It’s always fun for journos to argue about which news story was the story of the year. Of course, everyone has different criteria and therefore a different answer. At Mediagazer we decided to look at the data and choose visually. For us the biggest stories are the ones that inspire a variety of viewpoints and are therefore the ones that quite literally dominate the homepage with a stack of headlines.
Below you’ll see a list of the stories that caused the biggest reaction amongst media reporters and pundits. These are the story clusters that had 10 or more headlines. Some of those headlines are simply tweets that add vital information to the story as it developed but most are full news pieces. These clusters are snapshots of when the story had the most headlines so the top piece isn’t necessarily the one that best represents the cluster or the story itself, but rather is the headline that happened to be on top when the story was at its biggest.
So, who/what is number 1? Rupert Murdoch and his media properties continued to make headlines throughout 2012. From the continued fallout from the phone hacking scandal to the closure of The Daily and concurrent News Corp split, three of the year’s tallest stories bear the name Murdoch.
Since we’re looking at raw data here, we should acknowledge that these clusters can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Some might suggest that we split them into smaller stories, and we did at times. However, something like the shuttering of The Daily and the split of its parent company on the same day are clearly related. Again, these clusters don’t show the dynamic changes to the stories over the course of their development but simply the moment in time when the stories were presented as a whole.
Tragedy also took center stage in 2012, with the February deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in Syria. The media’s reaction to mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut also prompted important discussions about how journalists cover breaking news.
What does this tell us about the state of the industry? For me, the only way to really answer this question is to compare what is missing from this list from what’s here. The big scandals that seemed to cause so much commotion in the moment? Absent. The fabrications of writers such as Jonah Leher and Mike Daisey are nowhere to be seen. Those scandals were dramatic, but won’t have a lasting impact on the business and will be long forgotten in 2013. What will be continue to see headlines about in the coming year? The development of News Corp post split, press regulation in the U.K. and how journalists adapt to technology during breaking news situations. In other words, exactly the same things that commanded so much of our attention in 2012. Happy New Year!
1. 13 Jack Shafer: The Daily didn’t fail-Rupert gave up
2. 12 Guardian: Leveson report published – live coverage
3. 11 Lisa O’Carroll / Guardian: James Murdoch writes to MPs expressing regret over phone hacking
– 11 Rem Rieder / American Journalism Review: Who Was First? Who Cares?
– 11 Guardian: Newsnight: executives could face disciplinary action
4. 10 Julie Moos / Poynter: How The Newtown Bee is covering Sandy Hook Elementary shooting
– 10 Dylan Byers / Politico: ABC News apologizes for ‘incorrect’ Tea party report
– 10 BBC: BBC head of news ‘steps aside’
– 10 Paul McNally / Journalism.co.uk: Murdoch: There was a ‘cover-up’ at News of the World
– 10 Jeff John Roberts / paidContent: Three questions for the New York Times Co
– 10 Tina Brown / The Daily Beast: A Turn of the Page for Newsweek
If the last thing you heard about Mediagazer’s staffing was its founding editor’s move to The Observer, you were probably wondering who was now running the show. Well, for over a month we’ve been quietly assembling a team spanning three time zones and two continents to keep the media news moving. Well, not entirely quietly, but this post marks the first introduction of the entire team. So meet Mediagazer’s new human editors:
Lyra McKee is a journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has worked as a reporter and producer for various news operations since 2005, including stints at the BBC, Sky News and Channel 4. In 2006, she won the Sky News Young Journalist of the Year award for an investigation into suicide in North Belfast. A self-confessed media nerd, she is obsessed with the goings-on of the industry. She brings this eye for detail and her investigative skills to her role as Editor of Mediagazer.
Lyra edits Mediagazer mornings and early afternoons Monday through Thursday. She’s @LyraMcKee on Twitter.
Patricia Sauthoff is a journalist and sometimes academic who recently finished her second masters degree in an obscure and somewhat impractical subject. She has lived in Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, and the United Kingdom. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with the rest of the young retirees.
Patricia edits at Mediagazer weekday afternoons and evenings. She’s @gitagovinda on Twitter.
David edits Mediagazer Fridays and weekends. He also edits Techmeme on weekends plus other random times. He’s @david_connell on Twitter.
Recruiting and orientating the team has been a lot of hard work (particularly for David, who accomplished most of the integration), but we’re really happy with the people we now have in place. So please keep reading us, following us, tipping us, and letting us know how we’re doing.
We launched Mediagazer exactly a year ago today, and over the past year, we’ve highlighted ~12,000 posts from over 1,150 different sites to help you track the changes in the media industry. We’ve collected stories about issues ranging from online ads to paywalls, YouTube to Al Jazeera, Twitter to the New York Times. We’ve brought you stories about startups, upstarts, legacy companies, dinosaurs, and the combination of them all. We strive to showcase the future of the media industry, with an eye always on the business side of things and all the opportunities available. Our goal is simple: To efficiently give you all the news you need to know to succeed in the media business.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank the Techmeme team – Omer, Lid, Mahendra, Andre, and our CEO & Founder Gabe Rivera for all of your help. Thanks to all of the media reporters who make this such a fun subject to study. And, finally, thank you to all of our readers. Thank you for visiting Mediagazer for the past year and I’m looking forward to gazing at the media for the next and all the ones after that.
PS – Thank you Andy Plesser at Beet.tv for the birthday shout-out!
Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has become a place for reporters, pundits, and media thinkers to quickly express their 140-character thoughts on the news of the day. However, if you’re not watching your stream constantly, you can miss out. Starting today, we will be adding direct links to tweets on Mediagazer, so you can see in one place what people are saying about certain stories, even if you had to leave your laptop for an hour or two.
What kind of tweets will appear?
Headlines: People break news on Twitter. We will now be able to highlight those tweets and turn them into a headline on Mediagazer. You can see an example right here.
Discussion: Tweets that are commentary on stories we cover will show up as part of the discussion section for that story, along with links to related blog posts and coverage from other news outlets. For an example, see this cluster.
How will you find these tweets?
Mediagazer’s combination of algorithmic and human editing will continue to surface relevant content onto our site. If you want your tweet to be included, you can be proactive and let us know by including @mediagazer or a link to the relevant mediagazer cluster (http://mgzr.us/xxxx) in your tweet. That will speed up the automated process and help us crawl and notice your contribution faster.
Want to know more?
For a fuller explanation of our changes please see this roundup at our sibling site Techmeme.
You can now use Twitter to tip Mediagazer to breaking media industry news – and you may do so unintentionally.
If you read Mediagazer, you’re probably aware of Twitter, the microcontent platform for sharing 140-character messages with other Twitter users who follow your insights. Since it launched in 2006, Twitter has become a vibrant community for media professionals sharing ideas, views, and links amongst each other. Mediagazer has a presence on Twitter since we launched in March – you can find all of the stories that make it onto our site at our @mediagazer account.
Techmeme, our technology-focused sibling site, introduced a way for people to spotlight breaking tech news when it began accepting Twitter tips in January of 2009. Since then, individual people, companies, and publications have appended the phrase “Tip @Techmeme” to alert us to breaking stories like Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Palm and Gizmodo’s sneak-preview of the iPhone 4. It’s a fun and easy way to get your name on Techmeme and has even made a minor celebrity or two out of frequent tippers.
Today we’re bringing tips to Mediagazer. If you come across a story you think ought to be on the site, include the phrase “tip @mediagazer” (in that order) along with the URL of the story in your tweet. If you are the first tipper for that particular story, we will credit your Twitter ID on Mediagazer, with “thanks: @username” underneath the headline of the story.
But there’s more! We know that it’s always a compliment to get cited for sharing interesting news when you were the first person to discover it. So, as a courtesy, we might credit a tipster even if “tip @mediagazer” isn’t present in their tweet. At times, you might notice the phrase “via @username” under some headlines. If you see that, then you’ll know that we discovered that story from that particular tweet.
There are a few rules to keep things orderly. Tips from scripts, bots, and spam accounts will be ignored. Writers should feel open to tipping us whenever they have important news, but don’t tip every single story you publish or tip indiscriminately in any other way, otherwise you run a very high risk of being mocked mercilessly.
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see more about this program in the Tip @Techmeme introduction announcement.
We’re looking forward to incorporating more members of the community on Mediagazer, and hope you’re looking forward to seeing your name in links.
One good way to keep up with the top media industry news is to follow the @mediagazer Twitter account. Recently, we’ve made a few improvements to our feed to make it more useful for our followers. We’re now including a link directly to the story we’re featuring in addition to the link to the Mediagazer discussion on that story. We’re also aiming to include the author’s Twitter handle in every tweet, to make it easier for you to discover and keep up with top media writers.
Our mission at Mediagazer is to provide readers with a straightforward, efficient, and comprehensive look at today’s top media news, and we think these changes meet that criteria. Gabe Rivera has a fuller explanation of our new Twitter feed over at Techmeme.
Today we’re launching the Mediagazer Leaderboard – a list of our top 100 source websites, ranked in order. The ranking is based on a variable we call presence – the percentage of headline space a source occupied on Mediagazer over the past 30 days. The greater a site’s presence, the higher they appear on the list.
Since its heralded launch in 2007, the Techmeme Leaderboard has become an essential collection of news thinkers, makers, and leaders. We expect the Mediagazer Leaderboard to follow that example for the media industry. Because our list is dynamic and automatically updated every 20 minutes, you will never find a stale or abandoned site – just sites with current, informative news about the media industry.
A short note about our methodology: Links in “Discussion” do not affect presense, only full headlines. And, to keep things simple, “source” is identified by a publisher’s choice of brand. For instance, Media Decoder is a blog from the New York Times, but, for purposes of the Leaderboard, headlines from “Media Decoder” are counted separately from headlines listed from “New York Times.” For a deeper explanation about the Leaderboard’s purpose, methodology, and whether or not it is biased (short answer: it is!), please see this post from Gabe Rivera about the launch of the Techmeme Leaderboard.
Why are you launching this now? We needed at least 30 days after our March launch to have enough data to calculate. Then we tacked on an extra month because, well, we were busy. As an additional incentive to launch today: I’m leaving tomorrow for New York City to attend Mediabistro Circus and TechCrunch Disrupt, so I’ll be available to answer any questions or dismiss any complaints in person. (Want to meet up? Drop me a line.)
How else can you use this thing? We’ve made it easy to get to our sources. The source URL and RSS feed are hyperlinked on our list, so you can easily check out any of the sites. Curious as to what kind of stories have become Mediagazer headlines? You can access each sources’ headlines by clicking the “Archive” link next to the source name. It will return each Mediagazer headline from that particular source. If you’d like to track the history of the Leaderboard, you can access previous lists by entering the date on the right side of the page. We also have an OPML file available, allowing you to access and play with all this Leaderboard data.
So, what’s the point? Mediagazer is designed to showcase the top media news of the day. We think that revealing our top sources, and just how important they are to us, will help our audience better understand the greater media landscape. While we suspect that the release of the Leaderboard will further inflate egos and perhaps settle a small bet or two, we hope you can use the Mediagazer Leaderboard to discover just how strong some of the media voices around you are.