Asides

The Power of Mojo – Kelsey Sutor

 

While Austin Powers may have lost his mojo, the world of journalism is gaining it. No, not the sexual prowess the 60’s shagger possesses, but “mobile journalism” – the increasing usage of mobile footage in news bulletins.

Mobile footage is being increasingly used by professional news organisations, because it is “real time”, that is, showing the event as it happens. Everyday people are becoming citizen journalists, whipping out their phones and capturing whatever is happening in front of them.

They then upload their footage to the Internet, which is picked up by news organisations for their websites and often, for their nightly news bulletins.

This recent phenomenon has sparked the term “mobile journalism”, where a cameraman is replaced with an iPhone.

A recent example in Australia is the Sydney riots. Footage of police pepper spraying Muslim protestors mere days ago has now received over 20,000 views on YouTube.

Google “mobile phone footage”, and shaky, blurry and real-time footage shows the body of Muammar Gaddafi, the victims of Denver cinema massacre and drunken violence in Kings Cross – all major news events in the last year.

On ninemsn.com, nearly every news story covered has associated mobile phone footage, the idea being to read the story, then watch the footage.

Most nights, the news bulletins will broadcast amateur video, and then proceed to ask if anyone has footage from the event to send it in to the respective organization.

In the age of the World Wide Web, clear, edited footage, which takes time to create, has been replaced in favour of the “now”, footage in real time – viewers don’t want to wait, they want updates now.

So, what does this mean for the future of journalism? We are already discussing the death of the newspaper in favour for the Internet, so what about the humble cameraman? Will journalists even be needed, or will citizens replace them with a camera in their phone?

Ironically, time will tell. 

The Power of Mo…

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Gone are the days when advertising was sufficient to support a newspaper. A recent survey by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) shows the US industry suffered a $798m loss in print ads for the first half of 2012 compared to last year.

Gains from digital ads did not come close to offsetting this, with a loss to gain ratio of 25 to 1.

All is not lost however it seems. A recent Guardian blog post explains that the NRS has been able to put cyberspace and newsstands together to show net reading figures, one of the first times this has been done. The results show The Guardian and The Observer have a combined reach of 9.5 million, one of the largest reaches in the UK.

Meanwhile, The New York Times has actually been able to record an increase in circulation revenue due to their online paywall and print subscription prices. This accounted for an 8.3 percent circulation revenue increase to $233 million for the paper. On top of this  The New York Times have had a 73 percent gain in net circulation, mostly due to an increase in digital readership.

These figures spurred a recent blog post to go so far as saying The New York Times is now supported by readers, not advertisers. But is this really true? It is one thing to record an increase in circulation revenue, but quite another to be to be able to function primarily off this revenue. The circulation revenue increase to $233 million comes no where near close to the revenue generated by ads in days past, which even last year reached as high as $566.5 million. So how will the newspaper fill in this $333 million gap?

Watch this space.

– Amelia Caddy

Increase in circulation revenue Vs. Loss in ad revenue