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paidContent:UK: How BBC News and Drudge send UK newspapers traffic

June 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Traffic

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.

Full chart and stats at this link…

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paidContent:UK: FT confirms new additions to subscription model

March 2nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

The Financial Times has confirmed it will add a new day pass and weekly pass, powered by online payment system Pay Pal, as part of its online access model.

While the pass is different from the FT’s direct payment for an anual subscription, as paidContent:UK points out this isn’t quite a move to micropayments.

But FT CEO John Ridding did comment on the potential for micropayments to support an annual subscription while speaking on the new plans at the FT’s Digital Media and Broadcasting conference.

Full story at this link…

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Telegraph.co.uk: It’s too late for me, but libel laws must change, says Singh

February 23rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

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.

Singh, who is being sued by the British Chiropractic Association for an article he wrote for the Guardian in April 2008, will today challenge a ruling made on the case by Justice Eady – full details at this link.

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.”

Full article at this link…

Disclaimer: Journalism.co.uk has pledged its support to the ongoing Libel Reform campaign and petition, which is supporting Singh’s case.

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Guardian: Fair comment, the soul trio and a change for UK libel laws?

February 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

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.

Full story at this link…

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Hannah Waldram: ‘What journalism students need to know’

November 3rd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Training

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.

Full post at this link…

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BJP: Derbyshire – the best place to live as a photographer?

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.

Full report at this link…

There’s also a breakdown of how the police forces responded to the FoI requests by county.

Follow this link for more coverage of photography and the UK’s Terrorism Act.

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Online Journalism Blog: Can the UK government save journalism?

August 21st, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Paul Bradshaw suggests a number of steps (with examples) that the government could take ‘to create an environment that supports good journalism’:

  • Release of public data
  • Tax relief on donations to support investigative journalism
  • Encouraging innovation and enterprise
  • Reskilling of redundant journalists
  • An effective local news consortia

Well worth a read – and more suggestions are welcome.

Full post at this link…

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TechCrunch UK: Shiny Media’s fashion blogs go to Bright Station

Shiny Media, the UK blog network that went into administration last month, has sold its fashion sites to Bright Station, an original backer of the company.

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.

Former Shiny Media title Who Ate All The Pies was bought by Anorak, but has experienced problems with the site, as it remained on Shiny Media’s server. (According to a tweet from editor Ollie Irish the site should be moved as of Monday)

Full post at this link…

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Online Journalism Blog: Help map local blogs in the UK

A call to action on behalf of the Online Journalism Blog, which with the help of Matt Wardman, is attempting to build a map of locally-focused blogs in the UK.

You can submit the name of any local blogs you know of via an online form.

Matt has some interesting thoughts on the opportunities for local news blogs in this post too.

“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.

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Malcolm Coles: How US traffic is vital for UK newspaper sites

July 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers, Traffic

This is a cross-post from Malcolm Coles’ personal website. You can read other posts by Coles on the Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog at this link.

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.

Newspaper
site
USA
visitors
(Compete)
UK
visitors
(ABCe)
US users
as % of UK
Daily Mail 5,199,078 8,316,083 62.5
Telegraph 4,087,769 9,184,082 44.5
Times Online 2,805,815 7,668,637 36.6
Guardian 3,676,498 10,211,385 36.0
Independent 1,317,298 3,781,320 34.8
The Sun 2,419,319 8,704,036 27.8
Mirror 748,098 4,907,540 15.2
FT.com 5,960,589 n/a n/a
Express 63,216 n/a n/a
Average 2,919,742 7,539,012 36.8

These figures are all for June 2009. The FT wasn’t audited in June’s ABCes. The Express isn’t in the ABCes.

They are further proof that the Mail’s success in the June ABCes was driven by American searches for Michael Jackson’s kids.

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