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July 05 2010

09:29

E&P: US military officials will now need permission for press interviews

According to a piece in Editor & Publisher, defence secretary Robert Gates has has demanded that military officials must now get clearance from the Pentagon for press interviews.

Gates allegedly sent a memo ordering military and civilian personnel across the globe to first gain permission before sharing stories with the media, which would prevent a repeat of the General Stanley McChrystal affair.

The order, issued by Gates on Friday in a brief memo to military and civilian personnel worldwide and effective immediately, tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back.

The order has been in the works since long before Gen. Stanley McChrystal stunned his bosses with criticism and complaints in a Rolling Stone article that his superiors did not know was coming.

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June 17 2010

09:27

E&P: Media companies in three countries now using controversial Atex system

Editor & Publisher this morning reports that a total of six media organisations, across three countries, have transferred to the controversial Atex content management system in recent weeks.

The CMS is now being used by the Calgary Herald, part of Canwest in Canada; military news source Stars and Stripes in Washington; Erdee Media Groep in The Netherlands; The Sun in Arizona; The Providence in Rhode Island and The Star-Ledger in New Jersey.

Just this week Journalism.co.uk reported that the NUJ had raised strong concerns over Johnston Press’s move to Atex, which it claimed “undermines the editorial independence of editors”.

Full story at this link…

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May 14 2010

16:26

E&P: US media ‘unabashedly biased’ toward Barack Obama

Editor & Publisher have a comment piece from Congressman Lamar Smith in which he claims the US media have been exceptionally favourable toward President Obama and relatively disparaging of George Bush and the tea party movement.

The mainstream media’s treatment of President Obama provides an interesting case study. Journalists who gave to President Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign outnumbered those who contributed to Sen. McCain by 20-to-1.

And once the election was over, the slanted coverage continued. The nonpartisan Center for Media and Public Affairs, comparing media coverage of Presidents Bush and Obama at the same point in their presidencies, found that 58 percent of all network news evaluations of Obama and his policies were favorable, while only 33 percent of assessments of Bush were favorable.

Full story at this link…

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March 16 2010

17:12

E&P: Ban on airport newspaper racks violates First Amendment

The U.S. Appeals Court has ruled that a ban on newspaper racks in Raleigh Durham International Airport, North Carolina violates the first amendment, following a challenge from a group of US newspapers including the Raleigh News & Observer, Durham Herald-Sun, New York Times, and USA today.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority removed the racks, claiming that they were a security threat, a traffic impediment, and that they reduced revenue for airport stores that sold newspapers. But the majority of the Appeals Court panel voted to uphold the November 2008 U.S. District Court ruling that the ban violated the First Amendment.

“The government interests asserted to justify the ban do not counterbalance its significant restriction on protected expression,” the panel said in a 35-page opinion.

Full story at this link

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January 20 2010

10:16

Huffington Post: How Editor & Publisher lost its editor

Greg Mitchell, former editor of industry title Editor & Publisher, explains how he was axed as part of a takeover deal by new owners of the magazine.

E&P was shuttered by former publisher Nielsen Company last month, but was resurrected last week by the Duncan McIntosh Company:

Mitchell is, understandably, highly critical of some of the changes that have already been made:

Now I was out, along with the great Joe Strupp, senior editor and staff writer. That meant that the magazine would lose the two staffers who had been responsible for roughly 80 per cent of the magazine’s news-making and traffic-driving ’scoops’ over the past several years – at a time when web impact needs to be expanded.

(…) Much of the speculation about the ‘new’ E&P has been on the decision to focus on business and tech/press room issues. Many observers in recent days have warned that the ‘E’ will be largely taken out of E&P.

A microcosmic vision of wider industry struggles?

Full story at this link…

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December 12 2009

16:53

Print and the newsroom center of gravity.

“In every newsroom there’s a power center, and the reporters know where the power center is and they will follow it,” says Ken Sands, former online publisher at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. “I can’t think of one regional paper that is run by a Web person. You have [print] people running them who have been in the same kind of jobs for 25 years. At the regional level, that is jeopardizing the need to make substantial changes.”

That’s a quote from an interesting article on Editor and Publisher which asks When Will a Web Editor Lead a Major Newsroom? . The article is specifically about the changes at the Washington Post. But that quote resonated with me. Especially the part about the regional level.

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December 11 2009

22:43

4 Minute Roundup: The Death of E&P; AOL's Spin-Off

Here's the latest 4MR audio report from MediaShift. In this week's edition, I look at the recent announcement that Nielsen will be shuttering Editor & Publisher magazine, which covered the newspaper business since 1884. E&P's Jennifer Saba says the loss of classified advertising was as much to blame as Romenesko. Plus, America Online was spun-off from Time Warner yesterday and has an uphill climb to make it as an independent company with dwindling dial-up subscribers.

Check it out:

4mrbareaudio121109.mp3

Background music is "What the World Needs" by the The Ukelele Hipster Kings via PodSafe Music Network.

Here are some links to related sites and stories mentioned in the podcast:

Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews Close at NY Times

Farewell, Editor & Publisher by Steve Outing

Media Cover Sudden Demise of 'E&P' -- Readers Express Shock and Broad Support -- Hope Remains? at E&P

Editor & Publisher, Kirkus Reviews to be shut at LA Times

While Dying, Editor & Publisher Showed Journalism How To Live by Will Bunch at Huffington Post

E&P and the emotional commitment of a subscription at Nieman Journalism Lab

AOL Spinoff Faces Not Challenges, Not Hurdles, But Steep Cliffs at BNET

AOL IPO, Take Two at WSJ

After the Divorce, AOL Faces Challenges at NY Times

AOL's Sob-Story Fooled Wall Street... And Now The Stock Is Undervalued! at Silicon Alley Insider

AOL's first day -- We want to believe at CNET

AOL shares fall on debut trading day at the Telegraph

AOL seeks a new growth strategy at BBC

AOL Completes Spin-Off From Time Warner at InformationWeek

Poll -- What Was the Worst Deal of the Decade? at WSJ

Here's the entire interview with E&P's Jennifer Saba:

Here's a graphical view of last week's MediaShift survey results. The question was: "Who will benefit most from the Comcast/NBC merger?"

comcast survey grab.jpg

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about what killed E&P magazine.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

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15:36

E&P and the emotional commitment of a subscription

I heard the news about Editor & Publisher closing as I hear many things these days — through Twitter. Patrick Thornton (jiconoclast) tweeted: “Does anything better symbolize the state of print media right now than the closure of E&P? Yes things are very bad.” At first, I hoped his tweet didn’t mean what I knew it meant. But a quick search of Twitter yielded proof. Yes, E&P had told its staff Thursday that it was shutting down operations.

This shook me even more than when Gourmet announced its closure a while back. (I found out about that on Twitter, too.)

I read E&P almost religiously in my early years as a journalist, devouring it the moment it arrived in my mailbox. The magazine had a bright purple cover back then. As time went on, I didn’t renew my subscription. I’m not sure why.

I enjoyed E&P’s articles. I appreciated the reporting. In fact, in the last few years, its web site became one of regular online haunts to find out what’s going on in the news business. Sometimes, I’d head to the E&P web page myself, but more often I’d be drawn there by a well-worded tweet or a blog post from someone whose opinion I valued.

Now, I have no information about why E&P shut down, but I’d assume lack of ad revenues or subscriptions had something to do with it. So perhaps I was part of the problem. Or at least me and the many others like me who appreciated E&P’s content but didn’t buy it. Or maybe how I read E&P was just a sign of the times, part of this changing way we consume the news, in small bits throughout the day triggered by smart people we follow online.

That got me thinking. Why didn’t I pay for E&P while it was still here? Why didn’t I subscribe? Would I have subscribed online if they offered it?

The truth is, for me, not subscribing — either in print or online — has little to do with money. It’s about commitment. And I think that’s the problem many news organizations are facing as they try to bring their products online.

In the old days, I paid for E&P because if I didn’t, I’d have no idea what was going on in the industry. I wasn’t paying for news; I was paying for the chance to be in the know in my field.

Things changed with the web. Now, if I choose one magazine to subscribe to out of myriad sources, it feels like I’m limiting my options in a way. I don’t want to commit to one publication, one source, one newspaper, one magazine. Why? Because the publication has become less important than the news itself. I want to be free to surf, reading dozens of different newspapers, blogs or magazines that I may visit just once or twice. I enjoy the synchronicity of happening upon a publication I have never heard of and will probably never visit again.

Yes, I realize that even if I subscribe to one publication, I can still read others. But the act of subscribing is picking one over the others. If you’re a runner, you have a choice of two major magazines: Runner’s World or Running Times. By picking one, you’re choosing not to pick the other. You might glance at the other once in a while, but you probably don’t read them both cover to cover.

I think many of us feel that if we pay for a publication, we expect it to become one of our primary news sources — not just one of dozens of places where we get news. I may feel a bit cheated if I end up getting more of my news elsewhere. I may feel cheated if I subscribe but forget to check the site every day, going instead only when a Facebook friend sends me a link.

In a sense, it’s the dilemma with the makings of a country song: If I subscribe, I feel like I have to dance with the one who brung me — when I really want to play the field.

So maybe at some level I didn’t subscribe to E&P in print because I knew if I headed online, I’d get lots of E&P-like news. Sure, some of it would start with E&P’s reporting, with commentary added by bloggers. Some of it would be from other sources. I was interested in getting as much news and information as I could about the journalism industry. I wasn’t interested in one particular brand.

So what is the answer to that? To me it always comes back to the question: What are you really paying for? I’d gladly pay for online information, a small monthly fee like I pay for my television viewing, a subscription to the whole web. What I don’t want to do is pay for one brand, one publication. I want to be free to follow the news.

A good example of what I mean is Jim Romenesko’s blog at Poynter Online. I read it almost every day. It’s in my RSS reader — but I don’t usually get to it from there. I don’t need to. I remember to check it. I remember to check it because I won’t just find E&P stories there — as great as they were — but I’ll find a whole lot more. It’s like the good ol’ days, when E&P was selling me the chance to be in the know in my field. And that, honestly, I would pay for.

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