Tag Archives: portugal

Qualidade, preço e a fábrica de salsichas

Se pago por um produto ele tem que valer o dinheiro que gasto nele. É por isso que não me custa nada desembolsar 8,50€ pela Monocle quando posso: a revista é bonita, os textos são bons e a aposta em edições temáticas que reflectem as idiossincrasias da própria revista (no número dedicado ao panorama militar mundial falou-se muito de design, moda, comunicação e arquitectura) dão-lhe uma personalidade própria e transformam-na num vício mesmo para quem não é o público-alvo da publicação. E como público-alvo refiro-me às pessoas que podem comprar os produtos que lá vêm anunciados.

Por isso é que não entendo as paywalls, nem as pessoas que as têm imposto. Não vou pagar pela mesma informação que tenho de borla noutros lados. Já contei aqui a história de quando trabalhava numa rádio e não tínhamos acesso às notícias da Lusa, mas não era preciso, eu via o mesmo texto copiado e colado em sete sites diferentes, e depois via-os impressos em alguns jornais, às vezes com os mesmo erros e tudo ou, pior, mal copiados. Era só pegar na informação, adaptar e debitar para um microfone. Era jornalismo? Não. Mas o que via ali também não era.

Como neste momento não estou ligado à actividade jornalística e não estou muito preocupado com a saúde financeira dos maus jornais, que são a maioria, olho para este assunto como consumidor e cidadão. Quando a Atlantic lança um produto como o Quartz fico interessado e não é só por ter um interface diferente. É porque têm uma equipa dedicada ao produto com competências específicas para a sua produção. Fala-se muito de adaptações nas equipas de futebol mas no fim um avançado tem que ser um bom  avançado e  marcar golos. O que a Quartz tem é uma estratégia definida:

To sum up, three elements will be key to Quartz’s success.

1. Quickly build a large audience. Selected advertisers are not philanthropists; they want eyeballs, too. Because of its editorial choices, Quartz will never attract HuffPo-like audiences. To put things in perspective, the Economist gets about 7 million unique browsers a month (much less unique visitors) and has 632,000 readers on its app.

2. Quartz bets on foreign audiences (already 60% of the total). Fine. But doing so is extremely challenging. Take the Guardian: 60 million unique visitors a month – one third in the UK, another in the US, and the rest abroad – a formidable journalistic firepower, and a mere £40m in revenue (versus $160m in advertising alone for NYTimes.com).

3. Practically, it means Quartz will have to deploy the most advanced techniques to qualify its audience: it will be doomed if it is unable to tell its advertisers it can identify a cluster of readers traveling to Dubai more than twice a year, or another high income group living in London and primarily interested in luxury goods and services (see a previous Monday Note on extracting readers’ value through Big Data).

Frederic Filloux, Monday Note, The Guardian

O problema tem sido esse: não há estratégia na maioria das publicações tirando a de sobrevivência e, mesmo essa, é má. Apenas se repete o mesmo modelo ultrapassado com jornalismo de fraca qualidade e cria-se uma app para isso. E eu não acho que a culpa seja dos jornalistas, não se fazem boas equipas só com júniores e laterais adaptados, quando mais o desporto deles é outro. Este exemplo que dou do Quartz da Atlantic não de negócio, mas de produto dedicado às características do mercado que pretendem atingir. E comparando com a oferta que tenho ao meu dispor não fico satisfeito com aquilo que os estrategas dos média nacionais pensam de mim, como consumidor.

Matthew Ingram aponta cinco razões a ter em conta nesta estratégia da Atlantic, doas quais destaco este :

  • New forms of content: In the not-so-distant past, magazines and newspapers were happy to just throw their existing content onto the internet as “shovel-ware,” and some continue to do so. Atlantic Media has focused instead on trying to adapt what it does with content to take advantage of the web — its Atlantic Wire has been a big contributor to its online success, in part because of a smart approach to aggregation and social media, and it has also launched dedicated sites like Atlantic Cities. And Quartz is the latest example of this principle in action, as is its focus on “obsessions” instead of beats.

“It’s become very, very clear to me that digital trumps print, and that pure digital, without any legacy costs, massively trumps print.” — David Bradley

Na minha experiência a ver a fábrica das salsichas por dentro, percebi que o que move muitas publicações não é o dever de informar, esclarecer, questionar, mas manter um status quo,  seja dos donos, dos políticos ou das empresas que apoiam, que em certos casos são todos a mesma gente. Percebi também que confundem  a tecnologia do futuro (e presente) das publicações com televisão, que já é o segundo ecrã. E vi que não ligam muito ao que vendem, desde que se venda.  E mesmo que não se venda, vão querer cobrar mais do que deviam.

Tirando o hábito, não vejo razões nenhumas para se ler um jornal regularmente, hoje em dia. Nem as suas versões digitais. Há muito poucas publicações no mundo que me cativam e estou disposto a pagar por elas havendo essa possibilidade e, tirando o factor de proximidade, estaria tão ou melhor informado do que se ficasse apenas pelas marcas nacionais. Os modelos de gestão e os objectivos dos média seguidos durante décadas estão obsoletos, é preciso uma revolução nesse paradigma que não é só de produção mas também de mentalidades.

Eu não estou a ver nenhum orgão de comunicação português a seguir o modelo cooperativo deste jornal alemão, que se mantém à tona por ser indispensável a um grupo  de leitores, que são ideologicamente próximos uns dos outros, com interesses em comum e que precisam de uma marca que lhes enquadre a realidade da forma como o Die Tageszeitung faz. Também precisam de repensar o seu produto digital, é verdade mas, ao contrário da maioria das marcas jornalísticas, têm esse factor de serem indipensáveis para um grupo de pessoas. E criar um produto que seja indispensável implica pensar muito bem no que representa a marca e o que faz:

If you are stuck with a revenue level that won’t support filling your staff with indispensable storytellers, you need to rethink your staff and content model, slim down the staff size and build up the pay. Otherwise you resign yourself to forever being completely dispensable.

You can’t be indispensable and poorly written at the same time. In that case, Steve’s point is completely correct: You will get online subscriptions from current newspaper addicts, the people who are so used to reading you that they just can’t do without. But they will die off, and you will have nothing that non-subscribers find worthwhile, so you also will die off.

Guy Lucas, The paywall paradox

A única parte que parecem aplicar por essas redacções fora é a da redução das redacções, mas apenas por questões financeiras e não de desenvolvimento.

Como se tem visto, o plano tem sido tornar-se completamente dispensáveis. Como o António Granado ontem escreveu no seu blog (e foi dele que vieram alguns destes links) ao falar do novo site noticioso da Microsoft:

Este é apenas um início de uma tendência que muitos analistas prevêem há anos: quando os média tradicionais decidem cortar loucamente nas suas redacções, e passam a não dar atenção a áreas sobre as quais as pessoas querem ler, alguém ocupará o seu lugar…

Não há escassez de oferta, e muito menos de qualidade. Não vem é dos sítios do costume, a maior parte das vezes. E ao baixarem o nível de qualidade e ao não satisfazer os hábitos e necessidades dos consumidores apenas para manter a máquina a rolar acabaram por lhes passar por cima.

Pessoalmente, não vejo uma marca jornalística nacional que me interesse ou que queira comprar. Não é que veja bons artigos e histórias em algumas marcas que até acho de grande qualidade, mas não não vou comprar um pacote inteiro por causa de uma só porção. Além disso,  não há uma que esteja a produzir conteúdos nos formatos que quero consumir, mas isso pode ser problema meu, que sou muito esquisito. Uma coisa é certa, não gasto dinheiro com nenhuma.

A forma como encaro o jornalismo pode ser pouco pragmática e demasiado idealizada, mas como cidadão e consumidor quando compro um produto informativo quero que traga notícias, e não salsichas porque, ainda por cima, sei como foram feitas.

 

How Portuguese News Websites (don’t) use Citizen Journalism (2008)

 

Rummaging through old files I came across with the most interesting stuff: almost exactly 4 years ago I wrote this. It reminded me of a debate I participated this week.

(It was published here and here)

Not much has changed. Or did it?

 

Ao remexer em pastas antigas, encontrei algumas coisas interessantes: há quase exactamente 4 anos escrevi isto.Lembrou-me de um debate em que participei esta semana.

(Foi publicado aqui e aqui)

Pouco mudou entretanto. Ou mudou?

 

We’ve been watching a significant change in the Portuguese news media, for the last few years. From national to local newspapers, radios and TV channels, everyone is building their presence online, with more or less aptitude or quality. Still, the effort is noticeable.

But this investment in new platforms of communication doesn’t mean the companies are following the latest trends, or leaving their somewhat conservative approach to the full possibilities of the web. The news websites in Portugal are mostly a repository for print content, since many don’t have exclusively online journalists, and the resources for online content are rather limited, especially as multimedia content is concerned, though slowly the tide is turning, mainly due to the efforts of major newspapers, that are trying to improve and take the step forward in online content.

This scenario, of slow and uneven development of new media content, is useful to explain why the interactivity between media and users is practically inexistent. Many still don’t grasp the concept of participative/citizen journalism and community, but companies and newsroom managements aren’t the only ones to blame, since there are other factors to consider:

- Portugal has a low newspaper reading index, and despite an increase in the last years, it is still one of the lowest in Europe;

- the Portuguese, as a people, usually aren’t civically engaged;

- journalists, as a class, are quite protective about their job;

- there is no specific training for professional journalists regarding community management, content moderation, outsourced content;

So, if news information still runs downriver, it’s because there’s not only a structural problem, but also a passive-aggressive attitude towards citizen journalism: passive on the citizen part, aggressive on the journalists’ that defend their status as news bearers with tooth and nail, even if most don’t take any effort to understand the new reality.

To vouch for these changes and current mindset, I created a small survey in which I was trying to understand the conditions and openness of online media to citizen contribution. It was divided in 4 parts: company characteristics, main types of content and sources, forms of user participation, and a short opinion on citizen journalism. This survey was sent to about 50 newspapers, TV and radios with online news features, sizing from national media groups to local companies. The response was baffling.

A quarter of the email addresses available for contact with the website or newsroom’s management were useless, and even after further attempts inviting the remaining ones that worked, only four companies replied and filled out the form. The results are, therefore, inconclusive. But this is a good example to show how receptive most newsrooms and companies are to outside stimulation, even if it wasn’t only for the fact that the ones that replied are amongst those who are working to develop their presence online, in a well thought, sustainable way, and embracing the new challenges posed by hyper-communication, while the vast majority is selling pig in a poke.

Anyway, these were the results: two newspapers – one national, the other local – one online news outlet and a TV channel answered to the survey. The local newspaper was the less resourceful, with no exclusively online journalists, against the online outlet who has over 30 workers. The local newspaper had a 30 to 50 thousand visits, against the over 330 thousand claimed by the TV channel’s online newsroom. All of them prioritized text over video, audio and photography, being video the less used format, except on the TV website, for obvious reasons. None of them used citizen or users as a source, sticking to the journalists’ investigation and agencies feed, although users’ images and videos were welcome. All of them are expecting to open their website to further user collaboration, and when asked about the future of citizen journalism, the best answer was “interactivity is one of the factors that increases the number of visits,(…) and the visibility and acknowledgement of the brand”. This line of thought is still a needle in the Portuguese news haystack.

The most recent reports on citizen journalism in the USA (State of the News Media 2008) show a decrease in user’s participation, though there are new websites and features popping up everyday, appealing to news readers to develop contents and create a tighter relationship with the online editions. In Portugal, all the news related to media websites development is announcing more multimedia and interactive features, for a broadband usage: more video, more comments, more space for users’ opinions and input. With very few notable exceptions, nothing is really changing; the main difference now is that the contributions accepted by media companies are now being sent over the internet, instead of regular mail, like it happened for decades.

Portuguese users are actively creating own media, like blogs and podcasts, and commenting on the news websites, or sending small videos and pictures is still enough for most of them. And on the day I’m writing this, Público presented a feature, that links a news article to the blogs that refer to it, which may mean that the future is not necessarily in the embedding of citizen content, but by promoting the exchange of contents between corporate and citizen media.  But, apart from those small advances to integrate users in the building of the news landscape, there is nothing we may call as citizen journalism in Portugal.

The reasons to proclaim citizen journalism as a part of the future of news media may be honest or pure marketing, but the fact is that it doesn’t rely solely on the companies shoulders. The main promoters of this movement must be the citizens themselves, and they should be the leading force in changing the face of corporate news, recreating the agenda setting, humanizing and lending depth to news content. The media outlets just have to be ready to accept that.

 

 

 

 

ObCiber 2011: Online Journalism Awards Nominees | Nomeados dos Prémios de Jornalismo Online

It’s that time of the year again, when the best online journalism made in Portugal is awarded by ObCiber.

This time the nominees list isn’t that different from previous editions, there are names credited in different projects that have been regularly present. This means the best are still the same, and they are few.  I expected a bit more variety, but since I know some of these talented people I’m happy for them. The question is: why there isn’t more competition?

There are also differences in the projects running: more multimedia and interactivity, using more screen real estate, and better design and UX. 

For those of you who want to risk it and navigate through online Portuguese news projects, here’s the list below, and if you like, vote on your favorites.

Estamos outra vez naquela altura do ano, quando os melhores trabalhos do jornalismo online em Portugal são premiados pelo ObCiber.

A lista de nomeados não é muito diferente das  edições anteriores, e os nomes presentes nos créditos dos trabalhos repetem-se. Isto significa que os melhores são os mesmos e são poucos. Esperava maior variedade, mas como conheço algumas destas pessoas talentosas fico contente por eles. A pergunta que se impõe é porque é que não há mais concorrência?

Há também algumas diferenças nos trabalhos a concurso: mais multimédia e interactividade, a ocupar mais área no ecrã, e com melhor design e usabilidade.

Vejam a lista abaixo e votem nos vossos  projectos favoritos.

Overall Excellence in Online Journalism | Excelência geral em ciberjornalismo:

Público.pt

Jornal de Notícias

Rádio Renascença

 

Breaking News | Última hora:

Minuto a minuto: “O Egipto está livre” - Público

Milhões exigem queda de Mubarak - Jornal de Notícias

Acordo fechado - Rádio Renascença

José Sócrates demite-se - Rádio Renascença

 

Multimedia Reports | Reportagem multimédia:

Órfãos de Pátria - Jornal de Notícias

João Paulo II: As dimensões de um santo - Rádio Renascença

Cimeira da NATO - Rádio Renascença

“24 Horas de Porto” - Porto24

A crise bateu à porta – TVI24

11 de Setembro – 10 anos depois - SAPO.pt

Reconstituição da tragédia de Entre-os-Rios - Jornal de Notícias

 

Online Video | Videojornalismo online

Os búlgaros nas vindimas - Jornal de Notícias

Fábricas Fantasma - Rádio Renascença

Egipto: Geração Revolução - Rádio Renascença

 

Infographics | Infografia Digital

OE2012: Como vamos ser afectados no dia-a-dia - Público

SCUT vs alternativas - Jornal de Notícias

O mundo a cada mil milhões - Público

Guia das Legislativas 2011Rádio Renascença

 

School Journalism | Ciberjornalismo académico

Mercado do Bom Sucesso: As vidas do mercado - JPN

No mundo das mulheres - JPN

Dossiê “Jornalismo de Guerra” - JPN

“Subterrâneos de Arca D’Água escondem galerias extensas” - JPN

 

 

Survey: analyzing the need for Multimedia Production in Portugal

For my MA report, I conducted a small survey about multimedia production in Portuguese newsrooms, and although it is not statistically relevant (only 13 responded), it was answered by some of the most important media companies in Portugal, including two reference national  dailies and two major TV networks.

The results do not fall far from the expected: there isn’t still a solid investment in the newsrooms to create and publish multimedia/interactive content, in spite of the desire to do so, mainly because they lack the skilled professionals to do so.

Point by point here are the conclusions reached with the survey:

1 - Multimedia contents in Portugal

Confronted with the importance of multimedia in today’s news practice they all consider it is at least important but most don’t have the habit of producing them. This may be explained by the insufficient staff available to create them, many times overlapping functions as page makers, and the habit of only use in house production.

Most of the interactive content that comes from external sources is created by LUSA, the national news agency, which sells exclusive infographics or retail videos.


2 - Multimedia contents PortugalAs you can see in the following chart, the types of content are mostly very simple to produce, being photo galleries and videos the most common. Very few take the time to build their own multimedia packages, but these have increased significantly in the last years in other brands that did not respond to the survey, some of them featuring multimedia packages on a regular basis.

 

3 Multimedia content Portugal

 

When asked if their companies were interested in buying content created by others, the answers were quite conservative. It is understandable that they wish to have control over the process despite paradoxically they don’t produce multimedia content due to staff limitations.

4 multimedia content Portugal

And how much they would be willing to pay for a basic multimedia package?   The example given was one with 4 videos plus an interactive chart. Most of them indicated the usual price range here in Portugal for this type of products, between 75 to 150€. This is clearly insufficient, even if we look at it as a one-man-band endeavour. To make them profitable, these packages would have to be made in a 10 to 15 hour period, and have at least 10 orders per month.

I’m currently producing a similar package and first video only took 7 working hours total (it was more than that but i’m not counting with hardware glitches).

But the idea of acquiring multimedia kits, which by definition would be pieces that could be assembled and adapted to each newsroom’s editorial and design guidelines, was more appealing. Again, the issue of control over news content creation is present.

5 Multimedia Content  Portugal

I also asked for their insights about the need for multimedia production in Portuguese newsrooms and the answers were pretty similar: many agreed that though multimedia content is important “newsrooms aren’t ready enough to operate them” and “there isn’t enough money to invest in external production”.

This seems to be a structural problem within news organizations, as pointed out by others: there is a lot of interest in the newsrooms in multimedia contents, finding them valuable “from an editorial point of view” and as a support for their text stories.

However, “because of the unpreparedness of the professionals, or by having the need to recruit new staff or acquire external content, it will be difficult to persuade administrations of the importance of those contents, mainly because websites haven’t been able to impose a profitable business model”.

The idea that media administrations are reluctant to invest in multimedia was also reinforced in other answers.

So, as a freelancer, things don’t seem that bright for me. And all I can say from first hand experience is that there is a strong will to produce multimedia content in portuguese newsrooms. They just don’t have the time or the money in most of them.

What do you make of this picture? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newspapers’ Paywalls&Online subscribers in Portugal

If evidence that one solution does not fit all was needed, let’s just take a look at the online subscribers numbers in Portugal. So, you think a paywall will do?

These are the newspapers and magazines that adopted a online subscription model, none of them being too closed, we can still see most of the stories online. What else do they offer behind the wall? I honestly don’t know. Followin the number of subscribers is the number of copies sold on average in the first 6 months of 2011, except when noted.

A funny thing happened while collecting these numbers, mostly from articles on their own websites: they all boasted rises and superiority over the competition. It’s perfectly acceptable and understandable as a marketing strategy, but there’s nothing to boast about, overall sales are dropping. The last bit of information is the number of  unique visitors to their website.

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So, as you can see, there is a residual number of subscribers compared to the total number of newspaper buyers and unique visitors. Different markets require different strategies, and paywalls do not seem to be the solution for Portuguese media. Do you agree? Or maybe we could all make this test.

Data taken from here and here.