Archive for October, 2010

Media error-reporting service ‘MediaBug’ expands across United States

October 29th, 2010

Screenshot

MediaBugs, a company that allows Internet users to report errors in stories they read in the media, has announced it’s expanding its service nationally to handle error reports about media coverage across the United States.

MediaBugs is a service for reporting specific, correctable errors and problems in media coverage, the company’s About Us page says. MediaBugs allows individuals to report errors in media and the company says it will provide a “neutral, civil, moderated discussion space” for mistakes or errors. MediaBugs will then take each error and attempt to alert the journalist or media outlet about the mistake, and involve them in the discussion.

MediaBugs was granted $335,000 in 2009 from the Knight News Challenge. The company initially created a public test site in San Francisco to allow  individuals to report errors. This week, the company said it is expanding nationally across the United States.

“Wherever you are in the U.S., and wherever in the country you find a media organization that you think has made a correctable error, MediaBugs is now available for you to use to try to get those errors corrected,” writes MediaBugs project director, Scott Rosenberg, on the company’s official blog. “You file an error report; we’ll make sure the media outlet knows about it, and try to get someone to respond.”

MediaBugs has implemented a few new features to go along with this announcement, including:

  • Users can browse bugs by region to see what is being reported, what media organizations are involved, and where they’re geographically located.
  • More data about bugs is being shared so users can browse bugs by media outlet to see a readout of how many bug reports have been filed for that particular outlet, along with info from MediaBugs about how the media outlet handles error-corrections.
  • A bookmarklet tool lets users install the reporting feature into their browser so they can submit bug reports right from the site they’re reading.

“We’re excited about this expansion,” writes Rosenberg. “We’ve found that a lot of the exchanges we’ve had introducing MediaBugs to people went something like this: The listener would say, ‘What a great idea! You know, just the other day I saw this really unfortunate error in the X News about Y’ — where both X and Y lie outside the Bay Area. And we’d have to say, ‘That’s really interesting, but unfortunately we are only covering the Bay Area right now.’ Everyone would look glum, and the conversation would move on. Now, instead, we can say: Go for it — file that bug.”

- Cross posted to Future of Media

Google investing $5 million to encourage innovation in digital journalism

October 27th, 2010

Google

Google has announced it’s giving away $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations that are developing new approaches to journalism in the digital age.

“Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy,” writes Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development. “As media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side—experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers; and investing heavily in our digital platforms to enable publishers to generate more revenue.”

So far, $2 million was granted to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support programs and innovation in journalism. The Knight Foundation will use $1 million to support US grant-making and the other $1 million will be put toward the Knight News Challenge, a program that accepts funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1.

“We’re eager to do even more internationally, so we will be investing the remaining $3 million in journalism projects in other countries through a similar partnership,” said Arora. “Stay tuned for more details early next year.”

According to a press release, the Knight Foundation says it has invested more than $100 million in media innovation initiatives over the last five years. The money has gone toward innovation in national media policies, technology, public media transformation and the Internet.

The Knight Foundation has welcomed Google into the mix of organizations working toward innovation in digital journalism.

“This is an enormously important vote of confidence by the industry leader, said Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation. “We welcome Google’s support. The free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.  Already, more Americans get their information from the Internet than from newspapers.  That trend will only intensify, making it imperative for our democracy that we find ways to effectively deliver the news and information people require on the new, digital platforms.”

Below is a video in which Knight Foundation President, Alberto Ibargüen, talks about Google’s donation of $2 million to support Knight Foundation’s media innovation efforts:

- Cross posted to Future of Media

Amazon to let users lend eBooks

October 25th, 2010

Photo by Andy Ihnatko

In a short announcement posted to Amazon’s site, the company says Kindle users will soon be able to lend books to one another.

While details are still scarce, Amazon says the lending feature will happen later this year and it will allow Kindle users to loan eBooks to other Kindle users for a loan period of 14 days. While the book is out on loan, the lender cannot read it.

Amazon says not all eBooks will be lendable, as it will be up to the publisher or rights-holder.

Amazon also announced it would make Kindle newspapers and magazines readable on Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (Android coming later), so users who buy books or newspapers can read content on devices other than just the Kindle. Amazon says this should launch in the coming weeks.

(Cross-posted to Future of Media)

Study: iPad users spend more time consuming news than iPhone users

October 21st, 2010

Photo by thms.nl

By Chris Hogg

A study released today from Nielsen shows news and music are the most popular types of content consumed on the iPad. According to the study of “internet connected devices,” users spend ore time per session with news and music than users on the iPhone.

The survey of 5,000 consumers who own a tablet, eReader, netbook, media/games player or smartphone indicated 44 percent of iPad users say they access news content regularly. That is just behind the 53 percent who consume news regularly on their iPhone.

That said, it appears as though iPad users spend more time consuming news; the survey showed 26 percent of iPad users spend 31 minutes or more per weekday session consuming news, while only 7 percent of iPhone users  spend the same amount of time consuming news.

Some other key findings include:

  • iPad users are younger, and mostly male compared to other connected devices; 65 percent are male and 65 percent are under 35 years of age (Kindle users are 52 percent male, with 47 percent being under 35, according to Nielsen).
  • 46 percent of tablet users allow others to use their devices (only one-third of smartphone and eReader users do the same)

More people watch video and read magazines on the iPad compared to the iPhone:

Courtesy Nielsen

iPad users are also more receptive to advertising and more likely to make a purchase:

Courtesy Nielsen

Courtesy Nielsen

The summary of the survey can be found online here (opens in PDF)

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Cross-posted to Future of Media

Video spoof sheds light on journalism’s obsession with social media

October 20th, 2010

Illustration by Matt Hamm

If you were to sit in on a meeting with the digital media team of any news organization, you’d hear discussion about Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube and just about every other hot tech start-up that is playing a role in redefining the media landscape.

While the benefits of using social media are obvious, there comes a point where we have to ask: How much is too much? How much should a news organization rely on social media in its newsgathering-process, and how much should the “old-school” methods be utilized to gather info? The answer depends on the news organization, but KDFW has produced a spoof video (below) that is going viral. The video pokes fun at social media obsession in newsgathering.

Posted to its Facebook page on Monday, the video pokes fun at every social media tool and journalism’s increasing obsession with each. Some of the video highlights include a reporter who doesn’t say a word on TV, instead choosing to share news by sending tweets from his mobile phone; it showcases a reporter taking a picture with a corpse so she can post it to her Facebook page; and a reporter who checks-in on FourSquare to get coupons while reporting on-scene.

According to the Dallas Observer, the video looks to have debuted at the Lone Star Emmys. Here it is:

- Cross-posted to Future of Media