Google to Pay Publishers for News Content
On June 25, Google announced a licensing program to pay publishers for “high-quality content” for a news experience launching later in 2020. The program will help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed and be exposed to a world of different issues and interests, says Google. The program is starting with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil.
The product will launch first on Google News and Discover. Google plans to sign more partners in the coming months, says the tech giant.
Nieman Lab has an analysis piece on Google’s move here, with the headline “‘Google paying publishers’ is more about PR than the needs of the news industry.”
Ponderay Newsprint Closes
Ponderay Newsprint has closed its paper mill in Usk, Washington, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane) reported. Ponderay is a partnership between Lake Superior Forest Products, a subsidiary of Quebec-based Resolute Forest Products, and five major U.S. publishers, says the Ponderay website. The mill produces newsprint for publishers along the West Coast and in the Midwestern U.S. and exports to markets in Asia and South America. The mill opened in 1989. More than 130 people have worked there, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Maryland to Provide Funds for Capital Gazette Memorial
It’s been just over two years since the June 28, 2018, Capital Gazette shooting that saw five people killed. The state of Maryland has approved $300,000 to build a memorial called “Guardians of Free Speech” in Newman Park in Annapolis, the Capital Gazette reported. The design has five stone pillars in front of a carving of the First Amendment, the paper said. It will stand in honor of murdered employees Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith. Annapolis provided the land and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee in Anne Arundel County raised $10,000 to bring on the designer, the paper reported. The project is scheduled to be completed in in 2021.
FTI Consulting, ForMotiv Partner
Business advisory firm FTI Consulting and ForMotiv, a developer of digital behavioral data capture software and services, have formed a partnership to deliver data capture capabilities and advisory services to insurers and other financial services companies, FTI announced. Philadelphia-based ForMotiv is the creator of a digital behavioral intelligence platform capturing a digital DNA of applicants and web users. The ForMotiv solution provides new insights related to web session data-entry form behavior not currently available with other software methods, says FTI. Organizations are using new data on actions such as hesitation, field re-entry, corrections, cut-and-paste, and hover times to improve their predictive models. “The combination of this data capture and the financial services industry expertise of FTI Consulting will deliver significant value to insurers, lenders, credit-card issuers and any firm whose price or product availability depends upon obtaining accurate data,” says a news release from FTI. FTI has more than 5,500 employees in 27 countries. It has executive headquarters in Washington D.C.
Legacy.com has 20 New Local News Partnerships
Legacy has launched more than 20 new obituary partnerships with local media organizations this year, the company says. “Now more than ever, local news publishers are a vital lifeline of information for their readers,” says Legacy CEO Stopher Bartol. “We believe Legacy’s memorial experience helps our new media partners unite their communities with a central place to remember, grieve, and honor their loved ones, and to find the right local providers for memorial planning and other important services.” Among the news 2020 partners are the North Dallas Gazette, Ogle County News (Dixon, Illinois), The Times (Ottawa, Illinois)/The Small Newspaper Group, Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Cheyenne) and the Greeley Tribune (Colorado). The company provides support and obituary-related services to more than 1,500 newspapers and 3,500 funeral homes in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. Legacy.com is headquartered in Chicago.
Agfa Adds New Modules
Agfa has added a new cleaning module to its Attiro clean-out unit for violet newspaper printing plates, the company announced. The module significantly reduces the maintenance frequency of the clean out unit, Agfa says. German newspaper printer Main-Post is an early adopter of the Attiro Cleaning Module. PrintSphere Disaster Recovery is another new module that provides newspaper printers with a secure backup that guarantees their papers will get printed regardless of events, says Agfa. PrintSphere is a cloud-based, SaaS solution.
Using the PrintSphere Disaster Recovery module, Arkitex workflow software users store all incoming publishing files in Agfa’s secure cloud in an automated way. In case of an emergency, a print partner or backup print site can get access to the stored data and resume printing. WebPrint, Ireland’s largest independent newspaper printer, recently exchanged its traditional FTP servers for Agfa’s PrintSphere. Agfa has also introduced a new Energy Verve pre-heat printing plate, a pre-heat offset printing plate that achieves run lengths up to 1 million copies without baking, according to Agfa. Agfa’s headquarters and parent company are in Mortsel, Belgium.
Lee, Best Agent Today Partner
Best Agent Today, a communications platform for real estate agents, and Lee Enterprises have formed an alliance to bring real estate services to all of Lee’s digital brands across the country. “By partnering with Best Agent Today, Lee helps consumers easily source the best real estate agent to assist them in the home selling or home buying process. In addition, Lee now provides agents with unique, cost-effective showcase promotion and deep-data insight, enabling agents to generate new home sale listings,” said a press release from Massachusetts-based Best Agent Today. “Today’s announcement marks a major step forward in our national strategy. Media alliances help us solidify and grow our presence in the regions where these organizations are based,” said Peter Newton, CEO, Best Agent Today. Lee reported second-quarter results June 18.
- The News Media Alliance has a post here on the Communications Decency Act, housing Section 230, and liability protection for Big Tech. “Facebook, Google and other digital platforms continue to be shielded by laws that are over two decades removed from the rapidly advancing technology, and we are seeing the disastrous effects from years of inaction to correct this oversight in the law,” it says.
- The New York Times is pulling out of Apple News, the paper writes.
- Starting Aug. 8, the Fulton Sun (Missouri) will go to seven days of digital and a one-day printed paper, the paper announced. WEHCO Media owns the paper. Readers who don’t have a tablet to read the digital edition can rent an iPad from the company for $9.95 monthly. WEHCO has similar models at several papers in Arkansas. WEHCO’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) launched a recent program to give iPads to subscribers.
- The Press & Journal (Middleton, Pennsylvania) will publish its last edition July 1, the family-owned newspaper announced. “Within weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, our advertising revenue plummeted. Ironically, our readership soared,” wrote owners Joe and Louise Sukle in a goodbye note. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save the paper.
- The Mesabi Daily News and Hibbing Daily Tribune (Minnesota) are combining into one six-day paper, the Mesabi Tribune, on July 8. Adams Publishing Group owns the papers.
- The GrenadaStar (Mississippi) is set to have new ownership July 1, the paper says. Publisher Joseph B. Lee III and co-owner Brenda R. Lee are selling the paper to Wyatt Emmerich of Emmerich Newspapers.
- The UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) has released its latest report on the state of local news in the U.S. “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?” is the fourth such report from Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair of Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC Hussman.
- Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications has been awarded $1 million by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for a new program to bolster local news in Chicago.
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