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Delayed Kindle edition for Herald set to launch soon

April 11th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers, Online Journalism

The Herald in Glasgow is expecting to launch an edition for the Amazon Kindle within the next few weeks, following a disagreement with Amazon about delays in the approval process.

The publisher says on its site:

We will be launching a Kindle edition of The Herald soon and are currently going through the approval process with Amazon.

You may have seen our previous notice on this page where we said that Amazon had told us they were putting on hold the launch of any further newspaper publications on the Kindle. We’re delighted to say though that they have now agreed to get The Herald edition up and running as soon as they can.

The Herald previously said that Amazon had stopped approving newspapers for the Kindle – but this claim was denied in a statement to PaidContent:

We are not always able to immediately launch every publisher who contacts us using our more heavyweight integration method. For publishers that want to add their newspaper onto Kindle in self-service fashion, they can also do so via the Amazon Appstore for Android.

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Northern Echo invests £10,000 in bid to ‘save’ Darlington Football Club

February 20th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Newsquest title the Northern Echo has announced an investment of £10,000 as part of a campaign to try and ‘save’ Darlington Football Club.

The newspaper reports that “the money will be used to buy shares in new company, Darlington FC 1883 Ltd, which hopes to purchase the Quakers and prevent it from being liquidated”.

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, said: “The paper has been at the heart of the campaign to save Darlington Football Club from the outset and we have decided to make this investment as a further demonstration of our support.

“These are challenging economic times for all businesses and we recognise the sensitivities of making this investment. However, as Darlington’s local paper, we felt it was something we had to do. Darlington Football Club is an important part of our business, supporting sales of the paper, and it is an investment on behalf of our readers.

“The £10,000 will be split over the three phases of the appeal and I sincerely hope we get that far. It certainly won’t be for the lack of effort.”

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Newsquest editor owns up to writing death penalty editorial

Earlier today I spoke to group editor of Newsquest’s South London titles, Andy Parkes, who refused to confirm whether or not he had penned an editorial printed by the Wimbledon Guardian and Streatham Guardian calling for the return of the death penalty and corporal punishment.

Parkes did say that we could “put his name to it”,  claiming that it was “tongue in cheek” and a “just a bit of fun”.

The piece – and Parkes subsequent comments to Journalism.co.uk – proved to be controversial however and he was asked to appear on BBC Radio Scotland this afternoon alongside Guardian blogger Roy Greenslade, who first blogged about the editorial.

Parkes admitted on the show to writing the leader, and said that he stands by the call for the death penalty and corporal punishment to be reinstated.

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Editorial in Newsquest papers calling for capital punishment ‘was just a bit of fun’

An unsigned editorial that appeared on the pages of the Streatham Guardian and Wimbledon Guardian calling for the return of capital punishment does not represent the views of publisher Newsquest and was “just a bit of fun”, the papers’ group editor said this morning.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Andy Parkes denied the editorials represented the views of Newsquest or Newsquest’s parent company, Gannett.

Parkes said the piece was “tongue in cheek” and “a bit of fun”, and had been “blown out of all proportion” in a post by the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade this morning, which initially claimed that the piece had been run across Newsquest’s South London Guardian series and elsewhere.

Parkes refused to comment on who wrote the piece at first, but later said: “You can put my name to it”. Pressed over whether he was the author, he refused to say any more, adding: “I absolutely don’t want to get into this any further”.

The hard-line leading articles – one of which was headlined simply “Rioting scum: the solution is as simple as 1, 2, 3″ – call for capital and corporal punishment to be brought back in the wake of the recent rioting and looting.

The full comment reads:

RIOTING SCUM – the solution is as simple as 1,2,3.

1 Bring back corporal punishment.

2 Bring back capital punishment.

3 Throw out all the stupid namby-pamby laws and regulations which actually stop adults interacting with children.

The first two are so blindingly obvious no more needs to be said.

The third is equally sensible – allow parents to discipline their offspring as they need to, put power back into the hands of teachers and actually encourage, not discourage, adults to be involved with children.

Personally I’d ditch CRB checks altogether – after all, if you use points 1 and 2 correctly they would be far more effective than any CRB check could ever be. And, as for the suggestion an adult shouldn’t be allowed to carry other people’s children in the car… blah, blah, blah unbelievable. It’s no wonder adults are are terrified to get involved. I heard the other day that teachers are now discouraged from even raising their voices – the world’s gone mad.

Of course, if you’re looking for a more radical solution. One idea would be to simply arm pensioners. On the same day you get your bus pass you receive a handgun and the legal right to use it. Those in post office queues might be a bit more jumpy, but I guarantee we’d have a new-found respect for the elderly.

As well as appearing in print in the the Wimbledon Guardian and Streatham Guardian, the piece appears to have been published on the websites of the Lewisham and Greenwich News Shopper, Surrey Comet, Waltham Forest Guardian and Watford Observer, and Wandsworth Guardian. This was due to a “technical complexity” that meant content was syndicated automatically within London, a member of staff at the Wandsworth Guardian said.

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Opinion: Newsquest’s social media policy doesn’t inspire journalists to use Twitter

August 9th, 2011 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Newsquest journalists are not exactly being encouraged to use Twitter and other social media, according to the company’s new social media policy sent to employees today (9 August).

The policy advises “the internet is provided primarily for business use” but the company recognises “employees participate in social networking on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo and Friendster”. No kidding.

It seems a pretty standard policy for local newspapers, such as one I seem to remember Johnston Press sending out when I worked for the company a couple of years ago. JP even went as far to ban the use of mobile phones in the office, resulting in most reporters quietly ignoring the rule for the sake of gathering stories.

The statement shows the company fails embrace the power of social media as a source or for traffic referral. The statement should be reassuring both journalists and sales teams that they don’t need to hover their mouse over the minimise icon of Tweedeck in case the editor walks by.

Newsquest’s statement does state “exceptional circumstances may apply” when journalists can use social media for “editorial research”.

Presumably any Newsquest journalist reporting on the riots may be permitted to look at Twitter today. But what about checking the WI’s Facebook page for details of the next coffee morning? Could you argue the case as exceptional? Hardly encouraging, is it?

And where the social media policy is restrictive, it is not helpful in offering guidance. How about “don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t say if representing the company on the radio” or “be sensible in your use of social media”?

Newsquest’s full social media policy is below. Presumably whoever wrote it is unaware that they are using the Twitter standard of asterisks to denote *emphasis*.

UPDATE: Newsquest has responded explaining that this social media policy is better described as “some HR ‘acceptable use’ advice.

Roger Green, managing director of digital media at Newsquest, sent a statement explaining the company has a ‘social media best practice for journalists’ document available on its wiki.

Our social media best practice guidelines have been promoted in a number of well-attended training workshops run over the past few months by my heads of editorial and audience development. The most recent of these was just three days ago in Basildon where it was stressed that the effective use of social media is part & parcel of modern journalism.

These promotional efforts, along with the energy and enthusiasm of Newsquest journalists have generated a growing number of cutting-edge story-telling successes.

A leaked copy of the guidelines on personal use of social media:

*Hard copies of this Policy are on the notice boards.*

* *

*SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY*

*PURPOSE*

This policy on social networking websites is in addition to the
Company’s existing policy on email and internet use.

As employees are aware, the internet is provided primarily for
business use. The Company recognises that many employees use the
internet for personal purposes and that many employees participate in
social networking on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo
and Friendster.

The purpose of this policy is to outline the responsibilities of
employees using the internet to access social networking website,
which are not limited to the named sites above and include
photo-sharing sites, blogs, web forums and other associated websites.

*USE OF THE INTERNET*

The Company permits employees to access social networking websites on
the internet for personal use during certain times. These times are:

* before and after work hours; and
* during the one-hour break at lunch.

The Company reserves the right to restrict access to these websites.

The Company permits employees to access social networking websites on
the internet for business use as and when required providing this use
has a positive impact on the employee’s work and does not interfere
with the employee’s primary job responsibilities.

*PERSONAL CONDUCT*

The Company respects an employee’s right to a private life. However,
the Company must also ensure that confidentiality and its reputation
are protected. It therefore requires employees using social networking
websites to:

* refrain from identifying themselves as working for the Company;
* ensure that they do not conduct themselves in a way that is
detrimental to the employer; and
* take care not to allow their interaction on these websites to
damage working relationships between members of staff, advertisers
and clients of the Company.

*Business Use – Exceptional Circumstances*

Exceptional circumstances may apply, where in a work capacity, an
employee may identify themselves as working for the company which are
as follows:

· In promoting a Company event linked to one of the Company products

· Through one of the Company’s products social networking pages

· Editorial research

In these circumstances, employees are responsible for representing the
company in a professional manner.

All employees should ensure that any personal blogs and other personal
posts contain disclaimers that make it clear that the opinions
expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the
views of the company.

Employees are not permitted to write recommendations or referrals on
social networking sites in relation to the Company.

Employees should not make reference to any customers, advertiser or
staff without obtaining their express permission to do so.

In any event, employees should at all times comply with the law in
regard to copyright and plagiarism.

*MONITORING OF INTERNET ACCESS AT WORK*

The Company reserves the right to monitor employees’ internet usage,
but will endeavour to inform an affected employee when this is to
happen and the reasons for it. The Company considers that valid
reasons for checking an employee’s internet usage include suspicions
that the employee has:

* been spending an excessive amount of time viewing websites that
are not work-related; or
* Use of the internet for personal use during working hours
* acted in a way that damages the reputation of the Company and/or
breaches commercial confidentiality.

The Company reserves the right to retain information that it has
gathered on employees’ use of the internet for a period of one year.

*SECURITY AND IDENTITY THEFT*

Employees should be aware that social networking websites are a public
forum, particularly if the employee is part of a “network”. Employees
should not assume that their entries on any website will remain
private. Employees should never send abusive or defamatory messages.

Privacy and feelings of others should be respected at all times.
Employees should obtain the permission of individuals before posting
contact details or pictures. Care should be taken to avoid using
language which could be deemed as offensive to others.

Employees must also be security conscious and should take steps to
protect themselves from identity theft, for example by restricting the
amount of personal information that they give out. Social networking
websites allow people to post detailed personal information such as
date of birth, place of birth and favourite football team, which can
form the basis of security questions and passwords. In addition,
employees should:

* ensure that no information is made available that could provide a
person with unauthorised access to the Company and/or any
confidential information; and
* refrain from recording any confidential information regarding the
Company on any social networking website.

*MANAGING THE POLICY*

If information on the site raises a cause for concern with regard to
conflict of interest, defamation or any other breach of the Social
Networking Policy, employees should raise the issue with their line
manager.

If occasion arise of what might be read to be online bullying or
harassment, these will be dealt with in the same way as other such
instances under the Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policy.

*DISCIPLINARY ACTION*

Non-compliance of the Social Networking policy or in instances where
the Company is brought into disrepute as a result of non-compliance
may constitute misconduct or gross misconduct and disciplinary action
will be applied. Please refer to the Company’s Disciplinary Policy.

 

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Newsquest South London: new four-day strike announced

June 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Job losses

Journalists at Newsquest titles in South London will go on strike for four days next week, from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 June.

The announcement follows a two-day strike last week. Staff are in dispute with the publisher over plans for a reduction in editorial space, redundancies across all sections of editorial, a review of a two per cent pay rise and an office relocation.

NUJ mother of chapel Thais Portillo-Shrimpton said today that staff had not heard from management since last week’s strike.

NUJ negotiator Jenny Lennox said: “We’ve had a very successful two-day strike last week, and it is worth noting that a dozen journalists have joined the union since dispute began. This reflects the deep anger of journalists employed by Newsquest at their bosses’ determination to avoid consulting with staff on the future of their papers.”

At the end of May, union members Newsquest titles in the area, which covers Surrey, Sutton and Twickenham, voted almost unanimously for strike action, with 22 out of 23 returns of a ballot in favour.

Staff have also been working to rule since 15 April.

Earlier in May the company announced 12 job cuts at a series of titles in the area, including the loss of the sports and leisure department at one of the South London offices.

Staff are running a strike blog which can be found at this link.

Related content:

Enfield nine in unanimous vote for further strike action

NUJ contemns disastrous Johnston Press job cuts in Yorkshire

BBC journalists to begin strike ballot over job cuts

 

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Strike dates announced at Newsquest South London

June 9th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Job losses

Journalists at titles within Newsquest South London have announced that their planned strike action will take place on Wednesday and Thursday next week (15 and 16 June). The strikes follow a dispute over redundancies, a reduction in editorial space, a review of a 2 per cent pay rise and an office relocation.

At the end of May Journalism.co.uk reported that members of the National Union of Journalists at Newsquest South London voted in favour of strike action, with 22 out of 23 returns of a ballot in favour.

Staff at newspapers in the area, which covers Surrey, Sutton and Twickenham, have been working to rule since 15 April.

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said: “Our members’ overwhelming decision to take strike action in defence of jobs and quality was the inevitable result of a wrong-headed management policy. But it is not too late for the company to show some sense and sit down with us to discuss the future security of the papers which are so important to our members and their communities.”

Earlier last month the division announced 12 job cuts at a series of titles in the area, including the loss of the sports and leisure department at one of the South London offices.

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Newsquest staff to vote on strike action over ‘subbing hub’

April 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Local media, Newspapers

Nearly 80 Newsquest journalists are to vote on whether to take strike action in protest over plans to axe 14 subbing jobs in Darlington and York.

Newsquest plans to create a subbing hub in Bradford, which is 70 miles from Darlington, where the production of the weekly papers will take place.

The sub-editing of the dailies, the Northern Echo in Darlington and the Press in York, will remain at the existing locations.

Four jobs will be created in Bradford as subbing operations move during the next six months.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Darlington, Durham, Northallerton, Bishop Auckland and York will take part in the ballot, which closes on 3 May.

“Newsquest needs to convince us, their staff and in all probability themselves, that this plan can work but management has shied away from that debate. At some point Newsquest will have to stop the cuts and start taking all their staff with them – in all senses of the words,” NUJ northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said in a statement.

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NUJ: Bolton strike on, Sheffield strike off

February 9th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Job losses, Local media

Journalists at the Newsquest-owned Bolton News voted yesterday to strike in protest against an ongoing pay freeze.

Twenty-one NUJ members took part in the ballot, with 16 voting in favour of strike action, the union said in a release.

NUJ deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Newsquest and its American owners have been relentless in their pursuit of higher profits at the expense of journalists.

“The growing anger amongst journalists throughout the group and their determination to bring the company to the negotiating table is clear.”

Newsquest has suffered a series of strikes in recent months as a result of its ongoing pay freeze and relocation of production staff.

The company brought the pay freeze to an end at the end of last year with a 2 per cent pay offer, but only for certain titles. In contrast, staff across titles in Wales, Gloucestershire, and the South Midlands were recently asked to take a week’s unpaid leave in order to help control costs.

Meanwhile, NUJ members working for Johnston Press in Sheffield have called off planned strikes after reaching a deal with management over plans to cut production jobs at a centralised “editorial hub” in the city.

The Sheffield hub produces pages for a range of Johnston Press titles in Sheffield, Doncaster, Chesterfield and North and Mid Derbyshire and South, West and North Yorkshire.

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Newsquest ad revenue drops almost 8% but digital revenue is on the rise

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

Fourth-quarter advertising revenues at UK publisher Newsquest were down 7.8 per cent year on year in 2010, while digital revenues were on the up, according to figures published by US parent company Gannett.

Gannett released its financial results for 2010 yesterday, including a detailed report of it’s fourth-quarter revenue.

The US company went on to describe Newsquest as “an internet leader in the UK”, claiming that its network of web sites attracted over 65 million monthly page impressions from approximately 8.8 million unique users in December.

You can read the full release from Gannett here…

Journalism.co.uk reported last week that staff at Newsquest titles in certain regions were understood to have been asked to take a week’s unpaid leave in response to “poor trading conditions”.

An internal Newsquest memo circulated in Wales, Gloucestershire, and the South Midlands said that revenues are “considerably below last year’s performance” and therefore action needed to be taken “to drive revenues and control costs sooner rather than later”.

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