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Posts Tagged ‘gannett’

$5,000 Top Prize for Gannett Foundation’s Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism

Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today.  Photo via mije.org

Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today. Photo via mije.org

The Gannett Foundation’s Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism is seeking investigative reporters who broke ground in the past year. Read more

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NYT, Gannett And Others Join AP Suit Against Meltwater

Several of the biggest names in the daily news business joined the AP in its fight against online news clipping service Meltwater News this week. The publishers coming to support AP by filing an amicus brief in its ongoing lawsuit include the New York Times Company, Advance Publications, Gannett, The McClatchy Company and the Newspaper Association of America (which represents 2,000 organizations).

Last year, the Associated Press filed a lawsuit against Meltwater claiming the service — a paid electronic clipping service that monitors and delivers news stories on keyword-specific topics to its paying customers — violated AP copyright and competed directly against AP by illegally selling its content. Since then, the back and forth battle over fair use and what’s fair on the Internet has intensified, with supporters on both sides.

This week, the newspapers weighed in and filed an amicus brief supporting the AP (download the full PDF of the brief, which is worth reading). Here’s their take on the issue and what’s at stake:

It takes no friend-of-the-court brief for the Court to know that the rise of the Internet has been highly disruptive to the nation’s news organizations, as their readers and advertisers have migrated to the Web. In response, the nation’s news organizations, including the amici on this brief, have at considerable expense developed their own Websites and digital businesses to carry their news reports. These digital businesses are supported by electronic advertising revenue, electronic subscription revenue, and licensing income from other publishers and users and aggregators. None of these revenue streams can be sustained if news organizations are unable to protect their news reports from the wholesale copying and redistribution by free-riders like Meltwater.
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USA Today Publisher: Paper Not “Unique Enough” For Paywall

Despite paywalls popping up across other national newspapers and on smaller regional papers, including those owned by Gannett, Larry Kramer, the president and publisher of Gannett’s flagship USA Today, said today not to expect his paper to follow suit anytime soon. His explanation? The product isn’t “unique enough” at this point to charge for it.

The Wrap has some additional background on his comments and the conversation today during Business Insider’s Ignition conference, but here’s the gist from Fishbowl New York:

“I don’t want to charge [online] for USA Today right now, I don’t think it is the right thing to do, and there is so much national news out there,” Kramer said. “I think we would lose more than we would gain.”

Kramer also talked about efforts he has taken to change the business and culture of the Gannett paper since taking over as publisher in May.

“The best of our work had been in the newspaper, and I had to change the structure of the staff so they were producing for the digital platform first, and then the newspaper,” Kramer said.

It’s an interesting and refreshingly honest appraisal of the type of content its staff produces for the site, which had 262 million page views in May 2011, according to USAToday.com presskit (that number likely has grown in the past year and a half, though I don’t know how the recent redesign affected readership/page view counts). As Kramer said in his conversation, local news outlets take the advantage in this because they produce original news you can’t get elsewhere or no one else is covering.

YOUR TURN: Do you see a time when it could be viable for USA Today to charge for web access? What would it take to get you to pay?

USA Today Launching Digital, Print Redesign

Gannett’s flagship newspaper, USA Today, announced today it’s relaunching its brand identity, and with it a redesigned paper (starting Friday) and website (starting this weekend). The redesign comes on the heels of the paper’s 30th anniversary — the colorful, graphic-heavy paper launched Sept. 15, 1982.

Here’s a quick video intro to the redesign (complete with a cheesy voiceover):

From USA Today’s own story on the relaunch:

The look and functionality of all digital platforms — the website, tablet app, new Facebook app and new mobile apps — also have been overhauled to facilitate bigger images and graphic-driven stories while presenting them in “a fun, engaging” way, the company says.

The web and tablet platform will also feature live video coverage, interactive weather mapping and more instant analysis and commentary. New user-control features will make customizing the pages easier for consumers.

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iPhone App, Children’s Coloring Book, Searchable Database Among Components Of California Watch’s Winning Project

The Center for Investigative Reporting and its online reporting initiative California Watch won the Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for their “On Shaky Ground” series about earthquake safety at California public schools.

In addition to a three-part reporting series, On Shaky Ground included multiple online components that helped the organization earn the $5,000 prize. The project was published more than a year ago, but it’s such a good one that its worth recapping all the various elements.

The map and database

The investigation included a map and database component that lets users see whether a particular school is near a fault and whether construction there raised red flags.

If you remember the post I wrote about Brian Boyer’s tips for creating a usable app, the three questions he asks are 1) Who are our users? 2) What are their needs? and 3) How can we help them fulfill their needs? This app addresses each of those in a very usable way — readers can create their own stories through the data by seeing information that is particularly useful to them based on where their children go to school, or where they might work.

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