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The Media Martini: The M-Magazine, Print-Online Tipping Points, Free Press and Happiness

Here’s our roundup of the top stories in media this week:

1. The M-Magazine: Mobile Integration Takes Seventeen Readers From Magazine to Store:

The new back-to-school issue of Seventeen  includes 250 mobile-activated images in the new issue of Seventeen, turning the magazine into an interactive shopping experience.  Using the Seventeen Shopping Insider app, readers can scan images associated with shopping bag icons foundacross the issue. The scans can add items into a mobile shopping list or unlock coupons in the app. According to Seventeen’s mobile activation partner Nellymoser, this is the broadest use of mobile activations in any issue from a top-100 magazine.  “The whole program serves as a bridge from the magazine to the store,” says Seventeen’s Associate Publisher of Marketing, Howard Grier.

2. Newspaper Online Readership Is Accelerating

Looking at newspaper readership in the UK, Robert Andrews determined that online readership passed print circulation in November 2010.  Two years after that crossover, print circulation is declining at broadly the same rate it has for the last eight years. But web readership’s growth continues to accelerate.  The dilemma, of course:  revenues have not not reached the same tipping point:  most newspapers still get the majority of their money from that declining print base.


 3. Freedom of the Press Increases Happiness

Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that citizens of countries with press freedom tend to be much happier than citizens of countries without free presses. Edson Tandoc, Jr., a doctoral student in the MU School of Journalism, says that press freedom directly predicts life satisfaction across the world.  “Press freedom benefits communities by helping improve the overall quality of life of citizens and, in the process, by also making them happier,” Tandoc said.

Tandoc and his co-author, Bruno Takahashi from Michigan State University, analyzed data from 161 countries using a 2010 Gallup Poll evaluating happiness levels around the world, and then comparing those happiness levels with Freedom House’s press freedom index which rates the level of each country’s press freedom. They also examined human development statistics gathered by the United Nations as well as the Environmental Performance Index created by researchers at Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.

Tandoc found that the more press freedom a country enjoyed, the higher the levels of life satisfaction, or happiness, of its citizens tended to be. Countries with higher levels of press freedom also had better environmental quality and higher levels of human development.  The researchers credit this to the watchdog function of the press, which helps expose corruption of all levels in a community.

Cheers!!  And may you have a happy weekend.