Guardian and Observer sell AutoTrader to keep the lights on

Guardian Media Group (GMG), owner of The Guardian and The Observer, has sold its majority stake in the AutoTrader group for about £850 million.  This will give it a cash mountain of about £1 billion to keep the lights on for the expansion of both publications, on paper and online. Better than the EMAP investment Read More

WSJ: the dog that did not bark

I posed a question at a conference on financial journalism this week which still needs answering: Why did not the Wall Street Journal know of the shenanigans in the run up to the crash which started in 2007?  It was the dog which did not bark.  Possible answers are: Most of the bad stuff was Read More

Investigative journalism works: Pilots cleared after 17 years

Two dead RAF helicopter pilots have been cleared after an investigative journalism campaign of 17 years.  Flt Lts Trapper and Cook were cleared last week of the accusation that they flew the copter into the Mull of Kintyre killing all 29 on board. The dead included senior British intelligence officers and their special forces minders. Read More

10 lessons from the NoW closure

1                     To paraphrase the Sun: “It’s the advertisers whot won it.”  Senior News International executives talked about the loss of trust by the readers as the cause of the closure of the NoW.  It wasn’t any such thing.  It was because the advertisers bailed out.   It was a ruthless closure inflicted on a team which Read More

PCC makes big mistake over Telegraph’s 2-faced Lib-Dems story

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has made a big mistake in its judgement against The Daily Telegraph and its story that Lib-Dem government members were talking out of both sides of their mouths.  They were saying in public they were in favour of many Coalition policies and in private dissing them.  Two faced, at the Read More

Publisher loses the plot: Elsevier closes CW and sells website

Computer Weekly, after 45 years of UK publication, is to close its paper edition and the web site is to be sold by Elsevier to TechTarget, a US publisher. This is a case study in how to lose the plot.  CW was a pioneer of IT journalism.  Steady and also, in certain times, speedy. Speedy Read More

Wikileaks: a fine new institution worth defending

Wikileaks, the website devoted to leaking what the authorities don’t want us to know, faces two problems. It has internal problems to solve and it is being criticised for its revelations.  These revelations possibly put people in Afghanistan and Iraq in danger.  It has moved its operations to Sweden with its more liberal press laws Read More

Good and bad in UK press

The good and bad of the UK media were on show this weekend.  The good is the News of the World investigation into bet rigging in cricket.  A first class piece of investigative journalism: On an issue of public interest; Causing other media to follow it; and Digging out a story which will run and Read More

Demand Media no threat to exclusive, original & quality journalism

Demand Media, a content farm as it is called, is about to go public and make its founders a pile of money.  They have built a content farm which pulls together content from other sites and serves it up as How To lists and even full articles. USA Today is already using it to generate Read More

Investigative journalism works at H&H

Investigative reporting works. Investigative reporting works as a key tool to unearth exclusive news and features for readers. It works as a boost to morale of the writing team. It works as a sales tool. Horse & Hound, the weekly bible of the equestrian world, has launched an investigative journalism campaign. The first fruits of Read More