Tag Archives: #budget

No change to newspapers’ VAT tax break in budget

Newspapers are to remain zero-rated for value added tax – despite moves by the government in the budget to remove other similar tax breaks.

Chancellor George Osborne told parliament yesterday that a number of loopholes in the way VAT is applied would be closed, but that the government remains committed to a zero per cent rate for the press.

He said in the budget speech: “We’re publishing our plans today to remove loopholes and anomalies, but we keep the broad exemptions on food, children’s clothes, printed books and newspapers.”

The majority of EU countries levy VAT on newspapers. Complications arise in the UK when newspapers sell digital editions (which are charged VAT at 20%) and bundle their print and digital subscriptions together.

BBC to close down Religion and Ethics messageboards

The BBC is to close its Religion and Ethics messageboards to new comments or threads later this month, with a new blog to be brought in later in the year.

Announcing the changes in a blog post commissioning editor for religion Aaqil Ahmed explained the cost of maintaining the messageboard “has become impossible to justify for a relatively small group of users”. The changes follow confirmation of a 25 per cent budget cut facing BBC Online.

We’ve had to make some tough decisions but I want to assure you that the decision to close our BBC Religion and Ethics messageboards was not taken lightly, as I know users have enjoyed being part of the varied discussions on the messageboards about all kinds of religious and ethical topics. However, the cost of maintaining this messageboard has become impossible to justify for a relatively small group of users. What’s more, as we’ve seen with the meteoric growth of Twitter, Facebook and other social networks – there are now many ways to interact and share information online.

Instead the site will launch a new BBC Religion and Ethics Blog later this year, which will be hosted by an expert editor, based in Salford and part of the BBC’s Religion and Ethics team.

We’ll host contributions from leading figures in politics, religion, news, ethics and the media. The blog will be a new way to take a topic further and find out more, whilst also offering you the chance to participate in a wider religious and ethical discussion.

Journalisted Weekly: Battle for Libya, the Budget, and nuclear fear

Journalisted is an independent, not-for-profit website built to make it easier for you, the public, to find out more about journalists and what they write about.

It is run by the Media Standards Trust, a registered charity set up to foster high standards in news on behalf of the public, and funded by donations from charitable foundations.

Each week Journalisted produces a summary of the most covered news stories, most active journalists and those topics falling off the news agenda, using its database of UK journalists and news sources.

for the week ending Sunday 27 March

  • The battle for Libya overshadows the press
  • Much analysis of Osborne’s 2011 Budget
  • Tsunami aftermath, MPs’ pay freeze, and Saudi rallies received little attention

Covered lots

  • The battle for Libya, and control of the no-fly zone, 679 articles
  • Chancellor George Osborne, announcing the details of the 2011 Budget, 647 articles
  • Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, with engineers still working frantically to make it safe, 318 articles
  • The murder of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, whose body was found in Oxfordshire on Thursday, 108 articles

Covered little

Political ups and downs (top ten by number of articles)

Celebrity vs serious

Who wrote a lot about…’the 2011 Budget’

Larry Elliott – 12 articles (The Guardian), Chris Giles – 9 articles (Financial Times), James Chapman – 7 articles (MailOnline), Venessa Houlder – 7 articles (Financial Times), Andrew Grice – 6 articles (The Independent)

Long form journalism

More from the Media Standards Trust

Visit the Media Standards Trust’s new site Churnalism.com – a public service for distinguishing journalism from churnalism

The Media Standards Trust’s unofficial database of PCC complaints is available for browsing at www.complaints.pccwatch.co.uk

For the latest instalment of Tobias Grubbe, journalisted’s 18th century jobbing journalist, go to journalisted.com/tobias-grubbe

Twitter users play with Telegraph’s Twitterfall #Budget feature

Good old online altruism eh? Twitter users have seized upon the opportunity to get their uncensored Tweets published on the Telegraph’s Budget page.

A Twitterfall feature – which now seems to have been removed – embedded on the side of the Telegraph.co.uk Budget 2009 page, picked up Tweets which referred to the UK Budget 2009.

Funnily enough, the Twitter masses seemed more interested in expressing opinions on the Telegraph’s editorial content, or saying hello to their mums, than adding to the economic debate.

@DarkPhnx perhaps sums it up best.

A sample from earlier below – we seem to have captured it at a cleaner moment. Or check out this grab from @Noodlepie.