Saturday, 12 January 2008

International Herald Tribune 's forceful coverage of Japan

Use of force
"Japan PM forces navy bill through" —
BBC.
"Japan's ruling party steamrolled a new anti-terrorism law through parliament." — Morning Brief, Foreign Policy Passport.
"Japan's ruling coalition forced a bill through parliament today..." — LA Times (AP)
"Fukuda forces through law on Japanese naval deployment" — International Herald Tribune (NYT)
"Japan forces through terror law" — Financial Times

Anyone else detect a theme here?

For more on this check out http://www.observingjapan.com/2008/01/use-of-force.html,

"Observations of Japanese and international politics by a (newly) former aide to a member of the Japanese Diet"

Friday, 11 January 2008

The International Herald Tribune on Cricket

It says a lot for the International Herald Tribune's sports editor Peter Berlin and his cricket correspondent Huw Richards, that an IHT reader in India, a country that perhaps has more cricket bloggers than any other, found Huw Richard's piece on the controversial test match between India and Australia his pick of the coverage.

Here is IHT reader, management consultant Prem Rao (Bangalore) on Huw Richards:
http://bprao.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/winning-is-not-everything/

If the International Herald Tribune wants to expand in the one of the largest and most rapidly developing nations in the world, India, let alone countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand, we need to see less college football from the USA and a lot more cricket.

Additionally there is a huge Indian subcontinent middle class disapora in the Middle East, Asia, the USA and Europe who speak and read English and want to follow cricket.

Moving away from College Football and embracing the realities of the emerging markets' interests is the sort of bold play the IHT needs to make to win readers.

Honest mistake by Fox News?

I blogged about Fox News and the International Herald Tribune's relative editing of an AP piece on Ron Paul.

Here's someone who claims it was all just an honest mistake:
http://www.landofbile.com/blog/2008/01/10/fox-news-not-editing-ron-paul-out-of-ap-news-stories/

The International Herald Tribune's Business of Green Blog

The Green Blog is a reader of the International Herald Tribune's green blog, and both share a concern on the lack of discussion about climate change in the US primaries.

Perhaps Gore should run as an independent just to get candidates talking about it, and then, if he is worried about taking Democrat votes a la Ralp Nader-let-in-Bush problem, withdraw from the race before election day.

Anyway, here's Green Blog on the Business of Green:
http://green-blog.org/2008/01/10/where-is-climate-change-in-the-usa-primaries/

International Herald Tribune: American establishment media or not?

There's no shortage of criticism of establishment MSM out there, especially in the Unitied States.

To give you a flavour, here's American International Herald Tribune reader Jim Freeman http://politicalcrank.blogspot.com/2008/01/stuff-american-media-isnt-going-to-tell.html on the situation and his recommended reading list that includes the IHT:

The International Business Editor of the Telegraph-UK has more of interest to say about the state of the world economy than anything to be found 'from sea to shining sea.'

American media--corporate owned, corporate directed and on the tightest of leashes, isn't going to give us a fair gallop for the safety of our personal money before we're shot out of the saddle. For god's sake, don't tell Americans they've been defrauded by their banks and government--it might slow the spending at Wal-Mart.

We are historically the last to be told. Now, that (supposed) bastion of independent financial news, The Wall Street Journal (with all its quirks and prejudices) has fallen to the family rivalry and temptation that ultimately takes down every private financial enterprise--greed. No one with a brain ever mistook Rupert Murdoch for a white horse.

So do yourself and your bank account a favor and check in from time to time with
The Times of London
Euro Tribune
The International Herald Tribune
The Economist

Not to put down the American papers, but then--on the other hand--what the hell, why not?

Two things of interest:
  • He doesn't seemed concerned that the IHT is owned by the NYT, and that much of its content comes from the NYT
  • He perceives the IHT as independent of the NYT.

The latter can only be guaranteed if the following conditions apply:
a) The IHT is given sufficient resources to finance its own news and investigative journalism, independent of the NYT;
b) The IHT is not told to become the International NYT;
c) The IHT invests in writing its own editorials independent of the Manhattan Centric viewpoint of the NYT.

More Establishment Dreck from International Herald Tribune

Here's an IHT reader Michael Turton blogging from Taiwan on an op-ed piece in the International Herald Tribune about Taiwan.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/09/opinion/edchu.php

Andrew Nathan and Yun-han Chu had an editorial in the International Herald Tribune on the upcoming election in Taiwan, under the now-familiar Establishment rubric of "moderation." Although writing like this is perfectly awful, it achieves its air of insight through deployment of restrained language that creates a moral equivalence between China and Taiwan.

For the full piece visit:
http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2008/01/more-establishment-dreck-from-iht-time.html

International Herald Tribune Articles Ahead of NYT

An interesting story on China was run in the NYT 10 days after being published in the International Herald Tribune.

The old accusation was always that the NTY would never let the IHT have access to good material before it had run in the NYT - especially scoops - but this seems to have changed, much to the benefit of IHT readers.

Here's a link to the article

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/world/asia/06china.html?ex=1357275600&en=cea3e3200a471000&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

and an interesting blogger from China on the article itself:

http://guanxiblogs.com/karenchristensen/2008/01/10/class-of-77/

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Inside the mind of the International Herald Tribune's Competition

There's a manager over at the WSJ (Europe). His name is Gert Van Mol and he keeps his own blog http://www.impactroom.blogspot.com.

Mostly it is about the sort of management baloney that bores me rigid, but he does occasionally drop in a little nugget about life at the WSJ. Here for example are some tasters:

http://impactroom.blogspot.com/2008/01/cover-reference-concept-wall-street.html

http://impactroom.blogspot.com/2007/12/unrest-at-wall-street-journal-europe.html

http://impactroom.blogspot.com/2007/11/vlerick-business-school-wall-street.html

Perhaps those who work on the commercial side of the International Herald Tribune should keep an eye on his blog.

This post caught my eye:

Newsstand on Square before Milan Train Station. The team of Monocle really did a good job in branding their relatively new magazine (see posters around the newsstand, portraying a women reading a newspaper on the cover -not the WSJE unfortunately!!-). I guess Monocle works with country managers to help them grow the business in clearly defined markets (Milan being a fashion centre seems the right place to have a local country manager). As a matter of comparison, The Wall Street Journal Europe abandoned their network of country managers a few years ago in a cost cutting round by then CEO Rien Van Lent.

I used to work with Rien van Lent at the Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad - an extremely nice guy and an excellent editor.

However, what on earth possessed Dow Jones to think that this gentle unassuming journalist could take on the business responsibilities of its failing European product, I couldn't tell you, propped up as it was (is?) on the most ridiculous amounts of free copies posing as real circulation,

They ended up 'letting him go'. Last I heard he was going into 'consulting' but that was the last I ever heard.

Anyone know where he is now?

Also: Goldmark did the same thing at the IHT, cutting all the country managers as an easy cost saving, so don't take it so personally and don't blame it on poor old Rien - he was only doing what he was told which was to strip the beast so bare of all costs that someone in NY could have a chance of actually working out how much it cost just to keep the animal alive before deciding how much to spend on it.

In the case of the Bancrofts, cutting those costs no doubt helped Rupert pay such top dollar for such a withered and scrawny international beast.

P.S Just in passing, and on the subject of Monocle: Gert - the reason the team at Monocle did such a really good job is because they have tons of money to spend on POS, unlike you and the IHT. Rupert loves consumer advertising and marketing - check out what he is prepared to spend on marketing on any one of his dailies, so I'd hand off those job offers for now.

P.P.S Here's another question: anyone know how much money Monocle is losing and when it is going to go out of business? Note to Monocle circulation managers: get those CVs off to Rupert.

Murdoch, WSJ, The Times of London and the International Herald Tribune

I've blogged on how Murdoch might use The Times of London plus the WSJ to do better in the international market, combining the business strengths of the WSJ with one of the world's greatest newspaper brands - The Times which in many parts of the world doesn't mean the NYT. Throw in content from some of his Australian quality properties that cover Asia so well, and you have quite a package: World's Biggest Financial Information Brand + World Top 5 General Interest Information Brands.

The IHT, unless the NYT buys out the FT (my bet is that they must be considering this at least), is relying on Reuters to deliver that cross-over FAZ type media brand. Um mm.

My hunch about Rupert's plans for the WSJ internationally somewhat beefed up (as a much smarter person than I pointed out to me) by Robert Thomson of News Int. in London moving to NY to be the new WSJ publisher.

That is to say taking someone who knows all the capacity of News Int, especially the Times and Sunday Times of London, and putting them in charge of the world's leading financial newspaper.

To be watched.

2007: How was it for the International Herald Tribune

If you want the International Herald Tribune to continue, as I do, then you need it to make money. How it makes money I've blogged about, but the basis premise that the IHT should be profitable is one that I agree with as a reader.

I don't see why it should be obliged to run as a not-for-profit organisation although that would be one of the most enduring and remarkable philanthropic legacies the very rich Sulzberger family could donate to the world. Imagine that, a non-for-profit free global media outlet, not run by the U.S government like Voice of America.

With my business person's hat on I would say it should have been making money for years; unfortunately at the time the WSJ and particularly the FT entered the international market back in the 1980s the management of the IHT and its board of NYT and WP executives were completely asleep at the wheel. But that's ancient history...

The good news is that according to what I am hearing the IHT had a great year in 2007, way up on 2006 (double digit millions) and some way ahead of the profitability targets set by the IHT's lords and masters in New York.

And no one can argue the paper isn't a better read. How much of a better read depends a little on your taste for the tastes and interests of the very rich.

On the downside, the advertising market for 2008, and indeed the general economic outlook itself isn't that hot, so 2008 is going to be a tight year.

It ain't over yet then, but 2008, beginning around July of this year, is going to have to start seeing the first sketches of a budget for 2009 that makes NY sit up and want to keep moving forward.

If not, all bets are off.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

International Herald Tribune and the Power of Copy Editors

My previous post was prompted by the story doing the rounds that Fox News edited out Ron Paul from an AP story.

This blogger http://codepiranha.org/2008/01/08/fox-news/ explains it clearly, but basically the International Herald Tribune ran an AP piece that had Ron Paul visiting a state; Fox News ran the same piece and a copy editor at Fox News edited out Ron Paul's visit.

The power of the copy editor...

What then the power of the wire services, prey as they are to the re-touching of copy editors. Not great for AP brand credibility, but then again, hardly their fault.

Update: 11/01/08

Now I'm confused: here's someone who reckons it was all an honest mistake....
http://www.landofbile.com/blog/2008/01/10/fox-news-not-editing-ron-paul-out-of-ap-news-stories/

International Herald Tribune Copy Editors

As we all know, the real backbone of the International Herald Tribune is made up of its copy editors.

Who are they, what exactly do they do, how do they think, what influence do they have on how we read the world? All a mystery to me, but if you are an IHT copy editor do drop me a line at ihtreaders@gmail.com or a post a comment.

Here's a blog run by one ex or current IHT copywriter, Dumdad. Is it reassuring, is it worrying? You tell me.

http://wwwtheothersideofparis.blogspot.com/2008/01/pause-for-poetry-12.html

The International Herald Tribune in Katmandu

Did you know where the best place to buy the International Herald Tribune in Katmandu is?

No, nor did I. Until now:

Mandala Book Point - Probably the best for all types of reference and academic texts. They are also a publisher with a catalog comparable to Ekta's and the best selection for academic texts. The most reliable shop for The Economist and International Herald Tribune. Located on the east side of Kantipath just south of the Mountain Hotel and Nabil Bank building
http://jhapadamak.blogspot.com/2008/01/about-kathmandu.html

Thank you for this Bhanu Subba, aged 16, blogger from Nepal. (Bhanu, not sure about the music...)

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

7,000 Reuters headlines daily

Going back to my earlier posting on what might be the long term strategy of the wire services, just look at this plug from the International Herald Tribune: 7,000 Reuters headlines daily

The New York Times Media Group, as the like to call themselves, are not even close to being able to generate that much content daily. They go on about how many foreign correspondents they have, but all newspapers, even the likes of FAZ and the WP, have no where near the amount of content generators (journalists) as the wire services.

What is to stop Reuters building a consumer brand awareness online and then selecting, like the IHT does, from those 7,000 headlines. They can still sell content to others, but that might be lots of little fish, and not the MSM, whom they might aim to put out of business, at least online.

All speculation of course. I haven't a clue.

I just sense that Reuters are smarter than the NYT on all this, and I suspect that AP is watching it all with a great deal of interest.

BTW: I will shortly be doing an analysis of www.iht.com to see if they have been told to shift from AP content (their traditional filler) to Reuters.

My bet is yes, if not now, then soon.

Some words on 2008 from the International Herald Tribune

Thanks to someone at the IHT for sending me this:

2008 promises to be another year of great new innovations and opportunities from the International Herald Tribune.

Today sees the launch of Business with Reuters, a brand new business section weekdays in the newspaper and every day at iht.com/biz. This ground-breaking alliance combines the global intelligence of the IHT with the newsgathering power of Reuters to give our readers more of the world business news that matters.

Online iht.com/biz is a superb destination with breaking business and financial news from more than 7,000 Reuters headlines daily, global competitive analysis and a host of engaging video and multimedia features, creating a more rewarding experience for readers, and the perfect environment for advertisers.

To find out more about the new section and how the IHT-Reuters partnership can help you achieve your marketing goals, contact your nearest sales representative.


Kind regards

Jean-Christophe Demarta
International Advertising Director
The New York Times Media Group


PS. Call us today about the great multi-media opportunities available with Business with Reuters coverage of the World Economic Forum at Davos, January 23-27

Michael Richardson, former Asian Editor of the International Herald Tribune.

Michael Richardson, was formerly the Asian Editor of the International Herald Tribune. That's at least according to NZ's The Hive, and this is what he is up to these days:

http://wellingtonhive.blogspot.com/2008/01/climate-change-and-shipping-industry.html

More from Reuters, via the International Herald Tribune:

I've noted before on this blog how some people are increasingly beginning to quote the actual content source, not the vehicle which delivers it, in this case the International Herald Tribune.

I am interested to see how the consumer brand presence of the wire services grows: are they doing something quite smart and that it is to build awareness as the real source of most MSM newspaper/news websites content, and then cut loose from the sinking print newsprint/MSM vehicles like rats leaving a sinking ship, taking with them their newly created consumer brand awareness and go on line at www.reuters.com but operating like www.iht.com.

Bloggers, the best ones, become their feature writers.

At the same time, they cut off content to third parties and build a new model on their own web sites. The wire services become not the servants of MSM but the new MSM.

If you begin to see consumer brand advertising for wire services, especially on line, watch this space.

So the new news web sites for the next decade will not be newspapers or broadcast outlets, all with very low numbers of original content providers but www.ap.com and www.reuters.com

Anyway, to see how bloggers are increasingly more interested in, and more dutifully pointing out that their source is not in fact 'the IHT' but the a wire service, see this blog reference:

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/01/outrage_as_china_police_chase_reporter_for_libel_1.php

Monday, 7 January 2008

Murder in International Herald Tribune's Tokyo office

OK, this is the story according to http://aiden-wylie.blogspot.com/2008/01/written-in-christmas-cafe-chapter-1.html

"One of the stories I hear from the news guys is about a wombat which had been found in the central offices of the International Herald Tribune. The bastards had shot it with a air pistol, which apparently is illegal here and the guy who did has been deported back to Canada."


Can anyone from the IHT confirm or deny this?

2008 Price Increases at the International Herald Tribune

Here's an impassioned letter that should be widely read at the International Herald Tribune.

I'm only going to quote part of it, but basically, the paper is just too damned expensive, and that's not this readers' main beef however. It is, that by extension, the paper is catering to the jet set upper crust, and that's not him. (NB See earlier postings on Luxury at the IHT).

Anyway, here's his farewell love letter:

"But the last straw was thrown at me a few days ago, when the owner of my regular newsstand told me that, starting tomorrow, the price of a single issue would increase from 2.20€ to 2.50€. This is the combined costs of Le Monde (usually too arrogant for me, but quite good crosswords, albeit in French) and of LibĂ© (the only left-leaning daily left in France)! This raise, together with the new weekend supplement, shows you’re increasingly catering to the upper crust and the jet set. I am not part of either, so it is time for us to part."
http://blog.le-miklos.eu/?p=453

Someone sell this man a subscription.

But he raises an interesting strategic question. Are the IHT intentionally going for the upper crust and the jet set intentionally and if Miklos has to be kicked aside so be it?

The idea of an intentional strategic decision at the IHT kind of makes this idea suspect but it is interesting.

It starts with a Business Kiss

Here's the PR line on the Reuters deal with the International Herald Tribune (in French just to demonstrate how the IHT has persistenly failed in getting anyone in even its largest market to refer to it as either the IHT or the International Herald Tribune).

http://www.challenges.fr/actualites/business/20080102.CHA5479/lancement_de_business_with_reuters.html

It starts with business, but the plan surely is go further.

Watch out AP.....

If wire providers make business advertising models with aggregators, what is the business model of the wire content provider and what is the business model of the aggregator.

Confused? They are.

IHT brings greenflation to the blogosphere.

http://www.energyrefuge.com/blog/carbon-and-genetic-footprint/

The International Herald Tribune is looking for experienced copy editors to work in Hong Kong for its expanding Asian edition.

This advert was up at http://www.journalismjobs.com then disappeared. Filled that quickly?

CNBC strikes deal with New York Times to share video, news online

International Herald Tribune owner NYT cuts a a deal with CNBC.
http://apexchange.typepad.com/industry_news/2008/01/cnbc-strikes-de.html

Don't get sued by the Lees in Singapore

A great piece on the libel case Murdoch has inherited in Singapore courtesy of Dow Jones.
http://www.ericellis.com/singrupert.htm

The International Herald Tribune shamefully rolled over the last time it was sued by the Lees.

The problem wasn't the libel case (that's what libel insurance is for) but the threat of no business from Singapore Airlines and no copies of the IHT on that airline or in Singaporean hotels.

Libel bills are one thing you can fix, declining circulation and dropping ad revenue from one of Asia's biggest advertisers, well, that's another.

Over to you Rupert.