“I’m pretty sure 1997 is when this started. It was after Lady Diana was killed, and BBC 24 started. Everything was breaking news/newflash. You think “Oh God… what’s happened”, when low and behold, some footballer has been transferred, or a politician has left his teddy-bear on the train. It’s akin to the boy who cried wolf, so now when I hear of breaking news, I don’t even give a second glance.”—
A letter to the BBC Magazine Monitor blog from reader Iain F MacMillan.
It’s long been an annoyance of mine. The day after Michael Jackson died, we had ‘BREAKING NEWS!’ all day.
If you ask me, Michael Jackson dying was breaking news. Everything else thereafter was ‘developing news’ and should be defined as that.
The phrase ‘Breaking News’ is the sexiest in the newsman’s arsenal. Indeed, I once saw two Evening Standard distributors outside Holborn tube station. One of them was saying ‘Evening Standard, get your Standard’, while the other was ‘BREAKING NEWS IN THE STANDARD!’.
It was the same paper at the same location. But, the breaking news guy gave away five times the amount of newspapers.
Let’s not kill off the effectiveness of breaking. Please.
Lengthy but impressive feature from a student at Wellington Journalism School in New Zealand. I used to teach there, and set up this website. To see brilliant journalism like this makes me proud beyond measure.
“Foursquare is unique in that it not only allows users to broadcast their whereabouts, but also offers a number of built-in incentives, including some innovative new crap The New York Times surely has a throbbing hard-on for.”—
“Letters To Juliet tells the fictional story of a young American journalist who has joined this remarkable group of volunteers, replying to messages sent from all over the globe to Shakespeare’s heroine by lovers seeking advice”—
That’s all well and good, but I think this article fails to ask the killer question: Who are these nutters writing to Juliet?
My friend Dan Clough with his usual unbiased (ahem) views on Blackburn Rovers.
This time, he’s sounding off about the lack of Rovers players in the England squad - both now and in the past.
He’s been foaming at the mouth - literally, he admits it - about Paul Robinson, Rovers’ in-form ‘keeper, being left out.
I was gutted too. He’s been brilliant this season, more solid than most, and probably deserved a place.
But he’s not as good as David James.
And he’s only marginally better - in my opinion - than Robert Green. It’s very close.
I do think he’s better than Joe Hart, and I think most would agree with that.
But taking into account Joe’s age - eight years younger than Robinson - it seems a selection that will benefit the team not now, but in the future.
Regardless of whether he plays or not, Joe will no doubt benefit from being at the World Cup. It will give him experience and a mature head before his time, and so by the time the next World Cup comes up, or even the one after, we’ll have ‘keeper that isn’t phased by the prospect of a high-pressure environment.
So I’d say that while Robinson has been the better player this season, his omission from the squad wasn’t about his abilities as a player, but more about building a brilliant England team for years ahead.
Unlike the Michelle Obamas or Sarah Browns of the West, it’s very rarely you get to hear from the wives of African leaders. Veronique Edwards from BBC Network Africa manages to get an exclusive audience with five first ladies of the continent. A good read.
Is the Guardian secretly planning a subscription model?
The Guardian has been quite vocal in its slapping down of Murdoch’s payment plans for News Corp websites.
The Times goes paid very shortly - I won’t be subscribing - and the eyes of the world will be on it.
Not least within Fleet Street - where every paper will be paying close attention to the successes and (more likely) failures of the Times paywall. And as I write this, @psmith has tweeted that the Times is cutting its editorial budget by 10%, as well as taking voluntary redundancies.
Lunacy, isn’t it? Here they are, on the brink of launching a scheme that relies solely on the quality of the editorial meat - and yet they’re cutting posts.
Cash from the regulars
But it’s the Guardian which is most interesting to me. They’ve frequently denounced paywalls as a way of making money on the web. Sadly for them (and all of us media folk, I guess) is that they haven’t quite worked out a solution.
Or have they?
Let’s look at the paywall successes. In the UK, it’s the Financial Times. They’ve implemented a nice system that keeps casual readers like me involved - I can read a taster of their stuff each month - but gets cash from the regulars by taking their money once they read a certain amount of content a month.
In the US, the Wall Street Journal has been so successful with its paywall that it’s fairly likely to have been Murdoch’s own personal justification for bringing subscriptions to our shores.
It’s no co-incidence that both of those titles deal almost exclusively with stories on finance, where information literally is money to those who read it.
Quite why Murdoch doesn’t grasp this simple reason as to why people are prepared to subscribe to the FT and WSJ rather than the Times baffles me greatly. But what do I know, I’m not a media mogul.
It’s free - as is all the content on the Guardian - but it’s another important string to the bow of the Guardian’s specialist subjects.
It’s quite a list. From the top of my head, I can think of Media, Society, Technology, Education, Film & Music… and a couple others. And now Law.
Media Guardian is by far the best source for media news in the UK. Bar none. Journalism.co.uk are up there, but in terms of resource, contacts, ‘big name’ interviews - Media Guardian tops it.
My RSS feed alerts me to any BBC related stories from Media Guardian as soon as they go live. If there’s a big announcement, I’ll read it about it on Media Guardian long before the ‘just-released’ statement from Mark Thompson (or whoever) lands in my inbox. There’s never an exception.
As a man working in the media, would I pay for Media Guardian? You bet I would. Quite a lot, actually. It’s invaluable. It would help my career.
And I bet you could say the same for Education. I’m 100% sure you can say the same for Society… imagine the floods of public sector workers who benefit from reading that section?
And now Law - a profession that includes some of the UK’s wealthiest people.
So my hunch is that the Guardian is very quietly amassing a wealth of special dedicated sections which they can really sell. The normal content can remain free - as it should - but when you have invaluable content in specialist areas, that’s where you earn your money.
And if I’m right? Extra investment in quality, expert-led specialised journalism is a brilliant change of direction for our industry.
UK media regulator Ofcom is investigating allegations of partisan reporting by two news journalists working for BSkyB.
The cases, concerning Sky News political editor Adam Boulton and news anchor Kay Burley, each received a “few hundred” complaints to the regulator.
An Ofcom spokeswoman confirmed that, as of today, an interview between Boulton and former Downing Street spokesman Alastair Campbell had received 315 complaints, while complaints against Sky News anchor Kay Burley’s comments to protesters had sparked 722 complaints.