Tag Archives: Guardian News & Media

A Guardian hotel? Publisher says it is ‘exploring options’

Guardian News and Media says it is “currently researching and exploring a range of options”, amid claims that it is thinking of developing a new hotel concept.

A post on the Washington-based Harry’s Place blog quoted a market research email which described the hotel idea as “an atmospheric place to unwind, broaden your mind and meet others”.

This would be much more than simply a place to stay and would offer an inspiring break for our guests.

The hotel would offer a diverse programme of activities and events including workshops, debates and classes featuring guest speakers, writers, artists, chefs and political commentators.

Or it could simply be a place to relax with others. A stay at the hotel would be a social experience with plenty of communal space. We are in the very early stages of forming this plan and your feedback will be valuable in helping us to shape it.

Guardian News and Media said in a statement today: “We are currently researching and exploring a range of options relating to our successful adult educational course – Masterclasses – and our travel offerings.”

New Guardian community platform n0tice invites more users

n0tice, the Guardian’s latest community project, has today opened to more users.

The platform is an online version of a village noticeboard, allowing people to post and find community news and classified ads. It is location-based, enabling searches and delivering news related to any location worldwide.

Guardian News & Media plans to make money out of the site, which was inspired by a hack day, by charging for featured ads and selling the white-labelled technology to companies wanting to use n0tice for commercial purposes.

The platform has a read API, a self-serve white label version and feed importing meaning that it can be adapted for hyperlocals and “could potentially work just as well for hyperlocal community bloggers in northern England as it could for cricket fans in India or birdwatching groups in Oregon”, Sarah Hartley, community strategist at GMG and one of a team of three working on the project told Journalism.co.uk.

Matt McAlister, director of digital strategy at the Guardian, has announced the latest developments in a blog post:

The release today is a big one for us. We’ve added the ability to create your own n0ticeboard.

He goes on to say:

If we can make citizen journalism possible in more contexts for more communities then I think we will have done a good thing. If we can also make citizen journalism a financially sustainable activity then we will have done a great thing.

As we go along we are increasingly unsure of what happens next. Participants are starting to determine what we do more and more. So, if you want this platform to do something, please get in early and share your thoughts with us.

The platform is in still private beta so invite-only, but Journalism.co.uk has 10 invites. You can try to claim a n0tice invite by clicking here.

paidContent: Guardian News & Media director of international leaving later this year

The director of international at Guardian News & Media, Stella Beaumont, is to leave later this year, it was announced this week. Beaumont has worked at the news group for 28 years and will depart after helping to launch and oversee the company’s new digital operation in the US.

In a report paidContent quotes Guardian Media Group CEO Andrew Miller as telling staff that reporting lines for ContentNext, publisher of GNM-owned paidContent, following Beaumont’s departure, “will be determined as part of the wider planning for our American operation”.

Read more here…

Communicate.ae: Digital experiments at the Guardian – successes and failures

From earlier last month this Q&A with Mark Finney, head of client sales at Guardian News & Media, in which Finney explains some of the digital ‘experiments’ that have worked for the group and some that haven’t:

Guardian 24 allowed you to download stories scraped from our sites automatically over a number of different areas, and print them as a PDF. It was our way of trying to enter the London free newspaper market but get our readers to pay for the paper and the ink and not have to pay for distribution. It was an interesting thing to do, but it didn’t really work. Not many people did it.

Finney says the Guardian’s iPhone app experiment is paying off: “£250,000 is not going to change the face of newspapers, but it’s 100,000 people who have chosen to pay for an optimised version of my content.”

And on paywalls and registration models for Guardian.co.uk:

[Y]ou could pay for an ad-free version. It was a long time ago that we binned it. It was about £25 to £30 per year. We got something in the order of 2,000 or 3,000 people who did it. Only 2,000 or 3,000 people a year were prepared to pay £25 or £30 for an ad-free version of the Guardian, proving how little resistance to advertising there is.

Full post at this link…

Founder Rafat Ali quits paidContent and Content Next

Founder of ContentNext, the publisher of digital media news site paidContent.org, Rafat Ali has announced he will leave the company in early July.

ContentNext, which also publishes paidContent:UK, mocoNews,net and contentSutra.com, was bought by Guardian News & Media in July 2008. The deal marked the next step in GNM’s US expansion plans, the group said at the time. But in a farewell post on paidContent.org, Ali hints at the difficulties of moving from start-up to big media ownership:

The last two years under Guardian have been illuminating, to say the least. Being part of a big company brings its own level of complexities; during a huge financial crisis, it makes for a roller-coaster ride. The high of the sale dissipated quickly, and pulling back and hunkering down isn’t fun, much less entrepreneurial. To Guardian’s credit, amidst the mothership’s own perfect storm, they stood by us, and we have survived, though much smaller.

I am leaving the company while the editorial is still at the peak of its reputation, even though we are half the team we used to be. It really is a miracle. And the edit leadership under our ME Ernie Sander and my longtime partner-in-crime and co-editor Staci D Kramer gets the full credit for it, as do our scrappy group of talented journalists. The business side is a rebuild-in-process that I hope Guardian continues to support in kind and spirit.

The sites will continue under managing editor Ernie Sander.

Full post at this link…

Staff to be briefed on Observer’s future tomorrow, says Sunday Times

Buried in a report on Trinity Mirror’s decision to close its final pension schemes is news that staff at the Observer will be told which sections of the paper are staying and which are for the chop.

As part of this staff will be briefed on potential job cuts, the Sunday Times reports.

After growing speculation about the title’s future, owners Guardian News & Media announced in September that the Observer would live on, but with a new look and closer integration with the Guardian.

In July, readers’ editor for the Observer, Stephen Pritchard, explained that the title was having to make ‘painful decisions about what it can afford to print’, after the title dropped its weekly, full television guide.

paidContent.org: GNM laying off six US employees

PaidContent (owned by Guardian News & Media) reports that Guardian America is laying off six ‘production/edit’ employees: “Most of them are in Guardian’s Washington DC office, and have been given three months notice. None of the U.S. correspondents are affected by this move.”

Last month paidContent reported GNM was to axe GuardianAmerica.com.

Full post at this link…

paidContent:UK: GNM ‘sunsetting’ GuardianAmerica.com two years after launch

Guardian News & Media (GNM) is to abandon its GuardianAmerica.com strategy, paidContent:UK, which is owned by Guardian News & Media, reports. Seven executives are either leaving or being promoted to new roles:

“Almost two years to the day after launching GuardianAmerica.com, GNM’s recently appointed US consultant Jim Brady has now ‘sunset’ the page. GuardianAmerica.com was The Guardian’s first big attempt to target the large U.S. audience it has found itself with online. It hired Michael Tomasky to edit the site from Washington, DC.”

Full post at this link…

Daily Finance speculates paidContent.org’s future at GNM

AOL site DailyFinance.com cites unnamed ‘industry sources’ who suggest that Guardian News & Media (losing £100,000 per day) may be forced to sell assets to raise cash.

Could ContentNext, publisher of PaidContent.org, sold for a reported $30 million (or more) to GNM last year, be among them?

Rafat Ali, publisher of paidContent.org, says it would news to him. Guardian America CEO Caroline Little says she is unaware of any plans. A GNM spokesperson denies it.

But that doesn’t stop Daily Finance’s speculation. WebMediaBrands, formerly JupiterMedia would be a potential bidder if GNM were to sell, it reports.

Full story at this link…

#FollowJourn: @foodiesarah/digital editor

#FollowJourn: Sarah Hartley

Who? Digital editor at Guardian News & Media

What? Has also worked in digital at the Manchester Evening News, also freelance media trainer and consultant – see her LinkedIn profile here

Where? @foodiesarah

Contact? Contact her on Twitter or via her blog

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.