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Trinity Mirror’s north east editorial director to leave after 22 years

July 25th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Local media

The editorial director of the north east regional division of Trinity Mirror Paul Robertson is to leave after 22 years working for the publisher.

In a statement Robertson, who was also editor of the Newscastle Evening Chronicle, said he was after a “fresh challenge”.

Having project managed the recent change in the Chronicle publishing schedule, I think it’s now the right time for me to seek a fresh challenge. The team in the north east is outstanding and I would like to thank them all for their support. I will miss the place but most of all the people I have worked with, many of whom are friends as well as colleagues. I wish everyone at ncjMedia and GMC the best of luck and success for the future.

According to Trinity Mirror, under Robertson’s editorship many new platforms and campaigns have been created, such as Your Health, Community Champions and the Great Family Read. He was also “centrally involved in driving the multimedia agenda, overseeing the launch of ChronicleLive”, a release added.

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Wannabe Hacks blog looking for new recruits to take the reins

July 25th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Social media and blogging

Wannabe Hacks, a blog started less than a year ago by five young hopefuls starting out in careers in journalism, is looking for new quintet of aspiring journalists.

Applications open for the second generation on Wannabe Hacks on Monday 1 August when the current Hacks – the Intern, the Student, the Freelancer, the Maverick and the Chancer – will hand over the reins and take a more hands off approach to the site.

Last autumn, when five journalist hopefuls were starting out on their different paths but all with their eyes on one career, the group began to blog about their experiences. After an early mention in the Media Guardian and a savvy use of social media, the blog became a source of information and inspiration for other trainee journalists.

Where are they now?

  • Ben Whitelaw is the Student. Whitelaw spent the past year studying for an MA in newspaper journalism at City University London and now has a job at the Guardian. He is content co-ordinator at the Guardian Professional Networks, a selection of B2B websites about public services.
  • Matthew Caines is the Freelancer. He is a freelance journalist with the Guardian (housing and society) but also writes for various lifestyle and fashion e-mags.
  • Nick Petrie is the Intern. He is now working for the Telegraph as a community manager.
  • Tom Clarke is the Chancer. He also spent the last year studying for an MA in newspaper journalism at City University.
  • Alice Vincent is the Maverick. She spent three months in New York, as an intern at NYLON magazine and is now working at Wired magazine in London.

Writing on Wannabe Hacks today, the five say the application process will be open for two weeks from Monday (1 August).

There are full details of who should think about applying on the site.

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‘Embarrassed bosses’ stop strike breaking with work experience, NUJ claims

July 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Local media

Johnston Press bosses in South Yorkshire, who reportedly asked a 16-year-old teenager to cover the news desk during a strike, have asked the work experience student to leave, the National Union of Journalists has claimed.

The teenager, who has just completed his GCSEs, had come to the group’s Selby Times for work experience but, when the strike to protect jobs and quality journalism began at the Selby Times, Doncaster Free Press and South Yorkshire Times on 15 July, management extended his engagement to get the paper out, the union has said.

He was put to work writing news stories – despite having originally asked the paper to do his work experience on the sports desk, the NUJ said.

Rival title the Selby Post reported the story.

NUJ negotiator Lawrence Shaw told Journalism.co.uk he believes “embarrassed Johnston Press bosses” asked the work experience teenager to leave after the paper went to press on Wednesday.

Around 25 members of staff are striking indefinitely, leaving the editor, sports editor and, at the beginning of the week the 16-year-old on work placement, Journalism.co.uk understands.

“In more than 10 years of being a union representative I have never seen a more determined group,” Shaw said.

Asked to confirm or deny the claims both the editor of the Selby Times and Johnston Press’ head office in Edinburgh declined to comment.

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Voluntary redundancies as Future Publishing focuses on digital

July 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Journalism, Magazines

Magazine publisher Future PLC is to cut around 100 jobs based in the UK and worldwide – in a move favouring digital over print.

The job losses are expected due to “restructuring” in the company, following a 5 per cent circulation revenue fall in the past nine months.

In a statement, it said the websites were performing well and the main problems were in America.

In an email to staff, Future Publishing UK CEO, Mark Wood, said restructure would be likely to result in about 10 per cent of the firm’s workforce being made redundant. This however, would mostly be through voluntary redundancies.

The company – which publishes around 80 magazines and has 1,000 staff in Bath – said advertising revenue from its websites has offset a decline in print-related income.

The business is executing its operational review of geography and function, to accelerate the move of the US business to one that is a primarily digital business model, simultaneously reducing volatility associated with print data flows, and to reorganise the UK business, re-calibrating it to ensure faster adaptation to digital and more efficient execution of print.

The benefit of these steps will be to improve efficiency, reduce headcount, reduce property requirements, and help accelerate the most promising areas of digital product development.

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NUJ: Journalists demand ‘immediate talks’ as 22 jobs face cut at Media Wales

July 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs, Local media

The National Union of Journalists claims reporters at Media Wales are demanding “immediate talks” with management following plans to cut 22 jobs at the publisher.

According to the union, under the proposals 10 district office staff, eight production journalists and four members of the sports staff would be made redundant. Media Wales, part of the Trinity Mirror group, publishes titles including the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and the Wales on Sunday.

The NUJ chapel members have unanimously passed a motion which states the chapel “expresses shock at the scale of editorial cuts being proposed”, adding that “it is determined to do everything possible to protect the jobs, wages and conditions of its members, as well as the quality of our products”.

Father of the chapel Martin Shipton said: “We shall be entering an intensive period of negotiation with management to mitigate the damage to our members’ livelihood and the newspapers we produce.

“Members are especially angry that while they are expected to lose their jobs or in some cases take pay cuts, Sly Bailey and her fellow directors continue to be paid obscene amounts of money.”

Within the motion the chapel also authorises its committee “to take whatever action it sees fit in association with the union’s national officers”, which could include organising a strike ballot.

In a statement Media Wales confirmed the proposals, which centre on the introduction of a single production team for news and features across the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and all its weekly titles.

This means cuts to the number of full-time roles in the editorial production department and the introduction of a new part-time system, the company said.

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Reaction round-up on News of the World closure

The morning after the announcement that News International is to scrap the News of the World has predictably spawned a variety of reaction from the blogosphere.

Despite rumours that folding the newspaper in favour of a seven day Sun had been on the cards for a while (TheSunOnSunday.co.uk, TheSunOnSunday.com and SunOnSunday.co.uk were all registered on July 5, albeit by a private individual), a source at News International confirmed today that a Sunday edition of the paper wouldn’t be on the cards for several weeks to come.

This morning Times today led with a story that the collapse in advertising was due to online protest and the final nail in the coffin for the paper.

The withdrawal of advertising appeared to be in response to a public backlash that had been led primarily on the internet. Thousands of people had used Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage at allegations of phone hacking at the paper.

This was after a list of the News of the World’s advertising clients had been published online, encouraging people to send Twitter messages to the companies to express concern at the activities of the paper’s journalists.

You can read the full article here (behind the paywall).

Emily Bell, director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism and former director of digital content for Guardian News & Media sees the decision as part of a long line of bold and audacious moves from the Murdochs, from the bid to buy the Times, to the launch of Sky News, and recently the proposed takeover of BSkyB.

James’s Wapping moment sees him making a gesture he hopes will be grand enough to soften the focus of any phone-hacking inquiry, bold enough to allow the company to extricate itself from present trouble and, in the process, allow him to reshape News International around the digital television platforms he feels both more comfortable with and which are undoubtedly more profitable.

But what about the wider implications? Many are agreed that the decision is brutal and the loss of 200 journalists terrible, but Andrew Gilligan, London editor for the Sunday Telegraph, argues that it could also give way to a muzzled British press in the future. As talk turns to how press regulation should be managed, Gilligan says:

For be in no doubt: hateful as the behaviour of some journalists has been, we may now face something even worse. For many in power, or previously in power, the News of the World’s crimes are a God-given opening to diminish one of the greatest checks on that power: the media.

Regulation was also on Alan Rusbridger‘s mind yesterday, when he took part in a live Q & A regarding phone hacking (before NI announced the News of the World’s closure). Rusbridger drew attention to alleged weaknesses of the PCC (the code committee of which Rusbridger quit in November 2009) and the quandary of state v self-regulation. Today the Press Complaints Commission sought to defend its work following calls for it to be scrapped by both Labour leader Ed Miliband and prime minister David Cameron.

This hasn’t been a wonderful advertisement for self-regulation. The short answer is that, no, the PCC can’t go on as it is. Its credibility is hanging by a thread.

We did say this back in November 2009 when the PCC came out with its laughable report into phone-hacking. We said in an editorial that this was a dangerous day for press regulation – and so it’s turned out.

The PCC has this week withdrawn that report and has a team looking at the issues and at the mistakes it’s made in the past.

I don’t know how Ofcom could do the job without falling into the category of statutory regulation. Does anyone else?

On her blog former Channel 4 presenter Samira Ahmed also draws some comparisons with the past, saying that the affair is “only my second major moral outcry against the news media” during her twenty years in journalism, the first being the death of Princess Diana. Hugh Grant has won public approval over the last week or so because of his overt opposition to phonehacking, but Ahmed is wary of putting people like Grant on a pedestal.

Many celebrities understand the privacy trade-off with press coverage, or get their lawyers to settle a payoff. Incidentally we should be wary of deifying celebrities, such as Hugh Grant, who have publicly defended the principle of rich people taking out superinjunctions to cover up their bad behaviour, when there might be a legitimate public interest. But I’ve met ordinary people over the years whose suffering has been deeply compounded by salacious press intrusion.

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Media release: Emma Swain named as controller of BBC Knowledge commissioning

June 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Jobs

The BBC announced today that Emma Swain will be the broadcaster’s new controller of Knowledge commissioning.

The move follows vacation of the role by former editor of Newsnight George Entwistle, who was recently named director of BBC Vision.

In a press release the BBC said in her new role Swain will be responsible for devising and leading the Knowledge strategy across factual programming, including consumer journalism.

Swain has been acting in the role since February following two years as head of Knowledge TV commissioning, according to the release.

In her new role, Emma will retain responsibility for leading the commissioning teams as well as taking a strategic overview of Knowledge commissioning across all four channels.

Related content:

BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg to leave for ITV

Samira Ahmed to leave Channel 4

Former BBC editor Paul Brannan moves to Channel 4 news

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South Yorkshire Times front page reports on journalist job cuts

June 23rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs

The editor of Johnston Press title the South Yorkshire Times has reported editorial job cuts on its front page, receiving praise from the National Union of Journalists.

The NUJ congratulates the editor – whose own job is under threat – for “standing up for quality journalism”.

The article, headlined “Strike looms over Times job cuts”, states: “Journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers are to ballot on strike action over a proposal by the company to axe half of the Mexborough editorial jobs at the South Yorkshire Times.”

Speaking to the NUJ, Jim Oldfield, South Yorkshire Times editor said: “This is real journalism in action. The Times is currently fighting a brave and protracted battle to keep its core towns from decimation during this recession, I make no apology for acquainting our readers with the changes being proposed for their champion title.

“I am pleased that the company appear to have had an adult reaction to the story.”

NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet said “This is a great example of our members standing up for quality journalism and we hope other editors will follow the example set by the South Yorkshire Times.”

Related content:

Tindle Newspapers strikes deal with Enfield nine, says NUJ

Johnston Press Yorkshire journalists to ballot for industrial action

Rusbridger: Guardian digital first strategy will involve significant job cuts

Shropshire newspaper staff vote for strike ballot over job cuts

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Foreign Office in massive U-turn on World Service headline

June 22nd, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Funny, Job losses

The Foreign Office (FCO) has launched disciplinary action against a member of staff after a somewhat surprising headline appeared on its website today.

The announcement that the FCO has pledged an additional £2.2 million in funding to the World Service was titled: “Massive U-turn on BBC World Service funding”.

Obviously not the kind of language government departments normally clothe their massive U-turns in.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: “A web article with an incorrect and inappropriate title was up on the FCO website for 10 minutes this morning. That title absolutely did not represent the views of the FCO. This error has now been corrected and disciplinary procedures have been launched.”

Full Journalism.co.uk story on the World Service funding announcement at this link.

Image courtesy of Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home.

 

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NUJ: Ray Tindle to meet with Parlimentary representatives over Enfield dispute

June 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs

The situation at Tindle Newspapers in Enfield, where journalists have already taken industrial action in protest over a lack of staffing, remains tense. A ballot has been returned in favour of further strike action and journalists claim there has been no response from management from their first walk out.

So an announcement today, reported by the campaigning group of National Union of Journalist members on Twitter, that Sir Ray Tindle was to meet with the NUJ Parliamentary group on Tuesday next week, was welcomed by father of the chapel Jonathan Lovett.

 

There has not been confirmation of the meeting yet from Tindle headquarters, but Lovett told Journalism.co.uk it is a positive step as they decide about action in the near future.

They are meeting and asking him to explain the situation, why he is putting us in this situation and what he is going to do about it … We haven’t had a meeting as such with him so I took it as a positive. I think we can now have a reasonable discussion.

Related content:

Enfield nine in unanimous vote for further strike action

Trinity Mirror to cut 26 jobs as Newcastle Evening Chronicle shifts to single edition

Newsquest South London new four day strike announced

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