The Wednesday Wrap

Posted by Prof. Richard Sambrook

Every so often we will offer you links to what we see as the best of the web over the last few days. Just a few “not to be missed” items wrapped with our take. Here we go:

1) The Guardian this week reported an improved financial performance with losses cut by 30 per cent. In addition, digital growth for the first time exceeded the increase in print losses. It might be the turning of the corner for The Guardian which unlike other newspapers operating paywalls has bet on open access to its web editions paying in the long term. If the “open model” can be made to work it will be an economic turning point for news.

2) The New York Times launched a citizen journalist feature, “Watching Syria’s War” . It uses citizen video to tell the story of the war on the ground with context provided by NYT writers. And it begs many questions about what we do and don’t know about the reality of this conflict. PBS’ Mediashift interviews Liam Stack from the NYT about the project.

3) And speaking of Mediashift, they also ran a great article on culture, innovation and diversity in newsrooms. It suggests it’s not surprising that a business built on deeply embedded routines to deliver news against the clock has trouble innovating.

4) And finally for fans of the US TV series, The Wire, Nieman lab highlights an academic paper from Rhodes University in South Africa looking at how journalists responded to series 5 which featured an unflattering fictional Baltimore newsroom. “The Wire took on not merely problems of ‘all media, and the growing confusion over how to deliver news, but also the way those changes are buffeting the culture of journalism, the leadership, and the media’s ability to have a positive impact on society” 

Maybe Aaron Sorkin’s second series of The Newsroom will reassure those seeking TV solace from journalism’s travails…

And that’s a wrap.