Alan Rusbridger Receives Police Caution On Hampstead Heath

Via his Instagram:

“So I took this unremarkable picture on Hampstead Heath this morning while being photographed by@davidlevene. The minute speck in the middle of the picture became very upset… and 10 minutes I was being cautioned by a police officer on behalf of @davidlevene for his illegal use of a tripod. Unlike some editors I believe in taking the rap when caught red-handed”

Free the Islington one!

UPDATE: Rusbridger speaks.

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 should be the next editor-in-chief after Alan Rusbridger steps down after 20 years this summer.

Some 53% of those who voted backed Viner with a first choice vote of 438. In second place was Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and a non-executive director of Guardian-owner the Scott Trust with 188 votes. Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of theguardian.com, was in close third place, with 175 votes. Wolfgang Blau, GNM’s director of digital strategy, received 29 votes.

The G-Factor Candidates Audition

The Guardian editor pitches are out, with some deliciously cringworthy brown-nosing submitted in the“candidate statements” of the new wannabe Rusbridgers.

Janine Gibson, one of the favourites, goes for the Islington vote:

“we’re a meeting place for the communities we create around shared passions whether its county cricket, poetry, theatre or watching strangers date wearing Google Glass”

Hotly-tipped Katharine Viner has some innovative crowd-pleasing ideas:

“Themed roles would help us tell a coherent international story: correspondents for water, fossil fuels, women’s rights, a 1% correspondent.”

Meet Wolfgang Blau, the ‘check your privilege’ candidate:

“In regards to our journalistic portfolio, I would like to propose that we substantially increase the diversity of voices – politically, as well as ethnically… I am not a woman and I have not grown up in the United Kingdom. I can only promise to you that as the Editor-in-Chief – should you vote for me and should the Scott Trust choose to appoint me – I will do everything I possibly can to make sure women succeed in their careers at the Guardian.”

While Emily Bell goes for the tried and tested butter ’em up approach:

“This is a defining moment for the Guardian. You are among the very best journalists in the world. You have produced stories that have challenged the powerful – from News Corp and Scotland Yard to the US intelligence agencies – with courage and brilliance.”

Sluuurp!

Telegraph and Guardian At War

Last night the Telegraph dismissed the Guardian as “cushioned from commercial reality by a generously-endowed charitable trust”, this afternoon they accuse them of hypocrisy:

“in July last year Apple bought wraparound advertising on The Guardian’s website and stipulated that the advertising should not be placed next to negative news.

A Guardian insider said that the headline of an article about Iraq on The Guardian’s website was changed amid concerns about offending Apple, and the article was later removed from the home page entirely.”

Shots fired…

Telegraph Whitehall Editor Quits For Guardian

Yet another one jumps: the Telegraph’s Whitehall and Investigations editor Holly Watt, of expenses scandal and Vince Cable sting fame, joins the Guardian. Will the last person to leave the Telegraph please pay back the HSBC loan

Owen Jones Distances Himself From Guardian

 

Challenged by Toby Young on the Daily Politics, Owen Jones swerved the question of the Guardian attacking offshore tax shelters whilst sheltering half-a-billion of its assets in the Caymans:

“I am not responsible for my employer’s tax affairs.”

While writing in today’s paper that “while the poor’s smallest misdemeanours are punished, the rich are able to draft the loopholes they then use to avoid tax”…

Polly’s “Precarious” Guardian Has £850 Million Cash Reserves

Polly Toynbee has a full page advert in today’s Guardian asking readers to “become a Founder member” for £540-a-year. In other words write them a cheque because the £1.60 they pay to read the paper isn’t enough to save it from its “precarious” position:

“The Guardian’s life has always been precarious because we don’t have an owner or a corporation propping us up. We don’t have a press baron or oligarch ordering us to take their political or commercial line. We swim along in a dangerous world of media sharks, our independence precious and unique.”

As Press Gazette points out, the “precarious” Guardian currently has cash reserves of £850 million since selling its stake in Autotrader last year. Cynical tax strategies have kept the Guardian afloat whilst simultaneously campaigning against tax avoidance. Amazingly £850 million has built an endowment that will allow the unpopular paper to lose money in perpetuity. All without paying any corporation or capital gains taxes for years…

Pic via @wblau

Guardian’s Small Correction & Clarification

coulson-correction

Over page after page last summer the Guardian splashed on the front page of G2 about the baby-eating antics of News of the World journalists. Today hidden back on page 32 a small clarification reveals allegations were untrue. Notice how the Guardian is currently now splashing page after page, day after day, about the Daily Mirror’s corporate malfeasance and multi-million pay outs to hacked celebs? Nope.

Sidelined Guardian CEO “Keen to Explore New Opportunities”

andrew-millar

The official line is that GMG CEO Andrew Miller will be standing down as chief executive and leaving Guardian Media Group at the end of June because he could not give the board a long-term commitment:

GMG and GNM are now embarking on the next major transformation programme and the GMG Board understandably wants a chief executive who is able to see that process through over an extended period of time. Given my desire to move to new challenges, I was unable to give the GMG Board the assurances they were seeking in this regard.

Miller was responsible for the cynical tax strategies that saw hundreds of millions in revenue producing Guardian owned assets held offshore in the Caymans tax haven whilst simultaneously the Guardian campaigned against the practice in editorials. The shifty tax strategies kept the Guardian afloat and built an endowment that will allow the paper to lose money almost in perpetuity. Hypocrisy in print and pixels…

Insiders say that in reality Miller’s been being sidelined for a while. David Pemsel, his deputy, is the super smooth ex-bullshitter for “brand consultancy” St Lukes, and a former ITV marketing director, is thought to be most likely to succeed him if the board hires internally. “Imagine what Pemmo could achieve if he wasn’t weighed down by all that self-doubt” one Guardianista told Media Guido archly…

Guardian Gushes Over Soviet “Prosperity”

The Guardian takes us “Inside Transnistria, the breakaway nation loyal to Russia” today, with a picture special from the pro-Russian territory which declared independence from Moldova when the Soviet Union fell. Alongside a charming picture of the landscape, this gushing caption:

“The Soviet period was a time of prosperity in villages. Agricultural companies offered many jobs, and the authorities paid attention to the culture of the countryside and offered entertainment for youth.”

60 million killed, but at least they entertained their young people eh…

Guardian Looks Outside North London For New Editor

guardian

Outgoing Scott Trust chair Liz Forgan has this afternoon emailed Guardian staff informing them of the selection process to replace Alan Rusbridger. Forgan says “For the first time in Guardian history we will be openly advertising the role,” stressing that they are looking outside of North London:

“Both internal and external candidates, from any journalistic background, from any country in the world, will be welcome to apply. The role will be advertised and opened for applications before the end of this year. The Scott Trust will give equal consideration to all plausible candidates and will meet a longlist of applicants in February 2015.”

Guardian staff get a vote on who they want to edit them, but Forgan only says it is her “intention” to put their preferred candidate on the final shortlist, somewhat pissing on their quinoa:

“the opinion of the Guardian and Observer’s editorial staff is important, and it has been indicated to The Scott Trust that the Guardian and Observer chapel branch of the National Union of Journalists will conduct a ballot to select a candidate they wish to be considered. The terms of this ballot are for the chapel to confirm, but it is The Scott Trust’s intention to guarantee the selected candidate a place on the final shortlist… Our editorial staff are very important stakeholders in this process – but they are not the decision makers. We will take the results of the NUJ process into careful consideration when making the final appointment, but this is not an election process. The next editor-in-chief will be appointed by The Scott Trust, not voted in by the newsroom.”

Sit down and shut up, comrades…

Exclusive: Matthew d’Ancona to Guardian

Guido hears the Cameroon venerable bede Matthew D’Ancona is off to the Guardian, after the Sunday Telegraph‘s somewhat bizarre decision to wield the axe.

Islington based d’Ancona will fit right in.

Congratulations…

Rusbridger Emails Guardianistas

rusbridger-tweet

Dear all,

This is to let you know that next summer I will be stepping down as editor-in-chief of the Guardian before succeeding Liz Forgan as Chair of The Scott Trust when she reaches the end of her term in 2016.

In February I’ll have been editor for 20 years. It’s been quite an extraordinary period in the life of the Guardian. In February 1995 newspaper websites were, if they existed at all, exotic things: we were still four years off launching Guardian Unlimited. Since 1999 we’ve grown to overtake all others to become the most-read serious English language digital newspaper in the world.

When I assumed the editorship in 1995, the senior team at the Guardian was debating whether we should switch to using colour photography in the paper. (There were quite a few distinguished voices believing black and white was the proper métier for news.) Today we are doing our journalism in words, (colour!) pictures, video, data, animation, audio; on mobile and other platforms and in social … and every possible combination of the above.

The past two decades have been marked out by wonderful Guardian writing, photography, innovation and editing. There have been gruelling court battles, dogged campaigns and tough investigations. The Guardian – always the outsider – has won a global reputation for its willingness to fight for the right causes. We have strong future leaders in place with unparalleled news and digital experience. We have built up – and banked – a considerable financial endowment to secure future innovation and build on our quality journalism. The GMG Board is prepared to invest significantly in what we do because of the extraordinarily strong global position for which we (editorial, commercial and digital together) have fought and won.

Each editor is told – this is literally the only instruction – to carry the Guardian on “as heretofore”. That means understanding the spirit, culture and purpose of the paper and interpreting it for the present. All that is only possible because of the unique Scott Trust, set up in 1936 to ensure the Guardian survives in perpetuity.

Since 1936 the Trust has always appointed a chair from within – in every case a member of the Scott family or a former Guardian journalist or editor. I’ve felt very lucky to have Hugo Young and Liz Forgan beside me and/or guarding my back. The Trust is one of the most important liberal institutions in the world and I was very honoured to be asked to succeed Liz as Chair when she steps down in 2016.

But the best thing about working here – the thing I’ll miss most – are my colleagues. We are a team and the strongest of communities – one which includes our readers. The community includes people from all areas, in and outside editorial. The Guardian and The Observer are bursting with extraordinarily bright, talented, brave, kind, knowledgeable, resourceful, imaginative, thoughtful and delightful people. I know our journalism – and our “perpetuity” – will be in the best possible hands.

I am currently visiting the Guardian Australia team in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra – another amazing Guardian success story – but I will be back in Kings Place on Monday and will talk to you then.

Runners and Riders for New Guardian Editor

  • Janine Gibson – Seen as the heiress apparent, this year Janine came home from the US to be deputy editor and editor-in-chief of the Guardian website
  • Katharine Viner – Replaced Gibson as editor of Guardian US, might she leapfrog her predecessor?
  • Emily Wilson – Former UK network editor of the website, now she is Down Under having taken over from Viner.
  • Dan Sabbagh – 94/1
  • Amol Rajan – Time for a person of colour?
  • James Ball – Has written every story of significance in the Guardian for the last 10 years, or so he claims.
  • Edward Snowden – You can run a paper from Skype, right?
  • Frank Fisher – Right-wing legend who writes most of Comment is Free (in the comments).
  • Russell Brand – King of the C U Next Tuesdays.
  • Jonathan Freedland – Sound on Palestine.
  • Ian Katz – Return of the Prince from the Guardian’s broadcasting arm.

Surely it’s time for the Guardian to have their first non-private school educated editor? 

Rusbridger Out

The Indy say he’s quitting as Guardian editor in the summer.

Presumably he’s off to Buzzfeed…

UPDATE:

Guardian Let Hubby Write Secret Puff Piece for Wife

Guido thought this deserved a wider audience:

The Guardian failed to disclose that the author of an article, Sunil Khilnani, is married to the subject of his feature story, Katherine Boo. Khilnani’s article in The Guardian reports on the adaptation of Boo’s book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, into a theater production, her research for the book, as well as the economic issues in India. Boo published the non-fiction account of life in the Mumbai slums in 2012. At the bottom of the article, the only disclosure for Khilnani is that he is “the author of The Idea of India.”

iMediaEthics e-mailed The Guardian to ask why there was no disclosure of the conflict of interest. As of publication, we haven’t heard back from the newspaper. However, by 3:30 PM EST, the following disclosure has been added to the article:

“Sunil Khilnani is the author of The Idea of India and is the husband of Katherine Boo.

“The footnote was amended on 16 November 2014 to include the fact that the author is married to Katherine Boo, in line with the Guardian’s editorial code.”

Naughty.

Comply or Die at Grauniad

Font consistency is peace. Standardised email signature is strength. The thought police at the Guardian have sent this diktat ordering staff to comply with their “clear brand guidelines” to be “ever so slightly ‘un-British'”:

From: Steve Hawker 
Date: 30 October 2014 11:19
Subject: Email signature and font consitency
To: ALL

Hello all,

In the first step of getting some brand consistency across the sales teams’ collateral and in order for us to be ever so slightly ‘un-British’ and make some noise about our recent achievements, I would like you all to read the below so we can implement a standardised email signature and also amend your font to the ‘PC standard’ Guardian font – Georgia. This will sit across Media, Jobs and Labs.

A more automated and jpeg based solution is in progress along with clear brand guidelines accompanied by official Guardian Fonts on every machine, but for now it would be good if we can ALL make this first step.

Only the Guardian could email their staff about font consistency and spell it wrong in the subject line…

Guardian Scrapes Barrel to Bash UKIP

The Guardian is coming in for a lot of criticism – not least from its own staff – for this piece by Jonathan Jones today describing the Tower of London poppies as a “fake… UKIP-style memorial”. It’s the most read article on the Guardian website today, seemingly because of the numbers queuing up to pan it. A quick look at readers’ responses suggest this sort of metropolitan Guardianista sneering is why UKIP are on the rise. It’s their equivalent of MailOnline clickbait, only less classy…

Guardian Confirms Guido’s Gordon Outside Earnings Story

The Guardian have done a run down of the MPs with the biggest declared outside earnings. There could only be one man at the top of the list. How much of Gordon’s £492,331 income declared in the last Register of Members’ Interests has gone to charity?[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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