Browsing articles tagged with " globe and mail"

Toronto Star to introduce paywall in early 2013

Oct 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  1 Comment

by Andrew Moran (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank announced Monday plans to introduce a paywall structure in 2013. Complete details of the proposed plan have not been released, but it is in line with other Toronto outlets, such as the Globe and Mail.

What other news organization in Toronto is going to enforce a paywall? That is the question on the mind of many Torontonians, who have been used to reading the news on the Internet for free for many, many years.

Readers who headed on over to the on Monday morning may have been surprised (or not surprised depending on your aptitude on the business of media) to learn that the Toronto Star is going to implement a paywall, a measure that offers its visitors a paid-subscription for full access to its content.

“This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada,” wrote Cruickshank in the announcement. “Under the plan, most print subscribers to the Toronto Star will receive free full access to’s content, wherever and however they want.”

Full aspects of the subscription have yet to be released, including the costs, how to register and what features readers can access.The purpose of the subscription is to generate another tool of revenues, while also providing more news stories, video content and podcasts of news from across the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada and around the world.

“These additional revenues will strengthen our ability to invest in quality journalism, both in print and online, and provide the high quality of news, information and opinion that our readers throughout the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada have come to expect from the Star,” added Cruickshank. “They will also allow the Star to bolster its long-standing focus on delivering accurate local, national and international news that matters to our readers.”

The Toronto Star joins the likes of the Globe and Mail and National Post of Toronto outlets adding a paywall. In the United States, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have performed the same thing. If the Star is looking to make extra revenue, the New York Times posted its third quarter numbers, which include an 85 percent drop in profits.

Some of its readers have already commented that they will not pay for something that they can receive for free elsewhere. Google News offers hundreds of news agencies that provide the news of the day at no cost, such as the Associated Press and Reuters.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Why the reddit IamA Q&A posts can be the future of interviews

May 28, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog, Media blog  //  1 Comment

by David Silverberg

The Q&A interview has been done. You’ve seen it countless times in newspapers and magazines, with the usual back and forth from a journalist looking for that great pull-quote from an interviewee trying to come up with something pithy. Often, the Q&A focuses on celebs, innovators, well-known names.

But something interesting is happening on reddit, the popular online community billing itself “the front page of the Internet.” This website of sub-communities offers a page called IamA, featuring people available to be questioned by anyone joining the sub-reddit. Essentially, this idea is upturning the Q&A norm and letting the readers participate directly by asking questions and getting direct answers.

The community might feature a celeb such as Jack Black or Joss Whedon once in a blue moon, but what I find most appealing by IamAs are the average regular folk who open themselves up to questioning. I really enjoyed learning about my favourite TV show, The Daily Show, thanks to an intern who revealed behind-the-scenes tidbits about Jon Stewart and the writing crew. There’s the fellow who lost his dad to a stroke and is walking across the U.S. to honour his memory. Or the 24-year-old living with albinism. Or the retired drug dealer. Or the Iraqi who lives through horrific war. And this is just the past four days.

What is compelling about these interviews is the unfiltered truth. No editor is hand-selecting what questions are answered. It’s up to the interview subject, who truly says Ask me Anything! (thus, AMA). The editorial gatekeeper is bypassed to bring readers an honesty you won’t find anywhere else.

Could this be the future of the Q&A? Will this upend how journalists approach interviews? It very well could be, if progressive publishers take note. Some outlets try to bring in guests to take liveblogged questions, but it feels so quick and curated, as if publishers are worried a question might upset their precious guest. That’s an old-school way of thinking. reddit lets the reader ask any question without any censorship (barring vulgar and abusive language of course); that kind of respect for the reader goes a long way. I’ve seen IamA threads with more than 2000 comments, and the interviewee has done his best to reply to most of them.

I can picture how this type of Q&A can be used in the mainstream media: the Globe & Mail, say, can invite someone of interest, like an open-heart surgeon, to answer any of the questions submitted within a 12-hour period, structured not too differently than a reddit IamA. The doc takes a few hours to answer the questions he can, offering as little or as much insight as he wants into his career. Readers can be notified with their question was answered, either via email or (dare we say it) SMS. This can all take place on Facebook too. Then, after the Q&A session, the Globe editor can compile the best answers into a succinct article summing up the doctor’s statements. The Q&A remains active on the website so anyone can see the answers the editor couldn’t include in the article.

Is this crazy talk? Too ambitious? I don’t think so. If news publishers want to embrace digital media as they say they do, they need to look at successful communities such as reddit to see what works. Otherwise, they’ll just be doing the same boring thing we know and don’t love.

How media companies are harnessing the mobile space

Nov 30, 2010   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

A nextMEDIA panel discusses the fragmentation of media. From left to right: Matthieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platforms, Yellow Pages Group; Angus Frame, Vice President, Digital Media, Globe and Mail; Candice Faktor, Vice President, Strategy and New Ventures, Torstar Digital; Sara Diamond, President, Ontario College of Art & Design; and Marina Glogovac, Chief Marketing Officer, Kobo eReader.

By David Silverberg

In a panel discussion at NextMedia Toronto 2010, prominent decision-makers at some of Canada’s leading digital companies spoke on the various benefits of bringing their content to the mobile market.

Toronto’s Design Exchange was the site for a discussion on the various platforms available to media companies who want to bring their content to tech-savvy customers. Moderating the panel was Sara Diamond, president of the Ontario College of Art & Design. The speakers included: Candice Faktor, Vice President, Strategy and New Ventures, at Torstar Digital; Angus Frame, Vice President, Digital Media at The Globe and Mail; Marina Glogovac, Chief Marketing Officer, for Kobo eReader; and Matthieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platforms for Yellow Pages Group.

The session began with Glogovac citing Verizon as a business role model, saying she admired how it transformed from “a sleepy carrier into a 3G powerhouse, unafraid to cannibalize its own business.” Torstar Digital’s Faktor then pointed out how businesses should realize there isn’t one centralized approach to mobile. “Each brand and business should look at the market to see how it’ll define their business,” she said.

Faktor hinted Torstar will soon be offering daily deals for mobile users, a connection that makes sense considering Torstar’s acquisition of group-buying company WagJag. A mobile push requires a multi-pronged approach, she said. “Torstar’s mobile experience is a collaborative effort between the content management system, the content producers and the ventures group making everything work. There are many challenges when you have a big organization such as ours.”

The Globe & Mail‘s Angus Frame said the past two years were “intense with lots of experimentation in the digital space.” The Globe and Mail views mobile as a “catchpoint” for its customers: users accessed their mobile apps when print readers usually put the paper down, such as in the evening and on the way to work. “It’s not a black and white transition, to engage with customers on different platforms,” Frame noted. He added its apps, such as the iPad app, also attracted traditional national advertisers as well as new Globe readers.

Houle stressed Yellow Pages Group is focused on local search, and they view the smartphone as the ultimate tool for search. “We don’t view phones as a major change to our business model but an extension and acceleration.”

At Kobo, an eReader company, Glogovac found male customers use their apps differently than women: men tend to graze, looking for how-to books. Women prefer longer-form content, such as novels. She also noticed baby boomers are still willing to pay for content, while younger users are more accepting of advertising but not keen on paying for content.

Houle’s free app, Urbanizer, was introduced to the NextMedia crowd: he said the app allows users to search for services nearby based on “mood”, such as looking for “trendy restaurants” or “intimate coffee shops.” He said Urbanizer “satisfies a customer’s basic need to search socially for bars and restaurants that might fit their needs.”

The panel was then asked about the skill sets their companies look for in new hires. Frame said The Globe and Mail has overhauled its “internal communications skills” and has focused on analyzing metrics to help the team better understand its digital potential. “Also, design is no longer a flat experience; we are designing so people can interact with our content and seamlessly move across different platforms.”

The single biggest change in this area is how publishers are talking to customers directly, Glogovac said. She said, as a marketer, she prefers avoiding traditional PR routes and instead would hire journalists and writers “who know how to talk to people directly.”

Houle ended the discussion by pointing out companies should be in control of the conversation between themselves and customers. That idea led Frame to mention how Facebook is both competition and complementary to The Globe and Mail‘s interests.

Faktor said media firms should find out where users gather. “Consumers are promiscuous and it is up to us to be there in different media platforms.”

Future of Media 2010 wrap-up: Event examines impact of social media, mobile

Sep 10, 2010   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2010  //  1 Comment
From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

See also: Video from the Future of Media 2010

On Sept. 8, five panelists shared their vision of the future of news with a packed Toronto audience. Discussion flowed from mobile news on your smartphone, to how geolocation will notify you of stories happening in your area. In addition, panelists talked about how news outlets are leveraging Facebook to become more “social” and why journalists should know about SEO and analytics.

These were some of the discussion topics at the Future of Media 2010 panel discussion held in Toronto’s Drake Hotel, where a standing room-only crowd crammed into the Underground space to hear what panelists had to say about journalism’s prospects. The Future of Media event is hosted by It’s a regular event intended to bring a variety of experts together to discuss changes in the news industry, emerging trends and their impact on the media business.

The panel was made up of executives from a variety of companies: Elmer Sotto, head of growth at Facebook Canada; David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; digital marketing and social media strategist Mark Evans; Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile; and The Globe and Mail’s Managing Editor, Digital, Anjali Kapoor.

A packed crowd filled the Drake Underground at's Future of Media event on Sept 8, 2010. The event is a speaker series that brings together experts from within the media and tech industries to discuss the changing media landscape.

The standing-room only event began with a discussion on the challenges facing mainstream media today. Despite the struggle to retain print readership, the digital era is ushering in a new variety of media consumer, the panelists agreed.

While the conversation focused primarily on social media and its influence on news, Evans stated strongly that content is still king, and many panelists agreed. “Content will still be king, not all the bells and whistles that comes with it”, said Kapoor, with Skok nodding in agreement. “Journalists should be great storytellers, no matter what,” Skok noted.

From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta. Read more:

From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; social media expert Mark Evans; and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta.

But where content is read is changing and will continue to evolve. Gupta from Polar Mobile says reading news on your smartphone should be the norm, if only media outlets invested more in implementing apps. “The growth in mobile users has blind-sided media companies. [Polar Mobile] has gone from one million to six million users,” he said.

From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News.

From left to right: Managing Editor, David Silverberg; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor, Globe and Mail, Digital; and David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News.

Gupta also cited an intriguing statistic regarding content consumption, saying mobile users consume 100 pages of content per month on’s smartphone application compared to only 14 pages on’s website.

Evans countered Gupta’s statement, saying mobile isn’t yet catering to advertisers so its success as a news platform is still up in the air. Gupta responded by saying the mobile ad market is immature in Canada, so all we get now is that tiny banner ad across the screen. “The infrastructure needs to improve,” Gupta said.

Gupta also discussed how payment systems need to be simpler in the future in order for any kind of micropayment process to work effectively. He’s unsure when this will occur, but Gupta said he is certain news outlets would benefit from a more mature smartphone market.

The discussion then turned to what Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said to the Atlantic Monthly: Newspapers will survive the digital revolution but expect news to be delivered on anything but paper.

Kapoor from the Globe & Mail responded by saying she sees print newspapers still appealing to news junkies; compelling content will continue to attract readers, it’s just a matter of complementing print stories with online add-ons, she said. Evans agreed, saying the growth of free dailies should demonstrate there is still demand for print.

From left to right: Elmer Sotto, head of growth for Facebook Canada; Mark Evans, a social media expert.

When the talk turned to Facebook’s role in the media industry, Facebook Canada’s Sotto and Evans argued about the issue of the social network being a “walled garden.” Evans felt Facebook doesn’t offer a variety of ideas since people tend to read within an echo chamber. Sotto replied by saying you never know what you’ll find in your Facebook News Feed. He recalled clicking on links from a friend about country news in his feed, even though he never liked the music, “but I felt compelled to learn more about it.”

Kapoor noted the Globe & Mail enjoyed partnering with Facebook recently to bolster the Globe’s viewership. Sotto said the Globe saw an 81 percent increase in Facebook referral traffic when it implemented the Facebook “Like” button on the site.

Kapoor also said media outlets should get away from the idea of “we need to build everything ourselves.” She added, “The challenge is that news organizations shouldn’t be developing everything, they should be partnering. The online environment is a very different environment, and those skills aren’t always translated to traditional newsrooms.”

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, talks at the Future of Media event Sept 8, 2010.

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, talks at the Future of Media event Sept 8, 2010.

The panel also touched upon the issue of moderating comments. They wondered if online comments should be moderated in-house or outsourced. Evans believed this service should be outsourced because of cost, but some of the other panelists disagreed.

The panel was then asked about Twitter’s potential as a breaking-news source. Look at how the hostage crisis at the Discovery Channel building heaped praise on the micro-blogging service with headlines such as “Twitter breaks hostage story.” What happened to news outlets getting those scoops?

“Twitter is not a content creator,” Evans said. “It allows people to have conversations, to say what they want, but it’s not a news outlet. We have to remember that.”

Evans went on to say the difference between journalists and the public tweeting news they come across is storytelling. Laying out the facts and uncovering verifiable sources are skills media organizations still covet.

Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail, Digital, listens to the panel at the Future of Media in Toronto.

Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail, Digital, listens to the panel at the Future of Media in Toronto.

Speaking of skills, what talents should the next generation of journalists perfect in order to be attractive to news outlets? Kapoor said the Globe looks for journalists who can tell a good story and report effectively. She also said today’s journalists should also know more about SEO, analytics and knowing who the audience is, as well as social media and multimedia journalism.

“Be bold, experiment, that’s what we want to see,” Kapoor said.

Skok echoed her statement but stressed he would still like to see journalists hone the age-old skills of producing quality content. That said, Skok also supports using technology to tell stories in new ways. For example, Skok said his company gave every Global National reporter across Canada a new iPhone 4 with which to shoot video reports in addition to standard coverage.

When it comes to working at Facebook, Sotto likes to see risk-takers try new things. Some of their best ideas, such as photo tagging, came from all-night programming sessions when staff wanted to play around with brainstormed ideas, he said. Sotto also praised the University of Waterloo, where he said Facebook has discovered some of the best interns who went on to become employees.

After the panel discussion, the event moved to a Q&A where panelists took questions from the audience. One self-professed techie asked the panel what it thought about the future of radio and podcasts. Evans admitted he doesn’t listen to radio much, saying “podcasts are like the ugly orphan in the corner.”

Skok, on the other hand, thinks audio reports could be part of media’s future; during the G20 protests in Toronto, a Global reporter complemented her editorial with a voicemail add-on to a liveblog during a car fire. “She was terrified and you could hear it in her voice. It was the most compelling thing I have heard in years,” he said.

On Twitter, Digital Journal got a question via @annejoyce, who asked about social media’s popularity creating positions such as community managers at news outlets. Will these types of job openings continue to flourish or is it a passing fad?

Kapoor said the Globe isn’t consistent in how it handles this newly created position, considering how hazy the ROI has become in implementing a social media manager. It can also be difficult in measuring the success of someone involved in social media. “Do you base the qualification on traffic or Twitter mentions or something else?” she asked.

Evans answered Anne’s question bluntly. “Today, would you rather be a social media manager or a journalist? I’d go with social media, without a doubt.”

The Future of Media event was hosted by and was sponsored by Suite 66, Queensway Audi and CNW Group. Prize sponsors included Rogers Wireless, Palm, Flip Video and Dell.

See also: Video from the Future of Media 2010

Video: Future of Media 2010

Sep 10, 2010   //   by admin   //   Video  //  No Comments

For those who missed the Future of Media event on Sept 8, 2010, the following clips have been made available. You can also read a written recap of Future of Media 2010.

The discussion topic was social media and mobile, and included a panel made up of experts from a variety of industries:

The panel discussion was moderated by Managing Editor, David Silverberg. The clips from Future of Media 2010 are in order below:

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 1)

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 2)

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 3)

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 4)

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 5)

Digital Journal Presents: Future of Media 2010 (Part 6)