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Independent: UTV could sell television business to focus on radio

March 21st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

UTV Media, which owns the Channel 3 television licence in Northern Ireland as well as national radio station TalkSport, could be interested in selling its television arm to focus on radio and online.

The Independent quotes UTV director Scott Taunton as saying: “If that was something they [a buyer, presumably ITV] were interested in, we’d have a conversation. Less than a quarter of profits come from TV now. We’re essentially a radio business.”

UTV’s end-of-year results, published yesterday, revealed the group makes 70 per cent of its profits from radio.

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ITV in race row after referring to “coloured” footballers

March 5th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Journalism

Today the Guardian reports that ITV is under investigation by broadcast regulator Ofcom after news reporter Richard Pallot called black footballers “coloured” – while reporting on a racism in football summit held at No.10 Downing Street.

According to the Guardian:

ITV News apologised shortly after the broadcast on its Twitter page and the word has been removed from all future catchup editions of the broadcast, including an edited clip on the ITV News website.

The ITN-produced programme is now investigating how the pre-recorded report that included the word was allowed to be broadcast.

An ITV News spokesman said: “ITV News apologises for the inappropriate use of the word ‘coloured’ in a report on racism and football in today’s News at 1.30pm. We take this error very seriously and we regret any offence caused.”

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@ITVLauraK: My Twitter followers don’t belong to the BBC, ITV, or me

September 1st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Social media and blogging

Former BBC News chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg began her new role as ITV business editor today. Kuenssberg built up quite a Twitter following during her time at the BBC, around 67,000 people, due in no small part to her coverage of last year’s general election saga.

In the wake of the announcement of her move to ITV there was, in her own words, “frenzied conversation” about what would happen to her Twitter account. It was, after all, a professional account, it had BBC in the name. So who did the followers belong to?

In the end, the agreement with the BBC was “entirely amicable”, according to Kuenssberg, and she transferred her account and followers to @ITVLauraK.

Today she writes on her new ITV blog about her take on the issue of professional Twitter accounts and ownership:

Given my belief that those who tweet have minds of their own, the clamour over what would happen to @BBCLauraK, the corporation’s first official journalist Twitter stream, took me rather by surprise. But, more importantly, what the fuss did demonstrate was how central online reporting has become to the work of journalists. No doubt, having started tweeting as an experiment two years ago during the party conference season, it became almost as important to me to break stories on Twitter as it did to get them on air on the BBC’s rolling news channel.

Read the full post at this link.

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Top five news, features and blog posts on Journalism.co.uk in 2010 (by page views)

December 26th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Traffic

OK, we know it’s quality not quantity that counts, but it’s still fascinating (to us at least) to learn which stories have attracted the most traffic over the course of a year.

Unsurprisingly, Wikileaks is prominent as was the televised leaders debate during the general election. And some old faithfuls continue to pull in traffic from jobseekers and ‘wannabe’ freelancers (this year that was probably mostly unemployed journalism graduates and recently ‘redundant’ journalists).

But stories about paywalls failed to even come close…

News:

  1. Reporters Without Borders to host mirror site for WikiLeaks
  2. Julian Assange: Financial threats to WikiLeaks are serious
  3. Sky News defends Kay Burley’s interview treatment of 38 Degrees director
  4. New tools for Sky journalists as social media strategy moves from one to many
  5. Dates announced for UK leaders’ election debates on Sky, BBC and ITV

Features:

  1. How to: Get started as a freelance journalist
  2. Daniell Morrisey: How to prepare a killer CV
  3. Daniell Morrisey: How to make the most of work experience
  4. How to: find contacts and information about people online
  5. How to: write the perfect press release for journalists

Blog posts:

  1. Ten things every journalist should know in 2010
  2. Wikileaks releases video showing Apache shooting of Reuters news staff
  3. The 100 most influential news media Twitter accounts
  4. Are you on the j-list? The leading innovators in journalism and media in 2010
  5. ‘A real free press for the first time in history’: WikiLeaks editor speaks out in London

Source: Google Analytics

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Jeremy Hunt: Providing local content should be condition of broadcasters’ licences

September 28th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Business, Politics

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will say today that he intends to make the provision of local content a condition of the licences given to commercial broadcasters like ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

In a speech today to the Royal Television Society, Hunt will also tell those channels with a public service broadcasting remit (PSBs) that retaining a prime position in the Electronic Programme Guide or future equivalent would depend on their commitment to “content with a social or cultural benefit”.

I will begin the process of redefining public service broadcasting for the digital age by asking Ofcom to look at how we can ensure that enough emphasis is given to the delivery of local content.

Of course not all PSBs will want, or be able, to be local broadcasters. But I’m determined that we should recognise the public value in those that do.

Echoing the sentiments of his party’s ‘big society’ idea, Hunt will warn broadcasters about not investing in local news:

If we remain centralised, top-down and London-centric – in our media provision as in the rest of government – we will fail to reflect the real demand for stronger local identity that has always existed and that new technologies are now allowing us to meet.

Hunt will add that he has been “strongly encouraged by the serious thought that the BBC has been giving to how it might partner with new local media providers”.

He is expected to say that, despite the UK “fast becoming one of the most atomised societies in the world”, those looking back in the future will see its media as “deeply, desperately centralised.”

They will be astonished to find that three out of five programmes made by our public service broadcasters are produced in London.

They will note that there is nothing but national news on most of the main channels, beamed shamelessly from the centre.

And they will discover token regional news broadcasts that have increasingly been stretched across vast geographical areas – with viewers in Weymouth watching the same so-called “local” story as viewers in Oxford. Viewers in Watford watching the same story as viewers in Chelmsford.

Hunt will also set out his vision for local TV provision:

My vision is of a landscape of local TV services broadcasting for as little as one hour a day;

Free to affiliate to one another – formally or informally – in a way that brings down costs;

Free to offer nationwide deals to national advertisers;

Able to piggyback existing national networks – attracting new audiences and benefitting from inherited ones at the same time;

And able to exploit the potential of new platform technologies such as YouView and mobile TV to grow their service and improve their cost-effectiveness.

In June, Hunt scrapped plans for new local news networks set up by the previous government. Hunt called the plans for Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) in Tyne Tees and Borders, Scotland, and Wales “misguided” and claimed they “risked turning a whole generation of media companies into subsidy junkies, focusing all their efforts not on attracting viewers but on persuading ministers and regulators to give them more cash”.

Read Jeremy Hunt’s RTS speech in full here (PDF)

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ITV Blogs: Why ITV stepped back from Cumbria shootings coverage

June 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

A thoughtful post from ITV’s crime correspondent Keir Simmons on why the broadcaster took the decision last week to reduce its coverage of the aftermath of the shootings in Cumbria two weeks ago:

Yesterday morning our editor Deborah Turness decided that the point had been reached when we should step back from covering the story in Cumbria on the national news. She asked that we now only report on the funerals with a short update – a picture of the person who lost their life and a couple of images of the funeral.

A good explanation of balancing a need for news with sensitivity – and a great example of how a journalist can use a blog to explain these company-wide decisions to viewers.

Full post at this link…

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Will the leader’s election debates engage first time voters?

April 16th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Events

Elizabeth Davies is a freelance journalist and recent graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She reviews the first of the Leaders’ Debates and asks: can the format engage young, first time voters? This post is also featured on her blog.

The BBC grandiosely declared Thursday 15 May to be “the day the skies went quiet”. It was not, unfortunately, because the entire population was glued to ITV’s broadcast of the first of the Leaders’ Debates. It was because a great plume of plane-endangering volcanic ash was infiltrating our airspace, just at a time when news organisations were doing their best to provide audiences with nothing but wall-to-wall debate ‘preview’ pieces.

I was not glued to my television, but only because I don’t have one. Like a significant fraction of the population – a fraction dominated by young first-time voters like myself – I chose to watch the debate online. Unfortunately the quality of ITV’s live stream made it difficult to remain captivated for long. It’s one thing to engage with social media to encourage meaningful online discussion, but quite another to slap so many cursory widgets on the page that no-one is able to load anything.

I’m not a great case study for a first-time voter, merely because I am such a political geek that I watched all of the US presidential primary debates live online back in those days before anyone had heard of Sarah Palin. That does, however, make me something of an expert in pre-election debates.

Last month, following BBC Three’s First Time Voters’ Question Time, I suggested that the Leaders’ Debates were the kind of media spectacle needed to engage young voters in the political process. On that front, ITV failed spectacularly.

Alastair Stewart was a poor choice of moderator, too little known among the country’s young voters to really fire them up. The studio, along with David Cameron, looked like it would drag us back to the 1980s, and the directing suggested one of the cameramen was frequently having a kind of spasm.

Those visual things matter, superficial as they are, because they make the difference in the split second that someone decides to check out what’s happening rather than flicking over to a Friends re-run. That difference is particularly pronounced when you’re trying to engage those who’ve never had the opportunity to vote before; those who are registered in record low numbers and who might proudly attest to not being interested in politics because it’s boring.

Aside from the lack of glamour, the format was a failure. The questions selected for the debate were insipid, formulaic and, frankly, boring. David Cameron told ITN that he worried the debates would be “slow and sluggish”. Never one to fail to deliver on a promise, Cameron himself ensured the debate was both slow and sluggish by displaying almost no personality whatsoever. Gordon Brown performed much better than I expected, but Ipsos Mori’s ‘worm’ showed dial groups just don’t warm to what he’s saying.

It was Nick Clegg’s debate, and the snap polls seem to back that up. He came across largely as a normal human being – impassioned, but not in a fake politician-type way, and as someone whose own frustrations with the current political situation reflected those of the electorate. It is plausible that a significant number of voters who claimed previously to be “undecided” will now be telling the pollsters they’re climbing into the Lib Dem camp. But if the remaining debates are similar to the first, how many of those will be 18 to 25 year olds?

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Cameron’s fear that TV debates might be ‘slow and sluggish’ (video)

April 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting

Conservative leader David Cameron has expressed concern that the televised leader debates, the first of which will be aired on ITV at 8.30pm tonight, could be “slow and sluggish”. He’s worried, he told ITN News, that the public might feel “short-changed.”

We’ll see. But if he prefers fast-paced and high pressure television, why has he refused to appear on a Panorama Special – an election tradition – with Jeremy Paxman?

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Media Guardian: Regional news consortia will miss election contract deadline

April 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media

Attempts to rush through plans for Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) to replace regional news provision by ITV ahead of the general election on 6 May have failed.

The winning bids for the IFNC pilots in Tyne Tees/Border region, Scotland and Wales were announced on 25 March, but contracts for the scheme will not be signed before the election date, a spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed to the Guardian.

Those involved will now have to hope for a Labour victory on polling day as the Conservative party has said it will scrap the IFNC plans.

Full post at this link…

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IFNC pilot will launch Newcastle University’s events on journalism

January 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Events

Newcastle University will this month hold the first in a series of seminars exploring ethnic diversity in the news industry workforce.

The seminar Widening Ethnic Diversity in the News Industry Workforce: Towards Solutions will coincide with the launch of the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) pilot schemes; an initiative in which interested parties are invited to bid to produce local content to replace the ITV regional news network.

Newspaper and broadcasting companies, independent producers and universities have formed Independently Financed News Consortia (IFNCs) to bid for around £21m to run three multi-platform pilot news services in Wales, Scotland and the Tyne Tees and Borders region.

But the news industry as a whole has a poor record of reflecting in its workforce the cultural and ethnic diversity of British society – and minority communities are entitled to expect changes if they are sharing the costs of this project.

Speakers at the event on 20 January at Newcastle University include International Federation of Journalists president Jim Boumelha and Bob Satchwell of the Society of Editors.

The two-year series of seminars, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will take place at six universities across England and Wales.

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