Tag Archives: Steve Dyson

Marc Reeves on why he’s stepping down as editor at the Birmingham Post

Yesterday it was announced that 40 redundancies would be made at Trinity Mirror’s Birmingham titles. Among those due to leave are Steve Dyson, editor of the Birmingham Mail, and Marc Reeves, editor of the Post.

Reeves writes about the changes on his blog:

“As a member of the editorial team, I was also under consultation, and I thought it was very important that I should make a clear decision whether to stay and see the changes through – or to go and give the paper a fresh start under a new editor.

“I believe that to stay I would have to commit to be editor for a considerable period into the future, but that after almost four years in the job already, the time is right for a new pair of hands to pick up the reins.”

Full post at this link…

The Birmingham Mail’s Gareth Barry letter and breaking ‘exclusives’ online

Earlier this week the Birmingham Mail (and its sister titles) scored a great scoop – an open letter from Aston Villa footballer Gareth Barry on why he has decided to leave the club to join Manchester City.

Breaking news procedures and the idea of the ‘exclusive’ have shifted (are arguably in flux) as journalism has moved online.

Blogging about the Mail’s scoop, Joanna Geary asks whether the title made the right decision not to post the letter in full until 12:30pm, having broken the story on the site earlier.

Did this allow the rest of the ‘pack’ to steal in on the Mail’s ‘exclusive’?

Mail editor Steve Dyson helpfully explains the editorial decisions behind breaking the story in this way:

“My thoughts at 7am conference when I realised the strength of what we had was to refuse any access to the letter for as long as possible. Tease it online and boost sales (…) The unexpected boost was Setanta, PA, Five Live, Sky Sports and TalkSport all calling us to beg for the letter and, upon understanding why we were saying ‘no’ for print sales, offering interviews with the editor and/or the Villa writer with ‘excerpts’ read out from the letter, and listeners/viewers told they could only read the full version in that night’s paper.”

Dyson says he believes the additional publicity was generated by not realising the letter in full immediately.

His comments are well worth a read – it’s also refreshing to see an editor interact so candidly on another blog on the editorial process.

David Higgerson, Trinity Mirror’s head of multimedia, also joined in the discussion, raising a couple of points about the publication schedule of the letter and whether this impacted on traffic:

“Did we lose out by delaying publication online? We’ll never know. My gut instinct is that yes, we probably did miss a bit of traffic online but the reaction when we put it online was so great that I’ve taken it as proof that if people know the original source of information online, they’ll flock to it.

“Interestingly, the article which contained the letter had a real surge around 4pm [the time the Mail originally said it would publish the letter in full], suggesting people responded to us saying what time it would appear online. Had they read it elsewhere before? Perhaps. It’s still very well read at the moment, along with Bill Howell’s analysis.”

As witnessed by the comments on Geary’s post, finding the balance between the news demands of print and online is still up for debate. Is there a best practice for handling this kind of story – or should it be judged on a story-by-story basis?

Trinity Mirror overhauls senior management in Midlands

Trinity Mirror has announced a host of changes to the senior management of its Midlands newspaper titles.

Steve Dyson, who will remain in his post as editor of the Birmingham Mail, is to become additionally responsible for the Sunday Mercury.

He will also oversee the introduction of new centralised multimedia, newsroom and production operations to the region.

Marc Reeves, editor of the Birmingham Post, will take on new duties for the online development of Trinity’s titles in the area.

Dave Brookes, current editor of the Sunday Mercury, has been named as editor of the Coventry Telegraph and will take up the role in January replacing Alan Kirby, who will retire at Christmas.

Kirby and Brookes will remain as editor of their existing titles while the new processes are implemented.

Completing the changes Tony Lennox, editorial director of Midlands Weekly Media, has been appointed to the new role of business development editor for the Midlands.

Birmingham Mail looking at developing community-based sites

In addition to the launch of a new website, The Birmingham Mail is looking at developing and hosting a series of community-based education websites.

In interview with Journalism.co.uk, editor Steve Dyson said the newspaper was looking at a range of options for local community sites.

One of the options, he said, was to host sites for local educational institutions, where students would write the content.

“What we are planning further down the line is local community websites, again hosted by the Birmingham Mail, but they may well be sites in their own right,” he told Journalism.co.uk.

“We are looking at a variety of community sites, mainly around schools and media courses in schools, where they have asked if they can fill a local community website for us.

“We are talking to educational groups about it. There are about 15 schools around Birmingham that are developing media courses and as part of the courses they have to have websites which have to be updated daily by students. What we are talking to them about is hosting it for them.”

Dyson stressed that these sites were very much in the early planning stage but were being considered along the same lines as the series of community sites launched last year by the Teesside Gazette, another Trinity Mirror paper.