Mirror Slashes Costs As Hacking Cases Loom

Mirror[1]

Trinity Mirror are doubling their planned cuts to £20m in an effort to remain in the black as print revenues fall and hacking payouts loom large. Expect to see more dead wood such as the recently axed digital projects Ampp3d and UsVsTh3m cut from the sinking ship…

By Guido’s calculations, £20 million is enough to pay off 133 hacking victims. The Mirror hacked at least 400 phones…

Investors Dumping Mirror Shares

tm

After the higher than they hoped damages awarded to Mirror phone hacking victims last week the struggling newspaper group admitted that “costs of settling claims is likely to be higher than previously anticipated we are increasing our provision to deal with matters arising from phone hacking by £16 million. This is in addition to the £12 million provided in 2014.” So the Mirror group has gone from denying that there was any hacking at all, to putting aside £12 million and now more than doubling the provision to £28 million…  

City investors are still worried that this is nowhere near enough and that the final figure will be nearer £100 million, the shares have been trading down since the ruling with £30 million knocked off the capitalisation this week. There is some question as to if the company will be able to pay a dividend…

Mirror Faces Massive Hacking Payouts

Mirror[1]

Mirror Group Newspapers have been ordered to pay out £1.2 million to eight phone hacking victims following a three week hearing at London’s High Court. The payout, averaging £150,000 per victim is worrying news for the Mirror who had one single reporter hack around 400 phones. If just 400 more people sue and that level of payout continues, the Mirror could be looking at paying out around £60m. Significantly more than the £12 million they have put aside… 

Trinity Mirror only made £102.3 million in pre-tax profit last year…

UsVsB3lam: Former Journos Locked Out of Mirror Twitter

Last week when the Mirror canned their internetz projects all the online hacks claimed they weren’t being fired, rather things were just ‘under review’. Well it looks as if that review has now concluded:

They finally have the answer to who’s us and who’s them…

Mirror Shutters Ampp3d, UsVsTh3m and RowZed

Mirror sources say staff working for their ill-fated online ventures, Ampp3d, UsVsTh3m and RowZed, are being made redundant. The operations will be closed immediately and staff have been told that the paper will try to find new roles for them. Apparently upstairs thought they were shi*e…

Martin Belam the founder of the titles boasted in a statement:

I’ve had the most amazing fun over the last couple of years. Watching millions of people play things like “Are you hated by the Daily Mail?” or read articles like “7 toilets that we’d rather have as justice secretary than Michael Gove” from a national newspaper group has been brilliant.

Wonder why they failed?

UPDATE: Here is an Ampp3d style statistical analysis of today’s news:

UPDATE II: Martin Belam appears to have enjoyed our report

See: National Papers Can’t Do the Internet

Media Standards Trust Research Finds Mirror Most Partisan Newspaper

mirror-biased

The Guardian supported Media Standards Trust has released research which is remarkable. The twitterati left have been making an issue of the treatment of Ed Miliband, the reporting of his nose picking and inability to eat a bacon sandwich or exit a TV stage without tripping up particularly vexes lefties who want reporting to be about boring issues rather than character. They have been particularly bilious about The Sun’s partisanship… 

The Mirror’s partisanship has gone unremarked in the broadsheets, the way it caricatures Tories as wicked toffs intent on closing down the NHS and grinding the poor into the workhouses is reportage from a surreal alternative reality. For the left the Sun’s journalism is partisan rubbish whereas the Mirror’s journalism is “campaigning”.

The above graphic is based on 7,000 articles analysed by the Media Standards Trust’s Election Unspun project. It found that the most partisan paper was The Mirror, which was more positive about Labour than The Sun was about the Tories and conversely The Mirror was more negative about the Tories than The Sun was about the Labour party. In short, The Mirror was the most partisan paper of all… 

Piers Morgan Questioned By Hacking Police Today

Piers says in a statement to the Guardian:

“Some time ago I was asked to attend an interview with officers from Operation Golding when I was next in the UK. 

This was further to a previous voluntary interview I provided in December 2013.

I attended that interview today.

As this is an ongoing investigation, I am unable to comment further until its conclusion.”

Guido hears dementia works as a good excuse…

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.

IPSO Clears Sunday Mirror Over Brooks Newmark Sting

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has cleared the Sunday Mirror of any wrongdoing over the sexting sting on Tory MP Brooks Newmark. Despite unfounded allegations made by the the less popular elements of the Twittersphere and the sloppy journalism of […]

+ READ MORE +

“Widespread and Habitual” Hacking at Mirror

Today the High Court was told:

“The evidence demonstrates that voicemail interception, as well as the unlawful obtaining of personal information by blagging or use of private investigators, was in widespread and habitual use by a large number of journalists

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Press Ethics Crusaders Strangely Silent on Mirror Hacking

Mirror[1]

A national newspaper group today admits that “some years ago voicemails left on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed” and that it “apologises publicly to all its victims of phone hacking”. Yet for some reason the Leader of the […]

+ READ MORE +

Gove’s Jag Snag: Red Box Missing From Footage

At his speech in Westminster this morning, Grant Shapps was quick to point out that he had not driven the 400m from CCHQ to the Institute of Directors in “a government car”, nor was he willing to get drawn […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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