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Posts Tagged ‘usa today’

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?

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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.

Read more

Gannett Latest Newspaper Chain To Put Up Paywalls

R.I.P. unlimited free online news. Possibly for real this time (at least from newspapers). The nation’s largest newspaper chain is said to be planning a  roll out of its paid model by the end of this year.

Forbes is reporting Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper chain, which controls more than 80 newspapers around the country from small community papers to USA Today, apparently has plans to switch over its community papers to a tiered pay model this year. (One notable exception: USA Today.) The switch to a tiered paywall — where the first few stories per month are free — comes amid a renewed emphasis on digital-first news gathering, which has included handing out thousands of iPhones and iPads to news staffers at various properties.

From Forbes:

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is planning to switch over all of its 80 community newspapers to a paid model by the end of the year, it announced during an investor day held in Manhattan Wednesday.

“We will begin to restrict some access to non-subscribers,” said Bob Dickey, president of community publishing. The model is similar to the metered system adopted by The New York Times a year ago, in which online readers are able to view a limited number of pages for free each month. That quota will be between five and 15 articles, depending on the paper, said Dickey. Six Gannett papers already have a digital pay regimen in place.

This news is hardly unexpected. Not only are other major newspapers and outlets heading in this direction, but Gannett itself has been toying with this model at some of its properties for some time and started actively testing this tiered model this month.

Jim Romenesko posted the paywall FAQ customers of those test sites received in January. According to that, subscribers continue to have unfettered access to all content on all platforms.

USA Today Opens APIs To Commercial Use

News organizations collect lots of data, and are increasingly allowing the public to access that data via APIs. Free access to the APIs is seen by news organizations as a form of serving the public’s interest.

But, there’s been a catch: The usage of almost all of these APIs is restricted to noncommercial use.

For example, the terms of use of The New York Times‘ developer network (which contains some of the most robust APIs around) states:

You shall not … use the NYT APIs for any commercial purpose or in any product or service that competes with products or services offered by NYT.

In the eyes of the Times, this constitutes commercial use:

1. Selling New York Times content or data in any application.
2. Charging a subscription fee for any New York Times content or data.
3. Selling any application built with one of our APIs.

(An exception is made for the Times’ Campaign Finance, Congress and NY State Legislature APIs, which use public data.)

But seeing an opportunity, USA Today earlier this month announced that they were going to open up three of their APIs to commercial use. Read more

Fifteen Journalism-Related Panels for SXSW Interactive 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012Earlier this week, the colossal film, interactive, and music festival known as SXSW announced the opening of the 2012 SXSW PanelPicker, a community-driven voting portal that allows people to vote on panels which they wish to see at the upcoming conference. The PanelPicker votes and comments comprise 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot, with the SXSW Staff and SXSW Advisory Board accounting for 30% and 40% respectively. Voting is open from now until 11:59pm CT on Friday, September 2, 2011.

For those of you who may not be familiar with SXSW, here’s a brief video from SXSW that gives an overview of the conference:

While there are three distinct portions of the conference, SXSW Interactive offers the most diverse group of topics, especially for journalists. Currently, there are over 50 journalism-related panels up for voting in the PanelPicker. I’ve culled through them all, and here are fifteen which I think would be great for journalists of all kinds. Each panel description also includes a link to vote for the panel on the PanelPicker (voting does require registering for a free PanelPicker account).

Read more

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