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Panpa Bulletin : August 2011
The PANPA Bulletin is the official publication of the Newspaper Publishers’ Association. The views expressed in The Bulletin are not necessarily those of the Association. Send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN 1443-7481 ©PANPA - 2011 Issue 285 of The PANPA Bulletin NPA Board NPA Staff Mark Hollands Chief Executive Officer Sophie Tarr Editorial Coordinator Trevor Allen Editorial Coordinator Samantha Gibbens Cager Business Development Manager Lucy Tan Accounts/Administration NPA, Level 4, 69-71 Edward Street, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009, Australia Phone: +61 2 8338 6300 Fax: +61 2 8338 6311 www.panpa.org.au Newspaper Publishers’ Association News p a p er Pu bli shers ’ Assoc i a ti on Andrew McKean Norske Skog President Joe Talcott News Ltd Mar tin Simons APN Publishing, New Zealand Campbell Reid News Ltd Ross McPherson Shepparton Newspapers Chris Pash Dow Jones, Asia Pacific Vice-President Liam Roche West Australian Newspapers Ken Nichols Fairfax Media Anne Fussell News Ltd Matthew Sharkady Goss International Robert Whitehead Fair fax Media www.panpa.org.au CEO’s Column Mark Hollands CEO of the Newspaper Publishers’ Association Production: APN Print Yandina on a manroland Uniset 75 press Paper: 60gsm Norstar 80, supplied by Norske Skog Art Direction & Design: Jason Howard, Leader Community Newspapers Colour Management: Richard Maguire, Leader Community Newspapers Proudly printed by APN Print your partner PRINT PANPA thanks the following organisa- tions and people for their contribution in producing The Bulletin: | AUGUST 2011 | The PANPA Bulletin Editorial Battle in the press box THE relationship between sport and newspapers is at a pivotal point in which publishers face the possibility of one day paying for access to the press box. Accreditation contracts from sports bodies across the world are increasingly restrictive as admin- istrators seek new ways to licence media access. This direction worries publish- ers who are expanding the media platforms to which they publish and remain determined that free access and freedom of the press should not be compromised by sports’ desire for additional revenue. At the time of writing, the industry has continued difficult negotiations with myriad sports bodies, such as the Rugby World Cup (to be held in New Zealand next month), Racing Victoria and the English Premier League. Cricket Australia – one of the most aggressive pursuers of strict ac- creditation rules – has just released its documentation, demanding it be signed within weeks. Negotiation is increasingly dif- ficult and legalistic. This is still not appreciated in the newsroom, where sports editors and writers continue to sign documents that have corporate, legal and political implications. Talks over conditions to attend the Rugby World Cup have focused on the right of publishers to use what are known as Fair Use laws, which exist in slightly different forms in Australia and New Zealand. They allow media to grab snatches of game footage to publish as part of a news report. Where international tournaments are concerned, this is problematic for sports administra- tors. Most countries permit exclusive licences. This manifests itself when a TV channel, such as UK-based SKY, delivers bulletins on the European Cup with stills photography only, rather than footage Australians and New Zealanders see on their TVs. Publishing on the net, as our laws permit, compromises contracts in Europe or America. The Rugby World Cup, and its commercial masters at the Interna- tional Rugby Board in Dublin, have moved to allow Aus- tralian and New Zealand publishers to deliver snatches of highlights on the web and mobile platforms. Which is great. It refuses to allow ads next to the footage claiming this risks creating a false association between advertisers and sponsoring of the tournament; publishers see this as undermining their business model. We remain in conflict. The RWC legal contract runs to several pages but is dwarfed by the 16 pages of conditions UK publish- ers are being asked to sign to cover the English Premier League. The EPL wants control over how a newspaper’s reports and photogra- phy are published, demanding ex- press permission in some instances, and payment in others. Newspapers pushed back and the EPL pulled out of discussions, leav- ing the prospect that football writers will not attend matches at Old Traf- ford, Anfield or Stamford Bridge, among other venues. This does not mean there will be no coverage – journalists will cover games from TV, and inside and out- side the grounds, beyond the EPL’s controlling hand. When a local Southampton newspaper was locked out last season, it sent an artist to paint the scene of the winning goal – anditwasrunasifitwereaphoto. Funny... but actually, ridiculous; pa- thetic and to no one’s benefit. As our industry places increasing importance on audio-visual cover- age on mobile platforms, sports will say – arguably, with some justifica- tion – that this type of content has long been licensed by TV and radio, and newspapers must pay up; albeit a smaller sum given its commercial value. Sports administrators are also pursuing betting agencies, believing the profits from gambling should be shared with the sports. This has al- ready gained legal traction in France and Spain and there have been high- level talks in the European Commis- sion that appear to have significant sympathy for sports’ position. A danger in sports’ approach ex- ists for newspapers. Its argument suggests that sport owns the intel- lectual property, or copyright, on everything that happens within its sport, or a particular tournament. If this should ever gain legal cred- ibility, then media face a whole new argument about covering sports ac- tion that is subject to someone else’s copyright. The situation is messy enough right now; this would make it worse. Few would deny sport and newspapers derive mutual benefit, whether it is the AFL in Melbourne or the EPL in Singapore. We need to find middle ground that respects the business needs of sport and shifting consumption of media. Sport might consider that newspapers don’t need press passes to cover games – and publishers are attuned to the possibility of operat- ing outside traditional frameworks. This situation also shows the value and political vision of Fair Use laws – they are more vital than ever to stop a small group of sports administrators from cyclone-fencing passions that belong to the people. We need to find middle ground that respects the business needs of sport and shifting media consumption” “ Robo-journos could migrate south AN Illinois start-up reckons its software can do as good a job at writing as flesh-and-blood journalists – and it has already begun pitching stories to publishers in our region. Narrative Science recently approached at least one local publisher with its ‘Authoring Engine’, a platform it says can ingest data and documents to automatically generate con- tent “that is fully customised to fit a client’s needs as well as voice, style and tone” – at greater speed, scale and even qual- ity than a human writer. The company has two computer science and journalism professors on its books, Kris Hammond and Larry Birn- baum, both from Northwestern University. Also on staff are former Gannett executive Rory Murray, and ex-Google manager Larry Adams. The firm’s work has already created a stir in the US. Ear- lier this year, sports website Deadspin took a few digs at the software when it found a mediocre write-up of a university baseball match in which one player pitched a perfect game – the first since 2002. The Deadspin team assumed the article was machine- generated because it buried the perfect-game lead down in the penultimate paragraph. But in fact, that article was written by a person. When Narrative Science took Deadspin’s word as a challenge, and fed data from the game into its Authoring Engine, Dead- spin conceded the software did a much better job of cap- turing the game. The resulting articles would appear to fulfil the promise the company makes in its promotional materials, that the Engine can “generate the most interesting aspects of a story while filtering out the less important aspects”, and to “decide which of a set of possible events or facts is worth writing a story [about] in the first place”. CEO Stuart Frankel told The Bulletin the company would not be answering questions for a few months, when Narra- tive Science will “be a bit more open about the business”. THE RESCUERS PAGE 18 TIMOR TEACHING Do you know more? Send tips to email@example.com Photographers share the craft AFTER THE TWISTER Fighting for communities PAGE 6 PAGES 10 & 11 Ashburton Guardian steps in for friends in need