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Use of anonymous sources down at the NY Times

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Use of anonymous sources by reporters at the New York Times has been cut in half since 2004, when the Jayson Blair incident prompted the newspaper to rewrite its sourcing guidelines, reports the paper’s public editor. However, Clark Hoyt also said most unnamed sources were still not adequately described by reporters and the amount of anonymously sourced opinion actually increased.

Anonymous sourcing at the Globe and Mail
Those interested in the issue of sourcing by Canadian reporters might want to read Denise Rudnicki’s recent study of the use of anonymous sources in the Globe and Mail (PDF) during a six-month period in 2005-2006. Rudnicki concluded that anonymous sources quoted by Globe reporters were most often used to insert “colour and comment” and “added little to public discourse.”

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Young news consumers overwhelmed by info overload

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Young people want in-depth news reporting but can’t seem to find it in the daily torrent of headlines, news bits and factoids that bombard them in today’s 24/7, Internet-driven news environment, according to an ethnographic study of young people’s news habits commissioned by the Associated Press and released this week. The study, a preview of which was reported earlier in Findings, also suggests the difficulty younger news consumers face in following news is intensified by a habit of multitasking. Following a story beyond a headline or snippet happens almost by accident, depending on whether the user stumbles on a useful and attractive link or reference. The study recommends journalists be more aware of how Internet users consume news and and create more entry points to guide news consumers toward informative and contextualized reports.
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Marketers plan to spend more online, less on print

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More bad news for print media: A survey of U.S. marketers finds most plan to spend more advertising dollars online during the next few years and reduce the amount they spend on print.
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Marketers plan to spend more online, less on print

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More bad news for print media: A survey of U.S. marketers finds most plan to spend more advertising dollars online during the next few years and reduce the amount they spend on print.
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British study explores link between PR and news

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Most of the journalism produced by Britain’s national newspapers is “pre-packaged” or “recycled” news derived from public relations material and wire services, according to a recent study by researchers at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural studies. At least 19 per cent of press stories originated wholly or mainly from PR material, the researchers reported. Other findings: Print journalists are producing three times the copy they did 20 years ago and are doing less fact-checking and contextualizing as a result; broadcast news outlets are less dependent on PR and news wires for their material but continue to rely heavily on newspapers when deciding their news lineup. (Note: You can download the entire study; use Word to open.)
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Mapping newspaper job cuts

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Journalist and designer Erica Smith is interactively mapping locations and details of newspaper job cuts in the United States. The subject matter is depressing, but the presentation technique (using Google Maps) is impressive.
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The newspaper of the future, as seen by editors

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The newspaper of the future? Glad you asked: Print and
online functions will be fully integrated in the newsroom, newspaper journalists
will be expected to produce content in all media formats, some editorial
functions will be outsourced, analysis and opinion will be more important and news
will be distributed for free. At least, that’s the majority view of more than 700
editors and news executives surveyed for the 2008 Newsroom Barometer. Most of
the editors see declining readership among the young as their biggest threat and they are almost evenly divided as to whether newsprint or
online will be the dominant medium of  news publishing in the future.

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Anthropologists study young people’s news habits for AP

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Sparking young people’s interest in the news is a daunting challenge. In an effort to learn more about how young adults
interact with the news, Associated Press commissioned a team of anthropologists
to study the digital news habits of 18 young people (aged 18-34) in
the United States, Britain and India. According to a preview of their report posted
on the Editors Weblog
, their subjects considered news
to be an important source of “social currency” – and wanted to know more about events – but they encountered news reports haphazardly,
mostly through e-mail sources and social networks. The full study is scheduled
to be released in early June at the World Editors Forum in Sweden.

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Newsroom barometer study predicts integrated newsroom

An annual survey of editors around the world conducted by Zogby International and commissioned by the World Editors Forum and Reuters is posted to this site and is signficant because it is yet another indication of the direction newspapers are moving towards.
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Print not dead yet

Rumours that the next generation won’t read print have been greatly exaggerated, says new research from US-based McPheters & Co. The overall consensus of their report is that the younger generation (ages 19-34) is reading more than the older generation (ages 35+). But, curiously, circulation is down. 
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