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Hull Daily Mail publishes update in ‘investigation’ linked to rival website

March 5th, 2010 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Journalism

Yesterday the Hull Daily Mail and its website received fierce criticism from commenters following a series of articles on Paul Smith, the founder of community news site for the Beverley area, HU17, and designer of pornographic websites.

Several readers suggested that the Mail was being overly critical of Smith’s profession, which as the articles stated is not illegal, because of his involvement with a rival community site.

Today the Mail has published another story on Smith – this time with a more balanced approach. Headlined ‘Beverley Minster virger backs web publisher’, the piece notes the support for Smith voiced in the Mail’s article comments. It also adds a comment from Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart, who was a client of Smith’s web design business and mentioned in the previous articles:

Mr Stuart said: “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful and appalling to run a story like that mentioning me in the second paragraph without getting in touch with me. It is a sleazy unpleasant story that attacks a bloke running a Beverley website.”

But the new piece has done little to appease readers – asks one commenter on today’s piece:

Once again HDM are continuing in their persecution of this poor guy and alienating their readers,are they trying for the most complained about article of the year?

The articles also continue to feature adverts for the Mail’s own local website for Beverley – whether this is automatically generated by the mention of Beverley in the pieces aside, it doesn’t seem to be helping the paper’s case.

In a post on community site HU17.net today, Smith said he has lost business as a result of the articles and has suggested he could close the Beverley website as a result. He also challenges several claims made by the Mail’s investigation into his business, in particular denying that he had agreed to make a website for ‘client’ created by the Mail.

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Hull Daily Mail criticised for tabloid journalism tactics against rival website

March 4th, 2010 | 5 Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers

UPDATE: New story from the Hull Daily Mail fuels fresh reader reaction.

The Hull Daily Mail and its website have been at the receiving end of fierce criticism from commenters today following a series of articles on Paul Smith, the founder of community news site for the Beverley area, HU17, and designer of pornographic websites.

Today’s story ‘Town website publisher’s porn business’ details Smith’s involvement in “thousands of hardcore pornography sites” and urges readers to buy tomorrow’s paper to read “how our reporter posed as an escort and confronted Paul Smith at his Beverley home”.

The article does point out that: “There is no suggestion any [of the sites designed by Smith] contain illegal material.”

But the current 179 commenters on this piece are far from happy, with several encouraging readers to complain to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

Suggests one commenter:

This really does smell of a set up. Having looked at HU17.net this is a very very good site that seems to promote all that is good about Beverley, what a refreshing change. I am also pleased to see and hear that East Riding Council are supporting Mr Smith. Has he been affecting HDM advertising revenues, is that the real reason you have had a go at him.

Another reader questions the subject matter of the piece in light of the site’s own adverts for personal escorts available via the stuff4sale site and the comments are equally critical on additional reports ‘Town website: the sordid truth’ and ‘Websites were graphic, hardcore porn’.

A piece on Smith’s HU17 community site, which covers news and information in the Beverley area, describes the Mail article as “deeply upsetting” and counters several of its claims.

“There is certainly some truth in what the Hull Daily Mail has printed. Paul Smith has had some dealings with people involved in the adult industry in the past, and has coded some of their websites. He has also taught many of them how to update their own sites, and this looks like being a huge mistake, as the content is then completely out of his control yet still carries links to his website company.”

The number of domain names the Mail claims Smith owns is an exceptional exaggeration, according to the HU17 piece.

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Northcliffe’s operating profits drop 81 per cent

May 21st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe posted an 81 per cent drop in operating profits in the six months up to March 29 2009, according to figures released today.

Operating profits for the group, which publishes the Bristol Evening Post and Hull Daily Mail, fell by £33 million to £3.2 million over the period. Advertising revenues also fell by 31 per cent to £103 million.

The publisher has reduced operating costs, however, by 11 per cent compared to the last period – including a reduction of its headcount by 500.

On the digital front, revenues were reportedly in line with the same period last year. Unique ‘visitors’ to the network of ‘thisis’ sites rose by 42 per cent year-on-year to 4.2 million.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT)

According to the figures, DMGT’s revenue fell by 7 per cent year-on-year – from £1,168 million to £1,085 million.

The group’s outlook:

“Within our UK local media operations, revenues continue to be stable which is encouraging, when combined with increasing cost reductions. Within our national consumer media operations, the positive impact will be felt of the cost reductions made to date and of the sale of the Evening Standard at the end of February. As a consequence, DMGT’s operating profits will be weighted more than last year towards the second half of the year.”

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HTFP: Northcliffe editor defends production hub plans

February 25th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Job losses, Jobs, Journalism

HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk reports that the Hull Daily Mail editor and North-East regional editor John Meehan has said ‘cutting production costs may be the only way the titles can continue to maintain their local content-gathering operations’.

“I genuinely don’t think there is any contradiction. Northcliffe passionately believes in being at the heart of all things local and I don’t think this changes that,” he told HoldTheFrontPage.

Full story at this link…

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Postscript to Advertising and Digital Media Awards

October 3rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

While it’s all very nice that regional digital contributions are being celebrated at the Newspaper Society (NS) Advertising and Digital Media Awards 2008 (it was the first time for blog and digital team catgeories), Journalism.co.uk did raise its eyebrows slightly at the winners of Blogs of the Year…

Gold: Trinity Mirror Midlands – The Geek Files (nice looking but not exactly interactive)
Silver: scotsman.com – Luke Donald (still searching for its whereabouts – any ideas?)
Bronze: Hull Daily Mail –  Lucy Clark for Hullvibe (last updated two days ago)

Perhaps they could take some tips on blogging from the winner of the AOP online community of the year, Farmers Weekly Interactive: its blogs are easy navigated and found from the main site.

And we can’t help but wonder why regional digital is judged in a competition for advertising – why is there not one single category for digital in the regular weekly newspaper awards?

Who/or what would you nominate for your favourite regional blogger/blogs?

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Newspaper Society Advertising and Digital Media Awards: the results on and offline

October 3rd, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Advertising, Newspapers

So Associated Northcliffe Digital/Northcliffe Media came out smiling, after digital awards aplenty at last night’s Newspaper Society’s Advertising and Digital Media Awards – the group won golds for Niche Website of the Year, Digital Innovation of the year and Digital Team of the Year. On top of that the winner for ad of the year, the Hull Daily Mail, is one of Northcliffe’s too.

Speaking in a release issued last night, the Newspaper Society (NS) communications director Lynne Anderson praised online entries: “The digital element of the awards was particularly impressive this year with clear evidence that local media publishers are becoming increasingly effective at communicating with their audiences online.”

Here’s a selection of the winners from yesterday’s Advertising and Digital Media Awards, online and off:

PRINT ADs:
Advertisement of the Year
Gold: Hull Daily Mail for Modus Interiors – Howz
Silver: Evening Express for Choices 08
Bronze: Evening Express for Ritchie Travel / The Lytham St Annes for Express Leonard Dews – Diamonds

Series of Advertisements for the Year
Gold: The Irish News for John Mulholland Motors Ltd
Silver: Hull Daily Mail for Modus
Bronze: Herald Express for Animal Crackerz Series

Classified Section of the Year
Gold: Express & Star for My Classifieds
Silver: Evening Express for Drive
Bronze: The Press and Journal for Your Ads

ONLINE:
Newspaper Website of the Year
Gold: Nottingham Evening Post – thisisnottingham.co.uk
Silver: Belfast Telegraph – belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Bronze: Cornwall and Devon Media – thisiscornwall.co.uk

Niche Website of the Year
Gold: Associated Northcliffe Digital Lasting Tribute
Silver: Hull Daily Mail - Your Mail
Bronze: Eastern Daily Press - Jobs24

Integrated Campaign of the Year
Gold: Manchester Evening News for NHS ‘I Love Me’ Campaign
Silver: Manchester Evening News for Natwest ‘MoneySense’
Bronze: Hull Daily Mail for ASDA

Digital Innovation of the Year
Gold: Associated Northcliffe Digital for Lasting Tribute
Silver: Lancashire Evening Post for LEPlive
Bronze: Herald Express Mod My Motor

Blog of the Year
Gold: Trinity Mirror Midlands – The Geek Files
Silver: scotsman.com – Luke Donald
Bronze: Hull Daily Mail – Lucy Clark for Hullvibe

Community Website of the Year
Gold: MK News – mkweb.co.uk
Silver: Lancashire Evening Post – lep.co.uk
Bronze: Hull Daily Mail – Your Mail

Digital Team of the Year
Gold: Associated Northcliffe Digital New Product Development Division
Silver: Hull Daily Mail Digital Advertising Team
Bronze: Clyde and Forth Press Digital Media Department

Cross-Platform or Portfolio Sell of the Year
Gold : MEN Media Sales for NHS ‘I Love Me’ Campaign
Silver: MEN Media Sales for Natwest ‘MoneySense’
Bronze: Mediaforce for Scottish Government

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Newspaper Awards winners – Timesonline.co.uk named eNews Site of the Year

April 23rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Timesonline.co.uk was named Electronic News Site of the Year at last night’s Newspaper Awards held at the London Hilton.

The Best Use of New Media prize went to local newspaper Hull Daily Mail’s site thisisyourmail.co.uk.

The Financial Times, fresh from wins at this months British Press Awards, won its third National Newspaper of the Year award of 2008 and the award for National Colour Supplement of the Year for the seventh year running.

The Guardian was highly commended in four out of its five nominated categories, but left without a win.

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Press Gazette: Hull Daily Mail launches website written by readers

January 30th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers, Online Journalism

The Hull Daily Mail’s experimental site could be rolled out to other Northcliffe centres.

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