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Posts By Alan Bass

Latest Posts | By Alan Bass

Newspaper readership deemed “strong”

By  •  Research

NADbank’s Canadian newspaper readership numbers for 2009 are out and spinning. Statistics released by NADbank indicate 73 per cent of adults read a printed newspaper at least once druing the week (that figure rises to 77 per cent when online-only readers are factored in) while 47 per cent reported reading a newspaper “on an overage weekday.”  According to the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA), the results demonstrate newspaper readership in Canada is “very strong.” Although the numbers do compare well to results from recent years, a slighly more historical perspective might suggest a different storyline. In 2000, NADbank reported a weekly readership figure of 82 per cent while the number of Canadians who “read a newspaper yesterday” stood at 60 per cent.

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Zeitgeist alert: NY Times looked-up words reflect troubled times

By  •  Commentary

Joshua Benton of the Niemen Journalism Lab takes a peek at the words New York Times readers looked up most often this year and sees evidence of a time that’s dark and depressing, if not downright desultory. 

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Older adults flocking to social media

By  •  Research

The number of older adults using social media has almost doubled during the past year, according to a study by Pew Internet. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are most popular among the gray-hairs, but their use of Twitter is also growing quickly.

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Reports of newspapers’ death greatly exaggerated

By  •  News

Predictions of the demise of the daily newspaper are based on myths that don’t stand scrutiny, argues David Estok, former editor-in-chief of the Hamilton Spectator. Newspapers are becoming more focused and more efficient but they will survive the current crisis, because what they do still matters.
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PR provides half the news published in Australian newspapers

By  •  Research

About 55 per cent of the news published by Australian newspapers was fed to them by PR and marketing sources, according to a study of 10 newspapers conducted by local university students, the Australian news website Crikey and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. More than 2200 stories from a five-day period were analyzed. A story was categorized as PR-dependent if it originated from a press release or other promotional material or if it “clearly presented only one, highly positive slant or framed one source in a promotional manner without including any independent verification or additional source.” Individual newspapers’ placings on this PR-dependency scale ranged from 42 per cent (Sydney Morning Herald) to 70 per cent (Daily Telegraph).
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State of the Media 2010: Journalism’s time is slipping away

By  •  Research

The sand in the hourglass is slipping away for original journalism. That’s the sombre message at the core of this year’s State of the Media Report by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism. While many exciting new experiments in journalism have launched, particularly in non-profit and citizen journalism, the revenue they’ve attracted to invest in journalism is less than one-tenth of what’s been lost by newspapers alone during the past few years. And while commentary is plentiful in the new media world, original reporting is not. Even a robust economic recovery will not be enough to stem the decline in media support for original reporting , the report suggests. New approaches to funding journalism are urgently required.
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Journalism in Afghanistan: Getting better but still a long way to go

By  •  News

Journalism in Afghanistan is young, fragile and subject to interference, threats and violence from government and insurgents. It could use some support from the international journalism community, writes Afghan-Canadian journalist Ahmad Zia Kechkenni.
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Editorial quality control for print content only at many magazines

By  •  Research

Many magazines exempt their own websites from the editorial standards applied to their traditional print product, reports a study of editorial practices at 665 magazines by the Columbia Journalism Review. The study found 11 per cent do not copy edit web-only content at all while 48 per cent copy edit it less rigorously than print material. Fact checking was also applied less  rigorously for online-only content by 27 per cent of the magazines studied, while 8 per cent didn’t fact check web content and 8 per cent didn’t fact check web or print material. The study also states that 45 per cent of magazine web sites make factual corrections without alerting readers.
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News is all around us: Pew

By  •  Research

I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. News is all around me … With apologies to the Troggs (and a liberal use of poetic licence), that, in essence, is how the latest Pew Internet survey describes the way news is distributed and consumed today.

Using multiple platforms and often portable devices, people plug into whatever news interests them (weather tops the list) at any time they choose from any place they want, and often because a friend sent them a link. “Portable, personalized and participatory” is how Pew describes today’s news system.

People aren’t abandoning the news; they’re just coming at it differently. That’s what this study suggests. It’s a fascinating look at how social and technological change is transforming our relationship to the news and a tonic to the sky-is-falling tone that permeates so much recent discussion. Well worth a read …

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News is all around: Pew

By  •  Research

I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. News is all around me … With apologies to the Troggs (and some poetic licence), that, in essence, is how the latest Pew Internet survey describes the new reality of how news is distributed and consumed. Using multiple devices, increasingly including smart-phones, people plug into news about whatever interests them (weather tops the list, of course) from anywhere and at any time, and often because a friend passed along a link. “Portable, personalized and participatory” is how Pew describes our new news universe. It’s a fascinating study of how technological and social changes are impacting news consumption and something of a tonic compared to the sky-is-falling tone that permeates so much recent discussion. Well worth a read …
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