Pearson moves into education in China
Much media coverage in past months has focused on the decline in the share price of major American newspaper companies. Of the 10 biggest groups, the Washington Post’s decline has been tempered because of its ownership of Kaplan. So that makes today’s news about Pearson’s purchase of educational companies in China most relevant. Pearson is buying 80 per cent of the Learning Education Center in Shanghai and half of the Dell chain of English language schools, based mostly in Beijing. The news story quotes CEO Marjorie Scardino: “It is a market where public and private spending on education is growing rapidly, where parents see that English language proficiency is central to their children’s success and adults see that English greatly improves their job prospects in the global economy.”
Crowdfunding of news
The need for viable business models to sustain journalism has been one of the key themes from the various journalism conferences and gatherings I have attended in the past six months. David Cohn has got money from the Knight News Challenge grant scheme to establish Spot.Us. The site allows individuals or groups to control news in their community by sharing the cost (crowdfunding) to commission freelance journalists to write important or uncovered news stories.
Some newsrooms go mobile
Useful article about how some newsrooms are allowing or encouraging their reporters to become mobile.
Quinn in a suit
A pleasant surprise: While looking at my RSS feed today I read about Innovation International’s re-launch of Al Bayan, the Arabic-language newspaper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And there was a photo of yours truly taken in Dubai last year.
A long series of walks in Washington
Am in Washington DC this week. It is a fine city for walking and sightseeing. On Tuesday I walked 4.5 miles. On Wednesday it was 3.5 miles. Today, Thursday, was only 3.1 miles. I sleep well after these long promenades.
Features of innovation at Stanford
Prof John Hennessy, president of Stanford University, offers three insights into the characteristics of innovation in the May-June edition of Stanford magazine. The first is diversity of people (a range of ages and ethnicities). The second is an environment that promotes risk-taking and innovative thinking. “To achieve truly great things, one must be willing to risk failure.” The third is the skill of transferring knowledge to organisations that are able to convert that knowledge into something “with broader impact”. After a month at Stanford, I have come to appreciate the special culture that promotes innovation here. Sadly, I also realise how far short Australian universities fall in their aspirations towards embracing those three characteristics.
Minorities over-represented in prison
Went to the launch of a new book, Today’s American: How Free?, at Stanford University today. One of the book’s three editors, Thomas Melia, said 7 in every 1,000 Americans are in prison. This means the USA imprisons people 6 to 10 times more often than European nations. Of the millions in prison, 60 per cent are ethnic minorities. Details about the book here.
Integrated newsroom ‘the norm’ within 5 years
The bulk of editors surveyed for the 2008 edition of the Newsroom Barometer (86 per cent) believe integrated print and online newsrooms will become the norm within five years. Four in five believe journalists will be expected to be able to produce content for all media. The Newsroom Barometer is an annual worldwide survey of editors conducted by Zogby International and commissioned by the World Editors Forum and Reuters. The survey gathered the answers of more than 700 editors and senior news executives from 120 countries, and was conducted online in March. Two in three editors believe some editorial functions will be outsourced, despite frequent newsroom opposition to the practice.
MSM still trusted ahead of blogs
National television emerges as the most trusted news source ahead of newspapers and public radio, based on the results of a major worldwide survey. But the Internet is gaining ground, especially among the young. GlobeScan conducted the survey in 10 countries on behalf of Reuters, the BBC and the Media Center. It found four in five of 10,230 adults surveyed rated national television as their most trusted news source. Three in five trusted national or regional newspapers, two in three said they trusted public radio and 56 per cent chose international satellite television. Globescan president Doug Miller said neither the Internet nor blogs fared well in more developed countries. “The Internet is gaining ground among the young. Just as many people distrust them as trust them,” he told Reuters. One in four respondents said they trusted blogs, but 23 per cent said they did not. Dean Wright, managing editor of consumer media at Reuters, said blogs would eventually come of age, just as newspapers once did.
NewsTrust: news you can trust
Have just seen a presentation on NewsTrust, which calls itself “your guide to good journalism”. It is a social news network focused on quality journalism. Executive director is Fabrice Florin: “We rate the news based on quality, not popularity.” A non-profit, NewsTrust offers three free public services: a quality news feed, news literacy tools and a trust network. It has a group of media partners and is seeking educational links. To find out more, go to this site and download the ppt or pdf about the site.