John Ryley, the Head of Sky News, has emailed everyone in the newsroom laying down the law on tweeting:
1. Tweeting should be confined to genuine news-gathering and promoting or reporting news stories, though first and foremost this should be happening on Sky News’ owned & operated platforms.
2. Anyone not involved in stories related to UK politics should not be Tweeting about it.
3. Analysis and interpretation are fine if that is part of your role at Sky News. Commentary on political/economic/industrial issues — in which a view or opinion is detectable – is not.
4. For the avoidance of any doubt arguing, swearing and giving a political opinion are all completely unacceptable. Reasonably correcting an erroneous statement or factual error about oneself is allowed.
5. Retweeting for the purposes of reportage is fine – but be very conscious that retweets are sometimes scrutinised for signs of bias or seen as an endorsement of the original Tweet.
6. Liking social media posts that are at odds with Sky News’ obligations and values will be considered a breach of our Editorial Guidelines
7. Avoid Tweeting about disputes on editorial policy or decisions at other news organisations.
8. All staff will need to complete a training e-module on the Editorial Guidelines including social media .
9. If you’re in any doubt about what and what not is OK to post you should speak to your line manager.
Please adhere to these rules – this is a requirement not a choice.
Yesterday Adam Boulton and mild-mannered Iain Dale kicked off, Kay Burley doesn’t ever hold back on telling people where to go on Twitter and has featured often and amusingly in “Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week“. Things will be more bland, though this was inevitable, regulated broadcasters’ impartiality was being stretched on Twitter.
This email has just gone out to FT subscribers:
To help the news industry weather the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, a long-awaited decision to remove value added tax (VAT) from digital news sites was brought forward by the UK government and implemented in May this year.
This change brings the tax status for digital news in line with that for physical newspapers, which have been VAT exempted for decades to promote informed public debate through quality journalism.
Your payment due on 03/07/2020 will remain at the price of GBP50.4, with the new 0% VAT reflected in your invoice.
So corporate subscribers who got reimbursed the VAT paid will see a 20% hike in the price they pay. That is daylight robbery…
The Economist’s recent performance had been less-than-robust, with many long-term readers losing sympathy with the paper’s EU obsessions and woke lurch exemplified by the title’s new slogan “in pursuit of progress since 1843”. Now, with falling advertising and newsstand revenues, the company has just put out the first profits warning to shareholders in living memory, consoling them with the knowledge that the CEO, non-executive directors and senior management would not be taking bonuses and will be taking double-digit pay cuts. 100 people have been laid off from the commercial side – not a single journalist.
For the editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes, that means she’ll have to get by on a meagre £364,000 (based on her 2019 salary of £455,000). It will not come as a total surprise that the Economist’s overall commercial performance is suffering. Zanny can’t bear to be around the vulgar commercial people who sell the things like advertising, conferences and the subscriptions which pay her and her team’s far more generous salaries. Zanny’s grand offices for her and her journalists in John Adam Street cost three times the rent in Canary Wharf – to where the salespeople have been shunted off. The morale of the sales team she needs to pull her out of this crisis is, unsurprisingly, not great.
Nobody personifies the woke metropolitan elite more than Zanny Minton Beddoes, who has been editor of the Economist since 2015. Has the shift to a more woke editorial slant been good for business? How non-executive director and major shareholder John Elkann (scion of the Agnelli family) feels about this is unclear. The Economist’s constitution means that in practice the editor can’t be fired. So even if at times it seems to shareholders like the lunatics run the asylum, there is little they can do about it.
Over the weekend we revealed that Piers Morgan, who is currently in a woke phase and professing to be worried about historic statue symbolism, had worn a Nazi Waffen-SS uniform to a party where he had fun goosestepping and saluting “Heil Hitler”. A crime in many European countries that suffered at the hands of the Waffen-SS…
The hypocrisy of the situation is embarrassing after he called for Trudeau to resign over “black-face”. Piers is far from unaware of the story, anyone who asks him about the picture on Twitter is blocked. Piers is also uncharacteristically silent on a story about himself, which is after all his favourite subject. It didn’t feature in his Mail on Sunday column. Fortunately for him the tabloids that report his every rant are so far sparing his blushes. Unfortunately for him, on social media it is being shared and talked about widely…
Former Director of BBC News and now a lecturer at Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University, Richard Sambrook, has been drafted in by the Beeb to advise on impartiality, specifically on platforms like Twitter. So the BBC have turned to the famously not left wing world of academia…
Guido’s not sure Sambrook is the most impartial of impartiality advisers, having
The truth is there is far too much anti-Boris anti-Brexit bias to include in one article. Guido found Sambrook’s Twitter account to be more that of a partisan political commentator than an aspiring impartiality tsar. What a bonkers hire for advice on social media conduct…
UPDATE: Following our story this mornign about his clearly partisan public tweeting he has now locked his Twitter account making his tweets private:
There will now be no confidence in his review, as a former journalist he should know that cover-ups always backfire and transparency would have been better. He will surely have to step aside from the impartiality review…
Piers Morgan, who condemned Justin Trudeau and said he should resign for blacking up his face when he was a student, is pictured here wearing the uniform of the Nazi SS. The SS were the Nazi Party’s military wing – ultra-loyal to Hitler, the members of the Waffen-SS were involved in numerous atrocities. At the post-war Nuremberg Trials the Waffen-SS was judged to be a criminal organisation with direct involvement in numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. The SS ran the Nazi concentration camps responsible for the killing of millions.
The picture – obtained exclusively by Guido – was taken at a party in East Sussex where, according to Guido’s source, Piers was goose-stepping around and giving “Heil Hitler” salutes. The wearing of Nazi uniforms in itself is a crime in many countries that were the victims of Nazi occupation…
For picture rights contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Achtung: our lawyers are watching.