Author Archives: Fred Friedrich

‘Dragon’s Den’ styled competition spawns

Eager to find a new innovative project, Trinity Mirror launched an ‘in-house’ competition in the style of ‘Dragon’s Den’.

The winner, Louise Midgely, a web developer at their north-east division, NCJ Media, won a cash prize and a share in future profits for her idea – to create a wikipedia specialising in the northeast area –

The site will offer a cache of digital archives documenting the region’s history.

People holding information about the region will be able to access and update the site with their own knowledge.

So far top searches include the Roman emperor Hadrian, Alan Shearer, and Tyneside gangster, Viv Graham.

The Guardian publishes first ‘geolocated’ article

The Guardian has published its first article including geolocation data and is using geographic tagging to track reporters covering the US presidential race. Every time a reporter posts a blog their location will be highlighted on a Google map.

Geotagged content has been around for a while now, but is starting to take effect in the UK media: last week, the Liverpool Echo, published a hyperlocal news map.

On’s Inside Blog, Paul Carvill describes the geolocating process: reporters add their latitude and longitude to their article or blog post, and their location will appear in the RSS feed, which in turn can be fed into a Google map using a java script.

Online users can type in their postcode to find out what is being reported in their area, or alternatively click on an area of the map to source information from another location.

ABCe opens six month audit option to all publishers

Following the release of six month certificates for the regional press, media auditors ABC are extending the offer of twice yearly online audits to all media owners, from January 2009.

An ABC press release said yesterday that the new certificates will detail monthly and daily unique users or browsers for media publishers. Visual charts will also be available.

The existing monthly audits can still be conducted using ABCe.

The ABC statement explained that by choosing to report their online figures on a six month basis, publishers ‘are committing to continuous reporting of their online activity’.

Speaking in the release, Jan Pitt, director of magazines, ABC, said: “The response has been good so far, these changes are to give publishers more options and enable them to demonstrate to advertisers and media buyers their cross platform performance.”

A guide to how the reporting options work can be downloaded from the ABC website at

‘Ecoforyou is aiming to be a 100% carbon neutral publication’

The planned launch of a new ethical environmental online magazine was announced today. will be free to readers offering environmental news, features, interviews and lifestyle tips. The interactive site will include live-links, video, audio and a ‘digital page turn format’, powered by YUDU and hosted by Planet Ink Ltd.

Without a print edition, ecoforyou is aiming to be a ‘100% carbon neutral publication’. The platform, YUDU, advertises itself as a carbon neutral company, off-setting its emissions by donating money to a carbon management company.

The site is relying on marketing through social networks with readers encouraged to use ‘forward to a friend’ buttons.

“We hope that ecoforyou will not only appeal to individual readers but businesses campaigners and industry leaders too,” said founding director, Gerry Cassidy, in a press release.

“They can easily email ecoforyou to their clients, colleagues and workforce and maintain their green credentials, without having to go to the additional expense of their publication.”

Ecoforyou will is not the only digital offering promoting green issues, the BBC already has a well established site,

Other eco websites include: – lifestyle green living. – offers a mixture of celebrity gossip and environmental issues. – ‘strives to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.’ – publishes stories daily about innovations that are saving the planet.

Any other favourite green news sites?

‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’ tops the UK box office

The film of Toby Young’s book, depicting his failed five-year attempt to make it in the U.S, as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has shot to the top of the UK box office in its opening weekend.

‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’ took £1.5 million over the weekend according to Screen International. It has, so far, failed to enjoy the same success in the US.

Young was accused of plagiarism by New York magazine, last week. He has been accused of lifting passages from a June 16, 1996, New York Times story by John Tierney.

Young’s response in the magazine:  “I don’t think it’s a sort of mealy-mouthed or weasely defense to say that the standard that British journalists are expected to hold themselves to are not as high as the standards that some American journalists hold,” he explained. “We’re a little less precious about this kind of thing.”

Online media consumption up by seven per cent, as a result of financial strife

Yesterday, Beet TV flagged up that a record number of users seeking online media information led to a seven per cent spike in traffic for Akamai, the delivery network which carries the internet flow for NBC, the BBC, Reuters and other news sites.

The current economic turmoil, hurricanes and the presidential campaign has helped boost the need for online information. At their peak, Akamai were registering 3.7 million requests per minute.

The spike follows a trend for online news sites doing well in times of financial strife: last month site traffic ‘exploded’ at the, as a result of the drop in share prices.

The need for information was felt on Wall Street, coinciding with a redesign of the Wall Street Journal Online. “Monday set an all time record of two million visitors”, a Wall Street Journal spokeswoman told Beet.TV.  Traffic on Tuesday was nearly as high.  “These are pretty big numbers, considering monthly unique visitors are 17 million,” she said.

The irony is that financial disaster, hurricanes and presidential elections seem to be a good thing for the world of online media.

The beast is unleashed: looking at Tina Brown’s new site

As reported all over the shop, yesterday saw the launch of the online news aggregator site, The Daily Beast, captained by former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair and The NewYorker, Tina Brown, and backed by Barry Diller, of IAC/InterActiveCorp.

PaidContent had managed a sneak preview, but the likes of Roy Greenslade, and had to wait till its official grand unveiling yesterday afternoon.

Named after the fictional tabloid in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel, Scoop, Tina Brown describes The Daily Beast, on her site, as: “the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist.”

Her motley crew boasts the satirist Chris Buckley, former McCain adviser Mark McKinnon, Project Runway’s Laura Bennett and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg.

The site’s bold red and black design has a large list of contributors and features a collection of news, opinion, blogs, links and video.

Over at Cyber Journalist Net they reckon it’s ‘about 30 percent original content’ and Gawker is having fun speculating about Brown’s spending habits.

Opinion in the US seems to be split on the site: Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke thinks it ‘sucks’, but as the New York Observer points out she said that about Huffington as well.

Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune reckons there’s irony in the choice of title but doesn’t think that necessarily matters.

With absolutely no advertising on the site, it will be interesting to see whether The Daily Beast can survive in the online jungle. It seems to have had a lion’s share of initial hype at least.

Newsquest to axe 12 jobs

Newsquest has announced plans to cut 12 editorial positions and make six staff redundant at titles in north and north east London.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has attacked the proposed changes: “This is a savage cut to the already overworked, stressed and underpaid journalists that work for these titles,” said Don Mackglew, NUJ assistant organiser, in a press statement.

According to a report from MediaGuardian, the publisher is looking to replace some sub-editing positions with multimedia journalists, who would take responsibility for reporting, sub-editing and uploading multimedia content to the titles’ content management systems.

The NUJ is currently in consultation with Newsquest about the changes, which are likely to involve a number of compulsory redundancies, the union said.