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Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher’s comments on Vince Cable and PCC ruling

January 11th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

In his oral evidence to the inquiry yesterday, editor of the Daily Telegraph Tony Gallagher was asked about the PCC’s ruling in 2011 that the newspaper was wrong to use subterfuge to record MP Vince Cable at a constituency meeting – although the depth of questioning of Gallagher was criticised by Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog.

Here is what Gallagher had to say:

The PCC ruling, which we accepted but were unhappy with … they required us to publish an abridged version of that ruling.

I felt that it was a matter of such public interest that we should publish the entire ruling, which was, from memory, about a third longer than the abridged ruling. We published it in its entirety.

When asked what the public interest was in publishing the entire ruling, he responded that “the story itself generated a huge controversy” and “was probably the most important PCC ruling of 2011”.

I felt in the interests of justice, we should carry the entire ruling, given that we’d devoted a fair amount of space to the embarrassment of the Liberal Democrats in December 2010.

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Telegraph: James and Rupert Murdoch to be questioned under oath

August 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The Telegraph reported yesterday that both James and Rupert Murdoch are to be questioned under oath in the High Court as part of the Lord Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.

According to the paper’s report Lord Leveson is also “keen” for the inquiry to be broadcast live. A Cabinet Office spokesman declined to comment on whether the Murdochs will be questioned, but told Journalism.co.uk live coverage of the inquiry is being looked into.  The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is tomorrow, with reportedly “dozens of letters” already having been sent to potential witnesses to ask for their input.

The Murdochs, as well as Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, both former editors of the News of the World, are likely to be called.

David Cameron and other senior politicians are also likely to be questioned over their links to News International, the parent company of the News of the World.

Today Reuters also reported that lawyers for News International are carrying out “a broad inquiry into reporting practices at all of the company’s UK newspapers”.

Citing sources who have been briefed about the inquiry Reuters reports that lawyers for law firm Linklaters will be “looking for anything that US government investigators might be able to construe as evidence the company violated American law”.

In addition to conducting personal interviews with selected journalists, lawyers will also be looking at email and financial records, said this source.

A News International spokesman confirmed that a review of journalistic standards is underway at News International, which Linklaters is assisting with.

“This is part of a process that started a number of weeks ago and is under the ultimate control of the News Corp board through the independent director Viet Dinh, Joel Klein and the Management and Standards Committee”.

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#mobilemedia11: Over 55s with iPads are ‘sweet spot’ for Telegraph

June 14th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile, Online Journalism

The number of subscribers who pay to use the Telegraph’s iPad app are “hugely encouraging”, said Tim Rowell, director of mobile development at the Telegraph Media Group.

The app has received a boost as there are more over 55s with iPads than under 35s, Rowell explained, “which is a sweet spot for us as they are our readers”.

Research shows the average age of the Telegraph iPad reader is 47, about half way between average age of print and web reader.

Speaking at the Media Briefing’s Mobile Media Strategies event today, Rowell refused to go further and reveal how many people had signed up since the launch of the subscriber app on 5 May.

The Telegraph’s paid for app launched just over a month ago with readers paying £1.19 a day (which is 19 pence more than the print edition due to the limited rates set by Apple) or £9.99 a month. The Telegraph’s 340,000 print subscribers are able to access the content via the app without paying extra.

The fact readers are willing to pay is “incredibly reassuring”, Rowell explained, as feedback before the launch of the subscriber app suggested the reverse.

The research was carried out by “rushing out” a free iPad app and gathering audience data. Approximately 60,000 people agreed to have their browsing information analysed. The inclusion of web trends showed what people were reading, when and whether they were using 3G or a wifi network.

The free app research showed weekend reading was twice as popular as week-day reading on the app, with two daily peaks, at 7am and 9pm. As the app was updated just once a day readers were accessing content that was almost 12 hours old. “But that was not important”, Rowell said.

In edition to wider audience data, around 1,800 people submitted a feedback form to give the Telegraph an even more detailed picture of what readers wanted, which included the crossword.

The biggest surprise in the research findings was the worldwide spread of iPad Telegraph readers, Rowell said.

Another key lesson is that the app is “not a substitution for print”, Rowell said, and it requires spend. The annual running costs of an app are around six times the cost of building the iPad app.

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Ed Balls denies Telegraph accusation of ‘plot’ to overthrow Blair

June 10th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

The Telegraph today published a series of documents including letters said to have been sent between former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, revealing what the newspaper called “the extraordinary rift at the heart of Labour”.

The cache of documents show for the first time Mr Brown’s feelings towards Mr Blair in his own words and handwriting, material which has previously only been the subject of speculation and second-hand reports from anonymous sources.

In its report on the contents of the files, more than 30 memos reportedly belonging to Labour MP and former education secretary Ed Balls, the Telegraph accuses the MP of being involved in a “plot” to overthrow Blair, an allegation which he told the BBC today is “not true”.

Look I’m not going to deny to you there weren’t tensions, there weren’t arguments. It was hard during that period … But the allegation there was a plot, that there was nastiness, brutality, is just not true. It’s not justified either by the documents themselves or by what was actually happening at the time.

The Cabinet Office has since confirmed it is looking at whether the particular set of papers was in the possession of any government department, and only then would it look at whether a breach had occurred. Following this announcement the Guardian reports that education secretary Michael Gove said he was “confident his office will be cleared”.

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Telegraph: Lawyers apply for access to Sun journalists’ emails and texts

May 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal, Newspapers

Lawyers acting for a footballer at the centre of a superinjunction have applied for an order to gain access to emails and text messages sent by former editor of the Sun Kelvin Mackenzie and the paper’s employees, the Telegraph reports.

This follows comments made by Mackenzie on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in relation to superinjunctions in general, when he said that when he gets texts asking who the people are – “I always reply who it is”, he said.

All the time I get flooded by readers emails every week asking for the name, and sometimes I give it and sometimes I don’t.

At the time he said he responds “despite the fact I’ve been warned by various judges and lawyers that I face the prospect of contempt of court and the prospect of going to jail”.

In the Telegraph’s report Richard Spearman QC, for News Group, is quoted as saying that the application “was disproportionate”.

“It is a very major incursion into (Sun employees’) rights and News Group as a media organisation,” said Mr Spearman. “It is wholly unprecedented to ask for an order in this way, on the basis of such flimsy evidence and to such a large extent.”

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Telegraph: Injunction bars publication of information on social media

May 13th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The Telegraph reports that an order has been issued in the Court of Protection which specifically bars the publication of related information on Facebook and Twitter.

This follows the posting of allegations on Twitter related to celebrities who were accused of having sought injunctions to protect their privacy.

Legal experts said they had never seen an injunction which specifically barred publication of information on social networking websites. The order also bars reporters from going within 164 foot (50 metres) of the woman’s care home without permission.

See the Telegraph’s full report here…

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Reuters: Yudu launches service to help publishers evade Apple subscription cut

May 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Reuters reported this week that digital publishing company Yudu has launched a service which means magazine publishers can evade the 30 per cent cut which Apple takes when subscriptions are charged through the App Store.

Yudu, whose online publishing tools help companies tailor their content for tablet computers, smartphones and ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle, said Apple had recognized its new service as compliant with its terms and conditions.

… The new dual-subscriptions system from Yudu, whose customers include Reader’s Digest and Haymarket, allows users to download publications onto their Apple device through the App Store, even when the purchase is made directly from the publisher.

Read the full story here…

Yesterday the Telegraph announced the launch of a new iPad app which appeared to follow Apple’s new rules, which state that while publishers are allowed to make a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer must also be made available inside the app, through which Apple will take a 30 per cent cut.

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Media release: Telegraph launches new subscription iPad app

May 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The Telegraph today announced the launch of its new iPad app, which offers content from the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

The app can be purchased through the App Store, either individual, daily editions or an auto-renewable monthly subscription, both through In-App Purchase.

Print subscribers have free access using their existing customer credentials, the release adds.

This appears to follow Apple’s new rules regarding publisher apps, which state that while publishers are allowed to make a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer must also be made available inside the app, through which Apple will take a 30 per cent cut.

The new Telegraph app is free to download with individual, daily editions priced at £1.19 or a monthly subscription of £9.99.

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April Fools’ Day: Headline hoaxes from the morning’s news

April 1st, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Midday has brought another April Fools’ Day to a close, and the UK media has gone to town as usual. We’ve taken a look at some of this year’s spurious stories.

Jeremy Paxman is quitting University Challenge because of a move to multiple choice questions, if this article in the Radio Times is to be believed.

Teams will be given three lifelines, to be used once only per match: “switch”, “clue” and “phone a Professor”. They will also be permitted to confer on starter questions. It is thought that this last change was what persuaded Paxman to tender his resignation.

The Telegraph has gone for this Labour party memo urging members to celebrate the wedding of Ed Miliband and Justine Thornton with “street parties, trifles and bunting”.

BBC Radio 4 opted for a breakthrough in 3D sound that threatens to put John Humphrys inside your head. (Not quite their April Fool a few years ago, in which Brian Eno reworked the Archers theme tune.)

Now the musician and sound pioneer Robert Fripp and Simon Heyworth, a leading sound engineer who produced Tubular Bells, have been working with the BBC so that for the first time 3D sound should be available to Radio 4 listeners.

The Independent reports that Portugal is to sell Ronaldo to raise €160 million to help alleviate its national debt.

In a move which some observers claimed “will lead to the destruction of the World Cup”, Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to “act like a patriot” and be sold to neighbouring Spain for €160m.

According to this article on Pulse, patients will be staffing GP surgeries.

Romford patient Rick Dagless was one of the first to hail the move, which he described as ‘dangerously progressive’. He said: ‘I may not have been to medical school, but I am a fast learner and a good people-person. How hard can it be?’

The Sun – always good for an April Fool gag – has gorillas running around with iPads in “Planet of the Apps”. The article claims that gorillas at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park have been given iPads (though presumably not the iPad 2, unless the gorillas have had better luck than most getting their hands on the sell-out device).

Fathers’ groups are taking legal action against Mumsnet on this mock BBC News site.  “To clarify, this April Fools’ hoax story has nothing to do with the BBC”, a tweet from the official BBC News Twitter account said.

A number of groups representing male parents, including Justice for Fathers, Men Can Be Mothers Too and Fathers Need Forums, have launched a class action, believed to be the biggest of its kind in protest against the site’s growing influence over politics and popular culture.

An edible edition was this morning’s page three hoax from UK freesheet Metro.

In a move that might suggest Willy Wonka has taken over the editor’s chair, newsprint and food experts have combined to cook up a sweet-tasting paper that will soon be sugar-rolling off the Metro presses.

The EU is to appoint a high-level truth teller, if this euobserver.com article is to be believed.

Other tasks include throwing custard pies at prime ministers whose economies require an EU-IMF bailout and sounding a klaxon whenever anybody uses the phrases “shared values” or “human rights” in reference to EU foreign policy.

Builders will no longer be tempted to wolf-whistle according to this blog entry on Builder Scrap.

The “Stop That Hard Hat” comes with tiny speakers which play pre-recorded messages to the offending builder whenever they detect a wolf-whistle.

The first whistling offence prompts a warning about site behaviour.

And any further whistling leads to recorded readings from the works of famous feminist writers like Germaine Greer and Andrea Dworkin.

The Bookseller reports that bookshops are to have a quota on foreign authors.

The Bookseller has learned Prime Minister David Cameron is set to give a speech today outlining his latest iteration of the “Big Society”. A DCMS spokesman said: “The publishing industry needs protecting from the Browns, Larssons and Meyers of this world. We think British literature should be celebrated, not swamped.”

The Guardian – which went Twitter only in 1999 – has launched this live blog on the royal wedding.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to be married at Westminster Abbey in four weeks time. In something of an about turn, the Guardian today pledges its “full throated support” for the monarchy [which is a contribution form Comment is Free]. Follow here for live coverage of all the latest royal wedding news, build up and reaction.

And Will and Kate are going to Cleethorpes for their honeymoon, according to this article on This is Grimsby.

The Grimsby Telegraph can exclusively reveal that The Pier will be hosting the party for the royal newlyweds, which will also be attended by the groom’s best-man, his brother Prince Harry.

A delighted Jack Smith, spokesman for the nightclub said: “We’ve got a special event that’s taking place where the Prince and Princess will be attending.”

And from the so-called ‘Marmite couple’ to Grazia’s Marmite Vaseline.

Thus, it’s altogether very exciting news that Vaseline have sent us their new lip therapy with (wait for it!) a hint of MARMITE! Yummy scrummy and perfect for an elevenses top up. Give it a try and let us know whether you love it or hate it…

With thanks to everyone who sent April Fools’ pranks to @journalismnews. We’ve included suggestions from @BeckieOwens @stevenowottny @GMPrendergast @crimeticreader @Le_Chat. Keep the tweets coming as we’ll be doing another April Fools’ pranks round-up at the end of the day.

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Guardian: Telegraph journalists ‘provisionally cleared’ by leak investigation

The Guardian has reported that journalists at the Telegraph have been ‘provisionally cleared’ by an internal investigation reportedly being carried out to look into how taped recordings of Vince Cable “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch were picked up by the BBC.

Some of the comments made by the business secretary in relation to News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB, which were recorded by undercover reporters from the Telegraph and had not been published by the paper at the time were instead reported by BBC business editor Robert Peston on his blog.

According to the Guardian the inquiry, which it claims was being carried out by private investigation firm Kroll, has “initially concluded that none of the paper’s editorial staff were involved in the leak of the explosive recording”.

The Telegraph Media Group previously told Journalism.co.uk that it does not comment on internal security matters.

The Press Complaints Commission is currently investigating the ‘use of subterfuge’ in the Cable expose, under Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

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