Featured Posts

Facebook + Journalism 101Facebook + Journalism 101 Academia could be more social. So recently, I setup a Facebook Group for "Social Journalism Educators" to be able to connect and share resources around how they are teaching...

Read more

My Next Chapter: Facebook JournalismMy Next Chapter: Facebook Journalism This was originally posted on my Facebook Page. Also, read CNN's coverage of my new role. ------ I am honored to announce that I will be joining Facebook as Journalist...

Read more

Is Sharing More Valuable for Publishers on Facebook or Twitter? [STATS] Is Sharing More Valuable for Publishers on Facebook... This is an excerpt of analysis I recently wrote on Mashable about how our Twitter users interact with our content vs. those on Facebook. The result: Facebook's click-per-share...

Read more

Facebook & Its Growing Role in Social JournalismFacebook & Its Growing Role in Social Journalism This is an excerpt from a post I recently reported for Mashable.com. Read the full piece here. A Facebook-only news organization? It was only a matter of time. The...

Read more

New to Twitter? Here Are 12 Tips From the CommunityNew to Twitter? Here Are 12 Tips From the Community For someone just starting out on Twitter, the social information network can be intimidating. It has its own language, limitations, and features that are very unique to the...

Read more

Vadim Lavrusik Rss

12 things newspapers should do to survive

Posted on : 14-08-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Newspapers

Tags: , ,

Excerpt from a Mashable.com post that I wrote, which was published today:

Though there are countless articles and blog posts sprawled across the web about the dying newspaper industry, this will not be one of them. Some people have even come to the conclusion that journalism itself is dying, yet in reality, journalism is expanding with social media platforms and technology allowing the former audience and sources to become the reporters themselves. Instead of dwelling on the doom and gloom, this post is an attempt at gathering voices in the journalism industry and on the web to give some thought as to what newspapers should be considering in order to survive and evolve with today’s technology-driven, short-attention-span world.

Those who think there is one silver bullet to fix the newspaper business are mistaken. Newspapers have almost always had multiple streams of revenue to support themselves and the future will likely not be any different. That doesn’t mean, however, that the money-making models newspapers will use on the web will look the same as the ones they have used for print.

Newspapers are struggling financially, but ad revenue is predicted to recover slightly in 2010. The underlying issues are not just business-driven, but include issues of structure, culture and the industrialized foundations of distributing newspapers. This list is not a comprehensive one, but these are some of the things that newspaper leaders should be considering. And though print itself may not survive, the organizations behind them provide value to a democratic society, often covering and providing news that blogs with more limited resources can’t always dig up. We welcome comments below with other suggestions of things you think newspaper leaders should try or invest in. Let’s have some dialogue about this topic.

1. Putting web first and reporting from multiple platforms


That might seem like a no-brainer, but this fact is a double-edged sword. Newspapers are often still treating their websites as an afterthought because their advertising revenue is largely still coming from print. At the same time, the shift to getting more revenue from websites won’t happen until the websites are the first priority.

Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, said one of the issues is that reporters have been given a job description that revolves around a single platform (i.e. print journalist), when really journalists need to conceive of the editorial act apart from questions of platforms.

Ultimately, the word “print” needs to be removed from the role of print journalists, said Kevin Sablan, leader of the Orange County Register’s web task force. Reporters need to focus on primarily gathering information and how to present that information in multiple formats: websites, mobile platforms, social networks and finally print.

The reason? Technology is changing the way people consume news, and though many are still getting their news through traditional print outlets, many others are shifting to get their news through various media, such as television, mobile phones, and the web. Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at Publish2, a company that specializes in link journalism, said journalists now have to be ready to produce journalism on multiple platforms, whether that is tweeting a headline, uploading a video through their iPhone or something else – journalism comes in all shapes and sizes.

Read the full post at Mashable here.

What’s working and what’s not in local online news video content (Part 1)

Posted on : 03-08-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Video

Tags: , , , , , ,

(Apologies for the break in blogging. I have been in the process of moving from Minnesota to NYC. Moving is not fun.This is excerpt from a blog post I wrote for the Online Journalism Blog that summarized the findings of my thesis study on 10 local news sites. Read the first of three posts in full here. Aside from this series, I will have several other posts this week that might strike your fancy.)

Though local news sites have expanded their production of content and made great strides in technological advances on their video platforms, they haven’t exactly reached the next threshold or industry standard in online video. In many cases, this “standard” is being set by media giants like CNN and user-generated social media sites like YouTube. In fact, a recent study shows that watching online video is more popular than Facebook or Twitter. The trend is continuing in that direction and the time spent watching online video has increased as well. And with YouTube now getting into the local news business with its News Near You feature that will grab news clips from sources that are 100 miles from your computer’s IP address, local news organizations should worry.

Many of the local news sites are still experimenting and beginning to define the type of video content they would like to produce. Below are lessons learned from a thesis study that examined how 10 local news sites in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA market used online video. The conclusions made here, are also gathered through interviews of editors at the respective organizations (Note: Several did not want or could not appear for publication as a result of organizational policies). The full study can be found here (beware it is about 60 pages in length). Here are the sites studied:

Cutting newspaper expenses is not enough

Posted on : 21-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Newspapers

Tags: , , , ,

Photo: Leoncillo Sabino

Great news comes today from McClatchy Company, which is reporting a 50 cents per share growth in the second quarter. Well that is great, especially when a “loss seems certain” and “hardly anything has gone right at the company for the last few years” (those being from the reporter, not the experts) were the phrases from a report anticipating losses of the company just yesterday. So, who brought the champagne? Let’s celebrate. After all, early trading showed a jump in McClatchy’s stock. Not so fast. Read down to about the 11nth graph – skipping all the good news.

Who said journalism is dying?

Posted on : 14-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Newspapers, Trends

Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: <a href=

Maybe I have just learned to ignore the depressing news of the thousands of layoffs at newspapers and other news organizations across the nation and begun to pay more attention to the bright spots in journalism. There are journalism jobs being created what seems like every day.

The advice I have given to myself constantly, and will offer it to anyone that loves storytelling: If you truly want to be a journalist, you will find a way. But if you are one of those reporters or editors dwelling on the “glory days” of newspapers and keep a constant eye on sites like the Newspaper Death Watch or the Journalism is Dead site from Mark Luckie and is a collection of funny quotes on why journalism is dead, then someone needs to scream in your ear and tell you that things have changed. They are going to keep changing. But I am simply more optimistic (and can afford to be – I know things change when you have a mortgage and kids to feed, etc.).  Here are a few reasons why I am optimistic:

New economic models for news…without the new

Posted on : 16-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business

Tags: , , , , ,

Today, I attended the New Economic Models for News Conference that was put on by the Minnesota Journalism Center. I was excited to gain new insights from professionals in the industry and hear about what’s working and what’s not. I mostly heard about the same old and much about any “new” models.

For the most part many of the speakers, some of whom were publishers and traditional newspaper folks, complained about Google stealing ad revenue as well as other such aggregators – though Joel Kramer, the founder of Minnpost.com, pointed out that 30 percent of their traffic comes from Google. I know that some websites are likely even more than that.

The Daily Show visits The New York Times

Posted on : 11-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Newspapers

Tags: , , , ,

NYTimessignThe Daily Show takes a stab at The New York Times and the dying newspaper industry on its recent tour of its offices. The Daily Show’s Jason Jones interviews Executive Editor Bill Keller and Asst. Managing Editor Rick Berke about the dying industry with some funny questions and in some cases even funnier responses.

I was able to take a tour of the newsroom during my visit to New York City for an open house at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in April. I got to sit down and talk to some of their investigative reporters, and I think the best journalism is still coming out of the New York Times. Despite the cracks in this video, I think it is still the place where most journalists, traditional or new media, strive to work.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
End Times
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Newt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Web numbers down for StarTribune.com, others in Minneapolis

Posted on : 09-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Trends

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There was a lot of fuss about Compete.com’s numbers on Twitter.com visits slowing, as reported by Mashable. I decided to use Compete.com to check on some of the local news sites and see how they are doing. If the site’s stats are accurate, it means that StarTribune.com’s unique and overall visits have been slipping since January. The overall visits have also been declining from 5.5 million in March to 4.6 million in May.