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

indy

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

BELAM-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. And to be fair, it’s out of character for Corbyn to promote a woman…

H/T @youngvulgarian

Last Minute Gift Idea for Guardian Readers

cccp

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. For there was one thing on which everyone could agree: she was worth a great deal more dead than she had been alive.”

Stay classy. 

Of course, this is the same John Crace who two years ago wrote an emotional article about how important it is to be sensitive to those who had been bereaved. In capital letters, Crace wrote: “FIND WORDS TO HELP”. Maybe he should take his own advice…

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. There were fears in Guardianista circles that Watt wasn’t pro-Corbyn enough, though he will surely land a big gig somewhere else imminently. Stewart on the other hand is “more Zoe Williams than Jonathan Freedland”That’s two women getting top jobs in the male-dominated Lobby…

UPDATE:

Ouch.

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). It found a “high probability” that the planet’s 26,000 polar bears will suffer a 30% decline in population by 2050 due to the loss of their habitat, which is disappearing at a faster rate than predicted by climate models.

There is one minor snag however. It actually transpires that polar bear population has reached a record high. Not only that, but the current population trend is yet to be determined, completely calling into doubt the ICUN’s claims about polar bears’ vulnerability. Guido is rejoicing that the bears are doing fine. A world without them just doesn’t bear thinking about after all…

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. How was the curious deal allowed to go ahead?

Guido hears that the key factor was his very close personal relationship with Guardian editor Kath Viner. The couple have been close friends for years and Kath is known to have always loved his column. Though staff on the paper have been perplexed at why £340,000-a-year Viner, a relative moderate politically, is so enamoured with the handsome revolutionary firebrand. Kath – 44 years-old and unmarried – is such a close ally of Seumas that he even “canvassed on her behalf for several months” when she was campaigning for the editorship. Sources say he was drumming up support for her “night and day 24/7”, causing many raised eyebrows at the time. The Guardian and the Labour leadership are closer than they’ve ever been…

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”. Not only that, they will be “willing to embrace different media and non-text ways of telling stories“. You don’t even need to have inky fingers to apply, experience on a “national website” will do.

That said, “experience in front of camera” is described as “desirable“, which is good news for telegenic chief political correspondent Nick Watt. The deadline for applications is two weeks today. Anyone with a Twitter account or blog can apply here. No, they can’t afford Guido…

UPDATE: Kath Viner emails Guardian staff:

“After an extraordinary 27 years working in the lobby for the Guardian and the Observer, the last nine of them as political editor for the Guardian, Patrick Wintour has decided it’s time to move on. Patrick will become diplomatic editor, reporting to the international desk in London. I’d like to thank him for all his incredible hard work over such a long period. Julian Borger becomes world affairs editor, and will move to Washington DC next year.”

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. I really don’t have a problem with it.”

So much for solidarity among hacks, eh.

Reporter Owen Bennett, who along with Michael Crick and LBC’s Theo Usherwood was gobbed on in Manchester, unsurprisingly took exception. Fair to say Zoe did not cover herself in further glory.

Owen has offered to take Zoe for a coffee to discuss why gobbing on journalists is actually not okay. Careful she doesn’t spit on you…

Guardian Writer on Jewish Journalist: “F**k Him, They Should Cut His Throat”

Readers will remember Richard Seymour, the very angry blogger who has written for the Guardian over 100 times but probably won’t again after his slur against Falklands hero Simon Weston. Seymour has covered himself in more glory by hoping that a Jewish journalist gets his throat cut by Palestinian terrorists:

Seymour hasn’t written for the Guardian since the turn of the year. Presumably he didn’t spend his spare time attending anger management classes…

Guardian Grumbles Over #Jones4Jez

More than one Portcullis House onlooker noted Owen Jones working the atrium with Corbyn fixer John McDonnell and Jezza’s son on Wednesday afternoon. Whispers from the Guardian newsroom suggest the paper – which backed Cooper – is less than delighted by his overt support for Corbyn during the last few weeks. “He’s never pretended to be a journalist, he’s an activist who writes a column”, says one Kings Place source: “I haven’t seen him in the office for ages“. They point to Owen being on stage and sitting next to Corbyn at nearly all of his most recent rallies. Meanwhile it is being mooted in mischievous Labour circles that OJ might make it official and take a job on Jez’s team once the revolution comes. Surely a very severe case of gallows humour… 

Climate Change Crowd Board Refugee Bandwagon

climate chnage isis

The Guardian and New Statesman have uncovered the true cause of the migrant crisis. Nope, forget war, ISIS and Assad, it’s… climate change!

A piece in this week’s Staggers – which has received a robust response from critics – evokes the image of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi to crudely warn that failure to reach an agreement at the upcoming Paris climate summit will lead to “many more bodies being washed up on our beaches”:

“That image, which few of us will ever completely erase from our mind, will no doubt prompt David Cameron to make a renewed gesture… In Paris this December the world will try to reach agreement on combating the dangerous climate change that Syria and North Africa are already experiencing. Without agreement there, we in the rich world will have to get used to our trains being disrupted, our borders controls being breached and many more bodies being washed up on our beaches.”

Today the Guardian join in, publishing an editorial by Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett, also using the picture to claim things will get worse if we fail to tackle climate change:

“We’re all human, and so it’s perhaps not surprising that it takes a single photograph and an individual’s story to shake a society, all too belatedly, into glimpsing at one horrific aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis and demanding action…. People from across the political spectrum have come together in the last week to demand a much stronger response from David Cameron to the refugee crisis, and rightly so. But if the government continues to move backwards on climate change, then we should get ready for a much bigger refugee crisis before very long.”

Stay classy…

Guardian Writer’s Vile Slur Against Falklands Hero

Earlier this week Falklands hero Simon Weston, whose suffered 46% burns and whose face was left unrecognisable after RFA Sir Galahad was bombed by the Argentinians, said that Jeremy Corbyn’s policy on the Falklands was tantamount to “surrender“. This is how regular Guardian writer and editor of the ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ blog, Richard Seymour, responded to the story:

Seymour tells his critics he only had a freelance contract with the Guardian for three years, but he wrote on average at least fortnightly for the paper’s website during 2014. What a charmer…

“Full, Open and Transparent Process” For New Guardian Pol Ed

Whispers emanating from both the Lobby and the Guardian newsroom suggest Patrick Wintour’s tenure as political editor could soon be over. The rumour doing the rounds is that his telegenic deputy, Nick Watt, has caught the eye of new editor Kath Viner. There is however some discontent among Guardianistas that politically centrist Watt is not as Corbynista-friendly as they would like. Watt will only tell Guido:

“There will be a full, open, transparent process. You should apply!”

Wintour is sixty and has had a career spanning almost 40 years, nine as Guardian Pol Ed. Wintour is not commenting on the matter. Will he retire to a lingering Michael White style comment role, or is there one last big pay cheque lined up? Buzzfeed are hiring…

Guardian Endorses Cooper: Readers React

The Guardian comes out for Cooper:

“The brute lesson of May is that Labour cannot get there without first winning back significant numbers of Tory voters. Mr Corbyn will not do that. Those searching for an election winner must look elsewhere…

Liz Kendall has shown courage in telling Labour audiences what they don’t want to hear about the need to win Tory votes, but she lacks experience, and too often appears to be reopening the Blair playbook. Andy Burnham is personable and has passion, but has zig-zagged too often in this campaign to be seen as a leader.

Yvette Cooper is more steadfast, consistently challenging George Osborne on economic terrain… The right leader is the person who can bring both Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall together in one big, progressive tent, offering enough moral common ground to transcend deep disagreements on policy. It is a formidably difficult task, but there are very many in Britain who desperately need someone to pull it off. The person best placed to do that is Yvette Cooper.”

And their readers are not taking it well:

Splitters…

Guardian Grovel Over “Insidious” Hit Piece

The Guardian’s readers’ editor has censured the editor of its opinion desk for writing a hatchet job on anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz. Chris Elliott blasts David Shariatmadari’s interview as “insidious” and “wrong“:

“The editorial guidelines state clearly that if a journalist thinks there is a case to be made for using pejorative anonymous quotations the matter should be discussed with a senior editor.

[…] Read the rest

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