Alas SunNation, We Knew It Well

sunnation

Farewell SunNation, the Sun’s outside-the-paywall experiment with a blog format has now gone with the raison d’être of the paywall. This again brings into focus the future of tabloids now it has been established that in the age of social media paywalls for popular papers are counter-productive. As far as Guido knows no mass market tabloid in the world has successfully made the transition to a digital model.

Digital first sceptics point out that for all the traffic success of Mail Online and The Guardian, they don’t really make much profit. In the case of the digital Guardian they make no profit. That is because undifferentiated general traffic does not command a high premium from advertisers. Also free online versions inevitably cannibalise the print readers…

Digital first optimists argue that there is no choice other than to deliver content where people increasingly want it, to their phones and tablets. And deliver it fast and first if you want to succeed. 

How will we make any money ask the digital sceptics? If paid subscriptions don’t work for tabloids in the digital era will it be Buzzfeed style advertorial? Video ads? Product placement? The digital first optimists point out that tabloid print sales are collapsing and soon they won’t make money either…

TABLOIDS

The Mirror is contemplating a cut-price, slimmed down version of the paper along the lines of the i, The Independent’s successful cut-down version. The more successful print innovator is actually the London Evening Standard, London’s now free high-quality evening paper is brimming with advertising. Could a tabloid thrive on advertising revenue alone? Metro and City AM show that advertising-only supported papers can be viable. It is possible that a national could go free, double or triple circulation, and suck up more than enough advertising to make up for the lost cover-price revenue. Guido noticed that last weekend the Sun on Sunday was distributed free in some places in Ireland…

Unscrupulous Indy ‘Named and Shamed’

The Indy are calling on people to expose unscrupulous employeers who don’t pay them for their work. They’ve had no fewer than four articles on the issue today alone, “naming and shaming” culprits who don’t pay the minimum wage. And they’re looking for more:

Step forward freelance journalist Jane Fay, who writes for the Indy website. For the grand sum of zero.

“Named and shamed…”

Alibhai-Brown Tries to Sniff out British Jews

brown

The increasingly doddery Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has been wheeled out by the Indy again today and her column is a corker. In it, the ever perspicacious Alibhai-Brown defends Jeremy Corbyn against accusations that he is anti-Semitic, declaring that some of his closest friends are “conscientious and ethical British Jews“.

“Some of the people Corbyn has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews. The late Mike Marqusee, a Marxist, New York secular Jew who migrated to the UK, was his friend. So, too, is Ken Loach, a liberal British Jew and fierce defender of Palestinian rights.”

Mike Marqusee is, as Alibhai-Brown astutely points out, actually dead. Perhaps he and Corbyn carry on their friendship via seances. And Ken Loach, as far as we know, is not Jewish…

Newspaper Readers Party Preferences

newspaper-party-affiliation

This British Election Study survey shows Indy readers are a mixed bunch and as many back the coalition parties as Labour. So that endorsement will please and anger readers in equal measure. No surprises in the data. 

Beer Drinkers Love Fracking

beer fracking

Beer drinkers join the fight against fracking” declared the Independent on Sunday as it waxed lyrical about a progressive motion being debated Campaign for Real Ale to oppose fracking. Apparently cheap, home grown, low-carbon fuel is a “real and substantial threat to the production and quality of real ale.

Odd then, that the very same day CAMRA roundly rejected the motion.

Gaia is still waiting for the Indy’s update…

Lebedev in North Korea

Never seen without his beard, the Hacked Off backing publisher of the Indy and Evening Standard, Evgeny Lebedev, has travelled to that bastion of press freedom, North Korea. The AP’s former Pyongyang bureau chief ponders:

His search for a buyer for the Indy continues…

Indy Quietly Changes ‘Powerful Jewish Lobby’ Headline

The Indy’s eccentric Mira Bar Hillel is off on one again this afternoon, with the headline writer wheeling out the age old “Jewish lobby” slur for her latest frothing about Israel, which includes the charming imagery of “tentacles”. Unfortunately the online subs didn’t get to the headline before MediaGuido had grabbed a screenshot.

Sindy’s Civil Service ‘Exclusive’ Will Remain So

‘Scoop’ from yesterday’s Independent on Sunday:

“Labour will be given only six months to “road test” its plans for government with senior civil servants, after David Cameron controversially intervened to block early talks, The Independent on Sunday has learnt.”

But is it actually true that the amount of time the opposition is being given to consult with civil servants before the election is being cut? Oliver Wright notes that “In previous elections, under a convention set by John Major, such talks could take place up to 16 months before the last possible date an election could be called.” Though that was before the era of fixed-term parliaments when election dates were chosen at the PM’s discretion, usually 12 months before the last possible date, giving the opposition party four months and not the full 16. The 16 month period allowed the PM to avoid revealing the exact date of the election which could otherwise be calculated from the date access was granted. Indeed, a reader points out that in 1983, 1987, 2001 and 2005 the opposition party had as little as four months’ access to civil servants. So, actually, Labour are getting a pretty good deal.

This is part of a wider pattern of whining from Miliband, following on from Labour’s moan that he didn’t have enough time to respond to the Budget. This should really help Ed beat the perception that he is weak and pathetic…

Dear Amol Rajan,

The Cellar
House of Commons
London
SW1 0AA

Mr Amol Rajan,
Editor of the Independent.

Dear Mr Rajan,

I am writing to propose a syndication deal. As you can see below your diarist Andy McSmith deems my work worthy […]

+ READ MORE +

Is the Indy Up for Sale?

Greenslade thinks so. Having gutted the editorial staff and rebranded, it seems the cash strapped Lebedevs have got bored:

“The Independent is up for sale. The paper’s founder, and current chairman of its publishing company, Andreas Whittam Smith, has been

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Steve Richards Takes Lobbyists’ Money

steve-richards-lobbyist

Guido can reveal that Steve Richards, the Indy’s political pundit and sometime TV talking head, has taken up a role with the public affairs lobbying firm Hanover Communications. When Guido spoke to Steve he was a little sheepish and […]

+ READ MORE +

Chris Blackhurst’s Kama Sutra

Indy staff have been left baffled this afternoon by an email inviting them to help themselves to “a crate of unclaimed stuff in front of Chris Blackhurst’s desk including some high heels, a copy of the Kama Sutra, an assortment […]

+ READ MORE +



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