NY Times online model working; traditional ads falling

Reuters reports that the New York Times, which charges for access to its website beyond 20 hits a month is working. It has 100,000 new subscribers since it launched last month and is estimated to bring in annual revenues, desperately needed, of $26 million. Good thing too; its traditional ad revenue declined 7.5 per cent for a revenue drop of 4.4 per cent. So far, business newspapers like the Wall Street Journal or high quality broadsheet like the Times of London seem to be the only types of newspapers making money off web subscriptions. Wonder when the Globe and Mail will go to this model; as for PostMedia, it seems stuck in 1998 talking about convergence and web first, pushing people to its free website.

Sorry, no link until I figure out how I can cut and paste on the new “improved” Mozilla browser. Meanwhile, a Google News search New York Times gains online subscribers while print ads fall, will get you there. April 23 2011

Quebec journalists agree to “professional journalist” designation

Well, this was ignored by English media, but J-Source reports that the Federation Professionelle des Journalistes du Quebec have voted to accept a form of professional designation, presumably to bring some order to a sometimes disorderly profession. I’ve been arguing for years that both journalism and PR, which each have low trust and reliability ratings with the public, should be regulated, as doctors, engineers, lawyers etc. have legal powers to regulate, including disbarring members for unethical behavior. I’d love to link to the article, but my new “improved” version of Firefox seems to have disabled that function. Find it in J-Source, April 11 2011.

Survey shows mobile users’ preferences in Canada

So, the number of Canadians who connect to the web via handheld has gone up from 20 per cent last December to 26 per cent now. A new survey tries to break down the users by demographics/psychographics/use of handheld, but these kind of distinctions can be pretty subjective (are you a suit or a technivore or a tech turtle? some weeks you might be all three depending on how you’re using the handheld and whether you’re using it for business or personal reasons.) Anyone, something to chew on as we consider the evolving use of the web and digital technology.

Marketing Magazine, April 6 2011

Harper in a bubble: media care, does anyone else

Some whining from the  press corps following the Harper campaign that they’re only allowed five questions, and the campaign is so tightly controlled it may as well be done in a studio. Paul Wells notes though that this isn’t  affecting the Tory lead nor the general public, who generally are turned off anyway on the fourth election in seven years, with several important provincial elections coming up. Maybe in May we’ll pay attention, when it comes time to vote; Geff Simpson in today’s Globe notes that we have two wars ongoing, serious trade disputes with Europe and a gazillion dollar warplane acquisition, yet not of this is coming up in the campaign, which is seemingly focusing on whicharty can best bribe us with our own money. Thanks to Tyler McMurchy for this one.

MacLean’s, April 6 2011

State of media becomes campaign issue

Well, glad someone is raising the issue about corporate conglomerance, shrinking newsrooms and whither CBC on the federal election campaign trail, even if it is only Elizabeth May of the unelected (as yet) Green Party. A nice screed, fitting in nicely with her exclusion from the leader’s debate. However, she’s calling for hundreds of millions in new funding for CBC. I’d rather see a nation-wide review of the role and relevance of CBC, particularly television, in the 500 channel universe. I’d also like to see some discussion of the role and relevance of the 27-some platforms the CBC (radio, web, tv, international, French/English/north etc.)

NorthumberlandReview.ca, April 4 2011