Tag Archives: energy

Dominic Mohan named editor of the Sun

Dominic Mohan has been appointed the new editor of the Sun, News International confirmed earlier today.

Mohan, who has worked at the Sun for 13 years, most recently as deputy editor, will become the seventh editor of the red-top since Rupert Murdoch bought the Sun 40 years ago.

Mohan joined the Sun from the News of the World and worked on its showbiz column, Bizarre, in 1996. He was promoted to editor two years later, taking the helm in 1998. Bizarre’s longest serving editor, he left after five years to write a weekly opinion column.

Before Mohan was deputy editor, he spent three years as associate editor, features, and prior to that, two years as assistant editor.

“I believe the Sun is the best paper on the planet. It is a privilege to take over as editor and I cannot wait to get started,” said Mohan, commenting on his appointment.

The vacancy arose when Rebekah Brooks was appointed as News International chief executive in June. Brooks said Mohan had been an ‘outstanding leader at the paper, supporting me with energy and enthusiasm’.

“He has an unrivalled understanding of what makes the paper tick and a real grasp of what makes a great Sun headline. I am delighted to be handing the reins over to such a talented successor. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my new role,” she added.

Both Rebekah Brooks and Dominic Mohan will be starting in their new roles on September 2.

Cplash: Thank you message from Laura Ling

Citizen journalism website Csplash has reportedly received a message from Laura Ling, the Current TV journalist released from North Korea last week.

“Euna [fellow captive Euna Lee] and I are two of the lucky ones whose story of captivity resulted in a happy ending. But there are so many journalists imprisoned around the world whose fate is still undecided. It is my sincere hope that the energy ignited around bringing us home will be harnessed into raising awareness around these fellow journalists and their struggle for freedom,” writes Ling.

Full message at this link…

Trials of a redundant journalist: Days one, two and three

A new blog series which will run until our new guest blogger, who writes on the FleetStreetBlues site, and types really really fast, finds a job or gets too busy to blog. A weeks ago, this update came from FleetStreetBlues:

“A regular FleetStreetBlues contributor, without any warning, just got her marching orders this afternoon. ‘Global downturn… blah blah… smaller issues… blah blah… no advertising… blah blah… nothing we could do.’

“We’ve been writing about it for long enough – redundancies, cut-backs, journalists forced out of the profession they love – so it shouldn’t really come as a shock, but it does.

“And while we know all the things to do – networking, proactive job hunting, polishing your CV – being made redundant brings a whole new set of questions you never even considered. Like when updating the employment section of your CV… What’s a nice way of saying you just got fired?”

The FSB Redundant Journalist will cross-post her updates here. Journalism.co.uk welcomes her to this temporary blogging spot, and wishes her the best of luck in the job hunt. Here’s day one, two and three: more to come.

Follow the Trials of a Redundant Journalist series, by the Redundant Journalist, here.

DAY ONE: I’ve been unemployed for ten days.

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and thankfully, the sun is not shining. This is because I don’t have the luxury of being employed and enjoying such benefits as bank holidays.Technically every day of unemployment is a holiday, but the major downside is that my other half is breathing down my neck to get a new job so I have no choice but to get on with applying. My dreams of being a lady who lunches are yet to be fulfilled. During this recession at least.

Like everyone else, we’ve got our bills to pay, which means that in an industry where a suitable, good new job comes by once in a blue moon, I have had to cast my net further afield.

At first, the thought of going to the dark side, of PR, appalled me. My stomach churned at the thought of proactive PR in particular. But after nearly two weeks of job hunting, I must confess – those jobs are starting to look rather appealing. And it’s not just the pay.

It took me a couple of days to figure out what else I was qualified for, having wanted to be a journalist for most of my life and having work experience in little else, and to find out where to look for alternative jobs, having lived on Gorkana and Journalism.co.uk [Good call. Ed.] for the past three years. But it seems that if nothing else, I’d make a great office assistant.

Don’t mock too much – admin assistants get paid even better than journalists in a lot of cases, and if you’re looking for a stop-gap job to bring home the bacon while you keep an eye out for that lucrative journalism job, why not do something that requires little brain effort, therefore allowing you to save your energy for those applications for jobs you actually would want?

DAY TWO: So last week, I wowed the world with my WPM.’Are you sure that’s your typing speed?’

‘Er, I think so…I did those online typing speed tests.’

‘But are you sure? Most people are 70 words per minute, but 90 words per minute would be super-duper fast (yes, her exact phrase) – legal secretary fast.’

‘Er…’

‘Come in and we’ll register you and while we’re at it, we’ll test your typing speed.’

So that’s how I ended up at general recruitment agency number one. And ok, I didn’t wow ‘the world’, but I managed to surprise myself and the agency by proving that I have a touch-typing wpm of 95.

DAY THREE: There’s an emotional curve to redundancy. After I got over the initial shock of being made redundant, the next emotion was anger at the unfairness of the situation, quite closely followed by depression.

I was just a few days into the depression stage, however, when a little spark of hope landed my way – in the form of a freelance commission. On a subject I knew nothing about, but journalism work nonetheless.

Although I’d been unemployed for about just a week by this stage, it’s hard to describe quite how happy I was to be calling people up to interview them for the article.

Mundane as this may seem once you’ve got a journalism job, it also seemed the most natural thing for me to do (after all, it’s what I’ve been doing on a daily basis for the past two years) and it made one thing really clear to me – I’ll never be able to give up journalism for ever. Or at least it will be hard to give up without a fight.

Official statement from family of BBC journalist, Kate Peyton

Further to the interview and news item on the Journalism.co.uk main page, here is the Peyton family’s official statement, made following the conclusion of the inquest investigating the circumstances of BBC journalist Kate Peyton’s death in Somalia in 2005. The Coroner’s verdict can be read here, as reported at the Guardian.

“We are gratified that, after nearly four years, the Coroner has been able to offer some advice as to how the BBC might improve its treatment of journalists asked to undertake dangerous assignments – especially when there may be aspects of their personal lives or of the nature of their employment that impair their capacity to make a clear and considered judgment of issues of risk, both to themselves and their colleagues.

“However, we have found it baffling, depressing and exhausting that the BBC has put so much of its energy, and considerable financial resources, into preventing that advice from being heard – beginning in 2005 with a claim from a senior newsgathering executive that it was ‘neither necessary nor appropriate’ to look into the detail of the deployment and the role of Kate’s immediate manager in it, and concluding with strenuous efforts to narrow the Coroner’s scope so radically that nothing would have been considered other than events after Kate’s arrival in Mogadishu.

“We would like to believe that the BBC is sincere in its assurance, given in court, that it will incorporate the Coroner’s advice into its future procedures; but given that, since this summer, it has strained every nerve to prevent him from having the opportunity to deliver that advice, and even now has not ruled out judicially reviewing his decision, we have reason to doubt its seriousness.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the substance of the Coroner’s advice. In light of it, we would like to ask whether it is sensible to employ journalists who may be asked to go to dangerous countries on a regular basis using short-term contracts. In our view, this practice presents a clear possibility of the repetition of tragedies such as this.”

Deepening newsrooms cuts are changing the face of American newspapers, says PEJ study

The American daily newspaper in 2008 has fewer pages, shorter stories and younger staff, but its coverage is more targeted than ever, according to a new report.

The study released yesterday paints a grim picture of how lay-offs in US newsrooms are damaging the quality of their products – but it’s not all doom and gloom.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) study, “The Changing Newsroom: What is Being Gained and What is Being Lost in America’s Daily Newspapers” surveyed senior newsroom executives at more than 250 newspapers in the US to map the effects of these cuts.


Less foreign news

“Papers both large and small have reduced the space, resources and commitment devoted to a range of topics. At the top of that list nearly two thirds of papers have cut back on foreign news, over half have trimmed national news and more than a third have reduced business coverage. In effect, America’s newspapers are narrowing their reach and their ambitions and have become niche reads,” the study said.

Larger metro newspapers were worst hit by the cuts – 85 per cent of those dailies with circulations over 100,000 surveyed have cut newsroom staff in the last three years compared to only 52 per cent of smaller papers making cuts.

More targeted and competitive

However, 56 percent of the editors surveyed said their news product is better than it was three years ago because coverage is more targeted.

The news organisations were perceived to have grown leaner and meaner and are attracting a different set of employees as a result of this:

“New job demands are drawing a generation of young, versatile, tech-savvy, high-energy staff as financial pressures drive out higher-salaried veteran reporters and editors. Newsroom executives say the infusion of new blood has brought with it a new competitive energy, but they also cite the departure of veteran journalists, along with the talent, wisdom and institutional memory they hold as their single greatest loss.”

One of those surveyed, Steven Smith, editor-in-chief of the Spokesman-Review, blogged about the study. His newspaper is also affected by the cuts, but he had the following message to his staff:

“Our readers are migrating away from print to digital platforms. We must migrate with them. Failure to change, put plainly, means failure (…) Our success will depend on the commitment of each of us to be fearless in the face of relentless, never-ending change, gritty in the face of doubt and resolute in the service of our communities who continue to rely on our journalism as never before.”

Finding “a way to monetize the rapid growth of Web readership before newsroom staff cuts so weaken newspapers that their competitive advantage disappear, ” was identified as a key concern for many editors, and 97 per cent of the editors surveyed said they are actively trying to develop new revenue streams.

Online news network VillageSoup in print expansion

Village NetMedia, which owns community news network VillageSoup, has purchased six weekly local newspapers from the Courier Publications series in Maine, USA.

Several of the sites will be merged with the existing VillageSoup sites, which serve the Knox and Waldo areas, a release from the publisher said.

In addition, new VillageSoup sites will be set up as companion sites for two of the newly acquired locals.

VillageSoup, which was set up 10 years ago, combines local news reporting with an online forum to create a ‘virtual town hall’.

Around 26 jobs will be lost as part of the takeover.

“VillageSoup integrates a highly interactive website with traditional print, and is the future for small town media. This purchase allows us to expand our reach and breathe new life and energy into these papers, all for the benefit of readers and advertisers,” Richard M. Anderson, co-founder of VillageSoup, said.

“Our approach helps transition traditional community newspaper companies into community host companies, and that’s the future for the industry.”

WAN 08: Disparities between pay of web and print journalists – a problem all over the world for integrating newsrooms

Integrating newsrooms isn’t just a matter of putting all you desks in a spoke and fulcrum formation and projecting the web traffic figures on the wall.

The small matter of how you remunerate journalists expected to work both for print and web is an issue for newspapers across the globe.

It’s an issue that the Guardian and Telegraph, to name just two in the UK, have been wrestling with as they bring their divergent print and online editions closer together.

International editors sitting on a panel looking at whether integrated newsrooms are really working at the World Editors Forum, today in Goteborg, Sweden, admitted to a similar set of problems.

Jim Roberts, editor of digital news at the New York Times, told delegates that the Times’ own integration plans were hampered by the different contracts and lower pay web journalists were receiving compared to their print colleagues.

Roberts is overseeing the introduction of a ‘horizontal’ news production system where each separate news department has web producers embedded with them to encourage multimedia content production, oversee publication.

The Times is trying to spread multimedia, video, podcasts and interactive features across all its news verticals – even to the point where the Times is reverse publishing blog content as columns into the printed edition of the newspaper.

This drive for web content has also brought a renewed thirst to keep the newspaper print edition fresh, as Roberts said ‘to redirect this energy back into print’.

But as staff are now expected to work for both web and print, the different contracts they work under has led to union wrangles. WSJ.com managing editor Almar Latour and Javier Moreno, editor-in-chief of El Pais, Spain, agreed that they faced similar contractual problems on their integration projects.

CNET launches industries site BNET

No, it’s not a typo – CNET has moved up the alphabet to introduce BNET, a new website featuring original and syndicated news, analysis and blogs on industry sectors including health care, energy and financial services.

BNET Australia and BNET UK have also been rolled out, Reuters reports.

“You look at a lot of the content that’s available, it still predominantly lives in trade journal articles. And then there’s a lot of content that’s sort of housed behind subscription firewalls. And so, consequently, it’s very fragmented,” Greg Mason, CNET’s senior vice president of the business media group, says in the Reuters report.

“There are good online newsletters that cover specific industries, but they’re sort of hit-or-miss.”

Will the new site be friend or foe to B2B publishers?

Innovations in Journalism – ReportingOn

reporting on image

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?

I’m Ryan Sholin, I work at GateHouse Media in the US, I’m a graduate student at San Jose State University working on a degree in Mass Communications, and I’ve been blogging at ryansholin.com for three years now, mostly about the future of newspapers and journalism education.

The idea for ReportingOn came to me as I saw more and more tools for journalists to share what they were reading, but very few to share what they were writing.

I’m all for aggregating links and social bookmarking – I use Google Reader, Delicious, and even Twitter as my filters for the onslaught of information and news out there on the Web – but I saw two key connections left to be made.

The first connection links reporters with a common beat to one another. If I’m reporting on local alternative energy start-ups in Silicon Valley, and you’re reporting on local alternative energy start-ups in Boston, we could mutually benefit from sharing angles and ideas.

The second connection links readers with beat reporters. If readers find themselves wishing for more reporting on local alternative energy start-ups in general, there should be a place to express that.

So I call ReportingOn “the backchannel for your beat.”

This isn’t about the craft of journalism – this is about the nuts and bolts of finding angles, sources, and data to bolster local news reporting.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?

Sometimes in newsrooms, we find ourselves isolated from the rest of the journalism world. Our local peers are often the competition. When we meet up with colleagues from out of town, it’s at conferences or email lists or websites based on methods and craft, but rarely actual reporting.

ReportingOn will give journalists an easy way to connect with others working the same beat across the state or across the continent.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?

Oh, there’s more to come.

What’s live right now is a simple script that ties into Twitter. Anyone with a Twitter ID can send a tweet to reportingon (@reportingon in Twitter parlance) and it will show up at reportingon.com and in the reportingon Twitter stream.

The next step will be a site, most likely built in Drupal, where any journalist can sign up and post short updates that answer the question “What are you reporting on?”

The fun part is surfacing the replies in a way that makes it easy to find your peers. The taxonomy system in a CMS like Drupal makes it simple to surface, for example, all the posts about alternative energy.

So imagine a site where the front page has a few lists: recent posts, recent topics, and popular topics.

The ‘popular topics’ list might have entries like: “231 journalists are reporting on alternative energy”. Clicking on 231 gets you a list of the journalists; clicking on alternative energy takes you to the page where everything posted about alternative energy is aggregated.

A second piece of the site will allow “readers” to vote on what topics they would like to see more … reporting on.

Once the site is built and users are showing up, I could see adding a Facebook application that would let users display recent posts from the topic of their choice on their Facebook profile.

4) Why are you doing this?

I saw a need to connect reporters to each other. So much local news lacks context, lacks a clear idea of where a local event fits into a larger trend, whether we’re talking about drunken driving or school funding or foreclosures.

Twitter has been a big inspiration, as well. I’ve been impressed at how casual, public conversation can be packed with information and benefit to anyone willing to ask questions and give answers freely.

Plus, I’m planning to launch the next stage of ReportingOn as a part of the requirements to finish my graduate degree.

5) What does it cost to use it?

Absolutely nothing.

6) How will you make it pay?

This is a non-profit endeavour as far as I’m concerned. That said, I’m actively looking for grants to help with server costs, advertising, and promotion.