Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t…

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Media Guido has been invited to pay £210 plus VAT to learn about the future of news as told by keynote speakers from Twitter ($1.8 billion in debt), Buzzfeed ($96.3 million in debt after 8 years), Sky News (reputed to lose £10 million annually) and the BBC (not-for-profit). Where has Guido gone wrong?

Lefty Topspin Takes Sheen Off Buzzfeed

“Michael Sheen Has Delivered A Furious Attack On The Tories’ Treatment Of The NHS” reads the Buzzfeed headline reporting on a speech by the actor over the weekend. Sheen “delivered a impassioned speech in defence of the NHS” and apparently “people on the internet are absolutely loving it”. But was Sheen’s speech quite the anti-Tory diatribe Buzzfeed claimed? Read down to the bottom of the article and he actually said:

“This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS as any Tory or coalition [government].”

Even the Guardian headline“Michael Sheen defends NHS against ‘bland’ politicians” – reflected Sheen’s non-partisan position. Their write up makes clear Sheen was criticising “politicians in thrall to the market from both Conservative and Labour parties”. Such left-wing topspin would make even HuffPo UK blush…

Future of Journalism Update

Step One: Tumblr blogger uploads image of a dress, which some people think is gold and white, and others think is blue and black.

Step Two: Buzzfeed lifts Tumblr post.

Step Three: The Buzzfeed post receives 22 million pageviews and draws more visitors to the site at any one time than anything ever has before. By contrast, Buzzfeed doesn’t publish the pageviews on its interview with Barack Obama.

Step Four: Buzzfeed’s team offer their analysis of the site’s most popular story ever:

No cats were harmed in the making of the story. It’s the future of journalism…

Buzzfeed Sign Sting Queen Heidi Blake

Great get for Buzzfeed, who have impressively managed to convince Heidi Blake to join them from the Sunday Times. No secret that the Sunday Times has less of an appetite for expensive investigations, especially after losing a million plus to Peter Cruddas in a defamation case. Heidi, of FIFA files fame, was famously herself stung in the video above last year. Finally Buzzfeed will now surely start to break some real stories…

Buzzfeed Writer “Regrets” Charlie Hebdo Victim-Blaming

siraj-datoo

Siraj Datoo has responded to our story in a statement, admitting he was wrong to write “Don’t let Charlie Hebdo be seen as a victim” in a 2011 Muslim News article:

“I wrote a piece more than 3 years ago as a 21 year old undergraduate student. The headline is false and overblown, and I regret it: the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were victims then and were, horrifically, victims yesterday. I strongly believe in freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to offend.

The article was clumsily trying to say what many journalists have since reported, that the magazine was a provocative one, with satire that aimed to provoke, but that has no bearing on yesterday’s horrific, indefensible attacks.”

No apology…

Buzzfeed Reporter: “Don’t Let Charlie Hebdo Be Seen as Victim”
Accused Dead Journalists of Whinging After Firebombing

siraj-datoo

Here are 6 reasons why Buzzfeed’s UK political reporter Siraj Datoo might have thought twice before sending the above “#JeSuisCharlie” tweet today. Writing in Muslim News when Charlie Hebdo was previously firebombed in response to its publication of a cartoon of Muhammed, Datoo wrote under the headline “Don’t let Charlie Hebdo be seen as a victim”:

  1. “Now Charlie Hebdo has started to act the martyr”
  2. “The issue is simply an attempt to mock perceived Islamic values, rather than to make a serious point”
  3. “this issue was direct goading and I argue that the primary aim was to create controversy”
  4. “this special issue lacked hilarity and instead has continued the right-wing Islamophobic trend that has been sweeping the country”
  5. “Perhaps the political leaders should now be asking whether they have indeed gone too far with their attack on Islam and should instead be concentrating on real matters that affect the nation”
  6. “They re-published the same issue in the name of freedom of expression and started to whinge”

Hardly in keeping with Buzzfeed’s professed editorial values:

We tried to get hold of Siraj Datoo, he was not available for comment…

NB. For context, here is the original article.

UPDATE: Nigel Farage weighs in:

What Happened to Newspaper Advertising Revenue?

GoogleAdRevenue

Peter Preston points out that the recent announcement from Times Newspapers Limited (London) that 51% of revenue was coming from print and digital sales seemed to boast how digital subscriptions were soaring; “it may equally have been demonstrating how far ad revenue had slumped”This is why Buzzfeed is valued at more than The Times…

Yet Another Telegraph Departure

Still they come. Telegraph assistant comment editor Tom Chivers is the latest name to leave Buckingham Palace Road, joining his former boss Rob Colvile at Buzzfeed. The paper of Bill Deedes has stooped to listicles and cat pictures in recent months, so Buzzfeed is a natural stable for the exodus. If his witty and fascinating Twitter feed is anything to go by, Chivers will fit in well…

UPDATE: And another! Stephen Bush is off to edit the Staggers blog. Will the last person to leave the Telegraph please do the Morning Briefing…

Trinity Mirror CEO Blasts Brooks Newmark Story Critics
Buzzfeed, Telegraph Criticised for Revealing Innocents’ Names

brooks-newmark-mirror-frontpage

Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox has put out an extremely robust defence of the Sunday Mirror/Brooks Newmark story:

“Whilst this has attracted a barrage of negative comment and the threat of an IPSO investigation, we believe that we were

[…]

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Awkward Fact Check of the Week

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Buzzfeed Sign Jim Waterson as First Political Editor

Buzzfeed have snapped up City Am’s Jim Waterson as their new UK political editor. There were no shortage of ambitious, twentysomething applicants for the job, but Buzzfeed have pulled off a bit of a coup signing a journalist who has […]

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12 Things Buzzfeed Need to Know About the British Blogosphere

Guido would like to welcome BuzzFeed to the UK online scene. They’ve had a highly prolific first day and are pressing the right buttons with their booze up tonight. Guido thought he would share with them some top tips for […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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