Nicholas Watt New Newsnight Political Editor


Congratulations to Nick Watt, the telegenic Guardian chief political correspondent who has been appointed the new Newsnight political editor. A deserved escape route from Kings Place for pretty-boy Watt after he was snubbed for the pol-ed job there. Ian Katz hires yet another Guardian journalist. More as we get it…

Guido Gets Guardian Gong

The Guardian’s Ed Snowden coverage in 2014 led to a series of high-profile awards, notably a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy. So what on earth was this gong doing on sale in a Richmond Oxfam?

Guido dispatched a roving reporter to find out…

Apparently an unidentified benefactor turned up at the Oxfam on Friday afternoon and handed the Pulitzer in. It was quickly snapped up for a fiver by a mysterious telephone bidder just before the store closed, though Guido managed to get his hands on the Guardian‘s Emmy for just £4.99.

emmy award guardian

The prizes were most likely wall hangings for senior journalist’s offices. Guido’s new intern has only been here a week and he’s already landed an Emmy…

Guardian’s 13,000 Unpaid Students

Earlier Guido pointed out the Guardian’s hypocrisy in criticising the Tab for using unpaid student writers, when they do the exact same thing. The Tab has asked the Guardian’s press office how many student writers they have on their ‘Blogging Students’ site. The response is sensational.

A Guardian News & Media spokesman said:

“Blogging Students is part of our established Guardian Students network with over 13,000 members. As active members of the community, students are invited to share their experiences through blogging. The guidelines about how to pitch work for Blogging Students outline that these blogs are not paid. Some of our best bloggers have been commissioned to write paid pieces.”

So the Guardian has a potential total of over 13,000 unpaid student bloggers. That is more than four times the number who wrote for the Tab last year. The most successful Guardian student bloggers get paid, as do the Tab’s, but most do not. Amusing that the Guardian would accuse the Tab of “exploitation” when they do the same thing with four times as many students…

Hypocrisy of Guardian Attack on Tab

The Guardian has executed a drive-by shooting on The Tab, the popular student news site which has successfully disrupted the old student media establishment. Headlined “The Tab picks up business without paying”, the hit piece accuses the site of “exploitation” because some student contributors are unpaid. The Guardian article’s pay-off line implies the Tab is “starting to look like” a “bullsh*t company who are trying to f*ck [young people] over”. Miaow!

Five days ago the Guardian updated its own “editorial experience” page for young writers. It “offers a limited number of short editorial experience opportunities throughout the year to those dedicated to a career in journalism”, and includes real work writing stories, “getting involved in editorial activities”. Applicants are told: “These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”.

The Guardian’s double standards are all the more bizarre since student contributors to the Tab do not expect to be paid. The Tab’s executive editor Joshi Herrmann cuttingly replies: “I think we’re one of the few media groups at the moment that’s employing people, not laying people off”. The Tab last night asked the Guardian’s press office how many unpaid interns they use a year. They have yet to receive a response…

UPDATE: Read the spectacular update on MediaGuido here.

Job Culls Coming at Indy, Guardian, Telegraph


Evgeny Lebedev is expected to close the Indy and Sindy print editions as soon as tonight. Of the 150 full-time staff, just 20 or so look like they’ll moving over to the i paper. It will not be difficult for the owners to find voluntary redundancies. Many journalists at the Indy will be loathe to work for the much-derided, clickbait-obsessed online offering.

Meanwhile the Guardian is imposing 20% cuts, with staff warned in an email this morning that “As our staff costs are by far our biggest overhead, one outcome of the budgeting process may be that redundancies are proposed”. They are looking at 100 redundancies, and according to Beth Rigby they want to start with their “on leave” columnist Seumas Milne. He is in line for a £90,000 payout.

Media sources tell Guido that the Telegraph is set to announce a jobs cull next week. Print journalists there are furious at the dumbing down of content for their own ‘digital first’, Indy-style clickbait-based website. You will often find the exact same traffic-farming stories on the Telegraph site as you will on the Indy online. See the Telegraph’s “Man with two penises writes tell-all memoir” and the i100’s “The man with two penises has now written a tell-all memoir”. 

The FT have some killer numbers:

“Fleet Street’s large newsroom may be unsustainable. The Times had 454 editorial staff at last count, The Sun 525, the Daily Telegraph 662 and The Guardian, following expansion overseas, 925.”

Online-only is the only option. The question now is how proprietors and executives will reconcile the trend for traffic-driving churnalism to the pay the bills with actual, old-fashioned journalism in the digital age. The future of journalism is specialism, the most profitable online media operations have focus, that generates specific audience demographics that can be packaged for advertisers at premium prices.

Belam’s Back


Martin Belam, possibly the most over-rated person on social media, is going back to the Guardian to continue wasting money on behalf of people who don’t really know what to do on the internet. He cratered over at Trinity Mirror, where the appeal of his Ampp3d / UsVsThem projects was lost on executives struggling to keep the media group viable. The Guardian itself reported “Trinity Mirror moved to close the sites last May, with the loss of almost 30 roles, citing high running costs for low volume of traffic”. Belam’s career is littered with supposedly innovative internet projects which are soon abandoned after having less appeal than cat GIFs. Read interviews with Belam over the years and he can sound a bit like fellow social media expert Siobhan:

The Guardian says “he is the perfect person to lead our new social strategy and team.” Belam says “It’s a fabulous opportunity to look at new ways of digital storytelling…” Guido can’t help wondering if any of these new ways of storytelling might include “making profits”?

Guardian Embraces Austerity

As we go to pixel, a major company meeting is taking place over at King’s Place where Guardian staff are being informed of 20% cuts to be imposed on their publisher, Guardian News & Media. The meeting had to be split into two parts – one at 11am, a second at 2pm – because the Guardian has so many members of staff. A neat illustration of the problem…

The key figures are:

  • Running costs cut by 20%, over £50 million
  • £52 million operating loss expected in year to the end of March
  • Operating costs reach £268 million, up 23% in the last five years
  • Cash and investment fund down £100 million on last year
  • Print advertising falls by 25%

Unbelievably the investment fund, which was supposed to finance The Guardian’s losses in perpetuity, lost 12% – down £100 million from £838 million to £735 million. Who is trading the fund, William Keegan?

GNM chief executive David Pemsel isn’t commenting on potential job losses. He told staff today: “It’s very easy to look back and say the Guardian has made mistakes”. Worth noting that Alan Rusbridger spent £4.5 billion during his tenure as editor…

Media Guardian Pulls “Disgraceful” Bowie Video

Media Guardian were not impressed with Channel 5 for showing Angie Bowie in tears on Big Brother, with editor Kath Viner tweeting that the footage was “disgraceful“. So disgraceful that the Guardian posted the clip in its entirety above their article.

The clip has now been removed from the Guardian website and replaced with a still. It was The Last Thing You Should Do

Pat-riarchy Stumps Sir Michael White

The ‘one Pat in, one Pat out’ approach to the reshuffle confounded poor Sir Michael White:

The incoming Pat (top right) certainly is a proper northerner, but she isn’t a “he”.

Guido knows the feeling, it was approaching day three of the reshuffle when the move was announced.[…]


Last Minute Gift Idea for Guardian Readers


Something for the Seumas in your life? Cooking for Kulaks (witty blank pages), borscht for bolsheviks, perhaps some old time gulag gruel? A Corbyn stocking filler they say. “CCCP Cook Book”, the inedible for the unspeakable…

Hat-tip: Jackie Danicki[…]


Stay Classy, Guardian

Congratulations to the Guardian for the most unpleasant headline of the day. John Crace, the man who writes their unfunny parliamentary sketches, had this to say about the Maggie Thatcher auction yesterday in a piece laced with bitterness:

“The old dear would have loved it, with her friends and enemies at last united.



Guardian Pol Ed Job Share

The Guardian have appointed Sky’s Anushka Asthana and Observer economics editor Heather Stewart to share the political editor job. A massive snub for Nick Watt, who was the overwhelming favourite for the job and seemed a shoo-in to step up following Patrick Wintour’s departure.[…]


Record High Numbers of Polar Bears

polar bears

The Guardian is having a field day following the publication of a report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The paper endorsed the report’s rather sensationalised claims that polar bears are likely to have their numbers decimated by global warming:

Global warming is now the single most important threat to the survival of the polar bear with retreating sea ice set to decimate populations, according to a new study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 



Seumas Milne’s Closeness to Guardian Editor

There has been consternation in Labour circles and at the Guardian over Seumas Milne being allowed to work for Jeremy Corbyn while “on leave” from King’s Place. The bizarre arrangement suggests he still has his column waiting for him if and when things go south with Jezza.[…]


Guardian Seeks Digital-Friendly Pol Ed

Last month Guido brought you the news that Guardian political editor Patrick Wintour is stepping down. It seems new editor Kath Viner is looking for someone a bit more digital-friendly.

“Understanding of social media” is “a strong advantage” says the job advert, going on to stress the successful candidate will have to “embrace social media as part of the Guardian’s commitment to open journalism and engagement of our audience”.[…]


Zoe Williams: “I Really Don’t Have a Problem” With Protesters Spitting at Journalists

Guardian charmer Zoe Williams has told the Daily Politics “I really don’t have a problem” with protesters spitting on her journalist colleagues:

“The fact that some people spit and throw eggs… actually I think there is a kind of persistent exclusion from some voices in the debate and you cannot blame people for ultimately becoming quite angry.



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Trump jokes about media bias…

“The media is even more biased against me than ever before. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. It’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My Wife Melania gives the exact same speech! And people get on her case! And I don’t get it! I don’t know Why!”

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