This Week’s Headlines: New Applications Team at NPR, Pakistan Bans Twitter

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here’s a look at the media and publishing headlines that caught our eyes this week:

  • NPR creates news applications team as part of strategy for ‘multimedia audio’: Despite reports from The Washington Post that NPR is running a $2.6 million deficit halfway through the fiscal year, the news organization is building a seven-person news application team headed by Brian Boyer of The Chicago Tribune.
  • Pakistan’s Ban on Twitter is a Test of Censorship Ahead of Elections: For eight hours on Sunday, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) banned Twitter after the social networking site didn’t respond to a complaint about allegedly blasphemous tweets. Many see this move as a sign that the country’s civilian government could restrict free speech as the election approaches. However, some Twitter users were still able to access the site through proxy servers.
  • Sequel to Pulitzer-Winning ‘Goon Squad’ to Debut on Twitter: This week, the New Yorker announced plans to release “Black Box,” a sequel to Jennifer Egan’s award-winning novel, A Visit from the Good Squad, in 140 character installments on Twitter. The story will appear in its entirety in the New Yorker‘s science fiction issue, scheduled to arrive in newsstands next week.
  • Senate Cybersecurity Bills Under Fire From CISPA Opponents: In response to a proposed US Senate bill on cybersecurity, Fight for the Future has started a campaign called “Privacy is Awesome.” The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CIPSA) would give companies and the government permission to web users’ personal information, which the nonprofit advocacy group claims the bill would threaten online privacy.
  • Google takes down 1.2 million search links a month over piracy, copyright issues: On Thursday, Google released data on the millions of links it removes from search results following requests from content owners and content writers. The report shows that the company takes down a quarter million search results each week, more than the number of links removed in an entire year back in 2009.

This Week’s Headlines: Portable eBooks and a Vanishing Paywall

Two book-turned-movie phenomenons made headlines this week. First, movie-goers flocked to theaters last weekend for the opening of The Hunger Games, based on the popular YA books by Suzanne Collins, and later, J.K. Rowling released Harry Potter in ebook format. But those weren’t the only news stories this week. Here’s what’s happening in the media and publishing worlds.
  • The newsonomics of 100 products a year: News industry analyst Ken Doctor predicts that news organizations will soon cash in on what he call the 100-product-a-year model, producing ebooks and other products to monetize content. Earlier this month, we covered how one newspaper created a multimedia ebook by repurposing content from its website.
  • The New Republic Tears Down Its Pay Wall: With Facebook founder Chris Hughes at the helm of the Washington political magazine, The New Republic has removed its pay wall for recent articles. As we reported last week, The New York Times is reducing the number of articles available for free per month.
  • Daily Variety up for sale: Tinsel Town’s oldest entertainment industry trade pub is up for sale. It’s the only remaining print daily publication to exclusively cover the entertainment business, which experts say could lead to a sales price as high as $50 million.
  • Hunger Games and archery: A quick way to approach a trend story: This behind-the-scenes analysis of how the hit movie is making archery cool looks at how journalists and article writers spot trends.
  • Harry Potter and the Portable E-books: On Tuesday, the Harry Potter books went on sale in electronic form for the first time. Unlike most other ebooks, though, these books don’t use encryption, so readers have more flexibility to move them between devices and read them wherever they’d like. Amazon currently dominates ebook sales, but J.K. Rowling’s new web store, Pottermore, could shift the industry if it proves successful.
  • NPR experiments with local news headlines on national home page: For the next month, NPR plans to experiment with using local headlines from 13 cities on The goal is to use the website to shine the spotlight on member stations’ newsgathering and grow their audience long-term.

This Week’s Headlines: Press Club Elects Freelancer, AP Introduces New Tool

As 2011 draws to a close, news outlets continue their efforts to innovate, presidential campaigns heat up, and the National Press Club elects a new president. Here’s a look at the past week’s headlines:

Is @ACarvin the First Twitter Anchor? Is NYT’s Paywall Model Like NPR + Spot.Us? When is the Best Time to Tweet?


Andy Carvin by Docseals via Flickr

Today, we’ve compiled some interesting and debate-worthy topics from across the internet. Spot.Us founder David Cohn digs deeper into the New York Times paywall discussion and Neiman Labs has the real story behind what and when we tweet. Technosociology discusses NPR’s Andy Carvin and explores the creation of a new type of news anchor who reports only via Twitter.


It’s all the news fit to blog at Ebyline’s Daily Dose:

David Cohn: Why the New York Times’ Pay Model is Similar to NPR and Spot.Us
“There has been much opining about the New York Times pay wall that went up this week. I was quoted in a Neiman Lab post on the topic; I wrote about it for the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where I’m currently a fellow; and I was a guest on WNPR, an NPR station in Connecticut, to discuss the topic with other news professionals.”

Tweet late, email early, and don’t forget about Saturday: Using data to develop a social media strategy

“Tweet more, and embrace the weekends. That’s according to Dan Zarrella, a social media researcher (with 33,000 followers himself). Zarrella works for HubSpot, mining data on hundreds of millions of tweets, blog posts, and email newsletters to help marketers find trends. News organization should pay attention, too.”

Twitter and the Anti-Playstation Effect on War Coverage

“As I follow the remarkable political transformations ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa through social media, I’m struck by the depth of the difference between news curation and anchoring on Twitter versus Television.”

Census data available to IRE members

“As journalists gear up for the second release of data from the 2010 Census, members of Investigative Reporters and Editors will be able to download data ready for analysis thanks to USA TODAY.”

Nashville Scene Accidentally Posts First Draft of Theater Review, Critics Charge Racism

“Nashville Scene accidentally posted a draft version of a theater review on its website, which included portions that some readers found racist