Full November 2002 archive

Here is the full archive for November 2002…

Nielsen Changes News Site Rating System

Nielsen/NetRatings has changed
the way it determines the Top Current Events & Global News Sites, beginning
with the October measurements. In an effort to "
provide a more accurate and complete portrayal of Internet usage," t
company is now counting users of the news sections of America Online’s
proprietary paid membership service, in addition to the visitors to AOL’s
free Web news pages that have always been counted. As a result, AOL News
moves up from No. 19
with 2,066,000, to No. 3 with 16,481,000 unique users
in October. You can
find the latest and past Top Current Events & Global News Sites results at
— but remember,
because of the new changes, October and future measurements cannot be
trended against past data. [11/27]

New Cross-Media
Partnership in Miami

Cross-media partnerships are a
growing trend across the country, and the latest one forming is in Miami,
where The Herald and WFOR-CBS 4 are teaming up in a far-reaching alliance to
share news gathering, personnel, online content, office space and
promotional efforts.
the deal, which takes effect Dec. 2
, CBS 4 will feature a Herald Report,
highlighting the newspaper’s stories, in its three daily newscasts. In
return, The Herald will give CBS 4 a slot on Page 4A to feature whatever it
chooses. The television station will have the right to break Herald
exclusives, access to The Herald’s foreign bureaus and office space in The
Herald’s Fort Lauderdale bureau. In exchange, WFOR’s meteorologist will be
featured on The Herald’s weather page and even assist in redesigning the
feature. And WFOR’s medical expert  may be featured in the newspaper’s
health section. Other joint projects will be developed, such as possibly a
weekly news show that the two entities would co-produce. Another part of the
alliance involves WFOR’s sister station, WBFS-UPN 33, and The Herald’s
alternative weekly newspaper, Street Miami. Starting in January, Street
Miami will have its own feature segment several times a week on WBFS’
newscasts. In return, the weekly paper will give a slot to WBFS. And as for
online collaboration, The Herald will supply late-breaking stories and
content to WFOR’s Web site,,
while WFOR will provide Norcross’ weather forecast and a real-time radar
screen to Wow. That’s
convergence. [11/27]

Tip: Thanksgiving Fast Facts
How many turkeys are raised in
America and how much turkey meat does the average American eat? The Census
bureau has compiled
a list
of Thanksgiving facts
, with links to census data. [11/26]

Electronic News Dies in Print, Lives Online
Usually established print publications shut
their Web sites to save costs, but Electronic News is doing things
the other way around. Reed Business Information has
shut down
the print edition of the 45-year-old weekly Electronic News, which
had 46,000 subscribers and claimed to have coined the phrase "Silicon
Valley." But Reed will continue running the Electronic News Web site,
which provides daily news updates and an e-mail newsletter with 65,000


British Web News Wars
After ploughing millions into
their Web sites, UK newspapers are starting to impose fees for their online
news services. But since Internet users aren’t used to paying for anything
much except porn,

says Nielsen/NetRatings internet analyst Tom Ewing
, "we may well see the
tabloids charging for ladies-in-underwear sites soon. We could see The Sun’s site going over to subscription. The Emap lads’ mag FHM is
already the first major glossy to charge for content, in its case a vaguely
cheesecake readers’ girlfriends section." [11/26]

Time Inc. Weighing Moving
Content to AOL

Time Inc. could become the largest publisher to move away from offering free
content on the Web, if an agreement with its parent company, America Online,
is reached to transfer a substantial portion of its content onto AOL’s
struggling proprietary service, company executives say. The move under
discussions would challenge the notion that publishers need to offer their
products free online. Rather than support expensive free sites that bring in
little revenue, Time Inc. might create pared-down versions and reserve the
full ones for AOL and magazine subscribers. News-oriented magazines, such as
Time and Sports Illustrated, may continue a larger free presence. "If all
the elements are put in place, Time Inc. will become a leader among those
who say that publishers should stop giving away their content on the Web,"
The Wall Street Journal reports. "At the height of the Internet boom,
executives assumed they needed to put most of their content online to boost
readership and benefit from online advertising. But Time Inc. has concluded
that its free Web sites hurt circulation and Web-based advertising is too
meager to make up the difference." [11/25] Founding Publisher Leaves
As The Wall
Street Journal Online moves toward profitability, its founding publisher,
Neil Budde, announced he is leaving. Interestingly, Dow Jones is not going
to replace him. "We have quite a strong team of executives who are in

said Scott Schulman
, president of Dow Jones’s Consumer Electronic
Publishing unit, which was cash-flow positive in the third quarter. [11/25]

Tip: Finding Diverse Sources

A key to writing fair and accurate
news stories is making sure you incorporate diverse voices. But finding them
can be challenging, particularly when it’s so easy to fall back on the usual
sources on deadline.
Here’s a
wonderful resource
that makes finding diverse sources much easier.

Reuters Targeting
Consumer Audience

The re-launch of in
the U.S., as mentioned here earlier this week, marks
the beginning of the company’s first "direct-to-consumer publishing,"
meaning it will now compete with sites like CBS MarketWatch for eyeballs.
The company is beginning this new initiative with ad-supported e-mail
newsletters such as a pre-market opening report and a weekly funds review.
But the site plans on adding "other new content, tools and functionality"
regularly throughout 2003, including premium subscriptions and other
paid-content products. The new site, the company said, also marks the first
phase of a global expansion that will include companion sites targeted at
other key markets in Asia and Europe within the next 12 months. [11/21]

Behind the Scenes: Fiore’s Animated Cartoons

one thinks of online journalists who are doing innovative, enlightening work
that truly takes advantage of the medium, Mark Fiore is one of the first
names that comes to mind. Fiore recently won the 2002 Online Journalism
Award for commentary and was a finalist in the Creative Use of the Medium
In a Q&A with’s Jonathan Dube, Fiore explains why "technology doesn’t
make the cartoon" and that the key to making an animated cartoon effective
is "having something to say.
" [11/20]

Online Errors made an egregious error last week, but
should get applauded at least for handling it well and making a prominent
correction. Many online news sites bury corrections or simply update
stories, giving people who have read a story no way of knowing that it was
inaccurate and changes have been made. After mistakenly quoted
Disney Chairman Michael Eisner as saying he didn’t see the company’s
network, ABC, being around "in four to five years,"
the site
updated the story
and changed the headline to, "Clarification: Eisner
Discusses The ABC Brand And Other Disney Brands." The site then not only
corrected the story, but put asterisks next to the updated sentences, and at
the bottom of the story included explanations like, "The original version of
this story incorrectly stated that Eisner did not see the third-ranked
network being around in four to five years." Editor Paul Maidment

told The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz
his reporter wrongly
"extrapolated" from an Eisner remark without the "broader context," adding:
"I consider any mistake to be a bad mistake." News sites should have
consistent corrections policies that ensure readers know not only when fixes
have been made, but what the changes are. [11/20]

E&P Yearbook Goes Online
Editor & Publisher has launched
an online edition of
its International Year Book
, an encyclopedia of the newspaper industry,
which is great because the paper version becomes outdated way too quickly.
The online version, which will be updated throughout the year and is
searchable, contains information on more than 14,000 U.S. and Canadian daily
newspapers, weekly newspapers, publishing groups, sales representatives and
equipment manufacturers. It’s pricey, though: $695 a year. [11/19] Improves
Reuters has unveiled
a new Web site
with a new finance section, an expanded news section, free newsletters and
improved slideshows and photo galleries. [11/18]

Fighting for Young Readers
Newspapers are getting increasingly concerned
about losing younger readers, so they are experimenting, launching new
publications like Red Streak and Red Eye in Chicago, and looking for more
cutting-edge features and columns. Many younger readers are turning to the
Internet to get their news.  "It’s just quicker and less cumbersome,"
Tim Nekritz, 35, of Oswego, N.Y., who grew up reading newspapers. "I can
just punch up one bar on a Web page that says ‘sports’ and get what I need,
as opposed to having to wade through all the other stuff." [11/18]

El Pais Goes Subscription
The Spanish daily El Pais

has begun charging
for access to all parts of its Web site,,
making it the first big general-interest paper in Europe to put its entire
interactive newspaper behind a paid subscription wall. A few European
general-interest papers — notably El Mundo in Spain and Le Monde in France
— charge for access to some content. [11/18]

Tip: Playing With URLs

By playing around with Web addresses using common sense and
educated guessing, you can often save time and find documents you otherwise
wouldn’t, as outlined in
this tip on
. But before you go too far, here are
some URL
Cautionary Tales
. If it’s in The New York Times, it must be true, right?
Maybe not… [11/15]

Britain’s Top Online News Sites
BBC News Online is, not surprisingly,
Britain’s top online news site in terms of traffic, regularly
attracting more than two million unique visitors per month,

according to Nielsen/NetRatings
. The site has also won
numerous awards. The Guardian, meanwhile, is Britain’s top
online newspaper, with more than one million unique visitors per
month. After that, CNN, the Financial Times and the Daily
Telegraph each draw about 500,000 visitors per month. [11/15]

Blogging To Go Wireless
Is the future of blogging wireless? And, if so, what are the
implications for journalists? InfoSync columnist Oliver Thylmann doesn’t
think blogging is journalism, despite the feelings of many (see
more on this in The Weblog Blog
). "The intention of blogs is not to
provide readers with facts portrayed in an objective manner, and I don?t
look at 10 or more blogs for journalism and hard facts, but rather for the
ideas those bloggers have and possibly their thoughts about the matter
around us," he says.
"This is not journalism." But he still thinks journalists should be very
concerned. Already bloggers can post wirelessly, via gadgets like Blackberry
pagers, and he warns journalists that in a few years, people everywhere will
have mobile phones with the ability to post text and high-quality digital
pictures to blogs: "Of course, journalists will still rush to the scene to
get the scoop — but the scoop will already be long gone, and journalists
will almost never be the first on the scene anymore," he predicts. "It might
not be good spelling or reporting, and it might not be objective, but it
will be diverse, real and full of emotions." [11/14]

European Online Publishers
Association Forms

Ten European online publishers have decided to create
an association similar to the American Online Publishers Association (OPA).
OPA Europe will include the French


Le Monde

Les Echos
, El Pais (Spain),

The Guardian
, the

Financial Times
(UK), Die Frankfuerter Allgemeine Zeitung,

Der Spiegel
(Germany), and the Italian newspapers

La Stampa


La Repubblica

Le Temps
(Switzerland). [11/14]

Column Brought to You By…
Borrowing a technique from
broadcasters, here’s a new twist on Web sponsorships: On

this CBS Marketwatch story about Reuters facing mounting
, a 3M logo not only moves across the screen, but
audio automatically fires when the page is loaded, announcing,
"This column is brought to you by 3M." [11/13]

Happy Birthday, Salon
Salon celebrates its seventh birthday
today, quite an accomplishment for a site that has never made a
profit, in an industry where few have. "Yes, we’re as surprised
as some of you are that we’re still here,"

Editor David Talbot admits
. "It’s hard enough to launch a
new publication. But doing it on the Web — a new medium with no
proven business models — has been even more, uh, challenging,
as they say in corporate seminars. Then you throw in a
recession, the advertising market meltdown, 9/11, the Bush
backlash against pretty much everything Salon stands for,
looming war with Iraq — and like any survivor in today’s
economic maelstrom, you begin to suspect that boils and plagues
are next. ‘What fresh hell is this?,’ Dorothy Parker’s
lamentation, has become our own. Salon has outlived many worthy
Web colleagues — let us observe a moment of silence for the
likes of Suck, Hotwired, Feed, Word and, all of
which got out the electric cables, yelled ‘Clear’ and zapped the
flat-lining carcass of American journalism." [11/13]

Test-drive Salon Premium

Nearly 50,000 readers now subscribe to Salon —
more than 44,000 for Salon Premium and more than 5,000 for the
Well and Table Talk. But that’s not enough to make Salon
profitable. Now it’s trying

an innovative approach
, combining the idea of a subscription
premium area with advertising: "For a limited time, the folks at
Mercedes-Benz will essentially pick up the tab for you. Consider
it a Salon Premium test drive of sorts. You can access Salon
Premium for the day and all you’ll be asked to do in return is
interact with a few screens featuring the new Mercedes E-Class
luxury sedan." [11/12]

Great Work: Design Awards
The Society for
News Design
announced the first annual winners of their new
media design competition, the SND.ies.
won the most awards, with 10, and
walked away with seven. The judges commended
"for consistency in design, attention to detail and a strong
commitment to multimedia graphics. The judges consider the staff
of leaders in the field of multimedia journalism
design." The judges commended for
"the advanced multimedia components in their entries" and for
"pushing the envelope and taking chances with multimedia
journalism design, as well as the breath and depth of their
work." [11/12]

Growth of E-Editions
Electronic magazine editions are still
more of a novelty than anything, but they got a boost last week
with the unveiling of the Tablet PC, which is ideal for reading
such publications and actually came preloaded with digital
editions of four machines: BusinessWeek, Harvard Business
Review, Technology Review and PC Magazine. Six other publishers
say they
will provide issues available for download sometime in 2003: The
New Yorker, Forbes, Slate, the Financial
Times, France’s Les
Echoes and Germany’s Wirtschafts Woche. PC Magazine, for its
part, says its electronic edition had 6,700 subscribers as of
June — out of a total circulation of 1.2 million readers.
Publisher Tim Castelli

tells AdWeek
the number is growing rapidly and should reach
around 100,000 by the end of the year. [11/12]

Newsplex Opens
A prototype newsroom of the future,
Ifra Newsplex at the University of South Carolina
, officially opens this week with an international
summit on newsroom convergence. "The Newsplex will serve as a
model to help the industry understand what is needed and what
works in the convergent marketplace of print, broadcast, online,
and wireless news media; to develop confidence in unfamiliar
technologies and non-traditional workflows; and serve as a guide
for how to implement and manage the transition," executive
director of the Ifra Centre for Advanced News Operations, Kerry
J. Northrup,

tells Editor & Publisher
. [10/11]

MarketWatch on the Prowl?
After failed efforts to aquire and 10K, CBS MarketWatch is reportedly in talks to
acquire Edgar Online, a provider of Securities and Exchange
Commission filings, sources told
The New York
. [10/11]

Impact of CNN-ABCNEWS Merger
Rumors continue that executives from
ABC and AOL Time-Warner’s CNN are pondering a merger of their
news networks.  While the move would be significant to the
journalism and television worlds, the move would be equally
significant to the online sector,
according to this
report from comScore Media Metrix
. "Without question, a
combined CNN-ABC News online news network would make it the
leader in its category – particularly in the U.S.,"
the report says.
"Collectively, these online news networks reached (an
unduplicated) 24.7 million unique visitors in September 2002,
putting the combined entity ahead of AOL News (a CNN sister
company) by 5.1 million visitors." [11/8]

Net Election Coverage
Staci Kramer surveys the election
coverage on the Internet for the
Journalism Review
and concludes that no "one site still
completely gets it — or gets it completely right — when
elections are at hand, but a lot of sites came very close. Those
that came closest understand the need for simple navigation, a
mix of timely results and analysis, interactive features that
make sense and access to information that matters."  [11/8]

Online in the Bathroom
When the Tablet PC makes its debut today, it’ll
be the first "electronic newspaper" you really can read in the bathroom,
Editor & Publisher’s Mark Fitzgerald
. It offers "stunning clarity" and
weighs only three pounds, though it still has some problems. Still, it’s not
really an electronic newspaper, but more of a smaller laptop. And as long as its
$2,000, it’s unlikely to catch on, since people can buy a full
laptop for less. The real revolution will come when we can read our digital
newspapers on wafer-thin computer screens that roll up,
. [11/7]

The Big
Poynter’s Steve Outing says’s The
Big Picture
election guide "is

a ground-breaking piece of multimedia that moves the industry
further along the evolutionary scale in digital storytelling.
What makes it notable,

he says in an essay on
, is that the presentation
can be as interactive as the viewer wants it to be: you can
either click through the parts you are more interested in, or
sit back and watch the entire package. "
a significant lesson here for multimedia content designers:
allow for user interaction to control the experience, but
account for the many people who just want to watch without doing

Great Work: Online Election Coverage

The Washington Post offers an "Election Explorer" with brief overviews of what’s at stake in each state,
as well as interactive versions of

the local voter guides
it distributed with print editions. AOL, CNN and
Time have combined efforts on an
Election Guide site that lets
users enter their zip code and "meet the candidates on your ballot." And offers a remarkable broadband guide to the election, "The
Big Picture
," that weaves together video and interactives in a
unique way to tell readers about the
races and issues involved and ask them their opinions. [11/5]

Political Reporting Tips

is a great campaign finance site for reporters. And
Project Vote Smart
offers offers bios, issue positions, voting records and more for 42,000
candidates. And here’s
a look at some of reporters’ other favorite political
Web stops. [11/5]’s Scoop

Believe it or not, the first Web site to report on Friday’s
verdict in the Microsoft antitrust trial wasn’t that of a major
news organization, but After the court mistakenly
posted the decision on its Web site, posted a link at 3:33 p.m.
, nearly 90 minutes
before the financial markets closed. A flurry of late-day
trading of Microsoft’s stock began around that time and its
price, which had been falling most of the day, ticked up.
Spokesman Jamie McCarthy told The Associated Press’ Ted Bridis
that an unidentified Slashdot reader sent a tip about the files
on the court’s Web site at 3:09 p.m. Records showed that 4,026
people viewed the information on Slashdot before 4 p.m., when
the judge’s decisions were handed to lawyers in Washington.

Online Exclusive

It’s good to see that newspapers are increasingly
using the Web to break news. When The Financial Times learned
that Iranian security forces detained one of Osama bin Laden’s
sons, it published
the report on its Web site
on Saturday Nov. 2. Since The Financial
Times doesn’t publish on Sundays, this enabled the newspaper to
make its scoop public immediately rather than wait until Monday.

Mark for Red Eye

The Chicago Tribune has launched a new newspaper aimed at 18-34-year-olds,
Red Eye, but foolishly isn’t bothering to put the newspaper online, even though the
group it’s targeting is among the most Net-savvy around. Rather than use the
Web to help draw in new, young readers, Red Eye is simply ignoring the Web.
All it has put online is a site,
, that appears to be aimed at advertisers.
The site doesn’t even list staffers’ e-mail addresses. Odd decisions, and
self-defeating ones. [11/1]


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