It wouldn’t be the British Journalism Awards without a good old barney about the nominations. Newsnight and Buzzfeed are jointly nominated for Investigation of the Year for the Kids Co scandal – a story on which they did a lot of good follow-up work but was broken by Miles Goslett in the Speccie.Five months earlier…
Congrats to Newsnight, nominated for a journalism award for its impressive (albeit belated) follow-up to the Spectator's Kids Company scoop.
Media organisations can pay £75 for a vanity-satisfying nomination, something Newsnight and Buzzfeed apparently wasted no time in doing but Miles Goslett, who is a freelancer, didn’t. As Goslett explains:
“Until February 2015, when The Spectator published my article on Kids Company, not a single bad word about it or its chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh had appeared in the mainstream media.”
A spectacular media commentariat bitch fight this week, as HuffPo’s Owen Bennett needled Breitbart’s Raheem Kassam over his reporting of the Oldham by-election. Cue an Israeli-style response from Raheem.
Which spin doctor broke the cardinal rule of SpAds and walked into shot not once but twice as Corbyn was being interviewed by Sky? And who let Jezza be filmed in front of a load of posters showing Labour in the 70s? Seamus is a pro…
“Tom Bradby is so hot he got 500,000 new viewers,” claims a headline in the Times today. It follows on from yesterday’s puff piece reporting ITV News at Ten “has put on half a million viewers since Tom Bradby began presenting”. The generous write-up claimed:
“Average viewing figures for the ITV bulletin over the past three weeks have risen to two million — up by half a million on September averages.”
Has Bradby’s sex appeal really made such a remarkable difference?
Industry insiders tell Media Guido that, actually, the ITV News at Ten numbers are flat. In the three weeks since Bradby took over, reliable sources say ITV News at Ten has scored above two million on just three nights. The ratings have reached c1.9 million on zero nights, c.1.8 million on one night, c.1,7 million on six nights, c1.6 million on 2 nights and c1.5 million on 2 nights. The “half a million” headline figure is as sexed up as their new choice of host…
UPDATE: The BBC hit back as the 10pm flame war intensifies:
Happy to report business as usual at Ten, whatever others may wish. 4.4m v 2m. Back to work with a smile. Diolch! pic.twitter.com/Ryi3ovvUIu
So keen is Owen on “the anti-austerity message” that he helped set up and remains a key backer of the “People’s Assembly Against Austerity” campaign group. So imagine Guido’s surprise at reading Owen’s latest piece for the Guardian:
“Labour has to abandon anti-austerity – a term that has never really resonated with the public, despite the left’s best efforts – in favour of being pro something else… If Labour can answer these questions, it will be in a far better position: able to commit to higher wages, reduced spending on social security without throttling working families, rebalancing the economy, preparing the country for future shocks, and having a positive vision rather than simply being against Osborne’s failure… the real answer is not to gloat over his bungled mess, but to find a positive alternative that inspires the country. Over to you, Labour.”
Labour has to abandon anti-austerity? Reduce spending on welfare? Who are you and what have you done with the real Owen Jones?
Guido understands that James Slack, the Mail’s Home Affairs editor who has been leading the politics coverage since James Chapman’s departure, will be the new Political Editor. Slack will be in charge of the day to day running of the politics team. As tipped by Guido back in May…
Isabel Oakeshott’s mooted role, as a Pol Ed “at large”, will be more about scoring big hits and doing comment. Though nothing has been signed…
The Speccie’s all-round internet wizard Seb Payne is joining the FT as digital comment editor, heading up a complete revamp of their online comment. Best known for touring the country in his Mini during the election, Payne is an Islington new media darling with an encyclopedic knowledge of UKIP, and can probably now afford to pay his mechanic.
Worth watching how his sound political views fit in at the Pink ‘Un, Payne (left), starts in January. Congratulations…
The Britain Stronger in Europe campaign is getting very upset with people who call them the “BSE” campaign. Their comms chief Lucy Thomas tells Sky News it is “childish” to abbreviate their name. So they will have been delighted to read the write up of a briefing they handed to their friends at the Sindy yesterday:
The piece used the acronym BSE no fewer than four times, suggesting it has stuck even among Europhile allies. Silly moo…
Jeremy Corbyn has sensationally appointed Seumas Milne as his new Director of Strategic Communications. Winchester College and Oxford-educated PPEist Milne, a former Stalinist, is renowned for his roll call of remarkable controversial quotes. Here is a reminder.
Milne wrote glowingly about the “armed resistance” in Iraq against US and British soldiers, and called Iraqis who worked with the US “quislings“. He wrote:
“it has become ever clearer that they are in fact a classic resistance movement with widespread support waging an increasingly successful guerrilla war against the occupying armies. Their tactics are overwhelmingly in line with those of resistance campaigns throughout modern history… The resistance war can of course be cruel, but the innocent deaths it has been responsible for pale next to the toll inflicted by the occupiers. Its political strength lies precisely in the fact that it has no programme except the expulsion of the occupying forces. Jack Straw said this week that the resistance was “opposed to a free Iraq” – but its campaign is in fact Iraq’s real war of liberation.”
Two days after 9/11, wrote: “They can’t see why they are hated… most Americans simply don’t get it…” and accused the US of “unabashed national egotism and arrogance“. He says “they themselves sowed” the seeds of 9/11 and blamed the attacks on “injustices and inequalities“.
A week after the 7/7 bombings, he wrote: “The only surprise was that the attacks were so long coming” and blamed “the bloodbath unleashed by Bush and Blair in Iraq”.
Wrote following the death of Lee Rigby: “Rigby was a British soldier who had taken part in multiple combat operations in Afghanistan. So the attack wasn’t terrorism in the normal sense”.
Kremlin-apologist Milne has said the West shouldn’t “demonise” Putin.
He fawned over Putin as he chaired a panel discussion with the Russian leader.
John Whittingdale has said he will think again about the ill-thought-out plan to ban publishers from claiming back costs in libel cases – even when they win. The draconian policy means news organisations that aren’t signed up to a Royal Charter regulator will still have to pay costs when they win, crazily meaning they will be forced to stump up huge fees even when they are found to have done nothing wrong. Whitto says:
“I am not convinced the time is right for the introduction of these costs provisions. Given the changes under way within the industry, the introduction of the new exemplary damages provisions, and the pressures on the industry, I question whether this additional step, now, will be positive and will lead to the changes I want to see. My mind is not made up, and I will want to examine the matter further in the coming weeks before taking any decision.”
Hardly unreasonable, right? This is Hacked Off Evan Harris’ screaming response:
“Victims will be distressed and the public dismayed to hear that the government is considering not keeping the promise it made to those innocent people whose lives have been destroyed by press misconduct, and reneging on the post-Leveson cross-party agreement signed by all the party leaders 30 months ago and passed overwhelmingly by parliament”
Is this one minor, entirely reasonable rethink really “reneging” on their promise? Will “examining the matter further” really cause “distress“? Will the public really be “dismayed“? If only there was some sort of regulator to keep Hacked Off’s ridiculous – and patently untrue – sensationalism in check…
Meet Aaron Bastani, a notorious Twitter troll who runs ‘Novara Media’, an eccentric pro-Corbyn website which claims to be “new media for a different politics“. Bastani attacked the journalists who were spat at during Tory conference, and has moved on to trolling a number of female journalists on Twitter, calling the Sindy’s Jane Merrick a “fatuous muppet”:
When he isn’t trolling female journalists, Bastani is raising money for a vacuous campaign to try and get Nick Robinson and Michael Crick sacked:
A campaign which Corbynite MP Clive Lewis is backing:
Does Lewis know he has given money to an internet crackpot? Or do Team Corbyn really think they should be pressuring news organisations to fire their staff?
@MediaGuido All the more odd given that Clive Lewis is a former TV reporter and presumably an NUJ member
Readers will remember the furore caused when the BBC’s beleaguered creative director Alan Yentob stood in the Today Programme cubicle while they interviewed Camila Batmanghelidjh. At the time Yentob was blasted by his own BBC colleagues for pressurising Today staff.
Today Yentob admitted for the first time that he did stand in the cubicle. He says “if it was intimidating I regret it”. The best television Yentob has done in years…
“After eight wonderful years at the BBC, it is time for my next big challenge. BBC Television is on brilliant creative form. I feel very privileged to have led Television for the world’s finest public service broadcaster and to have worked with so many smart and talented people. In particular, I’d like to thank my fantastic team across BBC Television, all the people who have been involved with making our programmes in the last few years, my colleagues on the Executive Board and Tony Hall, who I admire greatly.”
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.”
Guido’s favourite conference story is the lead in today’s Sun on Sunday column: read all about the Cabinet minister who slipped at the urinal, ending up with a man weeing on his head. Don’t miss out on:
You’re in Trouble, Chris: Eurosceptic Grayling Set for Cabinet Axe
How the PM celebrated his birthday, and why SamCam got the giggles
Revealed: Taxpayer billed six figures to touch up 829 paintings in Whitehall departments