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Pricing of the i newspaper: Editor on why 20p, and not free

November 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

The editor of the i newspaper, Stefano Hatfield, was asked at the Society of Editors conference today why the newspaper was priced at 20p and not given away free.

The i first launched in October 2010. Now, more than two years on, Hatfield said the pricing point “works both to establish a quality proposition and it’s also helpful in supermarkets establishing a value proposition”.

If you’d have gone free, in consumers mind [it would have] immediately been up against Metro and we didn’t want to be up against Metro, we wanted to be up against the Guardian, Times, Telegraph.

He added that when the newspaper is sold in supermarkets, therefore, the 20p pricing “is an advantage”.

He added that the “key thing is it’s an active choice to purchase the paper … rather than having it just given to you.”

The latest results from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which published national newspaper circulation reports for October on Friday (9 November), showed a 44 per cent increase year-on-year in average daily circulation for the i, which reached 304,691 in October this year.

This also represented a 7.7 per cent increase month-on-month.

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Complaint against i newspaper for ‘misleading’ claim of no celebrity gossip upheld

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against the i newspaper that its claim in a television advert that the paper does not contain “celeb gossip nonsense” is misleading.

The adjudication, published here, makes specific reference to the contents of the paper’s daily Caught and Social column, which the complainant felt was “dedicated to celebrity stories”.

In a defence advertising service Clearcast said i “concentrated on newsworthy stories without sidetracking readers to the kind of celebrity gossip published in red top newspapers and celebrity magazines” and believed the ad made this clear. It added that the complainant had misunderstood the claim to mean that there would be no mention of celebrities at all.

They said this was unrealistic because celebrities featured in a range of newsworthy stories that i reported on that were of significant interest.

But in its assessment the ASA upheld the complaint.

The ASA noted the Caught and Social column featured stories about celebrities and included sections entitled Scene & Heard, OMG, iquote and ichat that quoted celebrities and provided updates about where they had been and what they were doing. We considered that readers would understand from the ad that there was no celebrity gossip in i. However, we noted featured stories in two different publications from March included headings that stated “Alex fancies a pop at 007″, “Cilla moves with the times” and “Dame Helen and Russell snog for fans”. We considered that readers would interpret these stories as celebrity gossip and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.

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Financial Times: PCC chief demands meetings with national newspaper publishers

The Financial Times reports this morning that the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Lady Buscombe, has demanded individual meetings with every publisher of national newspapers in the UK, including the Financial Times itself.

The face-to-face meetings are in an attempt to seek reassurance “that ethical scandals which have afflicted the industry will not be repeated”, according to the FT.

In an interview to coincide with publication of the PCC’s annual review, Lady Buscombe told the FT that “trust in the system was of paramount importance” after it had been undermined by scandals involving phone-hacking and other illegal journalistic methods. Trust was “one of the most important principles” of self-regulation, she said, adding: “If we are going to have trust in the system, I need [the publishers'] assurance that, whether it’s phone-hacking or any activities like that, it will never happen again.”

See the full FT report here… (may require registration)

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Media Guardian: Sport Media Group suspends trading

April 1st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

The publisher of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport, Sport Media Group, has suspended trading on the stockmarket according to a report by the Media Guardian today.

The decision follows a “deterioration in trading”, the report adds.

SMG, which in 2009 was saved from going out of business by former proprietor and West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, said that the business has experienced an “insufficient recovery” since the poor weather in December with “consequential pressure on the company’s working capital position”.

Full report here…

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MediaGuardian: The Daily to launch in the UK within months

March 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The Media Guardian reports that News Corporation’s iPad newspaper the Daily will be available in the UK within months, following comments by News Corporation’s chief digital officer Jon Miller at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

The arrival of the Daily in the UK will depend on when Apple’s new online subscription model becomes available in this country, the report adds.

The chief digital officer of Murdoch’s News Corporation, Jon Miller, told the Abu Dhabi Media Summit that the Daily would be available in western Europe “not too long from now”. When asked if that would be in the first half of this year, he answered yes.

Full story on Media Guardian at this link.

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Newsday: The one-off paper aiming to ‘revitalise local news’

February 10th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Hyperlocal, Local media

Next month a team of journalists in Hertfordshire will come together to produce a one-off tabloid local newspaper called Newsday: The Vocal Local. The project aims to “revitalise” local news by adopting a typical ‘hyperlocal’ approach, focusing on getting out into the community and sourcing stories from the targeted audience.

The person at the heart of the project is Kate Dobinson, a freelance journalist and English literature graduate. After working on her local newspaper she said she recognised the value of being a ‘roving reporter’ but at the same time felt time and resource limitations in local newsrooms hinders the extent to which this can take place.

So she came up with a plan which she hoped would “revitalise local news”, rounding up a team of journalists to work as reporters, designers and editors to produce a one-off publication with a focus on community.

She told Journalism.co.uk a bit more about the project:

I was working on my local newspaper and my brief from the editor was: get out. Get out and talk to people, be nosy, ask questions, don’t come back until you have stories that we’re too bogged down with deadlines to find. My method wasn’t intelligent; all I did was pop into the florist/market/car boot (sale) ask people if they had any news and proffer slightly stale hob nobs in return. With a bit of prompting (most people had great newsworthy stuff but didn’t actually know it was newsworthy) I got a bunch of yarns and ended up being kicked out of the office permanently to keep it up.

Obviously it isn’t a realistic option for a small newsroom skint on time and manpower to traipse around all day for ideas that only might pay off. But it did get me thinking that the financial strait-jacket that many poor locals are laced in is slowly hacking at the idea of the ‘roving reporter’, making it difficult to truly capitalise on a connection with the community and to find imaginative content that readers will want to buy week in week out. It made me want to experiment with and revitalise local news in my area. Finding stories on my own made me realise that I didn’t need a newsroom and a coaster to get a paper out; maybe I could do it with a few more reporters, some raw skills and a bit more coffee.

After advertising for a team of writers and designers more than 25 people signed up to be involved in the project, while West Herts College volunteered some of their media students and facilities to help with production, she said.

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OJR: News publishers should look to the e-book model

September 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Online Journalism

As online publishers seek new ways of making money from digital news, Robert Niles suggests that news outlets could benefit from using the e-book rental model.

Writing on the Online Journalism Review website, Niles suggests they should capitalise on a model which he says has grown by 71 per cent in the last seven years in the US, especially when it comes to publishing in-depth journalism.

Every year, some top newspaper enterprise reporting projects end up as books. What if some newsrooms flipped the development cycle, and initiated some of their more extensive enterprise reporting projects as e-books, available for sale or for rent?

(…) That makes sense to me. Even as my consumption of news online has sated my appetite for the commodity news I can find in a printed newspaper, I still keep buying books and magazines for longer, more detailed narratives. I happily pay for that content in print because I can’t find an alternative that’s better or cheaper (or both) online.

See his full post here…

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American Society of News Editors fights back with ‘mythbusting’ columns

May 18th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

In the US, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) is publishing a series of opinion pieces aimed at “reinforcing the vitally important role of newspapers and professional journalism in the digital age”. The pieces will be available for reproduction by ASNE members and news outlets and will address the following “myths”, says the Society:

  • Newspapers are washed up;
  • Newspapers are no longer relevant;
  • News media are biased;
  • Newspapers are not connected to community;
  • The web and digital technologies are killing news organizations.

In April 2009 the ASNE changed its N from newspapers to news; three of the five myths up for busting, however, focus on newspapers…

Full release at this link…

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FT Chinese staff threatened with redundancies

A group of journalists working for FT Chinese, a Chinese language website, are facing redundancy if they do not return to China, on half their salaries, the National Union of Journalists has reported.

Two of the four Chinese journalists are British citizens, and they already have “inferior” terms and conditions to other journalists at the Financial Times, it was claimed by the NUJ today.

The National Union of Journalists Financial Times chapel is threatening to ballot for action, if plans are not reversed.

The NUJ chapel at the Financial Times voted unanimously – at a meeting attended by over 80 members – to demand that the threat of the redundancies be lifted.

“We condemn the outrageous treatment of journalists on FT Chinese. We demand no redundancies on FT Chinese and that the journalists be placed on the same terms and conditions as the rest of FT editorial. It is unconscionable that the FT is sending FT Chinese journalists into harm’s way. We will ballot for industrial action if these demands are not met,” said a spokesperson from the NUJ office branch.

One of the FT Chinese staff wrote to colleagues: “It was a tremendous shock to the entire team. This reminded us of a very old Chinese saying: ‘kill the donkey after it has done its job at the mill’. The best equivalent in English I can think of is ‘kick down the ladder’.”

A email sent to FT staff on behalf of the NUJ chapel, said it “was shocked but not surprised to hear about the Chinese journalist situation”.

“This is no longer the FT that we all joined. The FT used to be a place of compassion, where people were looked after and, in return, gave the job their all.

“Now there are job cuts while new hires are ongoing, constant pressure from bosses to get more in a shrinking paper, filing for the web for ft.com and blogging, and yet no personal support in return. This new FT is not the great place to work of the past. The end result will be lack of commitment to the paper, which will, eventually, show up in the quality of the end product.

The Financial Times told Journalism.co.uk it did not have a comment to make at this point.

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The Indy’s new wall

Independent.co.uk has a new wall, but it’s not of the Murdochian sort. It’s a News Wall displaying free content.

“It’s basically just a different way of presenting content. It simply pulls in new stories which have pictures attached and presents them,” editorial director for digital, Jimmy Leach, told Journalism.co.uk.

“It’s an aggregator of our own content, but trying to be an engaging one. Partly different presentation and partly, to be honest, an SEO play, giving the spiders something to crawl over,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of his colleagues, Pandora diarist Alice-Azania Jarvis,  isn’t entirely convinced. But what’s it for, she tweeted. Leach replied: “It’s a wall. It has news on it. It’s the News Wall. C’mon, what else do you need?”

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