Former Scotland on Sunday assistant editor signed up by magazine to effectively replace Stephen Pollard, who left to edit the Jewish Chronicle.
The Jewish Chronicle has launched a social networking feature on its website. As previously reported by Journalism.co.uk, the paper’s site is run using open source Drupal software.
Former Mirror-boss David Montgomery’s Danish lieutenant, Lisbeth Knudsen, is contemplating the move, which could save a substantial sum of money – but it does not come without risk.
Berlingske Media already runs some of its sites on Drupal – a long-time favourite free content management system (CMS) of web hacker-geeks – but many consider the open source solution more vulnerable to hackers than proprietary systems.
“Our sports portal, launched early in June, is developed in Drupal, and we will use this for more sites. We are in the process of evaluating future online solutions, and will make a decision on this later this year. So far we have chosen Drupal for some of our smaller sites and Saxotech online for the bigger,” Knudsen told me.
But is Drupal up to the task?
The Danish newspaper publisher is in the process of integrating all its titles into ‘verticals’ that deliver copy across platforms and titles, and its sports site carries material from several of Berlingske’s titles.
Henning Sund, head of digital development for newspaper publisher Edda Media, is sceptical about how well Drupal is suited to such large-scale projects.
”I think part of the reason Berlingske Media is considering Drupal is that they are so desperate to get away from Saxotech Online. That is a desire I understand perfectly,” he said, explaining that Edda Media, Mecom’s Norwegian division, is also in the process of replacing Saxotech Online, but Drupal is not a candidate.
”I do not feel the security in Drupal is well-documented enough. We want a provider that can take responsibility for this, something we will not get with Drupal,” said Sund, adding that you also have to spend a lot of money on developing the desired functionality in Drupal, as it is not ‘plug and play’.
Berlingske-owned AOK.dk, a city guide for Copenhagen that runs on Drupal, has used an east European company to develop extra functionality in Drupal – a concept that has been exported to Berlin and Mecom Germany.
However, Sund does not think that Mecom boss Montgomery will impose Drupal as the standard CMS throughout the company should it be a success:
“Montgomery has made it very clear that as long as you reach your budget targets, you can choose the solutions you see fit. However, if you do not reach these targets, you will get Montgomery breathing down your neck, and that is something you would do anything to avoid.”
For more news on newspapers harnessing open source read about The Jewish Chronicle’s launch of a beta site using Drupal.
Trinity Mirror shares today crashed 25% after the group said profits would be 10% lower than expected.
Lord Heseltine, the chairman of Haymarket Media Group, has warned of tightening trading conditions over the next 18 months, as the magazine publisher today announced a 5% increase in pre-tax profits to £31.7m for last year.
Condé Nast will launch a UK version of Wired magazine and its accompanying website next year and has hired the Jewish Chronicle’s editor, David Rowan, to edit it.
Trinity Mirror shares suffered a record one-day fall yesterday after the newspaper publisher admitted that advertising at the Daily Mirror and its sister titles had collapsed by between 12 per cent and 14 per cent in May and June.
“OK – I’m a rubbish reviewer, but here we go.”
ITV executive chairman Michael Grade has criticised the Office of Fair Trading’s decision to refer proposed video on demand service Kangaroo to the Competition Commission, saying there was a “serious problem” with the regulatory framework.
“In the sometimes fraught relationship between old and new media, the BBC is the latest organisation to come under the spotlight.”