Monday’s Wall Street Journal contained a Q&A I did with César Cernuda, Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific president.
Click through to read about the company’s new chief executive, cloud computing, growth in Asia — and Mr. Cernuda’s love for Real Madrid.
— Newley Purnell (@newley) February 26, 2014
I’ve been remiss in sharing some of my recent stories here.
In case you you missed it last month, I wrote an in-depth piece on Singapore’s increasingly lively startup scene.
Click through for an interactive feature on some Singapore-specific apps and a rundown of some local tech companies — and some potential challenges to the industry.
Next up: How I’ve helped out with Malaysia Flight 370 coverage. Stay tuned…
Yesterday was the Post‘s 64th anniversary, and the paper was delivered with accompanying 3D glasses affixed to a special outer advertising supplement. 3D photos were used in the supplement as well as throughout the paper itself.
Here’s a cell phone pic:
So how did the 3D effect work? It seemed, well, fine to me — though I must say that I have never seen a newspaper in 3D, so I have nothing to which I can compare the experience.
I’ve been meaning, for some time, to write a post about audio recorders. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to
play with use several recorders for casual and professional purposes. And I thought it would be helpful to compile a few tips and suggestions in one place. So here goes:
For everyday recording I suggest a simple, relatively inexpensive Olympus unit, like the Olympus WS-500, similar to the unit pictured here. This device costs about $70 at Amazon.com. I have a slightly older version of this recorder. Some features:
So how good does the audio sound? The quality you’ll get with a unit like this is fine for casual use, but the quality isn’t high enough for radio or Web broadcast. That said, you can plug an internal mic and grab some decent sound.
For example, here’s a 21-second mp3 I recorded of traffic in Hanoi a couple of years back with my trusty Olympus:
If you want to record audio for professional broadcast, you’ll have to spend a bit more money. For the past couple of years, I’ve been using — and really love — the Sony PCM D50.
This unit typically costs about $600. But the relatively high price tag is justified by its top-notch recordings. This model is particularly popular with radio journalists, as it’s a less expensive version of the Sony PCM D1
, which costs upward of $2000.
The PCM D50 has been out for a few years, and you can now find it on Amazon.com for $440.
Here are some of the PCM D50′s features:
One thing: I suggest purchasing the optional windscreen, since the mics are so sensitive that they pick up wind noise very easily, even from simply walking across a room. This windscreen is a bit pricey, at over $40, so if you don’t want to spring for the official Sony version, you can always fashion your own out of an old sock (preferably a clean one) or some other sound-absorbing material.
How does the audio sound?
For a sample of the PCM D50 in action, you can check out an audio slide show I created called scenes from Calcutta. I also used the device to create a CNNGo.cm audio slide show about chef David Thompson.
In the last few months, a new Sony model has caught my eye: the Sony PCM M10. It’s currently under $400 at Amazon.com.
Two notable features: The unit can record in mp3 format (so format conversions aren’t necessary), and it has built-in speaker, which makes for easier playback. (In order to play back audio from the PCM D50, you have to listen with headphones.) Here’s a video review of the PCM M10 on Youtube.
Perhaps, in a future post, I’ll discuss external mics and audio editing software. But I’ll leave it at this for now.
I have devoted numerous posts to Thailand’s ongoing political instability of late, often linking to various media reports. But I realized that I have neglected, in recent months, to point to some of my own stories. So here’s a re-cap:
I cannot link to my BNA stories here since they’re subscriber-only, but some recent topics I have covered include:
I also recent wrote a recent story for AFP about Thai rice farmers and free trade. You can see the piece on the Jakarta Globe site here. It ran on March 7.
And, finally, I have written a number of fun travel/lifestyle stories for CNNGo.com of late. Here are a few:
Some links that have caught my eye of late:
Some links that have caught my eye of late:
The newspaper industry in the US is suffering, as we know. But an Indonesian billionaire thinks there’s room for another English-language paper in Jakarta. In November, James Riady launched the Jakarta Globe to compete head-to-head with the well-established Jakarta Post.
Today’s IHT has the story: “Indonesian billionaire takes on the Jakarta Post”
That it is probably the worst time in history to start a daily newspaper is not, at least for the moment, on the minds of the people behind The Jakarta Globe.
The Globe, an English-language paper that hit the newsstands in November, is an unusual sight in this era of the shrinking – or disappearing – newspaper: It is a 48-page broadsheet, big enough to cover your desk when unfolded and painted head to toe in color.
The paper is backed by the billionaire James Riady, deputy chairman of the powerful Lippo Group and one of the wealthiest people in Indonesia, with interests including real estate, banking and retail.
Riady is also a budding media mogul. He owns the Indonesian business magazine Globe and is developing a Web portal and a cable television news channel.
“I think they are serious about creating a media empire, becoming the Rupert Murdoch of South East Asia,” said Lin Neumann, The Globe’s chief editor.
This snippet caught my eye, as well:
Neither The Post nor The Globe would discuss advertising revenue or circulation figures. Bayuni said The Globe had not yet cut into The Post’s circulation.
The papers’ editors, however, both pointed to Bangkok as an example of a market that has been able to sustain two English-language broadsheets, although Bangkok is a much bigger market than Jakarta. Both said they would aim at the growing Indonesian middle class – a group that is increasingly learning, working and reading in English. More than half of The Post’s readers are Indonesian, as opposed to expatriate, and The Globe, recognizing this trend, is betting on the local population to increase its market share.
And there’s this, about competition for journalists in Jakarta:
The two papers are fighting over journalists as well as readers. Finding experienced, English-speaking local journalists is not always easy here and the competition for them is high. The papers, however, are taking different approaches.
The Globe has put together a team of about 60 Indonesian reporters, recruiting from wire services like Agence France-Presse and Reuters. One of its deputy editors is Bhimanto Suwastoyo, who worked for AFP for more than 20 years and is widely considered one of the best local journalists.
The Post, on the other hand, has long been a training ground for local reporters looking to get their start in the industry. The paper offers a training program in exchange for service of as long as two years.
Often, Bayuni said, those reporters move on to more prestigious or lucrative positions. Bloomberg News employs six former Post reporters.
Some snippets that caught my eye:
On media ubiquity
The challenge, for Mr. Estenson and others, is to make CNN.com more distinctive. At the end of a long day recently, he showed a visitor screen grabs of four Web pages on his Macbook Air.
“When you look at the top news sites, they often look almost identical,” he says, gesturing to the home pages of CNN, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo News. Down to photo choices and color schemes, the four sites look practically interchangeable and utilitarian, he says — hence his emphasis on the power of “unique signatures.”
On high-traffic times
More broadly, Ms. Golden defines “Web prime” as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During those hours, the home page will feature six or seven lead stories, on average, so no one headline lingers too long.
It’s also trying to make money from more experimental forays. During the inauguration coverage on Tuesday, for the first time, CNN.com Live, the Web site’s video arm, will include TV-style commercial breaks. Until now the only ads on the streaming service have been snippets that play before the main clip, and small sponsorship banners.
Amid a recession, advertising sales are sluggish on television and online, putting a damper on CNN’s growth plans. But CNN.com is expected to remain flush; while Web revenue doesn’t match TV’s, the costs aren’t nearly as high.