Data from the Newspaper Marketing Agency, turned into an interactive graphic by paidContent:UK, suggests that the Drudge Report and BBC News are two of the top traffic drivers to UK commercial newspaper websites.
The BBC News site referred 1,992,425 unique users to the papers’ websites in April, according to the figures.
Google dominates the search referrals list, directing 39,694,597 unique users to the sites. While Twitter is yet to make the top 10 of sites referring traffic to newspapers, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg are all up there.
Ahead of his Court of Appeal hearing today, Simon Singh sets out his reasons for why English and Welsh libel law should be reformed.
The first problem is clear. A libel case is so horrendously expensive that most writers, scientists and journalists cannot afford to defend their writing, even if they are convinced it is accurate and important. These costs can easily run to over £1 million and are wholly disproportionate to the damages involved, which might be less than £10,000.
Speaking about his own case and that of British cardiologist Dr Peter Wilmshurst, who is being sued for libel by an American corporation, Singh writes:
Dr Wilmshurst is not a scaremonger, but a doctor of the highest integrity who won the 2003 HealthWatch award for his courage in challenging misconduct in medical research. However, his reward this time has been a two-year legal battle that could bankrupt him.
When I asked why he bothered to fight on when it would be so much easier to back down and apologise, he replied: “If I fail to speak out then I am not doing my job as a doctor and I am breaking the Hippocratic Oath. I’d rather be sued for libel.”
A legal case dating back to 2006 involving a musical trio, the Gilettes, their agent and an Italian restaurant in Leeds could have a significant impact on the use of fair comment as a defence in UK libel actions.
In the case, which will be brought in front of the Supreme Court, the Gilettes as claimants have had two applications for a defence of fair comment by their agent 1311 events struck out.
Explains the Guardian:
It will be the first study of the issue by the country’s highest legal authority since the law lords looked into it almost 20 years ago. Media organisations hope it will clear away a tangle of legal complexities around a defence which many claim has become increasingly difficult to mount in recent years: that an opinion is not libellous if it is based on fact, is in the public interest and is levelled without malice.
Journalism students need to be taught entrepreneurship skills, says Waldram – a trend that is emerging in the US and slowly starting in the UK.
“Part of the problem, I think, is not only that journalism courses are slow to amend their teaching syllabus in accordance with the changing times (probably because they have worked so well untouched for years), but also many local newspapers have failed to adapt to digital migration at the same pace as their readers. So even if trained journalists fresh out of j-school are given the right tool-set to aptly do online news, there are at the moment little places from them to shine while regional newspapers themselves adjust. In that gap, however, students could use what skills they do have to start up hyperlocal sites to continue practise their unique combination of traditional and new media skills. It’s this entrepreneurship which is being taught at CUNY, and our British counterparts should also be encouraged to do,” she writes.
Olivier Laurent’s extensive report into the use of the terrorism act against photographers suggests that many British police forces have been permitted use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search individuals, including photographers – with Derbyshire’s force, so far, being the only exception.
The British Journal of Photography (BJP) filed 46 Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to chief constables in Britain to determine whether they had requested permission to use the section of the Act in their regions.
A number of forces declined the information requests, according to BJP.
“[C]ounties including Cumbria, Essex, Hertfordshire, Merseyside, and Surrey all declined to answer, claiming that although there is a public interest in the transparency of policing operations, release of any details regarding the use of S44 could threaten the health and safety of the public and the police force itself,” reports Laurent.
Catwalk Queen, Kiss and Make Up, Bag Lady, Shoewawa, Crafty Crafty, Dollymix, Trashionista, Shiny Gloss, Star Trip and Nollie have been bought up by Bright Station’s new vehicle Aigua Media Limited, reports TC UK.
The remaining Shiny titles remain with Shiny Digital Ltd, which bought Shiny Media straight after it was announced that it was going into administration.
“I think group blogs with varied teams of contributors may be best placed to provide a decent level of coverage and draw a good readership, while competing effectively with other media outlets. That is a trend we have seen in the political blog niche over several years – the sites which have established themselves and maintain a position as key sites have developed progressively larger teams of editors, and provided a wider range of commentary and services,” he suggests.
The latest figures for UK users from the audited ABCes together with Compete‘s figures for American site usage show how USA traffic is vital for UK newspaper sites.
On average, US traffic is 36.8 per cent of the UK traffic (i.e. there is just over one US visitor for every 3 UK visitors). The figure for the Telegraph is slightly higher (44.5 per cent) and for the Mail it’s a massive 62.5 per cent.