Friday, November 19, 2010

Corrections, smartphones, paywalls: Read!

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Another good weekend for reading:

"The Wrong Stuff" (Media Bugs): MediaBugs, a 2009 grant winner in the Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, just expanded to the national stage as a place where errors can be brought to the attention of the media in the hopes of having them corrected. As founder Scott Rosenberg once explained, news operations are horrible at admitting they got something wrong, oftentimes leaving readers, listeners or viewers apoplectic. So with the Knight grant he created a website in the San Francisco Bay area where those mistakes could be reported and tracked, ratcheting up the public pressure to make things right. (Think SeeClickFix, but not for potholes.) Now Rosenberg is attempting to do the same on a national scale -- and none too soon, judging from the survey MediaBugs did of the corrections practices of some 40 national newspaper and cable TV operations.

"Mary Meeker: Smartphones Will Surpass PC Shipments in Two Years" (TechCrunch): Morgan Stanley is back with more data on smartphone adoption, indicating their sales will move past laptop and desktop computers combined by 2012 and skyrocket from there. And newspaper publishers are beginning to pay attention (pdf), with near-unanimous agreement by respondents in a just-released Audit Bureau of Circulations survey that the public will be relying more and more on mobile devices -- not only smartphones but tablets and e-readers too.

Rap interlude: Take a listen to this catchy rap ode to NPR's shows and personalities.

"The Content Project: Building an 'EZ Pass' for Paid Content" (eMedia Vitals): This online newsletter, which describes itself as serving print media executives wanting to move their businesses online, offers a look at one idea for generating new news revenue: a system of à la carte options for paid content that might include things like day passes, annual subscriptions and metered access. Registration creates a credit card-backed electronic payment account that will buy access to the content on any website that participates in the project. Say organizers, "The key to making this work is making it as simple as possible for users" -- like the EZ Pass many motorists use to pay road tolls.

"Seven Reasons Newspapers Are Not Rebounding Financially" (Poynter Online): Rick Edmonds, who follows the business end of the news business, writes about the challenges still facing newspapers, despite the deep cost-cutting of staffs and news hole during the recession. But as he takes stock through three quarters of 2010, the scary point No. 6 on his list says alot: "The 'death spiral' cycle continues."

"Jim VandeHei Talks Politico Pro" (Columbia Journalism Review): Despite the above, Politico, the website and newspaper covering Capitol Hill in D.C., has big plans for a pricey news service that will deliver deeper looks at policy and politics to subscribers. It's among a handful of such plans by media companies -- including behemoth Bloomberg -- to offer everything under the sun to those who crave (and can pay for ) it.

Geeky interlude: The New York Times on Nov. 14 put online a companion graphic to a print story that allowed readers to "fix" the U.S. budget deficit. The blog 10,000 Words takes a look under the hood in the graphic's creation.

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