Morning Media Newsfeed: FB Launches Newswire | Vice Reporter Freed | NYT Revenue Up

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Facebook Teams With Storyful to Launch FB Newswire for Journalists, Media Outlets (AllFacebook)
Facebook has become a virtual newsroom of sorts, with a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project finding that three out of 10 U.S. adults get at least some news while on Facebook and 78 percent of Facebook users see news while navigating the site. Now, the social network is aiming to become an invaluable resource for journalists and media organizations, announcing that it teamed up with social content discovery outfit Storyful to launch FB Newswire. TechCrunch FB Newswire promises to offer journalists a repository of verified, real-time content for use in covering breaking news stories. Storyful’s purpose was to verify news sources from social sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the FB Newsroom version of its tech continues that mission, with the aim of making Facebook a more useful resource for journalists and news publications. GigaOM Storyful was acquired by News Corp. in December for $25 million. FB Newswire will highlight content that has been posted by users and media entities who are reporting on breaking news events around the world, and comes complete with an easy-to-use “embed” function. Mashable The agency will use an algorithm to find popular and breaking news stories on Facebook in categories like sports, entertainment, tech and politics. Facebook is also releasing a Twitter handle for the service, called @FBNewswire, along with the feed. Poynter / MediaWire The company recently hired Liz Heron from The Wall Street Journal to facilitate partnerships between Facebook and news organizations. The FB Newswire page will be publicly accessible but is “100 percent” aimed at journalists, Facebook director of news and global media partnerships Andy Mitchell said. “The format on the page will feel like a wire,” he said.

Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky Released From Captivity in Eastern Ukraine (TVNewser)
Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky has been released from captivity by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, Ostrovsky and Vice News announced Thursday. Capital New York “Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health. We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time,” a statement said. Acting BBC Moscow bureau chief Kevin Bishop first broke news of Ostrovsky’s release on Twitter. Variety Ostrovsky was taken hostage earlier this week in Slavyansk by a group led by Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the rebel town’s self-proclaimed “People’s Mayor.” Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the rebels, said Wednesday that Ostrovsky was being held because he was suspected of spying for Right Sector, the far-right Ukrainian nationalist party, or other “enemy groups.” AFP Ostrovsky said by telephone that he was fine, although he had been beaten after being grabbed late Monday in Slavyansk and was initially kept tied up and blindfolded. “After a day and a half they took off the blindfold and untied my hands, then they treated me normally,” he said. Ostrovsky said he believed the separatists in the town had been looking for him specifically when they seized him at a checkpoint in Slavyansk’s main square. “They had my picture, they were looking for me,” he said.

NYT Reports Increases in Ad Revenue, Circulation (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times Company announced its first quarter earnings Thursday morning, and at least for the first three months of the year, things have been going well. The company reported that total revenue increased by 2.6 percent compared to last year, and both print and digital ad revenue were up. Mashable Print and online ad revenue increased by a combined 3.4 percent year-over-year (or 3.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively). That marks the first year-over-year increase in ad revenue in more than three years, but doesn’t necessarily mean it has turned a corner yet. To that end, the company projected that ad sales revenue will decline again in the second quarter year-over-year by “mid-single digits” as “year-over-year comparisons become more challenging.” WSJ The last time the Times reported an increase in print advertising revenue was the fourth quarter of 2005. The revenue improvement didn’t translate into higher profits: Times Co.’s net income fell 51 percent in the quarter, as higher operating costs overwhelmed revenue growth. Other publishers to report so far for the first quarter, including Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co., both had declines in print advertising. NYT Digital subscription revenue increased 13.6 percent from a year ago, to about $40 million. The company added about 39,000 digital subscribers in the quarter, bringing the total number of paid digital-only subscribers to about 799,000. That gain is the largest in several quarters.