Proposed postal rates are a mixed bag for newspapers
Newspapers using postal delivery for their products will see a dramatic increase in postage rates under a U.S. Postal Service proposal submitted July 6 to the Postal Regulatory Commission. Claiming that periodicals are not covering allocated costs, the Postal Service is proposing an average increase of a little more than 8 percent for both periodical outside county and in-county rates. However, newspapers using postal delivery primarily to provide pre-printed advertising inserts to nonsubscribers will face less dramatic increases, and may be able to take advantage of a new volume incentive program that NAA worked to secure for its members. For more information about the rates and impact of the proposal, please see our full analysis, available exclusively to NAA members.
NAA helps spur greater transparency on oil spill
The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) – a coalition of media groups dedicated to open government that NAA helped create – blogged in early May about the lack of transparency related to the BP oil spill. In response, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., with whom SGI worked closely on the 2007 Freedom of Information Act amendments, wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to do what he could to increase the information released about the leaking well and the oil dispersant being used. The same day, the White House demanded more transparency from BP. The Environmental Protection Agency also has posted a significant amount of information on its website about the oil spill, including the chemical composition of the dispersant. MORE
Papers enroll in ABC's new readership program
The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph and The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Calif., are participating in a new Audit Bureau of Circulations program designed to provide audited readership studies at an affordable price. NAA supported the launch of this initiative to make primary audience data more available to small and midsize newspapers. MORE
Are you LinkedIn with NAA?
NAA's LinkedIn groups give members the ability to exchange ideas, gather information and track what's happening in the newspaper industry. Discussions are tailored to specific disciplines, such as digital and circulation. Participation is free – all that's required is registration with LinkedIn. Visit the NAA groups here.
New program builds First Amendment awareness
NAA is a proud participant in "1 for All," a national, nonpartisan program designed to build understanding and support for First Amendment freedoms. This campaign from the Newseum and the First Amendment Center provides teaching materials to schools, supports educational events on campuses and reminds the public how the First Amendment serves as the cornerstone of democracy. Also available are media resources, including ads for newspapers and websites.
Webinars focus on web analytics, single copy
Learn more about today's trends and tomorrow's opportunities with NAA's webinars. "Web Analytics Best Practices" on July 20 provides insights on how to use and interpret Web data. The "Single Copy Summer Series" continues on July 22 with "A Retailer's Perspective," followed by "The Grocery Perspective" on Aug. 19. Register now for these sessions, which are free for NAA members.
June retail sales could mask weakness ahead
Reuters via ABC News Share
U.S. retail sales are expected to have risen in June due to warm weather and a late Memorial Day, but the gains may be just a temporary reprieve in an uncertain economy. More
Get your mobile act together
There is a big disconnect between the readiness of retail and consumer habits, according to some recent research. Knowledge Networks just found that 40 percent of smartphone owners consult apps at least sometimes when making shopping decisions, and 32 percent say they are more inclined to buy from companies that advertise in apps. More
Gannett quietly tests paywall
Gannett Co. quietly leaked word recently of a controversial paywall initiative. In what it's calling a "a small-scale test," Gannett told Poynter Online that three of its local newspapers — Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, The Greenville (S.C.) News and The Spectrum of St. George, Utah — will now charge readers $9.95 a month for online-only access. Web access bundled with a print subscription, meanwhile, varies by market. More
Pew: Facebook, Twitter, Web enrich social lives
A survey by Pew and Elon found that 85 percent of 895 "technology stakeholders" and pundits agreed that the Internet has mostly been a positive force in people's social lives. Social benefits of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Apps will outweigh the negatives over the next decade because e-mail, social networks and other Web services offer low-friction ways to forge and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people's lives. More
At Yahoo, using searches to steer news coverage
The New York Times Share
For as long as hot lead has been used to make metal type, the model for generating news has been top-down: Editors determined what information was important and then shared it with the masses. But with the advent of technology that allows media companies to identify what kind of content readers want, that model is becoming inverted. More
Cut in home delivery provides some financial relief for Detroit papers
The Associated Press via Fort Worth Star-Telegram Share
Detroit's two daily newspapers knew they were shoving some readers overboard to stay afloat when they decided to limit home delivery to just three days a week. It was only a question of how many subscribers would abandon the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News once their print editions were no longer hitting doorsteps and driveways each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. More
Tribune Co. gets into consulting business with digital unit
Crain's Chicago Business Share
Tribune Co. is starting a new consulting business in its digital department, allowing the newspaper company to sell its social media and Internet advertising know-how to small and mid-sized businesses. The new business, called 435 Digital Services, will be hiring a handful of people for the effort and will redeploy existing employees to the project to create a unit of about 10 workers, says Bill Adee, the newspaper's digital department vice president. More