Browse > Home / Archive by category 'Local media'

Media accreditation process open for Paralympic Games

September 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Local media, Newspapers

The Newspaper Society issued a reminder this morning that media accreditation has now opened for the Paralympic Games. The first stage of the process, called Press by Number, opened earlier this month and media organisations have until 28 November to complete a document to indicate how many people they would to request accreditation for.

There are more details and documentation at the British Paralympic Association website. Successful media organisations will be contacted early next year to progress their applications to the second stage.

The NS adds that it is currently working with regional and local newspapers and the British Olympic Association (BOA) to put in place a regional press pool for the Olympic Games, which runs a separate accreditation process.

The Olympic Games process has come in for some criticism in recent weeks after it emerged many local London papers have not yet been approved despite certain aspects of the games taking place on their patch.

The NS reports that the minister for sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said he would write to the BOA about the matter after being questioned by MPs, but said it was “massively oversubscribed”.

He added: “There will be a level of public interest that I do not think we have remotely started to get our minds around. Spots will be tight, but I will absolutely do all that I can.

“There is a possible second channel for non-accredited media, and considerable provision is being made for those who cannot get formally accredited. The mayor of London has done an enormous amount to help that take place.”

Under the pooling system titles would be able to share material on the Games.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Newsquest editor owns up to writing death penalty editorial

Earlier today I spoke to group editor of Newsquest’s South London titles, Andy Parkes, who refused to confirm whether or not he had penned an editorial printed by the Wimbledon Guardian and Streatham Guardian calling for the return of the death penalty and corporal punishment.

Parkes did say that we could “put his name to it”,  claiming that it was “tongue in cheek” and a “just a bit of fun”.

The piece – and Parkes subsequent comments to Journalism.co.uk – proved to be controversial however and he was asked to appear on BBC Radio Scotland this afternoon alongside Guardian blogger Roy Greenslade, who first blogged about the editorial.

Parkes admitted on the show to writing the leader, and said that he stands by the call for the death penalty and corporal punishment to be reinstated.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Editorial in Newsquest papers calling for capital punishment ‘was just a bit of fun’

An unsigned editorial that appeared on the pages of the Streatham Guardian and Wimbledon Guardian calling for the return of capital punishment does not represent the views of publisher Newsquest and was “just a bit of fun”, the papers’ group editor said this morning.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Andy Parkes denied the editorials represented the views of Newsquest or Newsquest’s parent company, Gannett.

Parkes said the piece was “tongue in cheek” and “a bit of fun”, and had been “blown out of all proportion” in a post by the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade this morning, which initially claimed that the piece had been run across Newsquest’s South London Guardian series and elsewhere.

Parkes refused to comment on who wrote the piece at first, but later said: “You can put my name to it”. Pressed over whether he was the author, he refused to say any more, adding: “I absolutely don’t want to get into this any further”.

The hard-line leading articles – one of which was headlined simply “Rioting scum: the solution is as simple as 1, 2, 3″ – call for capital and corporal punishment to be brought back in the wake of the recent rioting and looting.

The full comment reads:

RIOTING SCUM – the solution is as simple as 1,2,3.

1 Bring back corporal punishment.

2 Bring back capital punishment.

3 Throw out all the stupid namby-pamby laws and regulations which actually stop adults interacting with children.

The first two are so blindingly obvious no more needs to be said.

The third is equally sensible – allow parents to discipline their offspring as they need to, put power back into the hands of teachers and actually encourage, not discourage, adults to be involved with children.

Personally I’d ditch CRB checks altogether – after all, if you use points 1 and 2 correctly they would be far more effective than any CRB check could ever be. And, as for the suggestion an adult shouldn’t be allowed to carry other people’s children in the car… blah, blah, blah unbelievable. It’s no wonder adults are are terrified to get involved. I heard the other day that teachers are now discouraged from even raising their voices – the world’s gone mad.

Of course, if you’re looking for a more radical solution. One idea would be to simply arm pensioners. On the same day you get your bus pass you receive a handgun and the legal right to use it. Those in post office queues might be a bit more jumpy, but I guarantee we’d have a new-found respect for the elderly.

As well as appearing in print in the the Wimbledon Guardian and Streatham Guardian, the piece appears to have been published on the websites of the Lewisham and Greenwich News Shopper, Surrey Comet, Waltham Forest Guardian and Watford Observer, and Wandsworth Guardian. This was due to a “technical complexity” that meant content was syndicated automatically within London, a member of staff at the Wandsworth Guardian said.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Opinion: Birmingham students outshine Mail and Post in riot coverage

The Manchester Evening News has proved that long-established newspapers can shine online, following Roy Greenslade’s criticisms of some London local newspaper publishers for what he considered weak web riot coverage, with their focus instead being on print editions.

The MEN had around 25,000 people viewing its liveblog at any one time between 8pm and 11pm last night (9 August), one of the paper’s digital editors, Lee Swettenham, told Journalism.co.uk.

We didn’t want to fan any flames so held off from liveblogging until something concrete happened.

The liveblog was started shortly after 6pm, once it was clear riots were taking place in Manchester and Salford.

We had half a dozen reporters out tweeting and taking pictures from the whole area.

We received thousands of comments on the liveblog, including lots of very positive feedback. We were providing information such as travel news.

MEN used liveblogging platform Cover it Live which “worked perfectly” despite heavy traffic.

It shows that if you do it properly online the audience and interest is there.

We shone compared with a lot of the national media. It just shows how valuable we still are.

But where the MEN excelled, readers of the Birmingham Post could be forgiven for failing to realise rioting had taken place in the city.

Just two of the five top stories on the home page carousel are about the riots, the others include a cinema reopening as an independent, a story how a Hong Kong “newspaper shakeup gives Birmingham City investment hope” and a top story about Dragon’s Den. Sister title the Birmingham Mail had more riot coverage on its home page but its site design means it failed to shine (see pictures below which illustrate this).

UPDATE: Responding in the comments section below, David Higgerson, who is head of multimedia at Trinity Mirror, explains the stats prove readers have been going to the Mail and Post for news of the riots and more.

Both sites have seen unprecedented levels of traffic over the past three days, and have devoted many, many man hours to covering the story in a responsible way. The riots coverage is prominent on the home page, but our traffic analysis also demonstrates that people are interested in more than just the riots – hence the promotion of other content on the site. In the case of the Birmingham Post, it is a relied upon source of business information for the city and people expect to be able to find that too. The Birmingham City Football Club story you reference is a very important story, and has been very well read.

Like the MEN, and the Liverpool Echo, the Birmingham Mail and Post sites have run a live blog, and will continue to have reporters working in difficult circumstances to ensure we bring our readers the best possible coverage.

Your analysis of the Post and Mail v the Redbrick coverage seems to centre on not liking our front page design. That’s purely a matter of taste. If you apply the logical web publishing question of ‘Can people find the content they are looking for?’ to our home page, then there’s no doubt those looking for riot coverage will find it, as will those people looking for the content they also expect – other news, business news, sport and so on.

Wolverhampton’s Express and Star, which is behind a part-paywall does well, making its riot coverage available to non-subscribers.

Compare the home page of the Trinity Mirror-owned Birmingham Post (which does have riot video content further down its front page) and sister title the Mail with that of Redbrick, the University of Birmingham’s student newspaper.

Hardly surprising, therefore, that Redbrick has seen 93,000 visits and 148,000 page views since 7 August. And because it is summer, and most students are out of the city, it has been co-ordinated from afar. The editor, Glen Moutrie, an economics student, is in Singapore, and just two student reporters are on the ground getting stories.

Moutrie told Journalism.co.uk how he has been coordinating coverage “quite easily”:

We are doing a lot of it through Twitter, keeping a check on hashtags and following things up.

I’ve also been chatting on Facebook and have managed to do things such as organise a statement from the MP.

Meanwhile The West Londoner, a blog that is the work of another student covering the riots, has seen a million views in one day.

So if a group of unpaid students can get to the heart of the story when the editor is the other side of the world, newspapers which have suffered the closure of their town centre offices in favour of out-of town news hubs should be able to cope.

That is exactly what happened at the Hackney Gazette, which moved from its Cambridge Heath Road office, a short walk from the location of looting on Monday night, to Ilford, Essex, which is nine miles away.

But far from being removed from the story, the Archant-owned weekly has one reporter who works from their Hackney home.

Emma Bartholomew was able to get on her bike and go in search of the story. She described the scene she was reporting on as “a little intimidating”, as she witnessed bricks were being thrown by rioters.

It seems location is less important as long as some reporters are able to go out, tweet, upload videos and get the story. The problem, as Greenslade said, is not to do with the journalists who have shown themselves to be perfectly capable, but with their print-minded publishers.

The problem could not be clearer. Local newspapers remain wedded to print. They are just not set up to report online, even if their journalists have engaged with new media tools.

So long-established local newspapers must focus on their online content, on site design, allowing a story to have sufficient impact if they are not to be outshone by students working without a budget and with an editor posting from the other side of the world.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

‘It’s gone viral': How a student’s riot liveblog brought a million views in a day

When the riots broke out in London and beyond last weekend, the press worked hard to keep up with the latest accounts and rumours circulating. And it was not just the national press and local papers bidding to bring audiences the latest from the heart of the action, the riots also proved an extraordinary experience for student journalists keen to flex their online reporting muscles.

On the fourth night of riots in the city and beyond, Journalism.co.uk caught up with MA journalism student at Brunel University Gaz Corfield, editor of hyperlocal site the West Londoner. Corfield and his team of contributors produced a live-blog of the events on the WordPress blog which, according to Corfield, enjoyed a tremendous 1 million views in just 24 hours (see graph below).


Below Corfield explains how the team approached coverage of the events, why he thinks the live blogging formula worked so well, and how him and his team of contributors helped verify and check reports.

Why a live-blog?

From the feedback we’ve had it seems that speed and accuracy of coverage is what makes the liveblog format popular. Full length news stories are great for catching up on events when you’re having a leisurely read about them the day afterwards. However, when the situation is fluid and still developing, readers want immediate updates. It takes time even to write up a NIB and you may not have enough information to pad out a story. Devoting a separate page on your website to four and a half lines with a break in the middle isn’t very informative. Some of our readers were interested in the earlier reports and with the liveblog format those are easily accessible just by scrolling down the page.

What challenges did you face while covering the riots, both in terms of safety and technological?

Our people on the ground have mainly been friends and volunteers who got in touch and offered their services. The vast majority of what we’re doing is curating reports from Twitter but having our own people on location has helped. One of our contributors, Sarah Henry, was in Hackey on Tuesday and was briefly caught up the violence there but got away unscathed – she tells me that the BBC reporter next to her was hit by a bottle.

Twitter, Twitpic and Yfrog have all been essential to our services and I really cannot recommend TweetDeck enough; the ability to set up live-updating searches was a true godsend. The biggest challenge, though, has been keeping the updates going out onto the site. You can have all the people and apps in the world bringing you information but at the end of the day, someone’s got to type them up!

What made your coverage stand out from others?

Speed, accuracy and collation of information from the ground, sifting between rumours and facts. Debunking false rumours, where we felt confident enough to do so, also built up our readers’ trust quickly. We weren’t afraid to categorise our reports – if we had sketchy information about something, we’d tell our readers “this report is unconfirmed” and work as quickly as we could to either confirm or deny it.
We also made a conscious choice not to label the people we were reporting on, even though our sources mentioned vigilantes, ethnic groups and political groups. Given the already heightened situation I felt it would be irresponsible to put out sensitive information we couldn’t directly check ourselves, so we stuck to just reporting movements of people. I think our readers appreciated that; our coverage was seen as being purely factual without any speculation, and therefore more valuable than other sources. I refused to report rumours about intended targets, which I think reassured a lot of people.

Rapid and relevant updates are what seems to be driving the traffic – at the end of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning the traffic was dropping off as there simply wasn’t anything new to report on. We also had the huge advantage of being the first liveblog to have up-to-the-minute reports. At the beginning of the riots there were repeated rumours that there was a news blackout, and many people were expressing frustration at their usual go-to news outlets being behind the curve.

How were you verifying breaking news/images/video etc?

We put a lot of trust in images. Provided they were tweeted alongside a location-specific hashtag we took them seriously – although this did go slightly awry when someone produced fake pictures of the London Eye on fire! Videos more or less spoke for themselves – either you can recognise local landmarks, or you can’t. Google Street View was useful for verifying images and videos in less frantic moments.
Sorting through tweets was harder – although we had our trusted sources out on the ground at the beginning, as the night progressed we had to read through public Tweets and decide what was real and what was just rumour. If we had a lot of similar (but not identical) reports of activity in a given area, we tended to treat that as reliable. However, that did get confusing towards the small hours of Wednesday morning because our own information was immediately being picked up and distributed by Twitter users in the areas we were trying to learn more about. Our biggest challenge was filtering out retweets because they clogged our information flow.

How did you use social media to further your reporting?

We used Twitter and Facebook. One person dedicated to running each, plus myself on the liveblog. It did get quite tricky deconflicting information going out from both sources. When I first built the site I set our Facebook page’s updates to autopost on Twitter, which later made us wonder where some of our own tweets were coming from! Close co-ordination kept the feeds unique and interesting, though.
We established a conversation with our readers on Facebook, using our page there to respond to queries about riots in peoples’ local areas. Our Twitter feed was pushing out shortened versions of the liveblog updates, with regular links to the liveblog page. In quieter periods we also published our Twitter username and asked for tip-offs to be directed at that, which worked well. Surprisingly, we also received a large volume of tip-offs through the email contact form on our website; you don’t really think of email as being a form of social media but clearly it has its place.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

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.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

‘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.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

Hunt favours individual stations for local television plan

July 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Hyperlocal, Local media

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has backtracked on his plans to introduce a local TV network.

Hunt originally wanted a single network channel – based around a ‘national spine’ – before changing to a more locally run approach.

After a consultation, the culture secretary changed the proposals, and has now settled on a final published framework.

Hunt‘s original plans would have seen a centralised national channel with syndicated programming, which would act as the hub which local channels could feed.

Instead, the final plan favours a network of individual TV stations.

Hunt said he planned to provide bidders with a digital terrestrial TV spectrum, managed by a new licensed multiplex company.

The next task for Hunt is to, in his words, “secure prominence” for the network on Freeview and other electronic programme guides.

In a written ministerial statement, Hunt said: “The proposals include three statutory instruments: the first, to reserve sufficient local, low-cost spectrum for carrying the local TV services; the second to create a proportionate and targeted licensing regime for the spectrum and local TV service operators; and the third, to secure appropriate prominence for the licensed local services in television electronic programme guides.”

“Local TV will provide news and other content for local audiences helping to hold local institutions to account and providing proper local perspectives. This framework offers the right incentives to the market to develop innovative business models; provides greater certainty and reduced risk for investors; and encourages new market opportunities and growth,” he added.

“It is expected the first local television licences will be awarded by Ofcom from summer 2012.”

The infrastructure costs will be met from £25 million allocated as part of the BBC licence fee settlement.

Tags: ,

Similar posts:

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.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

How journalists can use Google+ circles

The 10,000 Words blog has an interesting suggestion for local reporters – but this post is probably worth a read by all journalists.

Meranda Watling suggests setting up circles in Google+ for each reporting area to allow you to share news stories, information, and interact with contacts.

The thing to point out is that your contacts don’t need to have a Google+ account – their email address can be added to a circle and they will then receive updates in their inbox.

A UK local reporter could create a circle for education, one for county council contacts and another for borough or district councillors, for example.

Watling has a suggestion to allow contacts to opt in to receiving your posts:

Create a general public “everything” circle that gets all the items you post — and place everyone you add (or who adds you) here by default. Tell people that these other specific circles exist, and give them the option to be included there and also to exclude themselves from other circles (including your everything list). Yes, this is absolutely going to take time, especially at first and especially if you’re a large news organisation. But think of the usefulness.

With this general set-up, you’ll be able to target relevant news directly to the stream of people most interested in it. Rather than have multiple Facebook pages to keep track of, you can simply select which circle each post is shared with each time you post.

Think of the comment threads that can be developed among only people specifically interested in that area of news. Also, if you’re looking for news tips or sources, post a message to that circle. It only goes to relevant folks and other people don’t feel bombarded with pleas.

Watling notes caveats such as dealing with non-tech-savvy contacts. There is also the problem that contacts are likely to view updates arriving by email as spammy.

The full 10,000 Words post is at this link.

For 10 other ways journalists can use Google+ click here.

If you are a journalist and not yet on Google+ and would like an invite, fill in this form and I will attempt to invite you.

Tags: ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement