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Independent: Plan hatched by media figures to rescue News of the World

July 11th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Newspapers

According to a report in the Independent today a group of media and business figures are putting together a plan to rescue the News of the World which published its last edition on Sunday.

This followed a week of shocking revelations and allegations made against the Sunday tabloid relating to both phone hacking and payments to police. According to the Independent’s report the group of figures is attempting to “revive the title as a responsible investigative newspaper”.

At the centre of the group is Susan Douglas, a former editor of the Sunday Express, a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times, and a former executive in numerous media organisations.

… Ms Douglas has been holding talks with leading media owners and venture capitalists, but said that a rescue attempt would need to be made quickly before the opportunity to save the 168-year-old title was lost.

You can read up on all the latest in the phone hacking scandal at this link.

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Former Panorama reporter calls for ‘searching inquiry’ into Primark documentary

In an opinion piece in the Independent yesterday former chief correspondent of Panorama Tom Mangold called on the BBC to conduct a “searching inquiry into why its system of firewalls broke down”, in reference to last week’s finding of the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee that certain footage within a Panorama documentary was “more likely that not”, not genuine.

The BBC was ordered to make an on-air apology after a Panorama documentary about retail outlet Primark was found to have breached editorial guidelines on accuracy and fairness. The ESC said it had examined a “substantial body of evidence”, including rushes tapes, emails to the programme team from the freelance journalist who obtained the footage and witness evidence, in relation to a specific piece of footage which appeared in the film.

Although it admitted it was not able to say beyond reasonable doubt, the committee concluded that it was more likely than not that the footage was not genuine.

Writing in the Independent Mangold claimed the delay in this admission has caused “an editorial catastrophe”.

It is only now, three years after the programme was broadcast, that the BBC Trust has forced Panorama to admit the error of its ways. In the meantime, the BBC’s arrogant refusal to admit it was wrong has resulted in an editorial catastrophe not only for Panorama, the flagship, but for all the corporation’s journalism.

I joined Panorama from Fleet Street, where none of us had entirely clean hands. We coloured our stories as much as we could and thought nothing of doing things our editors never wanted to hear about. But, whatever we did, we never lied, deceived or made stories up. It was the short cut to the dole. And if a story wasn’t good enough or couldn’t be made to work – then there was always another round the corner. I know what it means to have to deliver with a tiny budget, but I also know when to give up.

Read more here…

Related:

Panorama documentary found in serious breach of accuracy and fairness rules

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Independent: Rebekah Brooks has some explaining to do, says Burrell

Ian Burrell, the Independent’s media editor, provides further insight into the close relationship between Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both former News of the World editors and both caught up in the ongoing phone-hacking affair.

He discusses Brooks’ 2003 admission to MPs that the paper had illegally paid police officers for information. Eight years on and this week Brooks has denied knowledge of specific payments.

I was there that day in March 2003 and saw Brooks (then Rebekah Wade) arrive in apparent high spirits, joking with Coulson and Piers Morgan, editor of the rival Daily Mirror but an old friend. All three had sat in the editor’s chair at the News of the World. All three would tell MPs that press regulation was working just fine. Morgan said tabloid reporters had not been so well behaved in 15 years; Brooks that the PCC had “changed the culture in every newsroom in the land”.

Then she admitted paying the police. Ian Hargreaves, a former editor of the Financial Times, later commented that she had “clip-clopped into a big hole in the ground”. Her error seemed borne of a lack of experience in the political arena and intoxication with the power of the tabloid press in which she had spent her working life (she tried to put MP Chris Bryant in his place by reminding him she had 10 million readers).

Burrell then brings us up-to-date, following recent arrests and News International’s apology.

With two more of Coulson’s senior staff being arrested by police and one of them sacked by NI, his previous claim to have been let down by a single rogue reporter is thoroughly discredited.

MPs, including Bryant, are furious that, eight years on, they still haven’t been told the truth about tabloid intrusion. The Operation Weeting team, investigating phone hacking, wants to speak to Brooks about NI’s past behaviour. Those inseparable pals, Rebekah and Andy, both remain in the gun sights – and this time neither seems capable of pulling the other out of the line of fire.

Ian Burrell’s full comment is at this link.

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Independent adds attribution to controversial MacKenzie article

A piece in today’s Independent by former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, in which he claimed “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper” was bound to stir up some debate.

But the controversy ended up going beyond the comments he made to the publication of the article itself, when MA Magazine Journalism student from City University Harriet Thurley claimed on Twitter that she in fact originally wrote the piece in question.

And here is a link to her feature, published in the university’s alumni magazine XCity last month. The two are indeed very similar. So what happened? As far as Journalism.co.uk understands, the article was submitted by MacKenzie to the Independent’s media editor Ian Burrell, who told Journalism.co.uk today that he was aware the piece had started out as an interview but felt that that it had been “considerably” rewritten by MacKenzie in his own style.

A line has since been added to the article online to say it is “an amended version” of the interview with MacKenzie by Thurley.

We have not yet been able to reach MacKenzie for comment, but Thurley has since tweeted claiming that he was not aware of her missing accreditation.

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Media release: ITN signs new video content deal with Independent

ITN announced today it has signed a deal with the Independent to provide video content for its website news player.

The deal with the Independent involves the delivery of bespoke content taken daily from across ITN’s UK, world, entertainment, and financial news feeds. In signing up to the service the Independent joins news title stable mates that include the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Star who all receive ITN’s award-winning content.

According to a release from ITN it already supplies content to daily freesheet Metro and several other regional titles from the Illife and MNA publishing groups.

In addition to the deal announced today, ITN Productions has also signed a new multi-year deal with the Daily Telegraph to supply video content for Telegraph.co.uk.

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Comment: Response to Kelvin MacKenzie on shutting journalism colleges

Media law, 100 words a minute shorthand and how to shoot and edit a video, these are just some of what I probably would not have learned in my first month on a local paper.

But according to former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, writing for the Independent this morning, “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper”.

He believes aspiring reporters should start on their local newspaper at 18 and be on a national by 21. Perhaps he is unaware local newspaper editors, radio stations and TV newsdesks are not exactly falling over themselves to take on teenagers with no training.

Learning on the job may be a highwire act but it will be a lesson you will never forget compared with listening to ‘professor’ Roy Greenslade explaining why Wapping was a disgrace. No amount of academic debate is going to give you news sense, even if you have a PhD. It’s a knack and you’ve either got it or you haven’t.

There are more than 80 schools in the UK teaching journalism. These courses are make-work projects for retired journalists who teach for six months a year and are on a salary of £34,000- £60,000. Students are piling up debts as they pay to keep their tutors in the lifestyles they’re used to. I’d shut down all the journalism colleges today. If you want to be a print journalist you should go straight from school and join the local press. You will have a better career and you won’t owe a fortune. Good luck.

This is not the first time MacKenzie has rubbished journalism courses.

The Independent’s full story is at this link.

So, fellow journalism graduates, are you shouting at your computers/phones/iPads yet? Or has MacKenzie got it right?
Please comment and let us know what you think.

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April Fools’ Day: Headline hoaxes from the morning’s news

April 1st, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Midday has brought another April Fools’ Day to a close, and the UK media has gone to town as usual. We’ve taken a look at some of this year’s spurious stories.

Jeremy Paxman is quitting University Challenge because of a move to multiple choice questions, if this article in the Radio Times is to be believed.

Teams will be given three lifelines, to be used once only per match: “switch”, “clue” and “phone a Professor”. They will also be permitted to confer on starter questions. It is thought that this last change was what persuaded Paxman to tender his resignation.

The Telegraph has gone for this Labour party memo urging members to celebrate the wedding of Ed Miliband and Justine Thornton with “street parties, trifles and bunting”.

BBC Radio 4 opted for a breakthrough in 3D sound that threatens to put John Humphrys inside your head. (Not quite their April Fool a few years ago, in which Brian Eno reworked the Archers theme tune.)

Now the musician and sound pioneer Robert Fripp and Simon Heyworth, a leading sound engineer who produced Tubular Bells, have been working with the BBC so that for the first time 3D sound should be available to Radio 4 listeners.

The Independent reports that Portugal is to sell Ronaldo to raise €160 million to help alleviate its national debt.

In a move which some observers claimed “will lead to the destruction of the World Cup”, Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to “act like a patriot” and be sold to neighbouring Spain for €160m.

According to this article on Pulse, patients will be staffing GP surgeries.

Romford patient Rick Dagless was one of the first to hail the move, which he described as ‘dangerously progressive’. He said: ‘I may not have been to medical school, but I am a fast learner and a good people-person. How hard can it be?’

The Sun – always good for an April Fool gag - has gorillas running around with iPads in “Planet of the Apps”. The article claims that gorillas at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park have been given iPads (though presumably not the iPad 2, unless the gorillas have had better luck than most getting their hands on the sell-out device).

Fathers’ groups are taking legal action against Mumsnet on this mock BBC News site.  “To clarify, this April Fools’ hoax story has nothing to do with the BBC”, a tweet from the official BBC News Twitter account said.

A number of groups representing male parents, including Justice for Fathers, Men Can Be Mothers Too and Fathers Need Forums, have launched a class action, believed to be the biggest of its kind in protest against the site’s growing influence over politics and popular culture.

An edible edition was this morning’s page three hoax from UK freesheet Metro.

In a move that might suggest Willy Wonka has taken over the editor’s chair, newsprint and food experts have combined to cook up a sweet-tasting paper that will soon be sugar-rolling off the Metro presses.

The EU is to appoint a high-level truth teller, if this euobserver.com article is to be believed.

Other tasks include throwing custard pies at prime ministers whose economies require an EU-IMF bailout and sounding a klaxon whenever anybody uses the phrases “shared values” or “human rights” in reference to EU foreign policy.

Builders will no longer be tempted to wolf-whistle according to this blog entry on Builder Scrap.

The “Stop That Hard Hat” comes with tiny speakers which play pre-recorded messages to the offending builder whenever they detect a wolf-whistle.

The first whistling offence prompts a warning about site behaviour.

And any further whistling leads to recorded readings from the works of famous feminist writers like Germaine Greer and Andrea Dworkin.

The Bookseller reports that bookshops are to have a quota on foreign authors.

The Bookseller has learned Prime Minister David Cameron is set to give a speech today outlining his latest iteration of the “Big Society”. A DCMS spokesman said: “The publishing industry needs protecting from the Browns, Larssons and Meyers of this world. We think British literature should be celebrated, not swamped.”

The Guardian – which went Twitter only in 1999 - has launched this live blog on the royal wedding.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to be married at Westminster Abbey in four weeks time. In something of an about turn, the Guardian today pledges its “full throated support” for the monarchy [which is a contribution form Comment is Free]. Follow here for live coverage of all the latest royal wedding news, build up and reaction.

And Will and Kate are going to Cleethorpes for their honeymoon, according to this article on This is Grimsby.

The Grimsby Telegraph can exclusively reveal that The Pier will be hosting the party for the royal newlyweds, which will also be attended by the groom’s best-man, his brother Prince Harry.

A delighted Jack Smith, spokesman for the nightclub said: “We’ve got a special event that’s taking place where the Prince and Princess will be attending.”

And from the so-called ‘Marmite couple’ to Grazia’s Marmite Vaseline.

Thus, it’s altogether very exciting news that Vaseline have sent us their new lip therapy with (wait for it!) a hint of MARMITE! Yummy scrummy and perfect for an elevenses top up. Give it a try and let us know whether you love it or hate it…

With thanks to everyone who sent April Fools’ pranks to @journalismnews. We’ve included suggestions from @BeckieOwens @stevenowottny @GMPrendergast @crimeticreader @Le_Chat. Keep the tweets coming as we’ll be doing another April Fools’ pranks round-up at the end of the day.

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Online advertising spend tops £4bn after 12.8% rise

March 29th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Advertising, Business

Spending on online advertising has topped £4 billion for the first time in the UK, as advertisers spend £1 in every £4 online, according to new research.

The findings, published today by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed that online advertising grew by 12.8 per cent, from £3.5 billion in 2009 to £4.1 billion last year. The digital share of the UK’s total advertising spend of £16.6 billion last year rose to 25 per cent.

Mobile advertising experienced 116 per cent year on year growth on a like-for-like basis, up from 32 per cent in 2009. Advertisers spent £83 million on mobile advertising in 2010, led by the entertainment and media sector.

Researchers explain the findings in this video:

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MediaGuardian: Sales of Independent’s i continue to fall

November 23rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Newspapers

The Guardian reported this morning that sales of the Independent’s new daily compact i are understood to have “dropped off to close to an average daily sale of 70,000″.

Initial sales were thought to be at about 180,000 the report claims, based on information from “several sources”.

In the third week after launch, the week commencing 8 November, average daily sales ranged from about 75,000 to 85,000; by the end of last week average daily sales appeared to be hovering close to 70,000 to 73,000, according to industry sources.

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iPad apps – Wired UK unveils iPad edition and Independent’s i reveals launch plans

November 4th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Multimedia

The UK version of Wired magazine launched its iPad edition yesterday, according to paidContent.

The edition, which costs £2.39 to download, is a one-off before the magazine “takes a slight pause to assess/iterate before moving to monthly publication”, Wired UK editor David Rowan said in a previous interview with paidContent.

The Independent’s new title ‘i’ has also revealed plans to launch an iPad app later this month.

MD for digital at the Evening Standard and Independent Zach Leonard confirmed to Journalism.co.uk today that the compact paper will be developed through an iPad app which he hopes will be released on the app store later this month.

It’s very exciting for us. We are being confidential in terms of the specific price but it will be subscription based.

It draws directly from the i itself. Given the multimedia capabilities we will be adding increasing functionality over time.

He added that the app would provide the title with a payment mechanism for quality journalism, with an Independent app also currently under development.

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