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Brighton Argus’ new out-of-town subs fall at the first hurdle

December 20th, 2010 | 12 Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Journalism, Newspapers

Today is the first day that local title the Brighton Argus has been subbed from Southampton, following a controversial move by publisher Newsquest to centralise news subbing operations and lay off the paper’s Brighton-based subs.

And today’s edition brings with it a typo perfectly emblematic of the staff’s complaints that local papers need subs with local knowledge.

From today’s BRIGHTEN Argus…

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Brighton Argus: Twitter account and strike blog boost picket line protests

Today journalists from the Newsquest-owned Brighton Argus took to the picket line for the second day of strikes, in protest at plans to relocate their subbing operations to Southampton and the loss of seven jobs at the title.

The strike action on both days went beyond the picket line in Brighton, with campaigning staff using social media to spread the word. The group produced a Twitter account @argus_strike, posting videos, pictures and comments throughout the action.

There was also a Argus strike blog set up in the lead up to the action, featuring information on why the staff were striking, campaign links as well as vox-pops with readers. Web editor Jo Wadsworth even called on the title’s community correspondents to support the action by not crossing a virtual picket line, and postponing any submissions to the site until the weekend.

The sub-editors made redundant say they were originally told today would be their last day, but told Journalism.co.uk yesterday they may be asked to work on for another two to four weeks to help with the movement of production down to Southampton.

Members of the National Union of Journalists, local politicians and other supporters stood outside the offices in the south-east town, with the number of journalists estimated to reflect around three quarters of the editorial team at the picket’s peak.

Journalism.co.uk produced this video report, speaking to members of the union and those losing their jobs.

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Roy Greenslade: Brighton’s Argus and saving local newspapers

April 21st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media

Media commentator Roy Greenslade gives a no-holds-barred review of the local news scene in his home city Brighton, in particular the problems faced by the Newsquest-owned local newspaper, the Argus.

As we all know, regional evenings have been in decline across the country, but the Argus has lost more buyers faster than many similar titles. Is this Newsquest’s fault? Well, a publisher cannot be entirely free of blame.

However, the central difficulty facing any editor of the Argus (and, arguably, all regionals and locals) has been demographic, trying to identify, and then appeal to, a target audience. In plain terms, should it be The Times or The Sun or the Daily Mail?

The paper, again like others, has tried to be all things to all people, without managing to satisfy any sector. Its front pages have tended to be red-toppish, with an accent on crime. Indeed, much of the news follows a tabloid-style agenda.

Comments from former Argus journalists, contributors and some readers make for an interesting anatomy of the difficulties faced by regional and local newspapers across the UK – a worthwhile read for all regional hacks.

Full post at this link…

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Sidewiki: some journalistic questions for Google

Sidewiki (noun): a browser sidebar that enables you to contribute and read helpful information alongside any web page (source: Google.com)

or…

Sidewiki (noun): an attempt by our online colonial masters to own all of the comments on our websites (source: Andrew Keen)

On this occasion Jeff Jarvis would not do what Google is doing: the CUNY journalism professor and WWGD? author is worried. He can see some potential dangers for the development of Sidewiki, launched by Google yesterday. His commenters share their thoughts too, in a split conversation between the BuzzMachine comments thread and the Sidewiki (you’ll have to take the plunge and install it if you want to see how that looks). Jarvis says:

“This goes contrary to Google’s other services – search, advertising, embeddable content and functionality – that help advantage the edge. This is Google trying to be the centre. Quite ungoogley, I’d say.”

Sidewiki has the potential to be great for freedom of speech but what about the nastier side? Publishers no longer have control of the look of part of their site. Google has tested the application at news organisations it says – testimonials here – but it’s still developing its technology, and asking for feedback.

Some initial thoughts, then. The main concerns for journalists and news organisations might include:

1) Will it lose money for news sites?

Andrew Keen, writing for the Telegraph, comments:

“Sidewiki is a brazen attempt to own the Internet. What Sidewiki would do is replace/supplement the Telegraph comments section on this page with a Google comments page. So all comments on the internet would, in theory, be owned by Google (which, presumably, they could sell advertisements around – thereby eating into my salary).”

2) What happens about libel?

Google publishes its programme policy here, at this link.

‘Keep it legal,’ it says (and it will report us to the ‘appropriate authorities’ if we don’t).

“If you believe that someone is violating these policies, use the ‘Report Abuse’ button within Sidewiki.  We’ll review your report and take action if appropriate.  Just because you disagree with certain material or find it to be inappropriate doesn’t mean we’ll remove it.  We understand that our users have many different points of view, and we take this into consideration when reviewing reports of abuse.  Although not all reports will result in removal, we do rely on our users to tell us about materials that may be violating our policies.”

Have fun with that Google!

Here are a few questions about the legal aspect from Jo Wadsworth, online editor at the Brighton Argus, for whom comment moderation is part of her job:

“How long does it takes to get abusive comments removed? Where’s moderation criteria? Can site switch it off? Can trolls be banned?”

Meanwhile, SEO consultant and blogger Malcolm Coles is having a play… This morning, he says, he was finding it hard to resist the temptation to be the first to sidewiki the home page of UK newspapers. But someone else got there first.

Please add your own thoughts and questions. In the Google Sidewiki – to your left, via Twitter (@journalismnews) or in the comments…

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WW1 veterans: Henry Allingham’s funeral draws national media; FHM’s tribute to its agony uncle Harry Patch

July 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Today hundreds of people lined the streets of Brighton for the funeral of Henry Allingham, one of the last remaining World War One veterans; he was the world’s oldest man, when he passed away aged 113, on July 18.

The Brighton Argus has created this special tribute section, featuring a picture gallery, and the BBC has footage from inside the funeral on its site.

The remaining World War One soldier, known as ‘the last Tommy’, Harry Patch, who survived Allingham by a week, died at the weekend aged 111, and his funeral will take place at Wells Cathedral, Somerset.

Patch began contributing to men’s magazine FHM in 2007 and the publication has written this tribute, with a selection of his agony uncle articles.


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Greenslade visits the local newsagent for his first Brighton Argus hyperlocal post

Hard (online) evidence that Roy Greenslade has now put his hyperlocal money where his hyperlocal mouth is, with his first Kemp Town piece for the Brighton Argus website. He even has a photograph to prove it too (see below)…

Greenslade, journalism professor and blogger at MediaGuardian, does his bit for local newsagents, with his report ‘that one Kemp Town retailer [The Kiosk] has just expanded his operations by opening a second outlet [News Buoy]‘.  Owner Guy Wright’s 22-year-old daughter, Danielle, ‘has forsaken her cabin crew job with Easyjet to become what I believe to be Britain’s youngest newsagent,’ Greenslade continues.

Full story at this link and you can subscribe to the new Kemp Town Community Correspondent’s feed here.

greensladehyperlocal

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JEEcamp: Audio from the event

May 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Journalism

Journalism.co.uk attended the journalism and enterprise unconference, JEEcamp, last Friday.

Reports on the day will follow, including:

Kyle Macrae, founder of Scoopt, on why entrepreunership is the only option for journalists now

James Hatts from London-SE1.co.uk on community and hyperlocal news publishing

There’s already been some great videos, pictures and posts from the event – see Michael Haddon’s round-up, Martin Belam’s posts and John Welsh’s blog to name but a few – but some additional (rough) audio from Sue Greenwood’s presentation on self-publishing platform Sweeble and two panel discussions are below.

Sue Greenwood:

Panel 1 featuring: (to come)

Journalism.co.uk’s own John Thompson (@johncthompson)

Jon Bounds, Birmingham: It’s Not Shit (@bounder)

Sue Heseltine from Birmingham City University

Chaired by Joanna Geary, web development journalist, business, Times Online (@timesjoanna)

Panel 2 featuring:

Dave Harte, economic development manager, Digital Birmingham

Jo Wadsworth, web editor, Brighton Argus (@jowadsworth)

Robin Hamman, Headshift (@cybersoc)

Andy Dickinson, journalism lecturer at UCLAN, (@digidickinson)

Robin Morley, assistant editor new media, BBC English Regions

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Greenslade: ‘Putting my hyperlocal money where my hyperlocal mouth is’

A nice hyperlocal story in which Journalism.co.uk plays a wee bit o’ a role.

A few weeks ago a good discussion got going at the Frontline Club on the future of regional media.

Roy Greenslade, journalism professor, blogger and resident of Brighton said:

“It’s for the good of the whole community that it [a local newspaper] acts. That loss is something people won’t necessarily be fighting for because they don’t know they’re losing it. We as journalists – that’s our job – it’s for us to ensure that we try and fight to save it.”

In the audience, next to your very own Journalism.co.uk contingent (we didn’t quite out-number the ex-Press Gazetters) sat Jo Wadsworth, who started as web editor of the Brighton Argus in February.

Now – as context – Jo Wadsworth had corrected one ‘Weige’ on Greenslade’s blog a little while back. Weige had it on ‘good authority’ that the Argus didn’t have an online team. Oh yes it does, retorted its new web editor.

Fast-forward a few months: Greenslade’s comments at the Frontline got Wadsworth thinking. Wouldn’t it be good to get him to put his hyperlocal money where his hyperlocal mouth was, she cheekily joked to Journalism.co.uk afterwards. Go on… we egged her on. J.co.uk, for one, had been impressed by his local butcher knowledge over a drink in the bar afterwards.

So, today comes this announcement from Roy Greenslade:

“So, dear readers, since I happen to live – at least part of the year, anyway – in the city of Brighton and Hove, I am planning to become the community reporter for the Kemp Town area of Brighton.

“Now that’s what I call going back to basics.”

Jo Wadsworth had this to say to Journalism.co.uk: “We were talking after the Frontline event about Kemp Town, where I’ve just moved to, and it became very clear he was passionate about the neighbourhood he’s lived in for many years. From there, it was an obvious step to take to invite him to be our newest community correspondent – and the first, I hope of many more.”

And Greenslade? His patch is not exactly defined yet, he told Journalism.co.uk, but he has started to form some ideas.

“I hope to take up topical issues raised by the people who live in what is a very diverse community, whether it be the proposals to develop the marina and the Blackrock shoreline or the continuing annoyance of litter and rubbish on the streets. And I expect to open a dialogue with the city’s councillors who represent the area. What do they do? Who are the community police officers, and how do they operate?

“I want to highlight some of the characters who one sees on the streets and in the shops. I also plan to deal with some of the rich history of the Regency houses, which were originally homes to the titled, the famous and well-heeled.  Though there are  many blue plaques in this area, for example, many the names mean nothing to current residents. Who was Harrison Ainsworth, for instance, the man who once lived in the Arundel Terrace house where I have lived for 38 years?

“I guess I might get into arts and culture too, with the Bombay Bar as one obvious prospect.”

We’ll keep you posted with the link to Greenslade’s content when it goes live. Journalism.co.uk, also residents of Brighton, will definitely be making the most of his local contribution.

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Digital editors on Twitter – a list for networking and problem-solving

Since I started using Twitter I’ve always been amazed (and grateful) at how quickly calls for technological help and assistance with ideas and projects are answered. It’s one of the main reasons I’m a fan of Twitter.

There are plenty of media/journalist Twitter databases out there, but below are the beginnings of a list of digital editors on Twitter.

What do I mean by digital editor? In this instance, a journalist working primarily online, on web projects or co-ordinating multimedia output. The web editor of a newspaper site or magazine site, for example. It’s in no particular order, except for being divided by ‘traditional’ industry sectors at the moment, but if this isn’t useful, just let us know – would be great to get more international representatives too.

But the criteria for inclusion on the list are intentionally loose – this is aimed at networking, problem-solving and idea sharing between journalists working in the same space and similar roles. (Feel free to nominate any additions or drop us a tweet @journalismnews)

UPDATE April 16please read blog post two on how to message the group via Twitter

Newspapers

Alison Gow (@alisongow) – executive editor, digital, Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Kevin Matthews (@kmatt) – head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Neil MacDonald (@xxnapoleonsolo) – deputy head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Jo Wadsworth (@jowadsworth) – web editor, Brighton Argus

Tom Pegg (@tomatthechad) – digital content manager, Mansfield Chad

James Goffin (@jamesgoffin) – regional web producer, Archant

Sarah Booker (@sarah_booker) – web editor, Worthing Herald

Gustav Svensson (@gustavsvensson) – web editor, entertainment and arts, Sydsvenskan.se

Stephen Emerson (@stephen_emerson) – deputy online editor, Scotsman.com

Sam Shepherd (@SamShepherd) – online journalist, Bournemouth Daily Echo

Joanna Geary (@timesjoanna) – web development editor, business, Times Online

Sarah Hartley (@foodiesarah) – head of online editorial, MEN Media

Iain Hepburn (@iainmhepburn) – online editor, DailyRecord.co.uk

Lucia Adams (@luciatimes) – web development editor, Times Online

Carmen Boles (@carmenb) – online news editor, Gazette.com

Marcus Warren (@MarcusWa) – editor, Telegraph.co.uk

Dan Owen (@danowen) – executive editor online, Trinity Mirror

Steve Nicholls (@steve_nicholls) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Post

Anna Jeys (@ajeys) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Mail

Steve Wollaston (@stevewollaston) – multimedia editor, BPM Media and Sunday Mercury

Julie Martin (@jules_27) – Teesside Evening Gazette

Helen Dalby (@helendalby) – regional multimedia manager, NCJ Media

Nick Turner (@nickincumbria) – head of digital content, CN Group

Christian Dunn (@christiandunn) – digital news editor, NWN Media

Hugh Dixon (@hugh_d) – web editor and production editor, thisisbath/Bath Chronicle

Paul Cockerton (@paulcockerton) – web editor, Lancashire Telegraph

Dan Owens (@hornetdan1979) – deputy news editor, Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Dan Kerins (@dankerins) – web journalist, Southern Daily Echo

Broadcast

Marsha Graham (@marshagoldcoast) – multimedia manager for 102.9FM Hot Tomato, Australia

Rob Winder (@robwinder) – news editor, Al Jazeera website, Washington DC

Tom Thorogood (@TomThorogood) – digital news editor, MTV

Magazines

Martin Stabe (@martinstabe) – online editor, Retail Week

Victoria Thompson (@VicThompson) – assistant online editor, Nursing Times

Neil Durham (@NeilDurham) – deputy editor, GP and Independent Nurse

John Robinson (@PulseToday) – digital content manager, Pulse Today

Peter Houston (@p_houston) – editorial director for Advanstar Communications, Europe

Alex Smith (@alexsmith68) – web editor, Building.co.uk

Keira Daley (@daleyrant) – web editor, Australian print magazine

Lara McNamee (@lovelylara33) – assistant intelligence editor, ICIS

Gabriel Fleming (@gabefleming) – online editor, Nursing Times

Janie Stamford (@janiestamford) – contract catering editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper

Robin Latchem (@lgcplus) – online editor, Local Government Chronicle

Keely Stocker (@keelystocker) – digital content manager, Drapers Online

Scott Matthewman (@scottm) – assistant manager, The Stage

Specialist website

Michael Hubbard (@michaelomh) – founder and music editor, MusicOmh

Krystal Sim (@krystalsim) – web editor for sustainability magazine BSD – bsdlive.co.uk

Arun Marsh (@ArunMarsh) – content producer/editor, Local Gov

Rick Waghorn (@MrRickWaghorn) – publisher, MyFootbalWriter

Emma Waddingham (@emmawad) online editor, Legal-Medical.co.uk

Michael McCarthy (@HealthGuide) online editor, LocalHealthGuide

Steve Gooding (@rmtimestech)- Romney Marsh Times

Manoj Solanki (@ManojSolanki) – SeekBroadband.com

Graham Holliday (@noodlepie) – digital editor, Frontline Club

Craig McGinty (@craigmcginty) – publisher, ThisFrenchLife

Mark Crail (@markcrail) – managing editor, XpertHR

Freelance

Adam Oxford (@adamoxford)

Rachel Colling (@rachcolling)

Ashanti Omkar (@ashantiomkar)

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