Allister Heath is New Sunday Telegraph Editor

Allister Heath has been appointed the new editor of The Sunday Telegraph. Heath is currently Deputy Director of Content and Deputy Editor at sister paper the Daily Telegraph. He replaces Ian MacGregor who becomes “Editor Emeritus” – which  means he will be “a bridge between editorial and commercial arms” of the paper. MacGregor will also run the graduate scheme. That “Editor Emeritus” title is causing some hilarity in the Telegraph newsroom…

Amber Rudd and Fleet Street Don’t Understand Encryption

Following Amber Rudd’s talk of “necessary hashtags” and how “we don’t want to go into the cloud”, you’d be forgiven for thinking she is something of a digital immigrant. The Home Secretary has her sights trained on the messaging service WhatsApp and end-to-end encryption, the system which means a conversation can be read only by the sender and recipient and not intercepted by a middle man. Here’s why that’s a red herring…

1. A backdoor to end-to-end encryption would not have stopped the Westminster attack

Khalid Masood was not on the security services’ radar. So even if MI5 and GCHQ were able to intercept his WhatsApp messages before the attack, they would not have done so. The attack would have proceeded all the same. Any change in law or policy would have made no difference.

2. End-to-end encryption is not preventing MI5 read Masood’s messages

Rudd says detectives cannot access Masood’s final messages and that WhatsApp’s complicity in this is “unacceptable“. Today’s Telegraph front page says “Internet giants hide terrorist’s final note”. This is just wrong. WhatsApp do not have access to the unencrypted messages – the messages can only be read on the phones of the sender and recipient. The police presumably have Masood’s phone, it is highly likely they are now inside and able to read the messages. The only thing stopping them get in would be the phone’s passcode. Which is nothing to do with WhatsApp.

3. Encryption is binary

Either you have end-to-end encryption or you don’t. Giving MI5 and GCHQ a backdoor into WhatsApp means the service is no longer secure and any hacker can break in to any user’s messages. As Open Rights Group say, “compelling companies to put backdoors into encrypted services would make millions of ordinary people less secure online. We all rely on encryption to protect our ability to communicate, shop and bank safely”Rudd is asking WhatsApp to open up all their users to attacks by cyber criminals and foreign regimes. 

The Home Secretary is using encryption as a scapegoat when it is completely irrelevant to the Westminster attack. She is being aided by establishment journalists who do not understand technology – Andrew Marr’s interview was pathetic in its amateurism and today’s Telegraph front page is factually incorrect. As a side note, newspapers have splashed on attacks on Facebook, Google, YouTube, Uber and WhatsApp in the last week, today’s Mail bizarrely claims WordPress is helping terrorists. Almost as if Fleet Street has an advertising revenue-shaped ulterior motive for going after tech companies…

How Telegraph Exploits Revenge Porn Market For Clicks

Ever wondered why newspaper websites publish so many articles about ‘revenge porn’? The answer, of course, is search engine optimisation. MediaGuido can reveal exactly how the Telegraph exploits the revenge porn market and its victims for traffic. This email was sent to journalists ordering them to “target” “popular search terms” like “revenge porn sites” and “Girlfriend revenge”.

Subject: Revenge Porn SEO Research
To: news_newsdesk 

Hello everyone.

I’ve done some keyword research into revenge porn following the recent leaks/scandals etc.

Popular search terms

Revenge Porn Sites – this phrase would be good to target, obviously don’t include site names.
Revenge Porn Site
Revenge Porn Videos
Revenge Porn pics
Girlfriend revenge

Let me know if you need anything else on this “interesting” topic.

The aim is that people trying to find revenge porn online end up clicking on links to the Telegraph, delivering them traffic and ultimately profits. Classy stuff… 

Hacks Aired Farage-graph Concerns to Editor

“The Telegraph has become the Farage-graph”, declares ConHome this morning, as the paper puts yet another pro-Nigel, pro-Arron Banks story on its front page. The number of pro-Farage stories featuring on Telegraph front pages over the last few months has been notably disproportionate considering the relative size and significance of UKIP, and the fact Nige isn’t leader anymore. Added to that are Telegraph “Breakfast with Farage” events, not to mention op-ed after op-ed by Nigel. The new obsession is going down badly in the more liberal, metropolitan newsroom.

At a recent staff meeting, one brave journalist raised their hand and spoke about the recent Farage-centric coverage. The Barclays may like UKIP and they may host parties for Farage at the Ritz they mused, Telegraph readers however tend to be old Tories who don’t care much for the ‘Kippers. The concern in the newsroom is that the paper is running so many puff pieces for Farage and Banks because Banks is trying to buy the paper. Rumours have been circulating for months that Banks has been putting together a consortium of Brexit-backing donors to stump up the £250 million asking price – rumoured possible backers doing the rounds include Malcolm Pearson, David Stevens, Stuart Wheeler, Peter Cruddas and Michael Ashcroft. Asked if this was a possibility, Telegraph editor Chris Evans avoided the question and told his staff to follow the news. The prospect of a Banks-backed takeover has become the subject of gallows humour in the newsroom, though surely – without a lot of help – Arron just doesn’t have enough money?

Telegraph Vaz Bercow Story Disappears

Curious that this story published by the Telegraph earlier this afternoon has been taken down…

Telegraph’s Awkward Workplace Happiness Survey

MediaGuido is not sure why the Telegraph thought it would be a good idea to survey staff on their workplace happiness and then deliver the results in a town hall meeting. The anonymous questionnaire was sent to all staff – editorial and non-editorial – a few weeks back. The results were read out recently at a highly awkward all staff meeting. Just 40% said Telegraph Media Group “motivates me” – well below industry standards. There were bad numbers for the general management – only 47% said employee engagement was “favourable“. There were some positives for the Telegraph brand – 72% said they were proud to work at such a prestigious paper. Though there was little surprise when the organisation that carried out the survey informed the room that they were way below other media groups. The numbers for “promotion opportunities” were surprisingly dire given the number of jobs going, and a majority of staff are considering alternative employment. Though to be fair, that is often not their choice…

Telegraph Advertising on MailOnline

The Telegraph‘s “premium” offering is struggling. Online ABCs for December released this week show average daily unique visitors down 13.2% year on year. This paywall induced fall means the Telegraph has now slipped behind the re-vamped Sun site, despite heavy investment in targeting a popular audience. Things are so bad that the Telegraph has taken to advertising on MailOnline. Although almost certainly programmatic, ironic to see a huge Telegraph banner plastered across the front of the world’s most visited news website…

Kirkup Leaves Telegraph Again

James Kirkup, who quit the Telegraph in 2014 only to change his mind and stay, has left again, this time probably for good. He’s leaving his post as Executive Editor (Politics) to become Director of the Social Market Foundation think tank. Did he leave for the influence or the money? The Telegraph politics desk is like the Marie Celeste of Lobby journalism, now without a pol ed and an executive pol ed, whatever that is…

See also: Telegraph Politics Team Launches Attack on Editor.

Telegraph Advertising For Political Editor on Gorkana

How is the Telegraph’s search for their new political editor going? The fact that they’re advertising for the job on Gorkana and LinkedIn does not bode well. You would hardly see the Times or the Mail advertising for a new pol ed via a recruitment PR. The successful candidate will have “Experience in a senior editorial role developing political content in a newspaper, newswire, broadcast or digital environment”, as well as “Knowledge and experience of digital publishing, analytics, SEO and social media”. Perhaps MediaGuido should apply…

Mutinous Telegraph Journalists Locked Out of Twitter Accounts

Telegraph bosses locked their journalists out of the paper’s social media accounts over Christmas as they hunted for a mutinous employee who publicly attacked the editor. After a disgruntled hack used the Telegraph Politics Twitter account to blast Chris Evans for “firing journalists”, passwords for the paper’s various social media streams were changed. Journalists were not told the new passwords as bosses decided they couldn’t be trusted not to continue the online insurrection. The lockdown caused chaos on Christmas Day when the below tweet misquoting the Queen was sent by the ‘Social’ team from the main Telegraph account. It stayed up for over an hour because none of the journalists who spotted the error knew the password to log in and delete it.

Trust and competence at an all time low at Telegraph towers…

Confirmed: Malcolm Coles Out at Telegraph

Last week MediaGuido reported that the Telegraph’s digital guru and pantomime villain Malcolm Coles was being let go from the paper. Coles responded by demanding we take our story down, telling us it was “untrue” and “defamatory” and cc’ing his lawyer into his email to this site. Today, six days later, Coles has confirmed he is out:

“We did some good stuff over the last two years. And we also did football emoji scores. I wish everyone there well for 2017.” 

A rare case where Telegraph hacks are pleased to see someone leave. Coles will be hoping his lawyer has better success getting him some redundancy cash…

Telegraph Politics Team Launches Public Attack on Editor

This tweet was sent by the Telegraph Politics Twitter account to the paper’s editor Chris Evans tonight, publicly shaming him for “firing journalists”.

It was swiftly deleted, before the message was tweeted again a few minutes later:

It would appear a disgruntled Telegraph journalist with access to the @telepolitics twitter account has decided to go rogue. Chris Evans needs to change the password quick…

Telegraph Cancels Christmas

The Telegraph usually throws a staff Christmas party every year, inviting everyone from execs to the newsroom to those who operate the customer services call centre for an end-of-year blow out. This year, due to budget cuts, no such party was held – each of the teams on the paper had to organise and pay for their own separate parties (if they were feeling at all festive). Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Telegraph’s Digital Revolution Eating Its Children

On Monday morning, a rumour went round the Telegraph newsroom that Malcolm Coles, the paper’s notorious digital guru, is being let go. Coles won’t give Guido an answer other than to say he hasn’t left yet. Multiple Telegraph sources say he has been given his notice. This is the digital revolution eating its children, it would be a harsh decision given bosses allowed Coles to bear the brunt of criticism for the dumbing down of content. Coles was brought in to oversee all the naff viral content and SEO optimisation that executives wanted and journalists and readers hated. It’s a marker of how the Telegraph do things these days that Coles’ colleagues have had to whisper to each other speculation about his demise…

Barclays Said to Want £250 Million for the Telegraph

barclays

A rumour is going round the Telegraph newsroom that the paper is on the block for £250 million – though the mood of the Barclay brothers on this is said to be variable – they bought the group for £665 million in 2004. Multiple Telegraph sources have independently approached Guido this afternoon saying the Barclays are considering selling. Separately Guido understands that two consortia are circling…

UPDATE: A spokesman for the Barclays gets in touch with the same statement they sent out the last time these rumours circulated: “There are no plans to sell Telegraph Media Group or any part of it and there never have been.”

Telegraph Pol-Ed Dominiczak Joins Crosby Textor Fullbrook

dominiczak

Tells you everything you need to know about the dire situation at the Telegraph that their widely respected political-editor has, Guido can reveal, quit to join lobbyists Crosby Text Fullbrook Partners. Guido understands that Telegraph executives tried to convince him to stay. CTF’s reputation made it an opportunity too good to miss…

Telegraph Battling to Keep Political Editor

tele

Rumours are emanating from Telegraph towers that the paper is battling to keep its political editor Peter Dominiczak. There is speculation Dominiczak has tried to resign and that he wants to make some money in financial PR. Telegraph bosses are apparently trying to stop him from leaving. Tells you everything you need to know about the dire situation at the Telegraph that they’re battling to convince their widely respected pol ed not to quit journalism…

UPDATE: Guido hears special correspondent Tom Morgan, another talented and hugely well-liked journalist, has quit the paper. Sports writer Steve James has been made redundant. Education editor Javier Espinoza is also leaving despite only joining last year.

Losing Faith at the Telegraph

tele

Another departure from the Telegraph: the paper’s Religious and Social Affairs editor of five years John Bingham is leaving to spin for God, he’s the new comms chief at the Church of England. It means the former paper of the Tory Party at Prayer is now without a religious affairs editor. They are still without a Brussels correspondent as well – good thing Britain’s relationship with Europe is out of the news at the moment. Replacements to these key roles are not happening and Guido is told to expect a number of other imminent departures. Notices are being primed…

Telegraph Premium Teething Problems

telegraph front

Early teething problems for the new Telegraph Premium project? Several readers have been in touch to express their surprise that this was the front page of the Telegraph website this morning, splashing on Prime Minister’s David Cameron’s response to the Tata steel crisis. It also carried a story that the ONS were told to tell the truth on immigration before the EU referendum. Stories from a year ago. Oops…

Telegraph Fall For Philip May Parody Account

tel

The Telegraph had written 300 words and hit the publish button before they realised that a tweet from ‘Philip May’ about his conference suit was sent by a parody account. According to their report:

Philip May, husband of Prime Minister Theresa May, has taken to Twitter to reveal the outfit he wore to join his wife on stage at the Conservative Party conference is “model’s own”… Philip May has broken with this tradition, which has previously been criticised as sexist, and drew attention to it with a quip on social media. 

[…] Read the rest

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