The Financial Times is reaping digital gains, with a 10 per cent year-on-year circulation growth and a 21 per cent growth in digital subscriptions.
The newspaper says its profits have tripled in the last year, with more than 500,000 digital subscriptions and an online subscription model that was successfully adopted by The New York Times.
Digital subscriptions are now 70 per cent of the Financial Times’ total paying audience.
NiemanLab writer Ken Doctor says this success can be attributed to the 127-year-old newspaper’s innovation.
“Much of it is based on the pioneering use of analytics, to first understand and then drive its business,” Mr Doctor wrote.
The FT will redesign its website this year, with a new mobile-first approach.
Rebekah Brooks to return to News Corp
The former editor of the shuttered News of the World and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will return to News Corp to run social media news agency Storyful, according to British news reports.
Ms Brooks was acquitted last year of several phone-hacking charges, allegations which were also levelled at other News of the World staff and which eventually resulted in News UK closing the paper in 2011.
The Financial Times reported that Ms Brooks would be based in the UK.
Storyful was founded in 2008, and it collects, filters, verifies and manages copyright issues around social media posts for newsrooms.
Guidelines to protect freelancers
The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists has published new guidelines aimed at ensuring the safety of freelancers operating in dangerous countries, following the murders of freelancers James Foley and Stephen Sotloff by ISIS last year.
The guidelines cover best practices for freelancers working in the field, as well as moral obligations the authors believe newsrooms have to protect freelancers and locally-hired staff.
The guidelines were signed by a number of major international media organisations, including the BBC, AFP, AP, Guardian News and Media, Reuters, USA Today and Newsweek.
Guidelines for reporters include that they should undertake first aid training, that they should carry a medical kit, ensure they have medical insurance and undertake industry-standard hostile environment training.
Newsrooms are urged to treat freelancers the same way they would treat staff reporters, in terms of training, first aid and responding to death or kidnap.
The guidelines say that newsrooms should not assign a freelancer to a dangerous story without taking as much responsibility for that reporter as they would for a staff journalist.
However, the guidelines do not cover freelancers who create content “on spec”, or produce a story without the backing of a news organisation with the aim of pitching and selling it to one.
BuzzFeed launches daily current affairs newsletter
BuzzFeed’s Director of Newsletters Dan Oshinsky says the media company’s launch of a daily digest of news content last week is part of a push to become a serious breaking news platform on the web.
“Our goal out of the gate is to deliver the news every morning to readers, to give them the stories they need to read,” Mr Oshinsky told WAN-IFRA.
There are 16 other newsletters, and most of them strike a light-hearted tone, like “This Week In Cats”.
“The daily news digest actually covers, with apologies to cat lovers, slightly more pressing world issues … it’s a very different task than our previous newsletters,” Mr Oshinsky said.
Newsletters are a particularly strong way to package news content, he said, because email has been the one constant medium through a rapidly changing digital landscape.
“It’s still a fantastic way to share things you live with your family, friends and co-workers,” he said.
“And with email, readers invite us into their inboxes to deliver great content and stories every single day. It’s an amazing opportunity for us.”
BuzzFeed is also developing an app dedicated to serious news.