Tag Archives: Brussels

Accidental Tweet announces senior BBC appointments (but are now official)

Alfred Hermida was a little surprised to spot this last night: a Tweet from the head of the BBC newsroom, Peter Horrocks, to the director of global news, Richard Sambrook about some new appointments at the BBC.

peterhorrocks

“Perhaps it was intended to be a private, direct message”, Hermida pondered on his blog, Reportr.net.

Well, yes it was, Journalism.co.uk can now confirm after speaking to Peter Horrocks. “It’s a very embarrassing cock-up and everyone in the newsroom has been having a lot of fun at my expense,” Horrocks said.

“It’s had the perverse effect of making people who hadn’t worried about it [Twitter] think ‘oh god, if I’m going to get gossip from Peter then maybe it’s worth signing up,’ he said.

“Sambrook sent a message out late last night (…) I started it as a direct message exchange, and for some reason when I did a follow-up reply rather than go direct, it went as a public message,” Horrocks explained.

“It’s caused a bit of a flutter in the newsroom. I’m not going to use it for direct messages ever again now! I’m going to consider as a public medium in all circumstances!”

So, to clarify the situation, there are two new appointments, now officially announced (Horrocks told Malinarich and Roy this morning). In an (official) announcement Horrocks said:

“I’m pleased to tell you that Nathalie Malinarich is to be the executive editor of World Online and Andrew Roy the head of news for BBC World News. Nathalie has a strong record in World Service news and online, as Americas editor and front page editor. Andrew has widespread experience in newsgathering as former Bureau chief in DC and Brussels as well as his recent time at World News.

“Having two strong new editors will propel our global news  for audiences on TV and and online forward. And, together with World Service News, we will see further evolution of the successful global hub operation under their leadership.”

Thoughts from the ‘blogging world’s Eurovision song contest’

Etan Smallman, a student journalist, is participating in the European Journalism Centre’s ‘Th!nk About It’ competition. Here, he shares his thoughts on this week’s launch event, held in Brussels. Etan blogs at studentjournalist.wordpress.com.

Over 80 bloggers and journalists descended on the Belgian capital last Monday for the launch of ‘Th!nk About It’, the first ever Europe-wide blogging competition.

The brainchild of the European Journalism Centre, we will all be blogging away until June, with the aim of throwing some much needed light on that most uncool of institutions, the European Union. Think of it as the blogging world’s Eurovision Song Contest.

At the two day launch in Brussels, we were treated to presentations by – among others – the BBC’s Europe editor, Mark Mardell, the Financial Times’ Brussels bureau chief, Tony Barber, and Belgian blogger extraordinaire Clo Willaerts.

Barber and Mardell confessed that their now successful blogs came into being not from an initial personal enthusiasm for blogging, but from above: “I was ordered to,” Barber admitted.

Using podcasts, vodcasts, photos and plain old fashioned text, representatives from all 27 EU member states, will be bringing their individual experiences to the new blogging fraternity.

The official site will be launched on February 1, when readers from across the globe will be able to get involved in the discussion, as well as vote for their favourite blogs. A high-tech bonanza of prizes, from Flip Cameras to iPhones, will be awarded throughout the competition.

For an event that involved bringing dozens of international competitors from all corners of the continent to one place, everything went sensationally smoothly. There was only one controversy.

“Why isn’t the wireless working in here?” a fellow blogger publicly demanded. “WE ARE BLOGGERS,” he exclaimed, as if it were the essence of his being, an article of faith.

I was worried it was all going get a bit heated when one candid British MEP said that he was proud to have a blog, but conceded (rather warily) that he has disabled the comments facility, therefore not allowing any discussion on the site: for fear of rival parties and political groups using it as a platform for their views.

“NO COMMENTS, NO BLOG!” a militant blogger boomed at him. And that was that.

Thankfully everything continued peacefully, though I sensed there were many who wanted to officially strip the gentleman of his self-appointed status as a ‘blogger.’

It was just left to Marjory van den Broeke, head of press at the Parliament, to wrap up the day by quoting one of the speakers who described us as:

“Lively, challenging, not too respectful, young, cool and attractive. Everything bloggers should be.”

And if that is not enough to convince you that the EU – for better or for worse – can be fun, then I urge you to visit my blog to see what Euro-bloggers get up to when they – just for a few minutes – prize themselves away from their beloved MacBooks.

Suffice to say: European relations at their most amusing.

Watch the competition’s trailer here:

Belgian newspapers seeking £39m damages from Google

A group of Belgian newspapers are seeking up to £39m (€49m) in damages from Google for the search giant publishing and storing their content without permission or offering payment.

Last year Google lost a case brought against it by the Copiepresse group – an organisation that represents the French language press in Belgium – forcing it to remove cached versions of newspaper articles and take down content from its Google News service

The organisation’s secretary-general told Bloomberg yesterday it had summoned Google to appear again before a Brussels court so that it could decide on the damages. Copiepresse is seeking between €32.8 and 49.1m.

The damages would be in addition to the €25,000 (£20,000) daily fine imposed on Google by the court for each day it kept Copiepresse material on its site.

Google appealed the original court decision of February 2007, which ruled that it could not claim ‘fair use’ – acceptable under copyright law – for using a lines of text and linking to the original article.

A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that it was still awaiting the results of its appeal and that it had not received notification from Copiepresse of any new court dates.

NTY: Belgium papers could sue EU for linking to stories

A victory in a European court last year against Google has encouraged newspapers in Belgium to take action against the European Commission over links on two agency sites.

According to the Times, a Brussels court has been asked by a group of French- and German-language newspapers to examine its claim.