Tag Archives: The Independent

Julie Burchill to make a return to newspapers with the Observer

Almost five years after she announced she was quitting journalism full time Julie Burchill is making a return to newspapers by writing for The Observer.

That’s according to long time Observer Columnist and author of ‘What’s Left’, Nick Cohen, who tweeted the news this morning. Read more on Julie Burchill to make a return to newspapers with the Observer…

The Sun dominates chart of best newspaper TV ads with the Guardian second

Sun celebrates Page 3 with this ad - viewed 4.2 million times on YouTube.Unruly Media have put together chart of British newspaper TV ads from over the years based on social shares.

There are some classics here including the 1986 Guardian ad ‘Points of view’ created by BMP. It is consistently cited as a great ad and deserves its place here as does a more recent entrant from the same paper.

While the Guardian’s Three Little Pigs ad from earlier this year did very well, pulling in more than one million YouTube views, it is far behind the Sun and its ad from 2010 celebrating Page 3. The Sun’s ” the woman you’d love your woman to be like” racked up more than 4.2 million views. Read more on The Sun dominates chart of best newspaper TV ads with the Guardian second…

The Independent unveils new look, what do you think?

A new look for the Independent. Not sure I like this much. It looks like a local paper, or a student paper as someone else put it, or Russian. Maybe it was just what the boss ordered.

The logo is the big change and it is big. I’m guessing they were thinking modern and bold.

With the word ‘The’ shrinking the focus is much more on a “stronger Independent”. Read more on The Independent unveils new look, what do you think?…

The amazing story and apology of Johann Hari

No one can have now not caught something of the astonishing tale of Johann Hari the award-winning Independent columnist (winner of many prizes including the Orwell prize, since handed back) who after admitting plagiarism, and attacking fellow journalists on Wikipedia under a pseudonym, is to keep his job. Lucky man.

Yesterday he made a long apology in the Independent where he explained how he had embellished some of his stories and appropriated the quotes of others to use in his stories, it was contrite but it didn’t seem all that sincere or rather he didn’t really address the failings that led to this incredible story, which cast a shadow over dozens of articles. Read more on The amazing story and apology of Johann Hari…

Former Independent editor Roger Alton joins The Times

Roger Alton, who stepped down as editor of the Independent last month, has been named as an executive editor of The Times the day it unveils its new website.

The news broke late last night when the paper’s other executive editor Daniel Finkelstein, who is responsible for digital content, broke the news via a tweet.

Read more on Former Independent editor Roger Alton joins The Times…

On Cameron The Indie is pitch perfect as the Mail goes for queasy – Clegg just absent

For my money the Independent easily won the battle of the front pages today with its “brokered Britain front page splash” while the Daily Mail made me come over all queasy.

Read more on On Cameron The Indie is pitch perfect as the Mail goes for queasy – Clegg just absent…

Sad day for The Observer, but it is spared closure

When the fate of some newspapers is to disappear for good Guardian News & Media’s decision to pare down The Observer to four sections rather than close it outright was clearly a tough one in this climate, but it makes a lot of sense and it should be congratulated.

As reported last night The Observer will shrink from seven to four sections having been under threat of closure since August. Its sport, music and Woman monthly magazines will close and there will be some redundancies.

Guardian News & Media said it will fold the business and personal finance sections into the main paper, and the travel section into the Observer Magazine. Only Observer Food Monthly will survive the magazine cull.

Hopefully the resulting newspaper will be smaller, but perfectly formed. Besides, I’d rather have a paper like the Observer on Sunday or frankly The Guardian that doesn’t suffer from over publishing that to my mind afflicts some Sunday newspapers where I am left asking “what is the point of this section – could you remind me (other than to recycle”.

Paring The Observer down to the bare essentials described above still makes it a better paper than the Independent on Sunday (it is still publishing, right?) and The Sunday Times, which is a paper that can be best described as: “used to be pretty good”.

The best Sunday paper is still the Guardian on Saturday as like a trip to Parisa it’s a two day affair.

It is a shame about the magazines as the Observer team did a great job producing them, but again there was always the nagging question in my mind as to whether that was what it should have been spending its money on. Yes they were good, but I was never sure whether they belonged in a Sunday newspaper (that could just be me, it is not unknown). The food mag is awesome though and I’m glad to see that continue.

I could say more, but really I’m glad to see the paper continue.

Read more on Sad day for The Observer, but it is spared closure…

Desperate measures: closing The Observer

Let’s hope it is the nuclear option and it does not come to Guardian Media Group having to close The Observer newspaper. It would be tragic loss and would lead many people to have few options on a Sunday.

Guardian Media Group chief executive, Carolyn McCall, has confirmed in a memo that executives are looking at all options to cut growing losses, including closing The Observer, to ensure the future of The Guardian. As that’s what the Scott Trust is in business to do.

GMG will have to make some really tough choices. Advertising revenues are falling and it looks like these will not return to pre-downturn levels. The Guardian Media Group has losses in the 12 months to March of £90m. Those are serious losses and require serious action. A smattering of job cuts and merging web operations of the Guardian and The Observer clearly do not go far enough in addressing the scale of the problem. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

The Observer might sell 409,000 plus copies, but its circulation is falling and there are no signs that its decline will be arrested. This is not a market where we are going to see sustained rises in newspaper circulation that are anything more than quick hits based on short term promotions or news cycles.

So what to do? People don’t often close newspapers, but it happens that it just hasn’t happened for a long while.

If you do a search or think back there is a veritable pile of dead papers filling the bins of prosperity. The News on Sunday, Eddie Shah’s Today and The Post, London Daily News, The Sunday Correspondent and Sunday Business. Admittedly some of those did not last very long and certainly have not
been in continuous publication since the latter part of the 18th
century.

Read more on Desperate measures: closing The Observer…

Buying the Independent? Or not

Is the Independent being sold? There’s something happening, what is it exactly? Independent News and Media Chief Executive Gavin O’Reilly has said today there have been no talks with Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev.

O’Reilly’s comments follow yesterday’s lunchtime story that Lebedev was in advanced talks about buying the paper.

Speaking today to a Dow Jones reporter at IN&M’s annual general meeting O’Reilly said that he’s received no offer for the group’s UK titles and has had no discussions.

“The board hasn’t received any offer whatsoever from Mr Lebedev. The press has got ahead of itself.

“I’ve had no discussions [with Lebedev]. The board has had no discussion.”

It’s an interesting turn of phrase — the bit about “the press getting ahead of itself”. It could simply be that there’s no story, but it seems from the various reports I’ve read that there is something is going on.

Maybe it isn’t a sale. Maybe only closer relations (so to speak). I still think anyone would be bonkers to buy The Independent outright. It makes no sense – even if you’re a billionaire. The future is not bright for The Independent. It still remains a candidate for becoming an online-only title. I’ve written about this once (No independent future – merger, digital or bust) or twice (The end of print for The Independent?) before.

Read more on Buying the Independent? Or not…

MediaGuardian.co.uk to go paid for?

Very interesting news coming from Guardian boss Carolyn McCall today at the Fipp World Magazine Congress in London where she is talking about charging for content and MediaGuardian.co.uk could be one of its sites that goes paid for.

Carolyn McCall’s comments follow those in March of Guardian News & Media MD Tim Brooks who said charging was high on his wish list.

She said: “More people are looking seriously at how they can make money charging for content that costs a lot of money to make. I don’t think we will be doing much content online in B2B unless we get money for it. It’s crazy that we do so much to put content out there but we don’t get money for it.”

It’s interesting that McCall would cite MediaGuardian.co.uk and B2B as it is reflective of the way the thinking is going in the industry over what could possibly be charged for.

There seems to be from what I hear a consensus emerging that goes like this: the boat on generic breaking news has long since sailed and you can not charge for that content, there is simply too much of it out there; but specialist and niche news offers the possibility of charging.

This content is much more of a premium. It is not so freely available or freely replicated.

Some of this content used to be paid for. The territory that MediaGuardian.co.uk operates in for instance overlaps with what we do at Brand Republic and Haymarket in general and some of that content used to be paid for.

Take Campaign’s original website, when that launched that was all paid for and only available to subscribers. I remember talking to people back then about that model when much other content was free. That is all a long time gone, but here we are again.

If the Guardian makes a jump and puts some kind of charge or attaches subscription access to MediaGuardian.co.uk and others specialists areas of its network (or the B2B Emap business that it owns that includes Drapers Record, Broadcast and Retail Week) then others will quickly follow. There will be a global trickle.

People will still be able to get much free, but for those who want more specialist business and industry news, they might well have to pay for it.

Read more on MediaGuardian.co.uk to go paid for?…

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