Author Archives: mediagiraffe

Did the New York Times Just Declare War on News Aggregators?

It looks like the New York Times, Apple and the handiwork of some Stanford students, the Pulse News reader, are in the midst of moving around the copyright bar. A bit.

At stake — just how much use can you make of an RSS feed before it becomes a copyright violation? Or is that a nonsequitor, i.e., if you put up an RSS feed will common law emerge that says you are, in effect, granting blanket usage rights to what’s in the feed? NYTimes is saying no, apparently, because they have terms of use barring commercial use of their RSS feeds.

See these two accounts, noted by CircLabs’ Joe Bergeron and Martin Langeveld:



Midwest newspapers anti-up $30K to eye for-profit collaborative to monetize Internet content

Three Midwest newspaper associations — Kansas, Missouri and Iowa — met Nov. 20 and formed a coordinated effort to manage monetization of their content on the web, raising in minutes an initial $30,000 to start planning. They’ve asked a retiring executive of the Iowa Press Association, Bill Monroe, to look into the idea. A key part of the idea is a for-profit corporation, owned by the nation’s newspapers, to coordinate the effort.

Original oganizers of the task force were Doug Anstaett, executive director of the Kansas Press Association; Bill Monroe, deputy executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association; and Doug Crews, executive director of the Missouri Press Association.

At Friday’s meeting, says Monroe, publishers present pledged “about $30,000 in 90 seconds” to help the project get through the next phase — talking to key media people nationwide and creating an inventory of all possible approaches to how to get paid for online content.


Indiana-Purdue researcher finds relevancy, customizability most important to young news consumers

(Summarized by Bill Densmore    )

An academic researcher’s detailed inquiry of the media habits and desires of 16-to-30-year-old news consumers finds relevancy and customizability are the most important things youth news consumers want.

Dr. Edgar Huang’s research involved extremely detailed surveys of a total of 28 high-school and college students. Huang is in the School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Entitled: “The Causes of Youths’ Low News Consumption and Strategies for Making Youths Happy News Consumers,” the study was published in the International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, (Vol. 15, No. 1, 105-122, c. 2009, Sage Publications).

Some excerpts:

— Only 7% of the same gets their news from print newspapers. Overwhelmingly, the are getting it from the web and television.

— Nine-out-of-10 of the students had a broadband internet connection at home and they found news almost exclusively via their desktop or lap — NOT with their phone or PDA.

— Only 1 out of the 28 students uses RSS feeds to find news.

— Wrote Dr. Huang: “For these youth who have grown in the digital era, accessing news online is becoming their native culture.”

When asked to propose solutions to how they should interact with news, Huang wrote that: “The two major solutions the respondents proposed were relevancy and customizability.”


The Indiana researcher said they wanted three kinds of relevancy — they wanted relevant news that had an effect on their lives, they wanted news that was relevant to their time-starved lives — great headlines and stories short and to the point; and they wanted “media relevancy.”


Media relevancy was defined by Dr. Huang’s the respondents as “news delivered in a media format they are comfortable with — easy to navigate, interactive, searchable, filterable, containing graphics and videos, and providing much more information than newspapers for optional in-depth reading, hading for those who were near a computer often, enabling viewing from various digital devices and allowing time shifting.”


Eight of the 28 study respondents said that online users “should be allowed to customize their preferences for news so that the news they liked to see could be fed to them either on a customizable news website or social networking sites . . . so that they did not have to spend time searching for such news. However, they would like to be able to scan all the to stories to see if anything else would interest them.”


One of the respondents specifically envisioned that “a news website will learn and calculate how many times I hit on specific news. The web site will remember my interests in news and then rearrange the front page with the kind of news that I enjoyed whenever I visit the site.”

Said a second respondent to the 28-student survey by Dr. Edgar Huang of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis: “I would like a personalized website that had all the news that I feel is relevant to me.”

Edgar Huang, Ph.D., MFA
Associate Professor, School of Informatics
Adjunct Professor, School of Journalism
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
535 W. Michigan Street, Suite IT 481
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3103
Phone: (317) 278-4108
Fax: (317) 278-7669

NAA effort launched to identify features of “content” people will pay for: Tweet #newspay

The National Newspaper Association has launched an informal exercise to try assemble best thinking about types of content the public might be willing to pay for. The effort is noted in a comment to a post by veteran news executive Alan Mutter on his blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur:


In one comment, Beth Lawton, a digital strategist at the Newspaper Association of America, wrote: “NAA is working on getting a conversation rolling about this topic. Please cross-post your comments to Twitter (#newspay) or to NAA’s Facebook page. Nice work getting this started, Alan! Thanks!”

In his post, Mutter lists four types of news-oriented information a publisher might arguably convince a user to pay for, including intensive, comprehensive, exclusive local news, news that helps the reader make money or avoid losing money, or exclusive entertainment stories.

Mutter suggests rating information on a five-point matrix of attractiveness for attempting a paid content experiement. These include, Mutter wrotes: Uniqueness, routiness, time sensitivity, business urgency, entertainment value, localness and relationship to home economics.

In interview, Google’s Schmidt comes off rather supportive of newspapers’ role in democracy

The topical blog Search Engine Land and its editor-in-chief, Danny Sullivan, scored a long interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt posted Sat., Oct. 3, at 8 a.m. In it, Schmidt comes off as rather supportive of newspapers’ role supporting democracy through investigative journalism, says he sees it as a “moral obligation” of Google to help the news industry, but reveals no specifics about how Google might do so. Here’s the link:

Knight Commission report on community news needs streamed live on Oct. 2

What are the news and information needs of communities?

A two-year inquiry by a joint Aspen Institute-Knight Foundation study commission will issue its findings on the subject on Friday — and you can watch their report live and follow the Twitter stream via the hashtag #knightcomm.

Erin Silliman, who is project manager of the communications and society program at the Aspen Institute advises the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities, says the meeting will be streamed live from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT from this URL:

To view the full agenda and speakers, go to:

A project of the Aspen Institute and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the “Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy” will be meeting at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

During it’s last meeting in May, the commission’s discussion followed these themes:

— Information is vital to people, both in regard to the quality of their individual lives and in their ability to participate in the public space.

— People who lack access to digital information or the skills to use it risk becoming second-class citizens.

— Information is a public good and needs to be thought of and supported in that way.

— Journalism plays a critical in role in the lives of people, in the health of communities and in the functioning of democracy

After opening remarks by president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibargüen, and Knight Commission co-chairs Marissa Mayer and Theodore B. Olson, the Commission will present the Report to Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the FCC, and other government officials.

Knight commissioners and other leaders will then engage in a multi-panel discussion on the commission¹s recommendations. Mayer is a Google Inc. execugtive and Olson is a retired U.S. solicitor general.

Silliman says there will be lots of information at that website address beginning on Friday at 5 p.m. EDT as well as two ways to view the written report — a fully downloadable PDF file or via individual HTML pages online.

“We will also begin a national dialogue on the report and the Commission’s recommendations beginning Friday,” says Silliman. “We will have a very exciting and interactive web ready in conjunction with the release of the report.”

Silliman invites questions at or (202) 736-5851.

Announcing CircLabs Inc. — helping news industry to find a business model on the web

Jeff Vander Clute announces in Washington, D.C., on May 27, 2009, a partnership among four entrepreneurs and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Vander Clute is president of the Silicon Valley startup, CircLabs Inc. Vander Clute is followed by Martin Langeveld, CircLab’s executive vice president. For more information go to:

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