Stealth Mode On

facebook-secret-conversation-end-to-end-encryptionFacebook launches self-deleting Snapchat-like feature ‘Secret Conversations’, In order to de-stabilize Snapchat’s growing popularity, Facebook has launched a trial version of Snapchat like messaging option which will release by September. Facebook had failed to acquire Snapchat three years ago for an estimated sum of $3 billion, and since then there has been an unending rivalry between the two social media platforms. » Smriti Irani launched a new social media campaign “Selfie-with-Handloom” on 1st August. The Union Textile Minister hopes to boost textile sales by encouraging people to click a selfie with handloom made products and sharing it on social media. The campaign will culminate in the Prime Minister’s constituency Varanasi – home to millions of weavers, on August 7, the National Handloom Day. » GOI has restarted drafting the blueprint for the controversial ‘National Encryption Policy. The Ministry of Electronics and IT had recently asked leading industry associations for their opinions and inputs for a “robust and secure” encryption policy. These associations include names like Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI). For a consistent approach on encryption, synced with technology, a detailed discussion of associations and GOI’s expert committee will be held soon. Read full story here.

The Old & New

^A5C1EC91F3909BB5CF6F033B3159965301DC6521A3BE05A229^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr“Nurture the Old (Print) and Nourish the New (Digital)” is the theme for the 10th Annual INMA South Asia Conference, which is going to be held in New Delhi on August 30-31, 2016. The International News Media Association (INMA) is the world’s leading provider of global best practices for news media companies looking to grow revenue, audience, and brand amid profound market change. This year’s conference will focus on the two most important dynamics of the media industry i.e. Print and Digital. » The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced the recipients of the 26th edition of its International Press Freedom Awards. With Malini Subramaniam, an Indian freelance journalist who reports on human rights abuses, three other journalists will be felicitated with this award on November 22, 2016, at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York City. » Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, Yemisi Akinbobola & Paul Bradshaw earned nominations for CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards, 2016 for their report “How Nigerian young footballers are trafficked, abused, abroad” in Premium Times. The 38 finalists were selected from 14 nations for the event to culminate in Johannesburg, South Africa in October 2016. See more» ABC News, having 8.6 million followers on its Facebook Page, has partnered with the social media giant to use their latest feature ‘Facebook Live’ to deliver around-the-clock live coverage of the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions. See more.

Reimagining the News

IpsitaAgarwalToday, Podium shines the spotlight on Ipsita Agarwal. Founder of Synopted News – an online newsroom where publishers & marketers create content, Ipsita started her writing career for a national daily, The Times of India, as a student journalist and also did her internship for the same in 2008. Singapore based Ipsita also worked with Label Magazine as Deputy Editor. We feature her post on Medium where she talks about reimagining news products and services for the modern reader.

The news industry has changed more in the last decade than it did in the centuries since Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1436. The business model from the print age has been copy-pasted to digital and found lacking. Now, publishers are left with two options: become content writers for third party platforms, or reimagine the news products and services for readers of today. This is a newbie’s take on what option two could look like.

Where we stand
When I started a news company in 2013, it was common knowledge that the baton had been passed on from print to digital.
Technology was probably the biggest driver for change in news at the time. Legacy publishers raced to become responsive, while new entrants experimented with content and monetisation formats with varying degrees of success.

Today, the most startling change in news isn’t in the tech that supports it, but in its distribution. More and more power has been pried from the hands of publishers and put into platforms like Facebook, Apple and Google.

Compare the user experience on a news publisher and a platform such as Facebook. One has been designed to serve the same commodity, information, to an unknown mass of people, disregarding the differences in their prior knowledge, reading habits and interests. The other is designed to mould to the needs of a specific person by learning their behaviour and likes over time.

Platforms cater to individuals. Publishers broadcast to a mass audience.

It can’t come as a surprise to anyone if readers prefer the experience on platforms over publishers. It can be frightening though, and for good reason. Publishers are left at the mercy of the platforms that are friendly and accepting of publishers’ monetisation strategies today, but may not be tomorrow. Publishers run the risk of being reduced to content creators, diminishing their editorial responsibility and independence as journalists in the process.

That leaves publishers, new entrants and legacy brands alike, with two options: continue on the way things are going now. Or learn to think not as publishers, but designers of news experiences suited to the readers of today.

The transition from a “mass” media to “one-on-one” journalism is probably the biggest publishers will make, and it starts with some customer research.

Back to the basics
shutterstock_110606108Elon Musk recently popularized the idea of “first principles”. The technique of stripping a problem “down to the most fundamental truths, and then reason up from there” isn’t new, it traces its roots all the way back to Aristotle.

In this technique, you take a complex problem, remove existing assumptions about it, and focus on its core concept. This way, instead of saying “we should do x this way because it’s always been done like that in the past”, we think about the problem “x” was trying to solve in the first place.

In the case of online publishing, perhaps start by questioning the purpose of journalism itself.

Read the full article on Medium here.

Death to the Mass

Jeff Jarvis

This week, Skribe welcomes Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine to take the stage on Podium.
Jeff, a blogger and NYC insider, is also an associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He has authored popular books ‘What Google Would Do?’, ‘Public Parts’, and a kindle single ‘Gutenberg the Geek’. Today we feature his essay on Medium, which suggests that the news business must rebuild its entire value proposition; redefine consumer groups of the service.

Media must rebuild its business around relevance and value, not volume.

In mass media, we have debated for generations whether content or distribution is king. Turns out neither is. There is no king. Instead, the kingdom is ruled by the relationships among its citizens.

Relationships, of course, fuel Facebook’s empire as it connects people with each other. Relationships inform Google as it uses what it knows about each of us to deliver greater relevance in everything from search results to email prioritization to maps. Each of these giants knows every one of us as an individual. Each is a personal services company.

Not the news business. We still treat the public we serve as a mass, all the same, delivering a one-way, one-size-fits-all product that we fill with a commodity we call content. What has died thanks to the abundance and choice the internet enables is not print or newsstands, longform or broadcast. What has died is the mass-media business model — injuring, perhaps mortally, a host of institutions it symbiotically supported: publishing, broadcasting, mass marketing, mass production, political parties, possibly even our notion of a nation. We are coming at last to the end of the Gutenberg Age.

Death-to-the-MassRather than continuing to try to maintain our content factory, whose real business is selling eyeballs by the ton, imagine instead if news were a service whose aim is to help people improve their lives and communities by connecting them not only to information, but also to each other, with a commercial model built on value over volume. Imagine if news understood its role not as a vertically integrated industry that owns and controls a scarcity — the printing press, the broadcast tower, delivery trucks, the audience, space or time in media, and lately attention — but rather as a member of the community it serves and as a player in a larger, complex ecosystem of information, data, technology, and relationships. Imagine all the ways that technology enables us to realize our true mission of informing communities, far beyond what we could do with our old, one-way, one-size-fits-all mass media of print and broadcast.

If we are to reimagine news as such a service — built on relationships and thus relevance and value — then it is necessary to reconsider many of our fundamental assumptions about our business: that we manufacture a product filled with content; that our core competence is distribution to audiences; that audiences must come to us to consume our content; that the public is as nostalgic as we are for our old media of print and broadcast; and that we have a proprietary hold on trust and authority. We also cannot continue to act like the proprietors of monopolies and oligopolies, believing that we can go it alone and don’t need to collaborate with the new entrants, like Facebook and Google, which we would like to think stole the audience and ad revenue that once belonged to us. Get over it.

Read the full article on Medium here.

WCD’s Women Scribes’ Workshop

ChaiTime-Image6.7The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in association with PIB and MIB is going to kickstart the first ever “All India Women Journalists’ Workshop” today at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. This will bring together around 250 journalists from 30 States/UTs across the country representing 120 media organizations, on a single platform. The ministry will also exhibit two of its biggest initiatives: Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao and children helpline – Childline. » CNN-News18 has announced the 10th edition of its ‘Indian of the Year’ award. Celebrating the achievements of iconic Indians who have made a significant contribution to our society in 2015, the award will be presented in New Delhi on 9th June, 2016. » Considering the rise in digital content consumption, UCWeb, part of the Alibaba group, launched ‘UC News’ in India on Monday. The platform brings together news content from over 20 featured channels, including news, cricket, technology, entertainment, movies, and lifestyle. It tracks and matches the trending keywords on Facebook and Twitter to decide on trending topics for user recommendations. See the full story here. » Adding transparency in the government affairs with the help of Digital India campaign, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off two mobile vans on Monday. Carrying the slogan, “Mili Meri Pragati Ko Raftar”, the vans will cover 21 districts of the state and will pass through the rural areas across the state, disseminating information regarding e-Governance schemes through audio visual tools, including publicity material, speeches and street plays.

Irani At Loggerheads Again

ChaiTime-Image24.5.16HRD Minister Smriti Irani once again got caught in a heated exchange on Twitter with Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi in which she took a dig at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi over his party’s poor show in the recent Assembly elections. The spat turned ugly yesterday when Priyanka Chaturvedi, responding to another person, raised questions about Smriti’s Z security. Click here to see the conversation. » Praveen Bardapurkar, an Aurangabad based journalist has been conferred with the ‘Prahlad Atre Award’ for journalism. He will be felicitated with this State level award on June 13 by the Acharya Atre Vikas Foundation at Saswad in Pune. » According to a recent poll Twitter saw massive traffic about the recently concluded elections in multiple states in India. It registered more than 4.5 million Tweets between April 20 and May 20, 2016. For more stats click here. » Meanwhile, after allegations of political bias, Facebook has decided to make changes aiming to refrain from bias in their “trending” stories list. “Our investigation has revealed no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories included in the Trending Topics feature”, said Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch in response to Republican US Senator John Thune.