#Journalism agenda: The Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) releases aggregated data and reports for 67 countries

The Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) releases aggregated data and reports for 67 countries. Data and reports are freely available at the project website: http://www.worldsofjournalism.org/

In an unprecedented collaborative effort, the recent study (2012-2016) compiled data on the state of journalism in 67 countries from all inhabited continents. The data is based on standardized interviews with more than 27,500 journalists about pressing issues journalists and news organizations are facing these days, such as journalism’s place in society, professional ethics, editorial autonomy, perceived influences on newsmaking, journalistic trust in public institutions, and the transformation of journalism in the broadest sense.

Reports for each of the following countries (in pdf format) can be accessed at http://www.worldsofjournalism.org/country-reports/

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA

WJS Center Thomas Hanitzsch, LMU Munich (hanitzsch@ifkw.lmu.de)
Folker Hanusch, University of Vienna (folker.hanusch@univie.ac.at)


NGO: Freedom of the press at lowest point in 13 years

With populism and authoritarianism on the rise in many countries, global press freedom has taken a blow. In fact, it is at its lowest point in 13 years, according to a US-funded research and advocacy organisation.

Three VR journalism reports you should read right now

Three years of experiences in VR journalism. Three years of countless experiments by journalists who are not afraid of trying out something new. Where does VR journalism stand in terms of technology, storytelling techniques and user expectations? Three reports, published in 2015, 2016 and 2017, tell the story of an exciting medium and its road ahead.

Three years ago, the Norwegian publisher Amedia, which owns 62 local and regional outlets across the country, introduced a digital subscription strategy, starting with a universal login system across all its newspapers’ platforms it called aID.

And it’s found remarkable success: Since launching in April 2014, the company has signed up about 130,000 digital subscribers — more than any American newspaper aside from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. That’s in Norway, a country with a population of about 5 million people. (By way of comparison, Gannett — which includes over 100 daily newspapers and operates in the much larger U.S. and U.K. — just announced it had crossed 250,000 paying digital-only subscribers last week.)

If you’re glued to Twitter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week anyway, Bloomberg will soon be there for you at all hours of the day, every day of the week.

Twitter and Bloomberg have partnered to create a 24-hour streaming news service, currently unnamed and launching sometime in the fall, according to The Wall Street Journal. More details will be announced today during Monday’s NewFronts, an Interactive Advertising Bureau-organized extravaganza where digital media companies pitch themselves to advertisers. (Bloomberg is up at 3 p.m.)

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundupoffers the highlights of what you might have missed.

“Misinformation is currently predominantly a pathology of the right.” A team of scholars from the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University a report, “Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action,” this week, drawing on research presented at a February conference they hosted:

As a research community, we identified three courses of action that can be taken in the immediate future: involving more conservatives in the discussion of misinformation in politics, collaborating more closely with journalists in order to make the truth “louder,” and developing multidisciplinary community-wide shared resources for conducting academic research on the presence and dissemination of misinformation on social media platforms.

Wikitribune, the crowdfunded news platform from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, was announced last week, but we’ve seen relatively few details about how it will run and the kinds of topics it will cover.

On Thursday, I got the chance to talk to Wales about some of his goals for the site. (And for a bunch of good questions that I didn’t ask, see his recent Reddit AMA.)

Pure citizen journalism has “hit a wall,” Wales said. Wikitribune is set up as a for-profit site that will be entirely funded by readers, though he’s also putting in some money himself. The site will focus on general news coverage, particularly politics, at first, he said — but his longer-term goal is that it will cover more niche topics like Bitcoin and dog breeding.

1. Distribution/syndication: In other words, greater reach. National news organizations have a practical where-mission-meets-business opportunity here: Because they’re not bound by geography, they need distribution to reach and connect with new audiences. Many of the national news organizations I’ve spoken to say audience development is their core strategic challenge — namely “how do we reach more of the people that matter for our mission and our revenue?” There are many components of building an audience, of course (social, search, email, great digital products, “sticky” user experiences, etc.). Distribution relationships can also fuel growth. For example, The Washington Post’s partner program provides complimentary digital subscriptions as a perk to subscribers of a large number of local papers across the country and is one of the contributing factors to its huge digital audience growth of late. Distribution arrangements can also work in reverse (local news on national sites), although achieving any sense of scale is less valuable to local sites that are typically more focused on engagement in their communities. Ways to partner on distribution:

Last year, the giant Scandinavian publisher Schibsted restructured its product team. It centralized its efforts, creating one unified product and technology group that worked across all its publications. The idea was that the product team would be able to work with individual publications to develop new products before scaling them out to the rest of the company.

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