Saturday, August 02, 2008

AP Style Practice from Doug Fisher: Journalism Instructor at University of South Carolina

AP Style Practice Quizzes No. 1:

AP Style Practice Quizzes No. 2:

New citizen journalism site, Demotix

via editorsweblog on 7/30/08

Nicolas Kristof, of the New York Times, recently posted in his On the Ground blog, "Here at The New York Times, we still have all of our foreign bureaus -- partly because our strategy is to compete for readers who seek international news and analysis -- but most newspapers and TV networks have been pulling back. Only four American newspapers now have foreign desks."

, a new citizen journalism site, has been launched to fill the gap created when the vast majority of news outlets rely on press releases and wire services.

The site, somewhat uniquely, is trying to position itself as an intermediary for photojournalists, a source bank where media outlets can select images, buy them (for between $80-$1,600) and the site splits the revenue from the photo with the citizen photographer who uploaded it.

Source: On the Ground, New York Times blog

E&P's "10 that do it right" for 2008

via editorsweblog on 7/30/08

This week, Editor & Publisher announced its 8th annual, "10 That Do It Right," a top ten not for the top ten best newspapers, but for ten who are doing exceptionally well in one particular aspect - from marketing to online video, investigative journalism to interactive features - "that merits consideration and maybe even emulation by their peers."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Journal Sentinel's top leadership is commited to maintianing their 10-person, investigative journalism team, huge for this economic climate.

Carlsbad (N.M.) Current-Argus

The Current-Argus recently implemented a new recruiting strategy for carriers -- recruit people who don't need the job (but will take it on to earn the extra $500-$700 a month). Not only did attrrition drop from almost 20% a month to nearly zero, but the paper is actually saving money.

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch

The Times-Dispatch holds regular "Public Square" community discussions and have also hosted eight News Roundtables to hear criticism, observations, and recommendations about the paper's coverage. That's on top of the monthly Listening Tour, when Silvestri and other top executives and editors visit one of its 20 core communities to get to better know newsmakers and readers."

USA Today

USA Today's has created a social media site, "Cruise Log." "Everyone can be an author and distribute content easily, but USA Today adds the judgment and guidance that traditional journalists have always provided."

Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Las Vegas paper has launched hugely successful industry-specific job sites. Almost immediately the sites exceeded revenue projections by about 40%, earning about $40,000 a month. They paid for themselves in the first month, said Chelle Bize, the paper's recruitment advertising manager.

The Huntsville (Ala.) Times

Jon Busdeker and Chris Welch, two A&E writes for The Huntsville Times have developed a comedy routine, of sorts. The Wednesday webcast previews the Thursday addition and helps drive print sales.

"Busdeker and Welch perform parodies of Blue Man Group performances, wield mops as swords to preview movies, and exchange white-trash talking with actors from "The American Trailer Park Musical."

Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald

The Herald recently introduced The Daily Beachcomber, a free tabloid for the Hampton beach season. Hampton's beaches are a big market between the end of the school year and Labor Day. As many as 120,000 show up on a good day; the free paper has turned a 28% profit margin.

Chicago Journal

"'It's a mix of hard news reporting, a little boosterism, some editorial leadership, some calling people out,' Dan Haley, the paper's founder explained. 'We're not apart from the community, we don't hold ourselves apart or above [it].'"

Haley founded the Journal to provide a voice and shape the identity of the inner-city community that was establishing itself in Chicago.

The Times, Ottawa, Ill.

"Starting a newspaper subscriber loyalty program is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that's often as much brain power as many papers invest in creating and operating the program." The Times established a unique rewards program that actually works.

Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent

When newsroom conflicts at the rival News-Press left the Santa Barbara community looking for a new news source, the Indepdendent stepped in. "Since the summer of 2006... the News-Press has slipped in daily circulation to 35,000, while the Independent's audited pickup every Thursday is 40,000."

Source: Editor & Publisher

How Well Do You REALLY Know The Newspaper Industry? Take Economist Robert Picard's Test

via Editor And Publisher on 8/1/08
By E&P Staff

Published: August 01, 2008 12:58 PM ET
CHICAGO Robert G. Picard, the well-known media economist, has developed a test about the economic and financial conditions of U.S. newspapers that he gave to attendees at a recent industry conference.

Take it yourself, and see how you do:

1. The average newspaper circulation is about
(a) 150,000
(b) 110,000
(c) 85,000
(d) 50,000
(e) 35,000

2. Newspaper penetration per population
(a) Has remained relatively stable
(b) Dropped suddenly in after 2000
(c) Dropped suddenly in the mid 1990s
(d) Began declining steadily beginning in 1980s
(e) Has declined at a steady pace for 50 years

3. Newspaper advertising income reached an all time high of $49.3 billion in
(a) 2006
(b) 1999
(c) 1993
(d) 1989
(e) 1984

4. Adjusted for inflation, advertising income in newspapers is
(a) About the same as in 1950
(b) 1.5 times lower than in 1950
(c) 2.5 times lower than in 1950
(d) 1.5 times higher than in 1950
(e) 2.5 times higher than in 1950

5. Since 2000, classified advertising has declined about
(a) 10 percent
(b) 25 percent
(c) 50 percent
(d) 75 percent
(e) None of the above

6. Income from online newspaper advertising has replaced which portion of lost income from print classified advertising
(a) 15 percent
(b) 30 percent
(c) 45 percent
(d) 60 percent
(e) 75 percent

7. Newspapers are primarily dependent upon which type of advertising
a) National
(b) Retail
(c) Classified
(d) Preprint
(e) Legal

8. The return on sales for newspapers is now
(a) Below pharmaceutical companies
(b) Below automakers
(c) Below department stores
(d) Below banks
(e) None of the above

9, The number of journalists working in papers is
(a) About the same as in 1970
(b) 25 percent lower than in 1970
(c) 50 percent lower than in 1970
(d) 25 percent higher than in 1970
(e) 50 percent higher than in 1970

10. The overall financial conditions of the newspaper industry is
(a) Worse than in the 1990s
(b) Worse than in the 1980s
(c) Worse than in the 1970s
(d) Worse than in the 1960s
(e) Worse than ever in its history

The correct answers: 1) e; 2) e; 3) a; 4) e; 5) b; 6) d; 7) b; 8) e; 9) d; 10) a

Here's Picard's rating of your score:

8-10 You have a realistic view of the industry's situation
4-7 You have an incomplete understanding of the
industry's situation
0-4 You have an unrealistic view of the industry's situation

Former Students' Work

To see some work by former students, click this link.