Several of Germany’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers have instituted legal proceedings against Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. They’re seeking an order that would make the search engines pay them an 11 percent portion of their “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” That’s according to new media pundit Jeff Jarvis, who published a blog post this morning calling the demands “as absurd as they are cynical and dangerous” and part of a German “war on the link.”

German publishers want an 11 percent cut of Google News | Ars Technica

One theory is that the rise of twin technological forces—the social flood and the age of analytics—will (a) make the news more about readers; and (b) make news organizations more like each other. Why should the death of homepages give rise to news that’s more about readers? Because homepages reflect the values of institutions, and Facebook and Twitter reflect the interest of individual readers. These digital grazers have shown again and again that they aren’t interested in hard news, but rather entertainment, self-help, awe, and outrage dressed up news. Digitally native publishers are pretty good at pumping this kind of stuff out. Hence quizzes, hence animals, hence 51 Photos That Show Women Fighting Sexism Awesomely. Even serious publishing companies know that self-help and entertainment often outperform outstanding reporting.

What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic

We need to be more disciplined about what needs to be said,” Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor, said in a (short) interview. “We don’t do enough distilling and honing, and we end up making our readers do more work.

New Associated Press guidelines: Keep it brief - The Washington Post

I asked associate managing editor Jim Roberts why there were no formal web meetings like the print meetings to decide coverage and story placement. He told me, “You’ve seen how fast the web moves. You can’t sit around and plan for that. It’s too quick for people to stand around and debate.” This comment was a clear recognition that the print process couldn’t work for the web. There were some meetings that lasted no more than 10 or 15 minutes, and they didn’t offer much guidance about which stories should lead the homepage and when. The morning web meeting was an opportunity for journalists to tell other staff what stories might be coming down the pipeline, but the homepage editor I followed over the course of one morning, Mick Sussman, said he rarely paid attention to this meeting. In fact, he admitted that he couldn’t hear it from his desk. Decisions as to what column of the web page to put a story in, or how to order the stories, or how long to keep a story in place, were the kinds of things left up to the homepage editor and his or her supervisor, not decisions made by committee — particularly during the day, when most people in the United States come to the site.

Immediacy vs. importance: The tension underlying how the homepage gets made » Nieman Journalism Lab

The shift to digital that has demolished some print publications is very much generational. And, from a generational perspective, this shift is only just beginning. Media consumers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s grew up reading newspapers and magazines. Old habits die hard. Many of these consumers will never be as comfortable with digital as they are with paper, and they will keep reading newspapers and magazines until the day they die. But media consumers in the 0s, 10s, 20s, and 30s have no such print habits or allegiances. To them, the idea of printing information on a dead tree and then trucking it to houses and newsstands seems ludicrous, old-fashioned, inconvenient, and wasteful. To these folks, paper-based publications are a pain to carry and search, easy to misplace, and hard to share, and the information in them is outdated the moment it appears. For those who weren’t raised on paper, digital is superior in almost every way.

Media Usage By Age - Business Insider

As daunting financial pressures force newspapers around the country to shut down or severely trim staff and budgets, a new model has emerged in many communities in which college journalism students increasingly make up for the lack of in-depth coverage by local papers.

Local News, Off College Presses -

So let us hope that this is what the sale signifies: the beginning of a phase in which this Gilded Age’s major beneficiaries re-invest in the infrastructure of our public intelligence. We hope it marks a beginning, because we know it marks an end.

Why the Sale of the Washington Post Seems So Significant - James Fallows - The Atlantic (via emptyage)

(via chartier)

The bad news: Just 23 percent of Americans told Gallup they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers, the same percentage who said they trust TV news. The good news: Both are still more popular than big business, organized labor, HMOs and Congress.

Gallup: Only 23% of Americans trust newspapers, TV news | Poynter.

Legal hurdles can be found everywhere in the entire explosion of new media that journalists will have to live in and explore. And they are not be able to do that if they don’t understand fair use.

Pat Aufderheide, a professor at American University’s School of Communication, who founded and directs the Center for Social Media, which  is releasing a new set of tools that seek to help demystify fair use for journalists — and to help publishers see how this doctrine actually can help online reporting instead of hampering it. Read more at Poynter. (via poynterinstitute)

The population of people reading newspapers has aged dramatically in the last three years to the point that nearly three-quarters of the audience is aged 45 or older, according to my analysis of survey and census data.

Reflections of a Newsosaur: Newspaper audience aged severely since 2010