real person’s opinion, it’s no wonder Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as the 2016 word of the year. Americans are rightly worried about the news they’re reading being fake. According to a Pew Research Center study conducted following the 2016 election, 64 percent of adults think fake news stories cause a great deal of confusion, and 23 percent admitted having shared a fabricated story themselves—sometimes by mistake, and sometimes intentionally. So, what can newsrooms do to protect themselves from sharing misinformation, Russian or otherwise? Well, the first thing to consider is stop doing posts rounding-up what random people are saying on Twitter, unless you’ve either personally verified who the person is or are only using information from verified accounts. Proper sourcing remains as important on social media as it does speaking to people for a story, so both should be held to the same newsrooms standards in terms of verifying and authenticating information. This is especially true with photos, which are easily manipulated or taken out of their original context to promote false information. Take for instance the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. During just about every heavy downpour or storm on the East Coast, people will unsuspectingly share the same photo of soldiers guarding the tomb in the rain despite the fact that it was taken in September 2012. So establishing the origin of an image, confirming its location and the date and time it was taken and obtaining permission of the author remains essential if you’re going to source images from Twitter. Plus, in almost every case, a story could be fleshed out more if a reporter actually makes contact with someone on Twitter. Even 280 characters is often not enough for people to editorandpublisher.com
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Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and columnist for Editor and Publisher, where he writes about trends in digital media. He is also a digital editor for Philly.com. Reach him at email@example.com.
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production BY JERRY SIMPKINS
ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
How to build and motivate a strong, enthusiastic production team 26 |
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hen is the last time you tried hiring for a key production position? Let’s say in particular a press manager or experienced press operator to compliment your operation and move things forward. If you’re looking now, I have two words for you—good luck! In today’s world of newspapers, with shrinking salaries and growing demands, it has become increasing difficult to lure quality help into our operations. Many former press operators have become disenchanted with growing demands on their personal time, long hours standing on cement floors, climbing press ladders, aging equipment and the lack of financial gain to spite constantly growing work responsibilities. It’s not only getting increasingly tough to convince new blood to get into the printing industry, it’s also getting more challenging to keep the talent we have now. If you’ve ever read a single one of my features you’d know that while I appreciate and believe in the future of digital publications, I remain a strong advocate of print. I firmly believe that print will be around for quite some time and that done right newspapers can thrive and hold their position as the backbone of communities. Many will disagree, to which I say everyone is entitled to their opinion. With all that said when was the last time you spoke with a young person about to enter the workforce who wanted to go into the printing industry? I think most of them don’t see the rewards of getting into a business that in the words of their parents “won’t be around very long.” This thought process is also what has been progressively driving some very talented press operators and others out of our industry—and many within our industry are responsible for perpetuating this exodus. I’ve had many press operators working for me who have left the industry for greener pastures, and it truly pains me to see the expertise, talent and years of experience go with them. But as painful it is to lose them, it’s sometimes tough to blame them. Not long ago I had an extremely talented press operator who came up through the company in a way many of us used to be
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Photo by Jerry Simpkins
Keeping the Talent
} It’s getting more and more difficult to secure high quality press managers and operators at our newspapers. Taking care of our most valuable asset is now more important than ever. Here a veteran operator sets color and registration for an outside print job.
accustomed to. His dad was a pressman before him and instilled a strong work ethic and love for newspapers in him from a very young age. He started sweeping floors in the mailroom, did all the dirty work no one else wanted to, worked his way through every part of the production department, learned the operation handson, and finally landed a well deserved position on press. He grew to appreciate the financial stability newspapers provided to his family and clearly understood that the harder he worked the more opportunity he was afforded. Not long after moving into the pressroom he was running a shift and basically became the go-to guy in the pressroom. Fair and justified increases in his salary came relative to his contribution to the company and all went well, right until the bottom fell out. This talented individual, who strived to meet his dream of becoming a press manager and following in the footsteps of his father, was easily lured away from our industry to become a mechanic on turbines. 28 |
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More predictable hours, more opportunity for advancement, less demands to do more with less, and of course, a significant pay increase with overtime. He had the mechanical skills, the necessary intelligence, an excellent attitude, the drive and work ethic needed to succeed—and he took all that with him leaving me and the company that much poorer. Much as our newspapers serve our communities, help advertisers to flourish and readers to stay informed, our industry remains a business—a business that has to make money to stay afloat. As circulation draws drop, advertisers find alternatives for new audiences, and revenues become challenged, the rewards we can give our staff also become challenged. And this financial challenge can often cost us some of our best and most talented workers. I hear stories like this every day. Many of our production people are being lured away because they don’t see the stability or financial opportunities they once did in our industry. So, what can be done? I believe a lot.
For any press operators who are reading this article and saying “Alright, this guy knows we deserve more money,” you might be missing the point. I firmly believe money (i.e. raises) tend to be a temporary fix when employees are unhappy. That’s not to say you don’t deserve one, but in my experience, if you’re unhappy with your job and you’re given a raise to make things better, you’re going to feel like a superstar for a few weeks and then realize nothing has changed at work outside of a few extra dollars in your pocket. At this point, the majority of us simply fall back into old habits and the discontent continues. I don’t want to speak out of both sides of my mouth here. Money is important, but without job satisfaction, it doesn’t mean a thing and you will move on to other opportunities as soon as they present themselves. This leads us to employee motivation in production—building a strong enthusiastic team and developing staffing under the challenging budgetary constraints most newspapers seem to be under today. Looming consolidation, outsourcing, workforce reductions, and other challenges threaten to destroy employee morale. Rewarding employees (not always with raises) and building loyalty within your organization is a necessary component to retaining experienced labor. The first element is letting employees know where they stand. Depending on your management style there are several approaches to this. We each have the one we feel works best for our team. The worst review approach I’ve seen in many organizations is the “Do your job, and if you do something wrong, we’ll let you know.” Believe it or not, this is a pretty widespread approach to what some would call “teambuilding,” which is pretty sad. Needless to say, this isn’t on my list. I believe employees who feel they are truly part of the solution don’t spend time and energy on being part of the problem. Including employees in the day-to-day decision making process generates team involvement and is the number one way to bring together a team.
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The American Legion 2 018 Fou r t h Es t at e Awa r d In short, make them feel as important as you believe they are, and let them know how much you rely on them and respect their contribution to the team. In order for them to know this, you must be honest without being overly critical and be painfully direct without deflating their pride and loyalty. A good review is one way to accomplish this, which is why I’m a firm believer in ongoing performance reviews; in other words, letting employees know where they are on a daily basis or by the event, whatever works best. A lot of companies are stuck in the basic annual review process and a lot of managers use this as a fallback to delay addressing problem employees by keeping them in the dark, saving up all the bad stuff and then nailing them at the review. What a stupid approach. Let employees know where they stand and what you’re thinking on a regular basis and then supplement that with an annual written review to formalize things. I can honestly say I have never sat down with an employee who had the look of total surprise on their face in a review. When you sit down to review an employee, there shouldn’t be a whole bunch to disagree on if you have been communicating effectively on a regular basis. I don’t like surprises and I don’t expect to subject any employee to one in their annual review.
The Review Process Two-way communication is essential to building a strong team. The first thing is to develop a self evaluation form that is specific to that individual’s job responsibilities and require the employee spend some quality time providing feedback about how they feel they’re performing in their current position. The basics of their job performance, actions they feel they can take to improve and of course what you as a supervisor can do to help them improve their performance; i.e. providing guidance, direction or physical tools. Customer Service. We all have customers. Employees should know who they are. If you have commercial work, production operators need to know what they’re doing to serve these customers and what they can do better. If you’re not a commercial shop, your production employees should consider the core product and all the circulation department, carriers, subscribers, advertising department, advertisers, single copy customers, news department and other readers their customers. If you have to tell them who their customers are, it’s going to be a tough review. Flexibility and Adaptability. As we require more out of our production employees, their ability and willingness to adapt is a necessary part of the job. I really enjoy reading how employees regard their performance in this area. It truly shows how successful (or not) folks will be in the ever-changing newspaper environment. Quality of Work. Here you will see not only what the employee thinks of the job their doing but what pride they take in their work and what they find acceptable or not. I like to see a strong desire to improve things from the employee, and while I certainly love to see pride in their work, I also value the truth that come out
ENTRIES The Fourth Estate Award is presented annually by The American Legion to a publication, broadcast organization and online media forum for outstanding achievement in the field of journalism. Any report or series published during 2017 which contributed to a positive change for society is eligible. The winners are expected to attend the award presentation in Minneapolis on Aug. 30, 2018.
NO ENTRY FEE
SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS MARCH 1, 2018 For full details visit www.legion.org/presscenter/fourthestate
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here. Most employees are very open and honest in this area and it offers a great chance to have a worthwhile discussion about the employee’s performance. Judgment and Problem Solving. The ability to make sound decisions and solve problems takes a special person. Many employees follow instructions well and when something goes wrong know who to ask in order to get the job done. The special employee, the one we want working for us is the one who we can rely on to make the right decision and help to solve the problem without simply going along for the ride. A good team member with a bright future will excel in this area and put into words how they’re doing it. Teamwork and Communication. Pretty obvious quality. A good team member will articulate how they are effective at communicating both to their supervisor and to other members of the team at all levels. Attendance, Punctuality and Safety. This area is a catchall. If there is an ongoing issue with attendance or punctuality, you had better be addressing it on a daily basis not at the annual review. An employee shouldn’t come into the review thinking one thing and you’re thinking another, or you haven’t been doing your job. Same goes for any safety issues. The “Wild Card.” Here is where you’ll find out what the employee thinks of themselves, how they feel they function as a team member, how they fit into the organization and how well they feel they have been doing their job. From there, I give the blank self-review form containing these headers to the employee about two weeks before the formal written review to allow quality time for thoughtfully filling in the form. Their completed self-review now becomes the basis for my final review. I’ve had individuals hand back this form with comments like “I do a great job for the money I get” or “I’ll do whatever I’m told to do.” These kinds of responses speak volumes as to what type of employee you have and what you can expect of them in the future (hint: start looking for a replacement now). On the other side of things, I am often pleasantly surprised with what some introverted workers have to say on their self-reviews and have found some wonderfully qualified managers through their comments in the self-review. I always fill out the management part of the review before the employee returns their self-review, then I do not make any changes; i.e. I do not adjust any of my comments based on the self-review; my thoughts are my thoughts, and if they are different than that of the employee this provides a great discussion opportunity in the formal review process. My view of the employee’s performance should be very close to what the employee wrote on their self review or I haven’t done my job communicating with that individual on a regular basis. I’m not going to tell you how to conduct a review; everyone has their own style, but I will tell you that when you sit down with your folks, if there are too many points of disagreement or surprise 30 |
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on either side, I’d strongly advise you to spend a little more time on the floor with your employees, listen a bit better and make a more concerted effort to relate to the issues of your employees. Without their buy-in, loyalty and hard work, you don’t stand a chance of success. Jerry Simpkins is vice president of the West Texas Printing Center, LLC in Lubbock, Texas. Contact him on LinkedIn.com or at email@example.com.
THE LATEST FROM… AdCellerant
How has AdCellerant’s partnership with the Local Media Consortium helped local newspapers? In May 2017, AdCellerant and the Local Media Consortium (LMC) announced a partnership to bring advanced agency technology and best in class programmatic buying solutions to the newspaper industry. The partnership aggregates the buying power of the newspaper industry to make it more affordable and more profitable to provide digital agency solutions to local marketers. The partnership includes advanced technology such as AdCellerant’s proposal application and reporting dashboard making it easier to scale proposals/sales and improve client retention through transparent multi-platform reporting. More than 20 LMC members leverage the AdCellerant platform, building thousands of proposals every month, delivering hundreds of millions of programmatic impressions for their advertisers. In the case of Forum Communications, the partnership has delivered in excess of seven figures in digital revenue strengthening their position as a best in class technology provider in their markets for local business owners. Brock Berry is founder and CEO of AdCellerant, an advertising technology and digital marketing services company that hosts a suite of proprietary technology solutions designed to provide superior solutions to small business digital campaigns. AdCellerant integrates with its partner media companies to help train their sales teams, sell creative marketing campaigns to their clients, and to create a dynamic, compounding digital revenue stream.
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10NewspapersFP2018Big.qxp_Layout 1 9/26/17 9:11 AM Page 1
Nominate your paper, submit your ideas Enter via email: (Subject line: E&P 10) firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter online at: editorandpublisher.com/10newspapers Our March issue will profile what we have long labeled “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” Never meant to be a “10 Best” list, instead it spotlights select newspapers that have earned a notable achievement in at least one particular area, carried out a successful innovation, implemented cost-savings procedures, or developed programs that have generated revenues or increased circulation. The objective of the story is to bring ideas together and share the best and the brightest in one comprehensive feature. All ideas are welcome.
Deadline: January 15, 2018 Please include: • Your name / contact info • Name of nominated paper • Daily or weekly? • Circulation • Notable innovation, achievement, story, procedure, etc. • Your ideas to help newspapers succeed and grow
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As marijuana legislation and cultural opinions evolve, newspapers are banking on being the most trusted sources of pot news By Gretchen A. Peck
here is a cultural shift taking over North America. Legalized marijuana isn’t just coming; it’s here, and it’s likely here to stay—the proverbial genie that refuses the confines of her bottle. That’s good news for fans of the plant, and exceptional news for businesses and governments ready to cash in on this new industry crop. It’s even great news for daily newspapers across the continent as they find themselves in the perfect position to seriously and thoroughly cover the topic from a range of angles: business and industry, health and public safety, law enforcement and crime, real estate, labor force, culinary and agriculture, and more. E&P spoke with some of these publications who have entered this emerging market and discussed what the legalization of marijuana means for editorial coverage and advertising dollars.
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High Enough An Editorial Gift Not everyone embraced Nevada’s evolving legislation on marijuana—certainly not Las Vegas Review-Journal owner Sheldon Adelson and the editorial board. Editor-in-chief Keith Moyer recounted the editorial journey from prior to Nevada’s decriminalization of recreational marijuana to today, when it “seems like there’s a dispensary on every other block.” “From an institutional standpoint, we were opposed to the passing of the initiative,” he said. “Our owner is one of the biggest opponents of legalized drugs in the country.” From an editorial perspective, however, Moyer saw the profound impact the legislation would have across Nevada and saw to it that the topic was more frequently covered and fairly. “Leading up to the vote and the passing of the initiative, we were publishing both sides—stories about groups who were for it and groups who were against it,” he said. Once the vote gave the green light to legislators, the newspaper further amped up its coverage of the multifaceted topic. One of the team’s political reporters was also tasked with the “pot beat,” and other journalists are assigned to related stories as needed. Moyer marvels at how profoundly Nevada—and Las Vegas, in particular—has been impacted by the lifting of prohibition on marijuana in the state. In fact, the plant and its derivatives were so popular in the early stages of the rollout, dispensaries ran short on supply. “The tax numbers have far exceeded what they thought they’d be getting,” he said. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses on the pot path, however. Moyer noted that Las Vegas is embroiled in ongoing legislative battles about marijuana consumption on the Strip, where it’s currently still a criminal offense to possess and smoke it. The Las Vegas Gaming Board continues to adhere to federal laws governing marijuana. It’s the economic ramifications of legalized recreational marijuana that fascinates the editor most, and that’s been the primary focus of articles written on the subject—economic and business stories. “We’re covering it like any other business or health topic,” Moyer said. When I spoke with Moyer, the paper had just published an article about a marijuana convention that came to town—an event for business people hoping to capitalize on the “new gold rush” and get
in on the industry’s ground floor. And those types of articles have been very popular with readers, he added. “It is kind of a gift that we’ve been handed, a new thing to cover, and there’s a lot of interest in it. We find that when we do run some of the marijuana stories, they appear at the top of our leader board online, in terms of interest…Most of our marijuana stories get pretty good traffic on the website, so that tells me there’s a high interest level.”
On the Lobster and Pot Beat Maine is in legal pot limbo. Cliff Schechtman, executive for the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram, recalled how the state got here. “Voters voted to approve the referendum. We had committees for months trying to write the rules. Then, the Republican governor, at the 11th hour, vetoes the rules because he says that the federal law is unclear. So now, it’s in limbo, and the legislature has to come back and decide how to deal with this and overturn this veto. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of money at stake.” To understand just how much money, Schechtman offers a comparison to Maine’s most illustrious industry—lobster—which brings in about a half-billion dollars to the state each year. Recreational pot, he noted, is expected to be a $300 million industry, which may not sound like a lot to states like New York or California, but in Maine, that money will prove transformative, he predicted. “And we’re not even talking about the medical marijuana industry here, which is legal, with dispensaries in place,” Schechtman said. “So, yes, it’s important, indeed, and we’re trying to cover it pretty aggressively.” A little more than a year ago, the newspaper started a pot beat. Reporter Penelope Overton was assigned to it. “She splits between the pot beat and the lobster beat,” Schechtman said. “A heck of a beat, right—lobster and pot? It sounds boutique, but it’s actually a really hard beat.” The newsroom here has been challenged and excited by the multi-faceted topics related to this cultural and legislative evolution. “It has huge political, economic, health and public safety implications,” Schechtman said, adding that other local industries are seeing an economic boost, which is making news, too. For example, real estate in Maine is hot right now because land and warehousing
“We are focusing on the industry of cannabis and the implications for society and business, politics and health. That’s an important distinction.”
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} Paul Samyn, Winnipeg Free Press editor-in-chief
} Soloman Israel covers the cannabis beat at the Winnipeg Free Press and its newly launched cannabis-focused site, The Leaf.
is sought-after. That means that contractors and builders are also thriving. In addition to the pot beat, the newspaper also launched an e-newsletter called “The Maine Cannabis Report.” Right now, it’s a weekly publication that aggregates all of the marijuana-related content the paper has published during the week, as well as picking up related syndicated national news. “A lot of people are signing up for it, so the frequency is probably going to increase,” he said. Event marketing at marijuana conferences is on the newspaper’s radar, too. This year, they participated in one. Next year, they plan to be at four. “We are planning to offer several events in 2018, where we assemble experts to discuss and help educate business and the general public on this emerging industry,” Schechtman explained. “There’s been some strong advertising interest in our events and our Maine Cannabis Report. Online, marijuana content has proven quite popular with the newspaper’s subscribers and readers who find the content through social media or other channels. Schechtman said that covering pot has been a learning experience for the news team. For example, they had to learn about federal banking law, prohibitive for marijuana businesses like growers and dispensaries. They’ve also learned a lot about their audience. “From my point of view, there are two things you need to remember,” he said. “First, pot still has a stigma. And you want to be respectful of people who don’t think it should be legalized, because there are ramifications that are not positive, so you have to be respectful of readers. “Also, we’re not coming at this from the consumer’s point of view. editorandpublisher.com
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} Keith Moyer, Las Vegas Review-Journal editor-in-chief
There are enough ‘weed maps,’— information on how to smoke it, types of pot. We’re not doing that. We are focusing on the industry of cannabis and the implications for society and business, politics and health. That’s an important distinction.”
Connecting the Dots The editorial leadership at the Associated Press has been hip to the tidal wave of news content coming thanks to marijuana legislation. As the AP’s deputy managing editor, U.S. news, Noreen Gillespie has been paying close attention to states where recreation marijuana has been legalized or soon will be. “This has become a hot legislative issue, so we have looked at our editorial coverage to make sure that we are reflecting that,” Gillespie said. “We have a team of reporters around the country who cover this issue.” AP journalists are currently reporting on pot from Maine, Las Vegas, Alaska and California. At press time, the AP was in search of an additional reporter in California who would be tasked to cover pot and law enforcement. The new hire personifies an editorial phenomenon that Gillespie inherently understands. Covering pot is never one dimensional. “I think we’re in a position to really connect the dots for our customers, not just from state to state but from topic to topic, such as the intersections between economics and health or economics and law enforcement, for example,” Gillespie said. She added, “One of the things we’ll be looking at next year is which states will take another run at (marijuana legislation), which will try to get something on the ballot before election day, or which are likely to pass legislation.” As has been the case with newspapers trying to set a serious tone JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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High Enough with their pot coverage, the AP has made a similar concerted effort. “The challenge with marijuana coverage is that there are plenty of stories out there that you can’t do. It’s very easy to go for some of the cutesy, trendy types of stories, but this is really a story about economy, legislation, health insurance, medicine and more,” she explained. The scope of the coverage is so broad the reporting team will likely experience reassignments, with a greater number of AP reporters to cover all the related issues. According to Gillespie, the AP will also be working on some special reports about marijuana in America, which will “connect the dots” based on geographically deployed journalists’ work.
Love for “The Leaf” The decriminalization of marijuana has been a little less dramatic in Canada than in the U.S., though it hasn’t been without some surprises. Paul Samyn, Winnipeg Free Press editor, recalled the political tipping point: “During our 2015 federal election, when the then-liberal leader Justin Trudeau talked about this thing, it didn’t necessarily get a lot of attention because at the time, he wasn’t expect to win. “And then he won, and it became clear that he was going to move forward. Over the last two years, there’s been a steady uptick in coverage about this looming legislative change, in all media. At Free Press, we’ve done a number of stories about it and have started to pay much closer attention to what’s happening in the United States, especially at newspapers. It’s had a profound impact. If you think about it, something that just a few years ago could land you in jail has suddenly become legal, and that opens the door to a flood of questions and a number of stories attempting to provide answers to those questions.” In many ways, covering the legalization of marijuana is like reporting on any other fledgling industry. “What we wanted to do was what I think a newspaper always needs to do, which is to write about things that connect to the community, providing distinctive content that adds value and ensures that people are rewarded for their time and their dime when they come to the Free Press on any of our platforms,” Samyn said. In early 2017, the newspaper’s board met and did something remarkable. At a time when other North American newspapers are plagued by layoffs and line-item cuts, this one invested. Samyn was challenged to grow online readership. He envisioned a vertical
online publication devoted to marijuana topics. He wanted it to be popular with the newspapers current subscribers, naturally, but he also wanted the publication to appeal to North American readers from coast to coast. Samyn said he studied what other newspapers had done: The Cannabist by the Denver Post and the San Francisco Examiner’s great coverage, for example. He knew that the online resource had to be credible and serious, just like the newspaper’s brand. He wasn’t interested in stories about popular strains with cheeky names or smoke-shop products. The result became The Leaf (theleafnews.com), a marijuanafocused companion site to the newspaper that is wildly popular with readers. In November, Samyn told The Canadian Press that in the first 12 hours of The Leaf’s launch, it had inspired roughly 1,300 page views. The Leaf wasn’t the only editorial addition. The newspaper also publishes an advice column called “Dear Herb,” dedicated to answering serious and practical questions about pot. Samyn told me in December that The Leaf had 13,000 page views since it launched with about 1,000 of those coming from Toronto readers and 1,500 from United States IP addresses. Today, as much as 20 percent of The Leaf’s readership comes from outside of Manitoba, especially in Montreal and Toronto. The paper’s vice president of sales and marketing Grant Suderman oversees the business side of the publication, developing advertising and sponsored content programs. To date, the publication has not been supported by advertising only because of the legislation status. Recreational cannabis won’t be legal until July 1, 2018, and there’s the limbo of advertising law for the burgeoning industry. Canadian laws on pharmaceutical advertising is very restrictive, Suderman pointed out. “All they are allowed to talk about in advertising is the drug and the disease,” he explained. “They can’t produce lifestyle ads, like the ones with the man and woman in bathtubs, holding hands. That’s not allowed.” The plan is to allow for display and banner ads on The Leaf, while sponsored content could offer richer, more informative marketing content. Suderman has been paying close attention to cannabis publications in the U.S., which are good predictors of what readers crave. “I expect that some of our advertisers may want to talk about the quality of their products—for example, if it’s organic or not, what
“This drug is going to be something that’s part of people’s recreational time and pursuits.”
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the level of THC is, and what goes into the growing process. People are a lot more sensitive to what they’re putting in their bodies, now more than ever before,” he said. While the ad team awaits definitive rules from the federal government, they are also having discussions about in-house rules about the types of ads they’ll ultimately accept. “They will have to be tasteful, or at least not in bad taste,” Suderman said. “They can’t be inflammatory. It is our prerogative to determine whether we’ll publish the ad. As an example, we are not a gun culture here in Canada, but from time to time, we’ll have an advertiser who wants to run an ad of that kind. I have to make sure that it’s within the bounds of the legislation and the newspaper’s internal guide. It will be the same with cannabis.” The paper leverages its print platform and an email newsletter to help with retention and growth. Currently, readers may access The Leaf for free, but Samyn hinted that it may eventually go behind a paywall or follow the a-la-carte pay-per-article model, a great option for international readers. In addition, there has been no pushback or negative feedback from readers. “I hear from our readers, and if they don’t like some-
thing, they’re emailing or writing letters or picking up the phone,” Samyn said. “I think the only thing that people have sometimes questioned is whether it’s the best priority to spend resources on. And I say, ‘Yes, it is.’ It’s big. It’s important. And we need to get expertise and up to speed, so that we can cover this in a way that our readers deserve.” Samyn is cognizant about the far-reaching tentacles of the topic. He sees opportunity not only for investors, taxpayers, the government, industry stakeholders, but especially for the news business. “This drug is going to be something that’s part of people’s recreational time and pursuits,” he said. “And we can pretend that it’s not happening, or we can say it shouldn’t be happening—if that’s what we believe—but newspapers are in the reality business, and we need to get on board with reality. It’s coming. This is happening. People will be making money.” Gretchen A. Peck is an independent journalist who has reported on publishing and printing for more than two decades. She has contributed to Editor & Publisher since 2010 and can be reached at gretchenapeck@ gmail.com.
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Fight Back Publishers reflect on 2017 and goals and priorities for the new year By Sean Stroh
unning any type of business in today’s world can be an arduous task. However, for newspaper publishers in particular, that role carries an added sense of responsibility as the industry experiences the effects of both economical and societal changes—not to mention an anti-press administration in the White House. While President Trump continues his attacks on the media, describing journalists as “the enemy of the American people,” publishers continue to fight back by doing what they know best—producing quality, local journalism for their respective communities. With 2017 in the rearview mirror, E&P asked several publishers to share how they overcame challenges last year, recent success stories and their outlook for 2018 and beyond.
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2018: The Year Newspapers Fight Back
} Tim Timmons, publisher and CEO, The Paper of Montgomery County, Crawfordsville, Ind.
What was your biggest challenge as a publisher and how did you overcome it? Tim Timmons: Well, I don’t know that I have. I think the biggest challenge all of us face is the current information revolution that is ongoing. One of the strengths we’ve always had as an industry is our demographic. We have readers who are educated, own their homes, make a pretty decent living, buy furniture, appliances and on and on. We’ve made a great living going to car detailers, realtors, retailers, grocers and so on and saying to them, look at who we deliver to you! But our readers, at least in print, aren’t the same demographic now. They might be the same people, but now they’re older, retired. The hot demographic is now the online reader—and yet we struggle with that 40 |
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} Trevor Vernon, publisher, The Eldon (Mo.) Advertiser
} Ron Hasse, president and publisher, Southern California News Group
because in many ways we still think of ourselves as a print industry. The truth is we are an information industry during a time of the greatest demand and easiest access to information in our nation’s history. But, at least in some places, we are an information industry with an identity crisis.
Freedom Communications—which includes The Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.— were purchased and merged with nine other daily newspapers and digital news sites that were part of the former Los Angeles News Group. The challenge was to leverage the strengths of each of our 11 media brands, focusing on collaboration to improve efficiency in the way operate, produce and sell our media across the entire group. In less than 12 months, we completed the herculean task of moving onto the same systems for advertising ordering, content production, email, and customer service. SCNG launched new, responsive-on-all-screens web designs across its 11 websites and the new Spanishlanguage excelsiorcalifornia.com. We’ve brought consistency to the design and sizing of our newspapers and did so while consolidated printing facilities. We’ve moved to new and more modern business offices. Our reporters who cover topics of regional interest now have bylines in all of
Trevor Vernon: The biggest challenge is technology. There are so many options to explore and not enough time or money to be proficient in everything. Lately, the solution is to identify the product and partner with a company producing the technology. This includes production, digital services, and everything in between. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Ron Hasse: Bringing a cohesive, collaborative and innovative culture internally to Southern California News Group. SCNG formed in April 2016 when
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moderated expert panel. Lastly, we launched a critic’s hosted restaurant tour exclusive to subscribers and outdoor cooking videos and tailgating series. These are opportunities for us to engage at a personal level with our subscribers and the community.
What was the most important financial lesson you learned? Timmons: Bring in more than you spend.
} Susan Pape, publisher, San Antonio (Texas)
our newspapers. All of these projects required collaboration across SCNG. We still have a ways to go, but these initiatives have strengthened our internal culture, and brought financial stability to the organization. The outcome is a more fluid organizational structure, meaning there’s a greater willingness among our employees to take on new tasks and pursue success as a group. Susan Pape: My position is that every challenge is an opportunity. If we don’t address the issue, they become a negative to our business. In 2017, it would be a need to enhance our engagement with our consumers and the community at large. We launched an editor series “Headlines and Hops,” which provide public forums for our content creators (reporters, editors, producers) to discuss topic of interest with our subscribers and the public. In addition, we held quarterly town hall meetings. These settings are a editorandpublisher.com
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Vernon: Choose long term contracts wisely. I have hindered our company in the past because of contracts. The revenue stream didn’t work out and we were unable to move in a different direction until the contract expired. Pape: There is no single lesson learned. I would categorize our financial environment in 2017 as a continuation of our commitment to resource those areas that have the largest impact on the consumers of our content.
What were some of your success stories from 2017? Timmons: An event we created called The Challenge. It’s roughly based on the TV show “The Biggest Loser.” We partner with a local sports facility and our local hospital Franciscan Health. We get about a dozen community-minded volunteers who want to shed a few pounds and begin a 10-week exercise and health
program. The exercise facility supplies the location and the certified trainers. The hospital supplies nutritionists and a cardiologist, and we run the results and provide a forum for blogs and stories from the participants and trainers. We ask the participants to obtain pledges from the community. The first two years we raised more than $20,000 that went to our local United Fund and Boys and Girls Club. Not only does this benefit the community and the individuals involved, but it also helps us with our mission of being a good community partner. Vernon: Our Newspapers in Education is program is a great success story. We are very hands on in our schools. Our NIE coordinator teaches an after school class on journalism. We devote two or more pages to NIE every week. We encourage the schools to send the newspaper home with the kids. I keep a thank you note in my desk from a teacher. She wrote a parent had found a job from the classified ads in the newspaper that came home from school. I feel we are creating newspaper readers and having an impact on lives from this program. We have started a program call “Democracy Day.” It is a one-day event. Community leaders, government representatives, service groups, law enforcement, etc. come to the school to tell the students what they do and why they do it. It has grown to the point that we no longer need to send invitations, we have individuals calling to see if they will make the list to speak. The business community supports the program. All in all, it has been amazing. Hasse: SCNG is well-positioned for growth and its digital future on advertising and newsgathering fronts. SCNG has significantly increased digital revenue compared to the prior year through in-house digital marketing agency, JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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2018: The Year Newspapers Fight Back Adtaxi. We’ve done so by providing measurable data and by focusing on conversions as a key performance indicator rather than impressions. SCNG continues to emphasize Adtaxi’s Magellan solution, a proprietary technology that is one among a short list of digital marketing solutions in the world that partners with companies such as Facebook and Google to deliver a tangible return on investment for advertisers. Our newsroom is also advancing SCNG’s commitment to digital news gathering. Since we’ve begun tracking year-over-year performance across SCNG, we have closed each month ahead of last year by double digits in users, sessions and total page views. We’re also doing well in demographics that matter most to us. Local users and returning users are up double digits, and the coveted 25-to-44year-olds audience is consistently achieving double-digit growth as well. Pape: As San Antonio prepares to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2018, our exclusive reporting on mismanagement and favoritism in contract awards led to the resignation of the Tricentennial Commission’s CEO and promises by city officials to quickly set things right. That sort of ground-level watchdog reporting is a staple at the Express-News. Since April, we have also been publishing a daily, deeply researched and profusely illustrated historical piece as a run-up to the tricentennial. These articles are being assembled into a coffee-table book, similar in format to a book published two years ago to mark the newspaper’s 150 years of continuous publishing. The business section launched a weekly feature called “Texas Power Brokers” that highlights a local business leader. The feature, which includes complementary photos and videos online, attracted luxury advertising. We are expanding the brand of one of our community publications by launching a Sunday edition. The Southside Reporter Sunday is 42 |
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a hyperlocal newspaper delivered to 5,000 homes in the Southside community. On the advertising side, we leveraged our unique content creation with sponsorships and advertising experiences. We also developed a product called Story Studio that creates high end native content for advertisers that is hosted our websites and run across other advertising networks.
How can newspapers connect with readers and find new ones in a saturated media market? Timmons: This might be the simplest and most complex question we face. On the simple side, we need to be interesting in mediums that are appealing to readers. However, we can be interesting as hell but if it’s in newsprint I guarantee that my daughters, who are 28 and 31, won’t see it. So, we do it in our app or somewhere. But then we have to find a way to monetize it. We have to know who we are going after because the content and the medium will be vastly different. We have to be smart about who those target audiences are. And we have to do so in models that are sustainable. Vernon: Be everywhere. Be involved. We encourage everyone in the community to be involved with something. It shows you care. Make sure your newspaper is represented at every event possible. People take note of who showed up to an event, even if it is for three minutes to take a quick photo. Hasse: We use surveys and audience data to understand exactly what type of news and information audiences are
looking for and have developed content strategies based on these insights to connect with new generations of audiences on digital platforms. Our goal is to provide exclusive, distinctive and comprehensive reporting on beats that our audiences respond to—housing, politics, public safety, watchdog reporting—and to be the go-to resource on those topics, versus spreading ourselves too thin across 261 communities we serve. We also must make the news accessible across multiple platforms and channels, which is why we’ve made additional investments and shifted resources toward new ways of digital storytelling and delivery through social media. Pape: This is not new; we have been addressing this for years. I believe the demand for trusted and valuable information has not diminished. We must invest in understanding the ongoing changing needs and interest of the local market place and then we are uniquely qualified to develop content that delivers on these needs.
What are your goals and priorities for this year? Timmons: We want to continue growing. Our online editions have been huge hits and a couple of years ago they weren’t even on our radar. In October 2017, we added a Sunday Edition and that wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s eye a year ago. Back in the old days, we used to plan out one, three, five and even 10 years. Now, with the information industry changing in the blink of an eye, I think it behooves us to stay nimble and take advantage of opportunities as they come along. We also have to be smart to know which things are opportunities and which are pitfalls. Fortunately, most everyone I work with is editorandpublisher.com
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smarter than me so we’re in good shape. Vernon: The same as it has always been—continue to inform the community. Explore new options when they make sense for our company, readers and advertisers. And promote ourselves better. We are making a conscious effort to promote ourselves every week, something we have traditionally done only when we have had down time. Pape: Our goal is to grow by expanding our reach digitally and in certain niche areas, such as our community products. This growth will be driven by our continued commitment to local and unique content creation.
In 2018, how can the newspaper industry continue to rise up as a trusted news source? Timmons: Between the silliness of social media and politicians slamming fake news, it’s tough. And we all have heard over and over that perception is reality. I don’t think this has just one answer. I think it’s a lot of things. But something we can do and even do easily is advertise for ourselves. As an old news guy, I understand to some degree the stigma of self-promotion. But we also don’t need to be hypocrites. Our sales staffs sell advertising to our customers and yet we don’t often advertise ourselves. Heck, you can’t watch television without the stations advertising for themselves at every commercial break. It wouldn’t kill us to use testimonials from readers and campaigns that show the tremendous good we do. Your question was about trust. Bottom line is we editorandpublisher.com
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have to earn it every day and campaigning to do so would not be the worst thing we could do. Vernon: For us and other small community newspapers, it is being involved. I think people are more likely to trust you when they really get to know you. When the community knows you aren’t out to attack anyone for the sake of sensationalism, they are more likely to trust you. I like to say I don’t want to feel uncomfortable sitting in the church pew next to someone we have written an inaccurate story about. If they are mad we wrote a story that is fine. I’m happy they are reading our product. If we got it wrong, then that is something different. Hasse: Continually reinforce that there’s a thoughtful and meticulous process that goes into reporting the news with a fair and objective lens. News produced by professional journalists with editors who fact-check stories for fairness and accuracy has objective value versus what might be produced or offered by unknown or intentionally biased sources. I am proud to say we’ve never wavered in our mission to produce accurate, trustworthy and unbiased reporting that serves the public’s interest while at the same time engaging our communities to encourage debate and voice their opinions and perspectives in our opinion section. Pape: We need to continue our focus on the local market. We don’t just cover the market; our employees work, live and are a part of the business community in our individual market places. It is our fundamental mission to serve our communities by providing valuable information in a fair and balanced format. If we stay true to that mission, we will rise above the noise of “fake” news. JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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By Jennifer Swift
illustration by tony o. champagne
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t was only five years ago when hundreds of thousands of internet users, companies and platforms waged one of the first wide-spread nationwide campaigns fought via social media. Companies like Google and Wikipedia went dark, turning their websites black and urging visitors to read up on the dangers of net neutrality. The campaign grew, as people changed profile photos to protest a Congressional vote on the issue, which eventually failed. But this year, as the federal government is again considering restricting internet access, the issue became a lot more complicated than just changing profile photos or website banners. The Federal Communications Commission received a reported 7.75 million comments from fake email domains, some of the 23 million comments sent were filed under the same 60 names, and 444,938 comments originated from Russia.
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Jennifer Benz, Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, principal research scientist
Quickly, this story turned from concerns about false identity to concerns that Russia was playing a role in our politics, again, capping off a year-long wave of concerns about the vulnerabilities of social media platforms corrupted by foreign foes, where social powerhouses like Google, Facebook and Twitter were called to Capitol Hill to explain. The drumbeat of conversations about distrust hit a crescendo when people like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were called to testify and admitted thousands of Russian-created ads were posted on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election. Social media platforms that once claimed there was no interference from Rus-
“The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum…” sia, later claiming there was some inference to later admitting the influence was a lot worse than expected, such as tens of millions of people saw the ads on the various platforms.
In September 2017, Facebook released a statement admitting 3,000 ads were published on the platform in violation of their policies, allegedly linked to and operated out of Russia. The ads weren’t strictly the types usually seen and recognized as campaign 46 |
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Sachin Kamdar, Parse.ly CEO
ads, disguising themselves as news articles or memes led to their further infiltration. Facebook released content of the ads to investigators on Capitol Hill, stating “The ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum—touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.” Next, Twitter also admitted the purchase of $274,100 spent by pro-Russia and Russia controlled outlet Russia Today to influence the U.S., specifically targeting news consumers. They said the accounts sent 1.4 million election-related tweets. Google wasn’t exempt. A platform already familiar with attempts by bots and content farms to play the algorithm, Google announced during investigations into Russian interference to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars spent on ads on Google. But the news continued. An investigation by ProPublica found the purchasing of ads by Russian-connected accounts didn’t stop at the election. The website reported: “A sample of 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations have been promoting hashtags for Charlottesville such as ‘antifa,’ a term for activists on the far left; and ‘alt-left,’ a term Trump used, which was interpreted by many as suggesting an equivalence between liberal demonstrators and white nationalists in the so-called alt-right.” A study from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs found the news about social media was having an impact. The report showed less than a quarter of people who use social media trust the news from those sources “a great deal or a lot.” editorandpublisher.com
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were seeing, then I think it just raises a ton of questions. So, how Another study from the Pew Research Center said Americans is this actually influencing or charging mass media instead of just were losing faith in the integrity of the news they were reading. what I’m seeing?” Pew reported 64 percent of American adults say made-up news is The study from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public creating confusion about what to believe online. Affairs Research delved more into what makes people feel a sense This didn’t happen overnight because of the 2016 election, of trust, and what doesn’t. Parse.ly CEO Sachin Kamdar said. There’s a ladder to the wideJennifer Benz, the study’s spread distrust people have principal research scientist, of social media platforms, said before they began an and we are at the peak. experiment testing to see The first, or “prerequisite” what had more influence to creating this distrust, is over a person trusted a news the fact that social media site—the publishing company platforms have become the or the person who shared powerhouse in the way that it—people in a previous study people consume information. Summer 2017: Google, Facebook, and Twitter deny said they were more likely to According to the Pew ReRussian influence and purchasing ads in violating of trust the company. But the search Center, 67 percent of each platform’s policies. data on the new survey didn’t Americans get some of their show that. Using fake stories news from social media. September 2017: Twitter reveals Russia Today spent shared by the likes of Oprah “If you think about it, ten $274,000 on Twitter ads and promoting ads. FaceWinfrey, a person was more years ago although there book also announced that they were cooperating trustful of that story pubwere nascent forms of social with federal inquiries into ads influencing the 2016 lished by an actual fake news media on the internet, it presidential election. website, than they were of a wasn’t really the way people story posted on the Associexperienced content,” KamOctober 2017: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg ated Press. dar said. “They would go to admitted the social media platform owed the “Overall, the someone’s the place they trusted. Inhertrust in the sharer of the ent in visiting that site was a American public an “apology” for enabling Russian news on social media seems trust.” interfering in the election. President Trump tweets, to have a greater impact both Now, about 75 to 80 “Keep hearing about ‘tiny’ amount of money spent in terms of how they assess percent of all traffic that on Facebook ads. What about the billions of dollars the content that they read Kamdar’s publisher customof Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC & CBS?” Senators but also in how they might ers receive is through Google introduce the “Honest Ads Act,” a bill to regulate engage with that content or and Facebook, meaning those online political advertising. the publisher of that content platforms are now the gateafter the fact,” Benz said. keepers of what you do and November 2017: Twitter, Facebook and Google Taking a cue from that, don’t read. testify on Capitol Hill regarding Russian ads on their Democratic supporter Peter respective platforms; House Democrats released Daou created Verrit, a site Next, Came the nearly 3,000 now-deactivated fake Twitter accounts aimed at those still mourning Algorithms linked to Russian propaganda. Hillary Clinton’s campaign “The whole industry has loss. gone the way with an algoThe mission statement rithmic approach. They can reads: “With the essence be really great at finding the of American democracy at information that you would stake, 65.8 million people want to read or that you saw through the lies and smears and made a wise, patriotic choice. would engage with, but there’s no trust necessarily built into the But they continue to be marginalized and harassed.” Verrit’s puralgorithm; it’s not like somebody is vetting every single piece of pose is to become their trusted source of political information and content on Facebook—yet,” Kamdar continued. “I think when you analysis—to provide them (and anyone like-minded) sanctuary in combine that there is this algorithm telling me what information a chaotic media environment; to center their shared principles; to experience on the web, and the fact that you have these really and to do so with an unwavering commitment to truth and facts. large looming issues around the last election around what people
illustration by tony o. champagne
Trust in Social Media: Where We Are Now
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“I think people in general trust other people more than they trust the block bog algorithm—that’s really hard to trust.” But after Clinton tweeted a link to the site, which boasted a mission of fact-checking news shared on social media and the web, the site was crashed by a DDOS attack. People are more likely to distrust a news source shared on social media that they already don’t like, but people’s likelihood of trusting a source they don’t have an unfavorable opinion of stays flat, Benz said. A partner in the survey, the American Press Institute, wrote, “When people see news from a person they trust, they are more likely to think it got the facts right, contains diverse points of view, and is well reported than if the same article is shared by someone they are skeptical of.” But as Kamdar said social platforms are seeing the problems and leaning toward the basics. In other words: how the “old media” does it. “When (Facebook) presented in front of Congress that they are hiring people to help moderate what they’re presenting directly to the audience like how the media is…it’s back to how regular media works,” he said. “It’s a boon for publishers. They’ve done that for centuries. (Deciding) what information to show—Is it going to be valuable? And they tie it back to the editors who are deciding based upon those questions. I think people in general trust other people more than they trust the block bog algorithm—that’s really hard to trust.” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel also said he is planning to move back to the approach of humans sharing what they think is interesting, and creating algorithms based on that. “With the upcoming redesign of Snapchat, we are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,” he wrote on Axios. “This will provide a better way for publishers to distribute and monetize their Stories, and a more personal way for friends to communicate and find the content they want to watch.”
Give Trusted Readers a Voice
The distrust of the social platforms can’t stop publishers from using them. 48 |
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Americans Have Low Trust in Information From Social Media Based on a survey of 4,151 respondents % of U.S. adults who trust information from… National News Orgs Some
A lot 2017
Local News Orgs 2017
Social Media 2017
Source: ”Americans’ Attitudes About the News Media Deeply Divided Along Partisan Lines,” Pew Research Center, May 2017
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“The research points toward an opportunity for the platforms themselves to think carefully about how they are displaying news content…”
people who are getting your news perceive your content, and so is how you engage your readership besides just monetizing them for advertisements.” Benz said. One suggestion is finding people who are trusted and who read your news and getting them to share articles—letting them be the voice. “It’s important for outlets to think about that—that when they do lose control of the content, when it goes onto one of these social network platforms, the readers and people who are still sharing are sharing their brand,” Benz said. Jennifer Swift is the co-founder and editor-inchief of D.C. Witness, a website that tracks every homicide in Washington. Prior to moving to D.C., Jennifer worked for Connecticut magazine as their state politics reporter, and covered multiple topics at the New Haven Register including city hall, education and police.
“Don’t run away from the platforms either. It comes down to whether you’re trustworthy or not. We always tell our customers to not just look at individual metrics but a few different metrics, like engagement time, loyalty, and visiting the site on a regular basis,” Kamdar said. “The fact of the matter is you still have to do it. There’s still a large source of traffic.” Benz said her project gave them a lot of insight into what goes into trust and that people’s perceptions of news gives researchers a new perspective to look into. But there are takeaways for publishers, platforms and the general public. “The research points toward an opportunity for the platforms themselves to think carefully about how they are displaying news content, and perhaps there are ways for the actual reporting source to get a more prominent space in the way the news is displayed on the platform,” she said. This recommendation came from the fact that people were more likely to remember the name of the person who shared the article than they could recall the name of the person who wrote the article. Then, there’s a certain amount of learning the public can do. “We also definitely pointed toward the need for additional research and ways of looking into how news literacy can be improved in the population overall,” Benz said. “There’s opportunity to better educate the public about evaluating what they’re taking in.” And to the publishers and journalists who may be suffering from this distrust, the research shows social media ambassadors can go a long way. “Your readers and their credibility have an impact on how other editorandpublisher.com
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Zahira Torres has been named editor/news director of the El Paso (Texas) Times. She is the first Latina to lead the newsroom. During her first stint at the Times, Torres worked as a reporter and served as the Austin bureau chief. She went on to cover education for the Denver Post and Los Angeles Times. Torres rejoined the paper in 2016 as editor of the investigations team.
Bill Davis has been named regional advertising director for GateHouse Media’s Coastal North Carolina Group. In his new role, Davis will oversee the ad operations of the Wilmington Star News, Jacksonville Daily News, New Bern Sun Journal and the Kinston Free Press. He previously served as vice president of advertising at The Roanoke (Va.) Times. Frank Reddy has been named editor of the Forsyth County (Ga.) News. He most recently served as a freelance writer for publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post. Prior to that, Reddy worked at the Dawson County News and the Gainesville Times in Georgia. He succeeds former editor Kayla Robins. Guy Gilmore has been promoted to chief operating officer of Digital First Media. Gilmore has overseen the company’s properties in Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. He is also president and publisher of the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, a position he has held since 2007. He succeeds Steve Rossi, who has retired as CEO and president. Rossi was the company’s first chief operating officer when he took over in 2015. editorandpublisher.com
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Margaret Hillery has been named interim editor of the Madison (Ind.) Courier, succeeding Elliot Tompkin, who has retired. She will oversee the newsroom until a new editor is hired. She has held many newspaper jobs, including night copy chief at the Chicago Sun-Times and editor-in-chief at the Austin (Texas) American Statesman. Hillery also was editor of Quill Magazine for the Society of Professional Journalists. Isabelle Altman has been promoted to news editor of The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Miss. She joined the paper as a newsroom intern in 2015 and later served as a breaking news reporter. In her new role, Altman will maintain her reporting duties. Martha Baltodano Whicker has been named director, Latin American sales of Southern Lithoplate, Inc. Whicker has worked in the graphic arts field for more than three decades, serving newspapers and commercial printers throughout
the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. She previously worked as Latin America and Caribbean sales manager at Presstek. Patricia Edwards has been named publisher of the Clinton (S.C.) Chronicle. She previously served as regional editor of The Newberry Observer, The Union Times and The Sentinel-Progress in South Carolina. She has also worked as a publisher, editor and reporter at the Daily Tribune News in Cartersville, Ga., Union Recorder in Milledgeville, Ga., Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune and The Index-Journal in Greenwood, S.C. Jamie Kinnaird has been promoted to vice president of advertising at the Roanoke (Va.) Times. She will direct all multimedia advertising sales and marketing. For the past year, Kinnaird served as the paper’s advertising director. Prior to that, she was director of sales development for the BH Media Group and led training sessions for sales representatives across the company. Lauren Jette has been named managing editor of the Elgin (Texas) Courier. She has been the Courier’s sports and education editor since 2016. Before coming to the Courier, Jette was a sports reporter at The Liberty Hill (Texas) Independent for a year. She also worked as editor of The Yoakum Herald-Times in Texas.
Alan Fisco has been promoted to president of The Seattle Times, a position that was vacant since June 2016. For the past five months, Fisco has served in this position on an informal basis. He will also oversee the Times’ affiliated publications, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and Yakima Herald-Republic. Fisco joined the company as the single copy sales manager and has held multiple leadership positions, including vice president of circulation and marketing.
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NewsPeople ACQUISITIONS Champion Media has sold its Mount Airy Group newspapers in North Carolina to Adams Publishing Group. The papers included in the deal are: The Mount Airy News, Surry Scene, The Elkin Tribune, The Yadkin Ripple, The Stokes News, The Pilot and Jefferson Post. Also included in the transaction is The Carroll News in Hillsville, Va. Adams Publishing Group currently owns and operates 100 community newspapers in 11 states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Sherman Family has sold the assets of the Edward A. Sherman Publishing Co. to GateHouse Media. The sale includes The Newport (R.I.) Daily News, The Independent in Wakefield, R.I., Newport (R.I.) Mercury, Newport Life Magazine and South County Life Magazine. The deal also includes Sherman Publishing’s commercial printing division. The family had owned the company since 1918. GateHouse Media publishes 125 daily newspapers and more than 600 community publications in 38 states across the country. Cox Media Group has put the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post and Palm Beach (Fla.) Daily News up for sale. Cox Enterprises, Cox Media Group’s privately held parent company, offered the Statesman for sale in 2008 but took it off the market a year later. The company will continue to operate newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio. Adams Publishing Group has acquired MessAge Media, Inc., a group of local community newspapers based in Aitkin and Isle, Minn. MessAge Media publishes a pair of weekly newspapers, The Mille Lacs Messenger and the Aitkin Independent Age. The company also publishes a free distribution shopper, a real estate guide and an annual fun guide along with various special pages and sections throughout the year. The Adams Family has purchased the Roxboro (N.C.) Courier-Times from Brinn and Linda Clayton. The Adams family currently publishes the Daily Record in Dunn, N.C. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Albemarle Newsmedia, LLC, a newly formed affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., has acquired the Stanly News & Press in Albemarle, N.C. from Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. The News & Press is published three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Sandy Selvy-Mullis will remain as publisher.
Brian Brisendine has been named publisher of the Brownfield (Texas) News. He will continue serving as the paper’s editor, a position he has held since 2007. Brisendine began his career as a reporter and management trainee at the Snyder Daily News in Texas. James Miller has been promoted to editor and director of content for the Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group in Kelowna, British Columbia. He currently serves as editor of the Penticton (B.C.) Herald. In his new 52 |
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role, Miller will also oversee editorial content for the Kelowna (B.C.) Daily Courier, Okanagan (B.C.) Weekend and their related print products and websites. Jim Dunn has been named editor and general manager of the Bureau County Republican in Princeton, Ill. During his first stint at the paper, Dunn worked as editor for 10 years. He most recently served as editorial page editor of Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, Ill. Dunn was also assistant managing editor of the Sterling (Ill.) Daily Gazette.
Jim Boren has retired as executive editor and senior vice president of The Fresno (Calif.) Bee. Boren spent his entire 48-year career working at the paper. Prior to his most recent position, he was editorial page editor for 17 years. He also served as a political reporter. Rebecca Frank has been named director, research & insights of the News Media Alliance. She will work closely with the Alliance leadership team and staff to collect facts and data that support member newspaper organizations’ goals for growing audience and engagement. Most recently, Frank served as senior manager of audience experience and acquisition at SmartBrief, a business publisher based in Washington D.C. Carol Bangert has been named news director of the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier. During her first stint at the paper, Bangert served as managing editor. She rejoined the Journal & Courier as editor in 2016. She also was editor of Lafayette Magazine, the city’s lifestyle publication. Julie Speirs has announced she will retire as publisher of the Kearney (Neb.) Hub in March. Speirs began her career as an advertising rep at the paper. She also served as general manager for 13 years before becoming the publisher in 2012. Succeeding her in that position is Shon Barenklau, who began his newspaper career at the Hub in 1985. He currently serves as vice president of the BH Media Group’s Midwest division.
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NewsPeople Andrew Garner has been named publisher of The Atmore (Ala.) Advance. Garner has served as the paper’s editor for the past two years. He previously worked at The Greenville (Ala.) Advocate. Garner began his career at The Andalusia (Ala.) Star-News as a general news reporter before being promoted to sports editor, a position he held for almost seven years. Gary Adkisson has been named publisher of the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune. Most recently, Adkisson served as publisher of the Carlisle (Pa.) Sentinel. Prior to that, he was general manager of The Paducah (Ky.) Sun. Adkisson began his career as a circulation district manager at The Tennessean and Nashville Banner. Brian Blackley has been named publisher of The Tullahoma (Tenn.) News. Blackley will also serve as assistant vice president of Middle Tennessee operations for the paper’s parent company, Lakeway Publishers Inc. He previously worked at newspapers and shoppers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Blackley replaces Jeff Fishman, who has resigned. Frank Trexler has retired as editor of The Daily Times in Maryville, Tenn. Trexler had worked at the paper for nearly 28 years. He began his career as an education reporter at The Johnson City (Tenn.) Press-Chronicle. Trexler later joined the news desk at The Port Arthur (Texas) News and was eventually named assistant news editor. Chris Fusco has been promoted to editorin-chief of the Chicago Sun-Times. He had editorandpublisher.com
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Kathryn Cook has been named city editor of the HeraldCitizen in Cookeville, Tenn. She will oversee multiple beats, including municipal government, Tennessee Tech University, courts, breaking news and investigative reporting. Cook previously served two stints at the Times West Virginian in Fairmont. She also worked for several years at The Intelligencer in Doylestown, Penn. and Wheeling (W.Va.) News Register.
served as interim editor in chief since August. Fusco joined the paper in 2000 after working as a reporter for the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill. and the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Ill. In addition, Carol Fowler has been named senior vice president of digital news products. Fowler most recently served as CEO of TheSocReports, a Chicago-based personal branding consulting firm she founded in 2015. David LaChance has been named news editor of the Bennington Banner in Vermont. In his new role, LaChance will lead the staff in daily news-gathering operations. Most recently, he served as editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Magazine. Prior to that, he spent nearly two decades as a reporter and news editor at the Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican in Massachusetts. Randall Lieberman has been named editor of The Herald in Gadsden County, Fla. He had served as a reporter for The Jewish Journal in South Florida since 2013. Lieberman also worked at The Palm Beach Post for 10 years. William Carroll has been named editor of the Plainview (Texas) Herald. He previously served as publisher of a group of four small weekly papers in Oklahoma. Carroll
began his career as a reporter for the Hammond (La.) Daily Star in 2012. Bill Sullivan has been named associate publisher of Gold Country Media in Roseville, Calif. He will oversee all content and editorial teams for the company’s products and publications. Sullivan will also continue serving as general manager of the Folsom (Calif.) Telegraph. He joined the company in 2014 as an advertising consultant for the Roseville (Calif.) Press Tribune. Cherise Madigan has been named editor of the Manchester (Vt.) Journal. She has been working for the paper since 2016. In her new position, Madigan will lead the news-gathering operations on a daily basis online and in the Friday print newspaper. Previously, she served as a reporter for the Bennington (Vt.) Banner. Monica Robinson has been named general manager and advertising manager at the Mountain Statesman in Grafton, W.Va. During her first stint at the paper, Robinson served as circulation manager. She rejoined the Statesman in 2006 after accepting a position outside the newspaper industry. JANUARY 2018 | E & P
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Publications For Sale
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AWARD WINNING SAILING MAGAZINE: The reputation of Caribbean Compass is second to none. Its highly recognizable brand has been established over the last 20 years by the founders/owners who now wish to retire. Proﬁtable with very loyal readership, contributors and advertisers. Currently based in The Grenadines but easily relocated. Full ﬁnancial and operational information available by sending email to email@example.com. FOR SALE BY KAMENGROUP.COM: Horse/Equine enthusiast magazine Long Island, NY, NYC weekly community newspaper?, SC Publishing entity w/coupon books, guide books and Magazine, NC regional glossy Mag, New Mexico weekly newspaper, Chicago, Arizona, Kansas & Maine cultural/living Magazines, National Broadcast/Newspaper Annual Directory, Indiana weekly newspaper, National ﬁshing/outdoors Magazine, National holistic magazine, Tampa, FL area free distribution shopper/newspaper. Georgia weekly newspaper. Need your title ﬁnancially valued? Want to sell your newspaper? Conﬁdential & Caring Service. Info@kamengroup.com. (516) 379 2797. www.kamengroup.com.
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ANNOUNCING THE NATIONAL AL NAKKULA POLICE WRITING CONTEST, recognizing outstanding law-enforcement reporting during 2017. First-place prize $2,000. Award presented at Denver Press Club’s annual Damon Runyon dinner, 4/27/2018. For details and instructions, visit http://www.colorado.edu/cmci/about-college/al-nakkula-award
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KAMEN & CO. GROUP SERVICES Media Appraisers, Accountants, Advisors & Brokers (516) 379-2797 • 626 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, NY 11556 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.KamenGroup.com
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AWARD-WINNING DAILY TIMES SEEKS EDITOR: THE (Maryville, TN) DAILY TIMES / thedailytimes.com, a 7-day morning newspaper and website, is searching for an editor to lead its award-winning team of journalists. Owned by Adams Publishing Group, a fast-growing community newspaper company, our market is located outside of Knoxville, TN, and includes the nation’s most-visited national park — Great Smoky Mountains National Park — with hundreds of miles of trails, trout streams, and beautiful mountain vistas. Nearby, you have all of the amenities of a metropolitan city (concerts, major college football, museums, and more) in a state with no income tax. THE DAILY TIMES is also home to an editorial production hub, designing several of our sister publications. The preferred candidate will have eight to 10 years of newsroom experience, including having served as reporter, section editor and/or copy editor, and have logged some years in a supervisory role. Attributes: The ability to recruit, coach, manage, edit and inspire freelance and full-time staﬀ to produce a high-quality digital and print product. This person should also be a believer in the value of community journalism. Skills: The ability to plan and coordinate storytelling in digital and print editions, researching solutions and incorporating new ideas for coverage, while also collaborating interdepartmentally and intra-departmentally. The preferred candidate will have strong writing skills, keen news judgment, and the ability to write for social media, print and Web while utilizing excellent grammar and AP Style, as well as managing deadlines to multiple platforms. The ideal candidate will also be a “hands-on” editor and team player with a bachelor’s degree in communications. If interested, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. THE DAILY TIMES is an equal-opportunity employer.
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CIRCULATION MANAGER: The Martinsville Bulletin in Martinsville, Virginia has an immediate opening for a Circulation Manager. The Circulation Manager will oversee the day-to-day operation of the circulation department including sales, service, distribution and all facets of the home delivery and single copy operation. The manager is also responsible for growing circulation by increasing the subscriber base through sales and marketing in the deﬁned area. We are seeking a candidate who has the ability to meet goals, superior oral and written communication skills, strong problem solving and decision making skills, excellent time management and organizational skills, strong multi-tasking and demonstrates initiative, proﬁciency in Microsoft Oﬃce Suite, including Excel and Word. The candidate must be able to develop and implement action plans, strategies and goals for the distribution team. The candidate must also have experience with revenue and expense budgets. The Martinsville Bulletin (BH Media Group – a division of Berkshire Hathaway) is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a 6 day, 10,000-circulation newspaper. In addition to the daily newspaper, the Martinsville Bulletin publishes a weekly TMC product and a website, www.martinsvillebulletin.com. BH Media oﬀers a competitive salary and beneﬁts package along with a company matched 401K plan. E.O.E. Submit your application and resume online at: http://bit.ly/2hEFAf9 CITY NEWS EDITOR: The Gazette, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is seeking a city news editor to help lead our news reporting team. As The Gazette’s city news editor, your primary mission is to make our community better engaged, informed and connected every day. You’ll be coaching reporters to produce strong context-ﬁlled reports and working to edit stories and provide the best presentation possible in print and for digital audiences. You’ll be looked at to guide a culture of valuing innovation, solution-based journalism, accountability and great storytelling. You’ll be a great multi-tasker who is able to jump between tasks, coach the use of public records and look for ways to best tell a story. You have proven news judgment yourself, but know that innovative ideas come from all corners including our audience. You hold yourself to high journalism standards but have the capacity to work with journalists of all experience levels to coach them all to continue growing. You must be organized, creative, provide meaningful feedback and think big on a regular basis. You should be comfortable using a variety of story formats and know that work can appear in the daily newspaper, a variety of magazines and in a variety of digital formats. You thirst for the chance to take on special eﬀorts — like helping plan for Iowa’s ﬁrst-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, or overseeing an ongoing watchdog journalism project, or guiding journalists in acquiring databases to take reporting to a higher level. You should be comfortable in experimenting with various storytelling techniques, as well as working with design, photo and digital editors to plan art and maximize impact and delivery of stories. With your combination of journalistic chops and oﬃce humor, you’ve left a clear impression with those you’ve worked with before that they’d be glad to cross paths with you again someday. If these qualities describe you, we’d like to talk to you about joining our team at Iowa’s second largest newspaper. Our organization: Our news team reaches audiences across a variety of print and digital platforms and through a variety of in-person events. Our company has a strong tradition of being independent and is owned by a trust for the beneﬁt of its employees. The Gazette is delivered to 16 Eastern Iowa counties each morning. The majority of our news team is focused on enterprise reporting, and we have a strong spirit of collaboration with other news outlets. While we’re focused in Cedar Rapids — Iowa’s second-largest city – we have bureaus in Des Moines and Iowa City. The region is rich with things to do outside of work hours. Qualiﬁcations & Requirements: Our ideal candidate will have the skill to mentor multimedia journalists and collaborate with other newsroom leaders. A Bachelor’s degree and at least three years of newsroom leadership are required. To Apply: Apply online at www.thegazette.com/careers or by submitting a resume and supporting materials to The Gazette, Attn: City Editor Job, P.O. Box 1862, Cedar Rapids IA 52406. As part of the initial application, please write an essay that explains your philosophy of news explaining how you determine newsworthiness and what areas you’d concentrate reporting resources. This essay should be one page or less. A pre-employment drug screen is required. EOE.
EMPLOYMENT ADVERTISING SPECIAL! Up to 100 words in print for a month + an ad of any length online for 5 weeks for $125.00 Additional copy: $20.00 per 35 words
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ENGAGEMENT EDITOR: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is seeking an Engagement Editor to enhance content on staradvertiser.com and its aﬃliated sites and social media platforms. The Engagement Editor reports to and works closely with the Deputy Editor to develop and execute best practices for improving engagement and driving traﬃc. The Engagement Editor works on SEO enhancements; tracks analytics/insights closely to suggest and implement best practices according to trends; creates original content for staradvertiser.com and social media; works with the newsroom’s journalists on the creation of engaging online content and the enhancement of their individual social media presence; and engages with Star-Advertiser readers/followers on social media when appropriate. Please contact email@example.com. GENERAL MANAGER/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: The Herald is an 8,800 Jasper-based daily (Mon-Fri. afternoons, Saturday a.m.) located in beautiful southwestern Indiana. The Herald has been published since 1895 and has been under one-family ownership since 1919. We are looking for someone who believes in community newspapers and who wants to help further our tradition of excellence. Position opens March 1, 2018. The general manager/advertising director must be knowledgeable in all newspaper operations. Key duties include: managing and motivating an inside and outside sales team with an emphasis on generating proﬁtable revenue from our print and digital products; helping to develop marketing programs; and overseeing a team of managers from production, distribution and subscriber services. Jasper is Dubois County’s county seat. The area boasts some of the best school systems in the state, a community college, a vibrant manufacturing and service sector economy, a large regional not-for-proﬁt hospital with multiple specialties and a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. To get a feel for our market and the growth occurring here, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/2vb8o7Y The Herald oﬀers competitive pay, including ad department-based incentives, and an opportunity to participate in an array of beneﬁts including health and life insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, annual health screenings, and a wide choice of products oﬀered under a Sec. 125 cafeteria plan. Send resume, including cover letter and references, in conﬁdence to: Human Resources The Herald P.O. Box 31 Jasper, IN 47547-0031 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Capital Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.com, Capital Times, Ampliﬁed Digital, and many other award-winning media products and services, is currently seeking a Sr. Advertising Director. Our last advertising leader was recently promoted to a national position with Lee Enterprises. Reporting to the General Manager, the Sr. Advertising Director will oversee all aspects of advertising sales and marketing, including digital products and services, daily and weekly newspapers, and non-subscriber targeted products. The position is located in Madison, Wisconsin, and leads a department of approximately 90 employees. We seek someone with exceptional analytical skills and the ability to work well under pressure. The successful candidate is accustomed to managing multiple priorities, exhibits strong leadership skills, and has the ability to coach and motivate others to accomplish overall business objectives. Key Responsibilities: • Consistently meets or exceeds all print and digital revenue targets. • Demonstrates expert knowledge of all sales and marketing assets, including newspaper products, digital products, and digital marketing services. Ability to mentor direct reports. • Understands pipeline management, reviews all required sales process activities and provides direction and feedback to increase closing ratios. • Eﬀectively communicates accurate revenue forecasts and market intelligence that may impact revenue. Comfortable interfacing with, and reporting and presenting to, the SBU and Lee corporate executive teams. • Understands methodology for goal setting. Holds staﬀ accountable to revenue goals, objectives, KPIs and other metrics. Creates eﬀective formal activity metrics for staﬀ. • Will have an in-depth knowledge of accounts, prospects and potential in market. Establishes aggressive but realistic goals for staﬀ. • Reviews market activities to develop new business; by understanding customer needs and selling products and services that provide value to the customer. • Thrives in meetings with top advertising customers, and has a record of achievement growing and retaining revenue from top accounts. Requirements: • Bachelor’s degree in business, journalism or marketing or equivalent job experience • Five years of newspaper sales experience; eight to ten years sales management experience necessary in a newspaper environment, preferred. Aﬃrmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer The Capital Newspapers organization is an aﬃrmative action employer. We are committed to maintaining a workforce that accurately reﬂects our audience and expands our voice.
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shoptalk /commentary Is the Local News on the Cusp of a Renaissance? By Damian Radcliffe
t’s not an easy time to be a journalist in the United States. Since 2000, nearly half of newsroom jobs—more than 20,000 of them—have disappeared. Yet now, more than ever, we rely on journalists to act as a check on those in power, create an informed citizenry and encourage civic engagement. This is particularly true at a local level. Local journalism not only fulfills an important watchdog function, it also helps create—and define—a sense of community. Telling this story through the eyes of 10 local news outlets in the Pacific Northwest, my new report for the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon, is a microcosm for discussions and activities taking place in local newsrooms across the country. To understand the importance of local journalism, one need only look at what happens in media deserts—communities devoid of “fresh” news and information—an environment where citizens may miss important information and public officials are potentially less accountable than they should be. One prominent example took place in Bell, Calif. A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed some of the town’s top officials were paid double or triple the salaries of counterparts elsewhere. The story triggered a criminal case, leading to jail time for several public officials. That this investigation was conducted by the Times, rather than a local paper, is partly because the city’s paper was no longer around. As local newspapers continue to shutter, and further newsroom jobs are shed, the risk of “more Bells” is very real. Mark Zusman, editor and publisher of Willamette Week (Portland, Ore.), believes these trends point to “an environment in which the potential for corruption and misdeeds has never been greater, because of the lack of watchdogs on a local level, not on a
national or a federal level.” To do their job, however, journalism needs to be on a firmer financial footing. “You cannot have an artistic success without a financial one,” John Costa, president and publisher of the Bend Bulletin (Oregon), observed. As advertising dollars have flowed online, they’ve typically migrated to Google, Craigslist and Facebook, rather than the digital portfolios of newspaper groups. Subsequently, news providers realize they must find new revenue streams. The Register Guard in Eugene, Ore. has a spinoff company, R-G Media, to produce websites, apps and digital content for commercial clients. Portland’s Willamette Week and Seattle’s GeekWire are producing events to engage with readers and generate money through ticket sales and sponsorship. Membership programs are also worth considering. “I think one of the main ingredients of our secret sauce…is pledge drives,” said Morgan Holm, senior vice president and chief content officer at Oregon Public Broadcasting. “It forces you to articulate on a regular basis to your audience what you do for them and why it’s of value to them.” In an era of “Fake News,” these types of activities force journalists to be more visible and accountable. Caitlyn May, editor of the Cottage Grove Sentinel in Oregon hosts a weekly, informal, “Meet the Editor” discussion at a local coffee shop. She also appears on a monthly radio show and takes questions from listeners. Elsewhere, radio stations, such as KUOW Public Radio in Puget Sound, Wash. are using tools created by Hearken, whereby readers submit questions they want answered or suggest topics they want covered. This represents a shift for many journalists. But in the digital age, journalists need to interact with audiences, beyond responding to online comments or tweets. Events,
appearing on Facebook Live and producing podcasts are all ways to break down traditional barriers between the journalist and reader. These types of interactions are essential if news providers seek to reassert their relevance and build audiences willing to pay for their products. In this regard, local journalists potentially hold several advantages: they intimately know their audience and usually live within the community, characteristics national outlets cannot compete with. Moving forward will require doing some things differently. The future of journalism cannot—and will not—look like the past. That means exploring new forms of storytelling like video and augmented reality, finding ways to engage with your audience—online and in the real world—and embracing concepts such as Solutions Journalism. Although the journalism industry continues to face many challenges, there are causes for optimism. Newsrooms in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere are experimenting with new revenue, reporting and engagement strategies. There’s no exact recipe for success, but these signs suggest an industry in the process of reinventing and reinvigorating itself. Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon, a fellow of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies. He has more than two decades experience working in editorial, research and policy roles in the UK, Middle East and USA. This is an edited version of an article originally published at The Conversation (bit.ly/2yWh2q0).
Printed in the USA. Vol. 151, No 1, EDITOR & PUBLISHER (ISSN: 0013-094X, USPS: 168-120) is published 12 times a year. Regular issues are published monthly by Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA, 92708-7000; Editorial and Advertising (949) 660-6150. Periodicals postage paid at Fountain Valley, CA 92708, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: EDITOR & PUBLISHER. P.O. Box 25859, Santa Ana, CA 92799-5859. Copyright 2018, Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Subscription Price: U.S. and its possessions, $99.00 per year, additional postage for Canada & foreign countries $20.00 per year. Single copy price $8.95 in the U.S. only; Back issues, $12.95 (in the U.S. only) includes postage and handling. Canada Post: Publication Mail Agreement No. 40612608. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 682. Subscriber Services (888) 732-7323; Customer Service Email: email@example.com.
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DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON
Stronger the Press, Stronger the People Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one.
E&P is a staunch supporter of the newspaper industry and is dedicated to promoting its success and well-being in the years to come. From time to time, we will print full-page ads such as this, to inspire advertising and marketing ideas â€” touting the importance of ethical journalism and its value to democracy.
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