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Newsquest: An update on the reported pay freeze thaw

December 24th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Local media

There have been several reports this week that a long-standing, group-wide pay freeze at Newsquest has shown signs of thawing. Journalism.co.uk has reported extensively on the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) campaign against the pay freeze and the series of strikes that have taken place at Newsquest titles in the past few months.

So has the pay freeze been lifted? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as that. Here’s what we know:

  • An NUJ update and official has confirmed that a 2 per cent pay increase has been offered at some Newsquest centres;
  • The centres that have been confirmed so far are Bradford, York and Darlington;
  • The NUJ has not yet returned our calls to confirm what centres, if any, in the south or Scotland have been made an offer;
  • Journalism.co.uk has learned that in the current offers, no move to backdating pay has been included;
  • The date from which a pay increase would take place – if the offers are accepted – depends on each centre’s “pay anniversary”, a date agreed between NUJ chapels and management when new pay or holiday settlements would be introduced.

A step in the right direction – but there’s more to come on this story…

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paidContent:UK: Web could play deciding role in local media mergers, says Ofcom

December 2nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media

Interesting report from paidContent:UK on what role the web will play in competition issues in proposed local media mergers according to Ofcom. Summarised by paidContent:UK and from Ofcom’s final Local Media Assessment guidance published as part of a review of the current media merger landscape:

Ofcom will factor in any online local media operators, when considering whether there is sufficient competition to two merging parties.

In theory, that could see Trinity Mirror, Northcliffe and Global Radio, in the event of any such merger, arguing that their local papers and stations would not dominate local ad sales because sites like Gumtree or Google also sell local ads in the same patch.

Full story on paidContent:UK at this link…

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Enders’ Douglas McCabe: Regional newspaper forecast was ‘unnecessarily pessimistic’

November 16th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media, Newspapers

A media analyst from Enders Analysis has said the company’s prediction that half of the UK’s 1,300 regional newspapers would close in five years was “unnecessarily pessimistic”. Founder Claire Enders made the forecast in evidence to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in June last year.

“You aren’t seeing closures on anything like that scale, and we haven’t seen the all-important dailies closing,” Douglas McCabe from Enders told the Society of Editors conference today.

Read the full report on Douglas McCabe’s comments on HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk.

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Headlines and Deadlines: My first death knock

October 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Liverpool Daily Post and Echo digital journalist Alison Gow recalls one of her first “death knocks”:

I saw the boat, and it stopped being a lark. The Double R was a corpse – a beached wreck with her paintwork sandblasted away and holes punched in her keel. She lay, tilted to the side, with the cabin smashed in. That was when I truly understood I was reporting on the aftermath of a tragedy. Someone I vaguely knew had gone out, buttoning his coat against the storm, to secure his boat and means of employment, and he had died an unimaginable death.

Full post on Headlines and Deadlines at this link…

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Eastern Daily Press providing content through Foursquare

September 20th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Thanks to Stephen Keable from the Eastern Daily Press for alerting us to the title’s use of Foursquare after we reported on Metro’s deal with the location-based service.

The EDP already has a Foursquare presence. When users of the service check in to many locations around Norfolk, the EDP provides restaurant reviews, mobile downloads and information on where to buy a copy of the paper locally. It seems there’s only been a couple of check-ins so far, but as if Foursquare user numbers grow the title will already have itself represented on the network.

Let us know if your title is using Foursquare and how in the comments below.

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Scoopland: Alternative NUJ Regional Press Award Winners

June 30th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Events, Local media

Deputy editor of the Camden New Journal Richard Osley shares his thoughts on prize-worthy regional journalism, following last night’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Regional Press Awards.

The News in Portsmouth took four awards at the event yesterday. While congratulating the paper, Osley recommends the Cambridge News, Kent on Sunday, the Argus in Brighton, the South London Press and Birmingham Mail.

Full Scoopland post at this link…

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Local Newspaper Week: Mapping a week’s local news headlines

May 10th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Local media, Newspapers

It’s Local Newspaper Week this week – an event organised by the Newspaper Society to recognise the role of newspapers in local communities. This year’s focus is local independent journalism and holding public bodies to account.

To mark the week, we want to create a snapshot of a week’s headlines from local newspapers across the UK. We’ve kickstarted the map with a picture of Journalism.co.uk’s local newspaper the Argus in Brighton, but want your pictures of newspaper A-boards or headlines from where you are – whether you’re a journalist at that title or a local reader.

You can email the images to laura [at] journalism.co.uk; upload them to our Local Newspaper Week Flickr group at this link; or send them via Twitter using the hashtag #lnw to @journalismnews.

Please include where the photo was taken (village/town/city at least) so we can map it and your name if you want a mention.


View #lnw: Local Newspaper Week headlines map in a larger map

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Outsourcing photography – what cost to local news organisations?

April 22nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Comment, Local media, Photography

Last week, the Associated Press’ (AP) commercial photography arm, AP Images, launched a new service and a new revenue stream. The new Editorial Assignment Service offers other news organisations the chance to hire out its photojournalists to cover events for their reporting.

(Read more about the launch on the British Journal of Photography’s site and Photo Archive News.)

Twenty-five AP photographers are available via the assignment service and the images on display on the marketing site are great quality. For the AP it’s a new source of revenue and use of existing resources to create a money-making service; for other news organisations – as far as the agency is hoping – it could be a labour-saving device, allowing them to outsource work on far-flung or one-off assignments.

I’m thinking in particular of local media and newspapers here. Many of whom are already AP members in the US – some of whom have left the agency as a results of increased membership fees. Much is made of multimedia and the potential of online publishing platforms to mix words with rich images and more. But where do images from the field stand on a local or regional newsroom’s budget at a time of cuts/limited financial resources?

Some such news organisations are turning photo departments into visual departments – adding video to images – and creating their own money-making products by putting these desks at the heart of the newsroom. US newspaper the Star-Ledger and its website NJ.com is now generating revenue from specialist coverage of local events, in particular high-school sports, and as such video and images remains high on the agenda.

While outsourcing could bring a greater range of images to some news sites and free organisations from the labour of obtaining them, the local knowledge and understanding of an audience can’t be outsourced or replaced by the AP. Local media outlets wanting stronger visuals would do well to develop their own rather than outsource and build products for both a multimedia and potentially commercial end.

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Media Release: Birmingham Post launches sister title Birmingham Post Lite

As reported by The Business Desk West Midlands earlier this week, Trinity Mirror is launching a new freesheet as a sister paper to the paid-for Birmingham Post, which changed from a daily to weekly publication last year.

Birmingham Post Lite will be delivered to around 18,000 homes in the south Birmingham areas of Harborne and Moseley and will contain a selection of the Birmingham Post’s editorial content and material from its Post Property magazine, says a release.

The new newspaper will not carry the paid-for Post’s specialised business
and financial news. Instead it will combine south Birmingham news with the features and leisure content from the Post’s award-winning team.

The BusinessDesk (TBD) had the date pegged as April 22, but suggests the launch is a direct response to plans for a new rival title, the Birmingham Press, from newspaper entrepreneur Chris Bullivant.

“The title (…) is intended to go head-to-head with the Press in the battle to secure advertising from the city’s mid-market estate agents,” says TBD’s report.

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Your guide to the CMS Report on the Future for Local and Regional Media

April 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Local media, Media releases, Newspapers

The UK parliament’s cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee published the results of its year-long inquiry into the state and future of local and regional UK media today, calling for greater investigation of and stronger rules for council-run newspapers.

“We endorse the sentiment that it is local journalism, rather than local newspapers, that needs saving,” says the report.

“The two are far from mutually exclusive, but newspapers need to be innovative in the way they train their journalists to work in a multiplatform world.”

The full report is embedded below, courtesy of Scribd, and you can read previous Journalism.co.uk reports on the committee’s evidence sessions at this link. But for your perusing pleasure, here’s our breakdown of some of the key sections and quotes:

  • p4 – “the broadcast pool”: “We take note of the Press Association’s concerns about the exclusivity of the ‘broadcast pool’ (video content of news events that are only allowed to be covered by a single camera, and is then shared between the BBC, ITN and Sky) and conclude that it is no longer appropriate to distinguish between broadcast and non-broadcast media when newspapers are increasingly using video on their websites.”
  • p9 – breakdown of local media operators and owners;
  • p11 – the role of local and regional newspapers in “the news pyramid”;
  • p16 – “We welcome the BBC’s proposals to increase the number of external links on its websites. We recommend that every local BBC website should link to the local newspaper websites for that area.”
  • p17 – Committee’s views on state subsidies for local and regional media.
  • p17-21 – recommendations for changes to cross-media ownership rules and regulations;
  • p24-5 – recommendations regarding local authority newspapers and council publications;
  • p28 – “For a long time local newspapers have made relatively little change to their business models. Now, along with the other traditional media platforms of television and radio, they face a vast array of digital and internet services, providing relatively easy market entry, all vying for advertising revenue and readerships. While some economic factors are cyclical, other changes of a structural nature are likely to be permanent. As is clear from the evidence we have heard from local newspapers themselves, local newspapers must innovate and re-evaluate the traditional model of local print media in order to survive in the new digital era.”
  • p33 – “the PSB obligations and other regulatory burdens on ITV need to be reduced, if not removed”;
  • p38 – recommendations regarding the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) plans – though these are a little out of date given that the winning bids for the pilots have now been announced;
  • p51Local radio and localness and the importance of community radio.
  • p60-4 – On Google’s impact on local newspapers.

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