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#soe11: Editors of the Mirror and Times on phone-hacking coverage

November 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism

Editors of the Mirror and the Times were today questioned at the Society of Editors conference about their coverage of the phone-hacking scandal.

Editor of the Times James Harding said earlier on in the scandal that the newspaper’s decisions were informed by “a combination of the company denying it, police saying there was nothing to see and an issue of rivalry”.

I look back and think why didn’t we jump on it? There’s often the sense that there’s an agenda there so I think when that story broke in the Guardian there was a tendency to see that and when news broke the police came out and said there’s nothing to see here. That did inform the thinking.

It was only as a few more pieces fell into place … I remember thinking there is something that is seriously wrong here.

He said following more allegations of wrongdoing the “engines fired up a bit” at the Times and there was “a real attempt to ensure we were reporting on it as any other story.”

Editor of the Mirror Richard Wallace added that when it first started “it was very much a meeja story”.

We didn’t think our readers were interested in it and frankly they weren’t.

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Brian Cathcart: Sun and Mirror contempt case may make editors think twice

There is good piece by Brian Cathcart on the Index on Censorship site, in which he predicts that Dominic Grieve’s prosecution of the Sun and the Mirror over their coverage of the arrest of Chris Jefferies may make editors think twice about casually flouting contempt of court laws.

The Contempt of Court Act of 1981 prohibits all but the most straightforward reporting in a crime case from the moment “proceedings are active”, in other words once someone is arrested. The idea is to ensure that coverage does not interfere with the course of justice, for instance by prejudicing the eventual jury. But for years, when a big, competitive story came along, many editors and reporters in national media simply ignored the Act and continued to publish often grotesque allegations about a suspect after arrest and even sometimes after they were charged. Think Colin Stagg, Barry George,Karen Matthews and others — and Stagg and George were later shown to be innocent.

That may be about to change thanks to the actions of the attorney-general, Dominic Grieve. Not normally a man to cut the figure of a hero — a lean, bookish type, he was last seen filibustering awkwardly in the Commons when the government was under pressure over its links with the Murdochs — Grieve has done something genuinely brave. He has prosecuted the Daily Mirror and the Sun for contempt of court in the Chris Jefferies case, and he has won.

Read the full article at this link.

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Mirror needs quick phonebooth trip to change Superman gaffe

June 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Funny, Online Journalism

A quite spectacular picture mix up is still going strong on the Mirror website this morning, despite having been outed late last night.

Here’s a screengrab, because the page is surely going to change back into its proper civilian clothes any minute now.

 

Elsewhere on the site there appears to be a story about the superhero with no image, which just might give us a clue as to what’s happened here.

(hat tip: the Media Blog, via Gareth Winchester and Dick Mandrake).

 

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Death of Daily Mirror reporter in Afghanistan blast was ‘unpreventable’, inquest hears

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

Nothing could have been done to prevent the death of Daily Mirror defence correspondent Rupert Hamer, who died in a blast in Afghanistan in January last year, the Press Association reports from an inquest into his death.

An inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire heard that he died despite wearing full standard issue body armour.

A US Marine was also killed and Sunday Mirror photographer Philip Coburn, who was sitting next to Mr Hamer, was seriously injured.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, David Ridley, Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner, said: “No matter how much training was given, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome.

“This was not an act of war. It was a cold-blooded killing. The purpose of the device was to maim and kill American service personnel.

In the days after his death the Mirror paid tribute to Hamer, who had worked for the title for 12 years.

The UKPA story is at this link

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Rebekah Wade’s first public speech in full

January 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Newspapers

If the Wordle and other coverage isn’t enough, here’s the Hugh Cudlipp speech by the editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, in full [note: may have differed very slightly in actual delivery]:

The challenging future of national and regional newspapers is now the staple diet of media commentators.

If you have been reading the press writing about the press you’d all be forgiven for questioning your choice of career.

I’m not denying we’re in a tough place – we are.

But I don’t want to use this speech to make grand statements on the future of our industry.

I want to talk to you about journalism.

More »

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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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Hitwise: The Independent gains online market share in the UK

The website of The Independent newspaper – one not know for its popularity, sophistication or embracing of the internet – has doubled its share of the UK online market over the last year, according to Hitwise.

“The market share of the UK Independent, which has traditionally lagged behind most of its rivals online, has more doubled over the last twelve months,” wrote Robin Goad, research director, Hitwise UK.

“It was the seventh most visited website in our News and Media (Print section) in March putting it behind the Daily Mail, Times, Sun, Telegraph, Guardian and FT, but ahead of the Mirror and Express”

Hitwise measures the relative success of a website by the share of UK-based internet users it attracts over a given period.

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Mirror’s video partnership with Roo ‘a bloody mess’ claims former site editor

April 7th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia, Newspapers

UPDATE: take our poll on whether or not video journalism can save the newspaper

The Mirror‘s partnership with Roo Media to deliver more video content on its site has been described as ‘a bloody mess’ by former site editor Steve Purcell.

His comments, which form part of Neil Thurman and Ben Lupton’s academic report into multimedia storytelling by British news websites, were made last year – shortly after a video player supported by Roo’s technology was introduced to the site.

“The promises that were made by [our content partner, Roo Media] didn’t materialize…. It was a bloody mess, relying on American led stuff,” Purcell told the report, which questioned leading editors on newsroom convergence, video and audio content, multimedia training and the potential for advertising within digital content.

An additional interview with Anne Spackman, editor of TimesOnline, highlighted similar concerns over the launch of video with Roo on the site.

“We didn’t have a sense of ownership of the player… When those early deals were done nobody knew what people would want to watch on a site like ours…”

Part of the problem, said Spackman, was that providers did not understand what video content would work well alongside a text story on the site.

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Accessibility 2.0: The Telegraph and The Mirror

November 21st, 2007 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

As far as rating the accessibility of these sites’ audio/video content for the visually impaired in our articles, our reviewer John had difficulty locating the area on each – an instant barrier to accessibility.

However, it’s worth pointing out that among our Dorton College students Telegraph.co.uk‘s video offering was a big hit. Josh, who is partially sighted, was unaware of the breadth of video content available from a newspaper and found it readily accessible.

That was his take on it – John had another, and it’s likely that every user utilising assistive technology would have a different response to the sites. Newspaper websites would be ill-advised to make alterations to bring them in line with the subjective findings of one person.

What our review does do, however, is serve as a reminder to online news providers that a ‘readership’ is not a homogenous lump, but consists of individuals with their own behaviour and demands. Finding a strategy to best handle all these varying needs is what accessibility should be all about.

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