Author Archives: informationvalet

France to launch virtual newsstand as alternative to Google News

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France to launch virtual newsstand as alternative to Google News

Six French newspapers have come together to create an online newsstand
where readers will be able to buy and read their content. The
initiative, which will be launched in September, was announced
yesterday by France’s National Daily Press Union as an alternative to
Google News, El País reported.

maneuver comes months after Google announced its intention to include
advertising on its news aggregation system. French newspapers had tried
to negotiate with Google to receive a percentage of the ads revenues.
But, as their request was denied, they have decided to launch a paid
service of their own.

For more on this story please see our sister

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The ASCAP example: How news organizations could liberate content, skip negotiations, and still get paid » Nieman Journalism Lab

June 23-25 “congress” gathering aims to establish trust, identity, commerce services for news

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Three U.S. newspaper trade groups and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute are teaming up to seed ideas and a possible solution to how news and other information can be managed and sold online.  “From Blueprint to Building: Making the Market for Digital Information,” is being billed as a three-day “action congress” to discuss issues of trust, identity and Internet information commerce.

 The June 23-25 event at the University of Missouri-based research center will include unveiling of a 148-page business plan for a proposed news-industry collaborative, according to Bill Monroe, director of the Multistate Digital Task Force, an ad-hoc group formed by state press associations in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa with support from several other state trade groups.

 Details of the public event, and links to participant registration, are at .

 “This is not a conference, or a summit,” says Bill Densmore, a consulting researcher to the Reynolds Journalism Institute. “ It’s a public congress of news and information service providers — organized by U.S. state press associations. The intention is to move beyond talk, and to launch one or more enterprises or collaboratives.” Reynolds is an ideas-experiments-research center affiliated with the nation’s oldest journalism school, at the University of Missouri.

 Densmore said the gathering has two intentions:

  •  Consider establishing a non-profit collaborative that will specify standards, platforms and protocols for a digital information marketplace; supporting investment and partnering with operating companies and,
  • Define and start raising money for an operating company or association that answers to, and primarily serves and benefits, all America’s newspapers — and is focused on profitably sharing, protecting and managing their digital content. Monroe, who is working from the Iowa Press Association in Des Moines, said the working name for the new entity is the American Newspaper Digital Access Corp.

“Newspapers are working to make the transition from a product-based culture — the daily paper — to a service-based one — helping people manage their privacy, identity and information needs in a web and mobile ecosystem awash with more information than we can intelligently assess,” says Densmore. “News organizations need to become our trusted  information valets  rather than our information gatekeepers.”

“From Blueprint to Build,” is an outgrowth of a December, 2008, summit also convened by the Reynolds Journalism Institute as part of a fellowship undertaken by Densmore called the Information Valet Project.

What will be the future economic supports for journalism?

I was asked today to provide one key thought about te future economics of journalism. Here’s what I said:

The future economic supports for journalism will have to be multifaceted, because no single stream will do it. There will be direct support from users — subscriptions, per-click, patronage, donations. And there will be indirect support — advertising. But I think the advertising piece will be vastly smaller than than it is today because the big marketplaces are going away. Advertising in the future will be one-to-one, practically, so the application of news as a driver/draw will just not be there. Journalism will have to stand on its own. And that means we will have to make the case for its relevance to citizens and to democracy every day. There will be a real divergence between entertainment journalism — which will be supported by third-party sponsors who are trying to sell a product or service — and accountability journalism, which will be supported by third-party sponsors who are selling ideas and change.

— Bill Densmore

Live blogging the Midwest Newspaper Summit

We’re live-blogging the Midwest Newspaper Summit in Dubuque, Iowa, today.

Click Here to View Live Blog.

You can also follow the RSS feed.

Join the disussion at the American Press Institute

More than 40 newspaper-industry executives, researchers and advisors are gathered at the American Press Institute in Reston, Va. today for the two-day convening, “Newsmedia Economic Action Plan Conference.” The event follows the May release of the API report: “Newspaper Economic Action Plan.” The idea of organizers is to use an open-space style event to consider what newspapers can do to sustain journalism and their business.

Click Here To Watch the CoverItLive running blog discussion (and participate)

At 9:30 a.m. EASTERN today, two experts on newspaper website analytics will be unveiling an initial tranche of research on some 100 sites. Gregory Harmon of Belden Interactive and Greg Swanson of ITZ Publishing will make
the case that newspapers can move to selectively charge for content without losing the majority of their online advertising revenue.

The event was by-invitation only, but organizers have invited live blogging of the Harmon/Swanson session as a service to the news industry. You can follow the participants’ blogging by going to this link: at or after 9:30 a.m. EASTERN.

Some people may post or comment on the blogstream via Twitter using the
hashtag: #apinewsmedia

And this temporary URL will carry informational updates about the event through the day and until it’s conclusion at mid-day on Tuesday:



API’s Mary Glick says she and colleague Mary Peskin framed the conference around API’s NEAP White  Paper, an integrated five-point plan to guide the news industry  through the current disruptions and position itself for the future  by:

  • Establishing a true value for news content online and generating revenue from it.
  • Maintaining the free flow of content and monetizing it equitably.
  • Thwarting unauthorized re-use of content that originates in newspapers.
  • Investing in technologies that enhance the user experience and provide content-based e-commerce, data sharing and other revenue solutions.
  • Adapting revenue strategies from those focused on advertisers to those focused on consumers.

What happens to the bazaar and advertising in the InfoValet economy?

This week’s Monday Note offers data and insight about the trajectory of Google AdSense and AdWords, explaining how Google is contributing to the decline in advertising CPMs and revenues for news-based enterprises.

One notion of InfoValet is the creation of an interest-based ecosystem where you are more likely to see (perhaps at times ultimately **only** see) ads for things you have voluntarily profiled yourself as interested
in. A user-controlled system in which you can dial up or down the amount of advertising you see, how you are compensated for your attention, and whether you, at times, choose not to see ads at all. This ends the notion of “publishing” really — it’s a new world in which your InfoValet, rather than creating a mass marketplace and selling access to the bazaar, is helping you to find and “speak” directly with the vendor at his place of business. The InfoValet gets a commission for making the connection and the vendor gets the sale, or at least the user’s attention.

In such a network, the notions of advertising and news are remixed. If you find your way to a Ford Motor site, and Ford pays you 50 cents (directly or via your InfoValet) because you downloaded a brochure about a new hybrid Ford; or you find your way to Consumer Reports, and **you pay** to download a report on that hybrid Ford; what is the functional difference? Each represents a value exchange. The system must enable both. The integrity and ethics of these exchanges will be mediated by folks such as, and perhaps by the system participants. This is why we need to teach news/media literacy in schools, and elsewhere.

AUDIO: The news social network — InfoValet explained in six minutes

How would a news social network work to sustain journalism, provider consumers better control over their privacy, and enable new forms of content sharing and benefits? Bill Densmore is a 2008-2009 fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. He is directing the Information Valet Project. In a six-minute excerpt from a recent conversation, Densmore explains in an audio clip how an InfoValet Service might work.  Click here to jump to a page for launching stream audio, or download an MP3 podcast for offline listening.  (6 mins., 11 seconds; 1.5 MB)


Reynolds’ IVP sets academic-year timetable

Sustaining civic-oriented journalism is the goal of The Information Valet Project. The Internet needs additional infrastructure — a sort of news social network — which will update the role and effectiveness of advertising, enhance consumer privacy options, and enable the sharing of information commerce among publishers, producers and artists. The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri is working on a solution. READ MORE ABOUT US.

This blog will chronicle the early-stage project development.