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INM signs £40m print deal in Northern Ireland

September 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Amid all the ominous news surrounding Independent News&Media a more positive story for the company has surfaced:

A £40m print deal will make Northern Ireland one of the biggest producers of daily newspapers in Europe, after INM signed contracts with the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror.

INM will now be printing all Mirror titles and the Telegraph titles, as well as the Sun, News of the World, the Daily Express and Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the London Independent.

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

“The first deal sees all sections of the Daily Telegraph printed in the company’s high-tech plant at Newry for the next 15 years. The second deal brings the Daily Mirror to the Belfast Telegraph print plant for a seven-year term.

“The deals represent two of the longest print agreements signed in the region and have been made possible by an IN&M investment strategy which has seen more than £50m spent on new presses in both centres.”

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Express under fire for advertorials again

Only last week Journalism.co.uk reported how the Daily Express was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for masking advertorials as features.

Yesterday, as reported by MediaGuardian and others, the Express again came under fire for a similar incident.

An advertisement for Goldshield’s Rozip took up the bottom half of a page, with an article on the qualities of the product sitting on top.

Previously the ASA investigated as to ‘whether the features had been controlled by the advertiser and also whether the claims made by the products were true or exaggerated’.

They came to the conclusion that ‘both publisher and advertiser were purposefully trying to get around elements of the advertising code by presenting the articles and adverts in this way’.

When criticised for unsubstantiated claims made by the Express journalist about the healing properties of the products, Goldshield’s Rozip responded that ‘they were not responsible’ for the contents of the article.

Monitoring staff at the ASA said that the advertisement and the article were clearly linked. As with the previous cases reported last week, Goldshield had booked the ad on the understanding that the editorial would also appear.

The ASA state that because of the ‘reciprocal arrangement’, Goldshield in fact had implicit control over the top half of the page and as such Goldshield was responsible for ensuring the contents of the entire page complied with the Code.

In the latest issue of Private Eye (August 21 – September 3) it was suggested that the Express might not be the only newspaper guilty of this tactic. On August 5, the Evening Standard printed a piece about a world cruise that the Eye described as an ‘unmarked advertorial’ – it fell opposite a full-page ad for the very same cruise. The Evening Standard article in question can be found at this link.

It seems no action has yet been taken against the Evening Standard; the Daily Express on the other hand has been told ‘the ad must not appear again in its current form’.

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MediaGuardian: Express reporters will input own copy as 80 sub-editors axed

October 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Journalism

Journalists at the Daily Express will input their copy directly into page templates, as the paper cuts 80 sub-editing staff.

A group of 26 former sub-editors will oversee production operations and decide on the layout of the templates.

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New study measures social media success of national newspapers

September 18th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

This week Martin Belham, of Currybet.net, released his study into the nationals newspapers’ use of web 2.0 tools, such as news aggregation and social media sites.

His aim was this:

“I wanted to examine, firstly, how well British newspaper content was performing on prominent social media sites, and secondly, see if there was any correlation between the placement of icons, widgets and links, and the presence of newspaper content on these services. In short, I wanted to measure UK newspaper success with social media services.”

In order to do this he monitored eight popular social bookmarking and link sharing sites for a month, checking for the presence of UK newspaper URLs on their front or most ‘popular’ pages. Between July 15 and August 14 he counted just over 900 URLs from 12 major newspapers across the services (the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror, News Of The World, The Scotsman, The Sun, The Telegraph and The Times)

Here’s a peek at some of the findings:

  • The Telegraph was the most successful UK newspaper in this study, with 243 prominent URLs on social media sites between July 15 and August 14 2008.
  • The poorest performances amongst the nationals were from the Daily Star (4 links), and the Daily Express and The Mirror (3 links each)
  • The correlation between having an ‘icon’ or ‘button’ for a specific social media service, and success on that service appears to be weak or non-existent.

The full study can be downloaded from here, for £25.

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Media Guardian: More than 80 journalists will lose jobs at Express Newspapers

September 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Newspapers

The Daily Express and Sunday Express will dimiss more than 80 journalists by the end of the year. A new editorial production system Woodwing is also being introduced at the papers, which will allow journalists to write some stories directly onto the page layout – bypassing production staff.

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Express Newspapers staff vote for strike action

March 27th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

Journalists at the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star are to undertake a series of 24-hour strikes over pay.

Strike action – scheduled for April 3, 10 and 17 – was approved at a National Union of Journalists (NUJ) meeting last night and is a reaction to ‘a below inflation pay offer’ – 3 per cent – made by the papers’ management to staff.

A statement from the NUJ also expressed concerns over owner Richard Desmond’s involvement with editorial decision making at the titles.

“We want the editors to be left to edit, free from commercial interference that puts opportunities to boost circulation ahead of journalistic integrity. Our titles need real investment, instead we face continuous rounds of budget cuts and inadequate staffing levels. Now we’re being told to take a below inflation pay offer and be grateful we’re not facing more redundancies this year – we’ve simply had enough,” said Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ President and union representative at the Express.

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Accessibility 2.0: The Guardian and The Daily Express

November 20th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

We knew from the start of this project that there would be some anomalies in our results given the subjective nature of our testing (individuals using different types of assistive equipment with differing degrees of success).

As such, Stephen Dunn, chief technical strategist from Guardian Unlimited, was right to point out that our volunteers had missed the invisible links on Guardian.co.uk, which allow screen reader users to skip lengthy navigation bars. This was likely the fault of our equipment and cannot be attributed to the Guardian site.

Similarly the failure of Express.co.uk‘s Have Your Say area with our user may have been heightened by our users’ unfamiliarity with using such comment areas.

Yet this reiterates the issue touched on in yesterday’s blog post about Independent.co.uk: our blind and visually impaired testers struggled with this section of the site because it was unclear what they were supposed to do from the outset.

This was not an accessibility problem caused by bad links or poorly written code that disadvantages screen reader users, but rather an issue that could affect all visitors to the site. To get the necessary instructions on how to Have Your Say users have to drill into the site before being directed to a registration page.

Combining a quick registration process with a comment form would be a welcome move towards accessibility for all – and would easily boost MyExpress’ subscription numbers.

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Are you on the Journa-list? Probably not if you’re a blogger

October 11th, 2007 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

A new website has been launched by the Media Standards Trust, purportedly to provide info on and links to UK national newspaper journalists. The blurb says:

Journa-list is an independent, not-for-profit website that makes it easy for people to find out more about journalists and what they write about.”

Then later:

“It is the first UK website to offer a fully searchable database of UK national journalists (who write under a byline), with links to their current and previous articles, and some basic statistics about their work.

“It contains all journalists from 12 national newspapers – The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Mirror, The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Mirror, The Observer – and BBC News Online. The site can only index those articles which have bylines. We started indexing the articles in May 2007.”

An admirable attempt – you can even be emailed or take an RSS feed to alert you to a new article – except that it doesn’t quite do all this yet.

While the list is expansive, my quick, random search revealed a few missing journos (there also seems to be a few teething problems as the alphabetical list, whichever way I look at it, seems to only go up to B or C).

What about the Beeb’s Nick Robinson? Roy Greenslade of the Guardian?

It might be the blogging efforts of these two that’s throwing the list off – but that throws up another question. If they aren’t listed, shouldn’t blogging journalists be included too?

Shane Richmond is listed for a single article, not for his numerous and excellent blog posts. If a journalist is blogger and article-writer both, then is it very indicative if half their output isn’t listed?

If anyone finds examples of blogs in the list, please would they get in touch.

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