Digital Media: ‘There’s Chaos Out There’

In news that will probably surprise no one, a Columbia Journalism Review survey has found “slack” standards among magazines’ web operations. The Times reports:

Copy-editing requirements online were less stringent than those in print at 48 percent of the magazines. And 11 percent did not copy-edit online-only articles at all.

A similar trend held with fact-checking. Although 57 percent of the magazines fact-check online submissions in the same way they fact-check print articles, 27 percent used a less-stringent process. And 8 percent did not fact-check online-only content at all. (The other 8 percent did not fact-check either print or online articles.)

“There isn’t yet a generally accepted set of norms for this new medium,” CJR chairman Victor Navasky told The Times. “There’s chaos out there.”

Meanwhile, in a separate article, The Times offers more details on Condé Nast’s forthcoming iPad versions of its magazines: GQ will be hitting the tablet in April, followed by Vanity Fair and Wired in June, and Glamour and The New Yorker later in the summer.

But even as its iPad plans progress, Condé’s also joining with Time Inc., Hearst, Wenner Meda, and Meredith on a $90 million “power of print” ad campaign, set to kick off today at an industry event in San Francisco. (So much for that digital team effort.)

Writes Rafat Ali on paidContent:

One ad says: “The Internet is fleeting. Magazines are immersive.” Another one, to run in ESPN (NYSE: DIS) magazine, features Michael Phelps, with the headline “We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines.” Really? This is the message you want to send your own digital units? This after four of these five names are part of a digital JV Next Issue Media, meant to develop new digital formats as the print revenues keep eroding.

So: will we surf or swim on the iPad apps? Jet ski, maybe? Digital Media: ‘There’s Chaos Out There’