Media Guardian’s FT Blunder

One man alone had the inside track on mounting rumours earlier in the week that the FT might be sold.

Here is Media Guardian’s eminent and well-informed Roy Greenslade on Monday:

“Pearson to sell the Financial Times? I really don’t think so… How many times down the years have I read that rumour? And how many times must I dismiss it as speculative nonsense?”

Three days later…

https://twitter.com/clarkaw/status/624158783426666496

There’s a fine line between being contrarian and printing b***ocks.

Saucy Susanna Reid Seductively Sucks Her Finger

Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid had to improvise when she forgot her spoon this morning…

Out-of-the-Loop Chris Bryant Hasn’t a Clue

As Guido revealed in this week’s Sun on Sunday:

“The BBC has announced 1,000 jobs are to go as part of a £150 million round of cuts. These job losses would cover just £50 million of the sum, however, leaving another £100 million awaiting Aunty’s axe.

Guido hears that the BBC’s little-watched 24-hour News Channel is in the firing line, with plans afoot to shift the operation online and stop broadcasting on telly. BBC bosses are waiting until this week’s budget before a final decision.”

A story which caused a certain degree of scepticism from the impeccably dis-connected Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:

That would be our double-sourced drivel from senior BBC sources. 48 hours later, Media Guardian confirms Guido’s Sun exclusive:

“The BBC is considering making its news channel online only following a similar cost-cutting move for its BBC3 TV channel, it has emerged.

Work had already started on assessing the impact of making the news channel online only before the government unveiled a surprise licence fee settlement on Monday… A final decision about the channel has yet to be made.”

As Guido explained, the Beeb has a £100 million spending black hole to fill. Media Guardian reports the News Channel’s overall costs are just over £100 million:

“In the last BBC annual report, it said the channel’s production costs were £26.8m, while its newsgathering costs were £21.2m. In addition, the news channel spent £48.7m on content, £8m on distribution and £9.5m on infrastructure/support in 2013/14 and taking it online only would prove cheaper for the BBC, which is looking to make savings.”

If Chris needs any further help with his brief, he knows where to come…

UPDATE:  The Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant tweets:

Janine Gibson Out: Rusbridger Email to Staff

MediaGuardian were scooped to the departure of their own paper’s deputy editor by Politico on Friday. Seen as the heir apparent to Alan Rusbridger for the editorship, Janine Gibson was overlooked and is now off. Rusbridger finally gets round to emailing staff:

Dear all,

Sorry that we got scooped on this, but no-one was really anticipating rival breaking news late on the Friday of a bank holiday.

Janine Gibson has, after much thought, decided to move on from the Guardian. 

As most of you know, Janine’s been with us for 17 years, after joining as a refugee from the Independent. As media editor she launched the MediaGuardian website and was then appointed G3 editor before becoming editor of the Guardian website in 2008 and then a deputy editor.

Janine launched Guardian US in 2011, at a time when we had not quite found our feet or purpose in the States. She had a clear sense of where the Guardian should be going and what it should be in America. Guardian US began with 6 employees and 7m users, and grew in 3 years to 50+ staff and tripled its audience. And, of course, she edited the Snowden story out of New York in a way that was assured, well-judged and brave. The Snowden story probably won more awards than any story since Watergate – and much of that was down to Janine’s sure touch. 

That record – plus her digital instincts – made Janine a high profile figure in US journalism, and it was no surprise when the NYT tried to poach her to be their deputy editor early last year. At that point we managed to keep her, with the (thankless!) task of returning to London to help reorganise desks and production as well as edit the digital site. 

She’s been a brilliantly talented and lovely colleague, and we wish her so well in whatever she does next.

Gibson’s leaving will once again fuel speculation that the New York Times’ board is considering setting up a London operation as revenge for the Guardian attempting to muscle in on their turf stateside. Janine ran Guardian US until last year and will have impressed editing the Snowden story. The news got a suspiciously kind write up in the NYT over the weekend…

AOL HuffPo Writers Hanging Up

 

aol-huffpo

Bloggers from AOL’s stable of online media titles are heading for the exits following the announcement that Verizon will acquire AOL for $4.4 billion. Within hours of the deal coming to light yesterday, writers from AOL’s media wing, which includes Huffington Post, Engadget and TechCrunch, were firing off speculative job applications. Who wouldn’t want to work for a phone company?

Verizon has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to running media companies. Last year they launched a tech blog called SugarString that explicitly banned its reporters from covering certain topics. Worryingly for HuffPo writers, SugarString was quickly shuttered…

Greenslade Takes the Mick

“Tory press ignores, or underplays, polls putting Labour ahead” screams Roy Greenslade over at Media Guardian today:

“Labour’s positive poll ratings get precious little coverage in the Tory press. It must have been a day for the blue newspapers to bury bad news.”

Lest we forget the Guardian conveniently left off of the ComRes and YouGov polls that showed the Tories ahead off of their splash today, because it did not fit their narrative…

Corrections and Clarifications: Brooks Newmark Sting

Over a period of six months, Media Guardian campaigned to stitch up the Sunday Mirror, consistently falling short of the journalistic standards it sets for others. In an extraordinary series of factually incorrect articles, Roy Greenslade alleged that “at least seven other Tory MPs were also offered similar lures” in “a giant trawl“. It is completely untrue to suggest that we “offered similar lures” to a “giant” number of MPs. If we had only tweeted at Brooks Newmark he would have seen the sting coming a mile off. The account followed and tweeted at many MPs, male and female, as well as celebrities and news organisations. Prior to the investigation we had a specific tip-off about Newmark. We only ever had a private conversation with one MP – Newmark – and it was instigated by him. 

Media Guardian claimed on multiple occasions that “Wickham approached the Mail on Sunday’s political editor, Simon Walters”, and that “the MoS was concerned about the methodology employed to obtain the story, believing that it amounted to entrapment and also involved a fishing expedition”. We can now reveal this to be 100% untrue. Alex Wickham never spoke to anyone from the MoS about the story. A very brief conversation was had between Paul Staines and the MoS, where the detail was not discussed and it was agreed that the story would not work for the mid-market paper on the grounds of taste – Lady Rothermere’s taste. Despite the innuendo and factually incorrect reporting of Media Guardian, at no point was the methodology ever considered by the MoS as the prime stumbling block to running the story. Whatever may have been subsequently briefed.

Greenslade then wrote in the Standard that “the net had been spread wide in the hope of a juicy catch”, concluding “It is impossible to disentangle the public interest from the methodology. Given that we have a code of practice, we cannot argue that the end justifies the means”. Again, we had a specific tip-off about Newmark, and IPSO has found that the methods employed did not breach the code of practice.

Much of Media Guardian’s error-strewn reporting can be explained by their reliance on unfounded innuendos made by less popular parts of the Twitterphere. Peter Jukes claimedthere are many abuses being perpetrated here“, accusing us of  “fishing others”, and again suggesting that two other newspapers “knocked back the subterfuge”. Our position has now been vindicated by IPSO. 

Buzzfeed report named a number of MPs with whom our account had interacted, implying they were targeted: “If you’re a middle-aged Conservative MP and a young attractive researcher starts taking an interest in you on Twitter, then be careful”. These MPs were not targeted, Buzzfeed’s irresponsible report was factually incorrect and responsible for much of the bad reporting that followed.

Finally those doyens of press accuracy at Hacked Off also made a series of untrue allegations about the story. They suggested there was no “prima facie evidence that any of the six MPs approached were engaging in inappropriate conduct on the internet”. This is clearly incorrect and the IPSO ruling has found that to be the case. They concluded: “There appears to have been nothing to justify the use of subterfuge by the freelance reporter”. This was always disputed by us and the Sunday Mirror, because we were in possession of the facts and we have now been vindicated by IPSO.

See also: Not So Pronto IPSO

You can read the IPSO ruling in full here.

Professor Greenslade Overlooks Guardian’s Double-Digit Decline

professor-greenslade

Media commentator Roy Greenslade reports that the Sun’s circulation was down to 1,842,284 copies a day in February, a fall of 6.89%. Professor Greenslade, writing in the Guardian, speculates as to if it is due to the suspension of the traditional Page 3 Girl from the print edition – though she can still be found in all her glory in the online edition.

Greenslade does a fairly balanced analysis of the situation over a thousand or so words. It is only when the determined Guardian reader reaches the fourth last sentence of the column that he learns that the Guardian itself actually had a worse drop in readership of 10.34%. The worst performance of any national daily newspaper in the country. Mind you the Sunday sister-paper, The Observer, lost 11.28% of its readers…

Election Result Due Imminently

nuj-ballot-guardian

There is another election result due soon…

UPDATE: Media Guardian beats Media Guido for once….

kath-vinerStaff of the Guardian and Observer have voted in favour of Katharine Viner, the current editor-in-chief of Guardian US, in an indicative ballot on who

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Piers Tears: Another Fake Mirror Front Page

Under the headline “Britain, 2014.” the Mirror’s front page is really going for emotional shock factor today:

The only problem is that the picture is not “Britain, 2014″, it is “America, 2009″ and Anne is crying over an earthworm. […]

+ READ MORE +

Pardon Snowden, He Blew Whistle on NSA Crimes

pardon-snowden

Ed Snowden has been demonised by some on the right as a traitor. Those on the right don’t as a rule put their trust in governments and Snowden is a patriotic, freedom loving libertarian, not a Russian […]

+ READ MORE +

Trinity Mirror in Corporate Criminal Investigation

Trinity Mirror has announced that the Met are investigating whether the group was criminally liable for alleged phone hacking by, for now, the Sunday Mirror:

“The Group does not accept wrong doing within its business and takes these allegations

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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