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Leveson inquiry: Seminar dates announced as publishers express concern over panel

September 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Investigative journalism, Legal

The make-up of the panel of the Leveson inquiry, the public inquiry which will examine press standards, media regulations and the phone-hacking scandal, has come under criticism for lacking in tabloid and regional press representation.

In July prime minister David Cameron announced the line-up for the panel of experts who would assist with the public inquiry:

  • civil liberties campaigner and director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti;
  • former chief constable of the West Midlands, Sir Paul Scott-Lee;
  • former chairman of Ofcom, Lord David Currie;
  • former political editor of Channel 4 news, Elinor Goodman;
  • former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, and former special correspondent of the press association, George Jones;
  • former chairman of the Financial Times, Sir David Bell.

The Guardian reports that Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, as well as Trinity Mirror, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association and Guardian News & Media, raised some concerns about the panel during a hearing today (Wednesday, 28 September).

Leveson indicated that he would consider whether to appoint extra advisers in response to Associated’s complaint. The judge said that he would reserve his decision, noting that the “pressures on the Liverpool Echo will be different to the pressures affecting the Mirror and the Sun; different to the pressures affecting the Observer”.

Today the inquiry also announced the dates for two seminars in connection with the inquiry, to be held on 6 and 12 October, which will explore some of the key public policy issues raised by its terms of reference and to hear expert and public opinion on those. More details on content and participants will be announced on the inquiry website shortly.

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Crains: Mail Online to open New York office

February 9th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Newspapers

Associated Newspapers is to open an office in New York to house journalists for Mail Online.

According to Crain’s New York Business, the news group has signed a four-year lease and will move in next month.

Mail Online receives 65 per cent of its traffic from outside the UK – 35 million unique users in December out of a total of 53.9 million, according to ABCe.

Full report on Crains New York at this link.

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Blogger seeks legal advice over Irish Mail on Sunday article

Air controller and blogger Melanie Schregardus has lodged a complaint with the Irish Mail on Sunday after the newspaper ran an article about her at the weekend. Schregardus was horrified, she says, when a friend notified her about the article, entitled ‘The male chauvinist pigs of Irish air control’.

The Irish Mail on Sunday (part of the Associated Newspapers group) reported, alongside her photograph, that she had ‘lifted the lid’ on a ‘den of male chauvinists’ in the Shannon air control tower.

[Bernie Goldbach on the Inside View blog hosts a PDF copy at this link / Twitpic from Ian Walsh]

Schregardus was surprised because, she claims, the journalist had not been in touch to ask about her blog, or inform her that they were writing an article.

The article was based, she later explained in a new post, on a blog item penned in November:

[I] wrote a blogpost called “Women? In Air Traffic Control?”. I wrote it in response to people on Twitter and in my life who wanted to know what it was like to do my job. There aren’t many of us. Most people don’t meet many Air Traffic Controllers, and it has, in films, media, and most portrayals, been depicted as a job done mainly by men.

I tried to talk in it about what it was like for me, nearly a decade ago, being one of the first women to do my job in Ireland. I didn’t then, and do not now, think my work colleagues are “Male Chauvinist Pigs”, as the Mail headlined their article. I love my job, and the people I work with. I was talking about how I felt years ago, starting out, slightly scared and intimidated by the responsibilities that people who do my job hold in our hands.

Schregardus’ originally deleted her blog but told Journalism.co.uk that was a “knee jerk reaction” and she later realised she “had nothing to be ashamed of”.

“Luckily I had always saved my posts so I set up a blog again and copied everything back in. The only difference is that the dates on all posts is now the 24th Jan.”

[the original posting, with its correct date can be viewed in the Google cache]

Upset by the way her blog comments had been used in the Mail on Sunday, she has now contacted the newspaper to make a complaint. After speaking to a member of the newspaper, she now awaits a response.

She has also contacted the press commission, she said, and is seeking legal advice.

The Irish press council could not confirm the status of Schregardus’ complaint: “The policy of this office is that all matters relating to a complaint remain confidential until the complaints process has been concluded, when all the relevant details are published on our website,” the body said in an email to Journalism.co.uk.

Journalism.co.uk will continue to attempt to contact the Irish Mail on Sunday for further comment.

Update 28/01/10: Please see a statement later issued by the Irish Mail on Sunday at this link

  • Hat-tip to Alison Gow for alerting us to this story.
  • Listen to more about the case on the Hobson and Holtz report podcast.
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    #Outlook2010: Don’t forget your print subscribers, says Associated Newspapers

    October 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers

    Last week Journalism.co.uk attended the INMA and Online Publishers Association (OPA) Europe’s annual conference Outlook 2010 – the event focused on innovation, transformation and making money for media businesses. Follow our coverage at this link.

    As the news media searches for viable business models for online and new revenue streams in the form of pay walls, members clubs and micropayments, the humble print newspaper subscriber may have been overlooked.

    Such was the argument of Associated Newspapers’ circulation director Neil Jagger who explained to delegates how his group targeted home delivery (‘not the sexiest beast in the world’) as a revenue source.

    At the start of this drive, there were around 2 million home delivery customers for UK newspapers – with the Daily Mail accounting for around 500,000 of those, explained Jagger.

    Using a retail sales force of 30, Associated built up a 1.3 million-strong database of addresses  of newspaper subscribers not signed up with the Daily Mail by approaching retailers directly for the information.

    These 1.3 million were sent a direct mail offering a range of subscription packages and vouchers if they signed up. The result was a 2 per cent take up (27,000 agreed to have the paper home delivered).

    Not satisfied with this the team moved onto telesales offering the same package as the direct mail, which had a 7 per cent conversion rate (59,000 signed up).

    Finally, Associated is using 200 canvassers selling home delivery subscriptions door-to-door and has so far generated 70,000 sign for an initial three-month period.

    Following this push the Daily Mail has gained 156,000 new customers, says Jagger – an opportunity created by building this database of non-subscribers, using available information in a way that other publishers had not done previously.

    Not all of the new recipients have stayed with the paper, admits Jagger, but, from the 156,000, 81 per cent are staying for 6 months after initially agreeing; while 64 per cent are staying 18 months or more.

    “Once we’ve got these customers we’ve got to keep them,” explains Jagger and customers are sent loyalty packs, alternative subscription offers or money-off vouchers.

    “We just don’t want to lose those customers.”

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    London Lite could close following consultation

    October 27th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

    Associated Newspapers today announced that it is entering a period of consultation over the future of the London Lite, which could see the free evening publication close. Thirty-six London Lite employees will be consulted before a final decision is made, a statement said.

    “The latest development in the London afternoon free newspaper space dictates that we look again at the future of London Lite. Despite reaching a large audience with an excellent editorial format, we are concerned about the commercial viability in this highly competitive area,” said Steve Auckland, managing director, Associated Newspapers Free Division.

    In August, News International, the UK newspaper division of News Corporation announced that it would close thelondonpaper, its free evening newspaper launched in 2006.

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    Media Release: Associated Newspapers brings forward closure of Teletext

    July 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Media releases

    Transmission of the loss-making analogue television service will end in January 2010 rather than 2012.

    Full release at this link…

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    MediaGuardian: Some Independent technical staff to move to Associated Newspapers

    February 5th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

    MediaGuardian reports that it ‘understands’ that ‘some technical staff’ at the Independent and Independent on Sunday “are expected to become formally employed by Associated Newspapers under the two companies’ office sharing agreement.” Full story at this link…

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    Rebekah Wade’s first public speech in full

    January 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Newspapers

    If the Wordle and other coverage isn’t enough, here’s the Hugh Cudlipp speech by the editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, in full [note: may have differed very slightly in actual delivery]:

    The challenging future of national and regional newspapers is now the staple diet of media commentators.

    If you have been reading the press writing about the press you’d all be forgiven for questioning your choice of career.

    I’m not denying we’re in a tough place – we are.

    But I don’t want to use this speech to make grand statements on the future of our industry.

    I want to talk to you about journalism.

    More »

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    paidContent:UK: DMGT merges national and regional newspaper divisions

    September 19th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

    The Daily Mail & General Trust is to merge its regional and national newspaper divisions under a new management structure.

    The new department of A&N Media will be headed by existing Associated Newspapers managing director Kevin Beatty, who will add the responsibility to his current role.

    Beatty will effectively take control of Northcliffe’s regional newspapers and websites as part of the changes, paidContent reports.

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    Press Gazette: Associated win battle with cybersquatter over domain name

    July 24th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

    Associated Newspapers has won its case against a cybersquatter, who was using the domain name www.scottishdailymail.co.uk.

    As a result of the case Associated now have ownership of the web address, which was being used as a listings site including links to its competitors.

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