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

Write your new intro for the Kennedy killing

This is the intro of the prize-winning news story written by Tom Wicker on the day President Kennedy was shot: “Dallas, Nov 22 – President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed by an assassin today.” It is a marvel of compacted writing, with “who”, “what” and “where” all in there.  And he carries on Read More

Jameson: another falls off the perch to tell us something

And so, farewell, again, to somebody else. This time Derek Jameson (1929-2012), the tabloid journalist and radio broadcaster. This blog has not become a lament for old talent. It’s just that a few –-Gove Vidal, Helena G Brown, Bob Heller and now Jameson –have fallen off the perch and they all can teach us things. Read More

Same rules for all: citizens and professionals

It is no coincidence that The Times today has a page of debate about the role of professional journalists as Blottr.com claims to have 1,000 “citizen journalists”.  Can’t show you The Times articles bacause of its fire wall. We know the perceived state of professional journalism: ethically challenged and less able to serve its purpose 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

TV listing mags defy gravity

The TV listing magazines continue to defy gravity: 4 TV listings magazines win the top readerships among weeklies in the latest NRS survey. The information they deliver  is all available elsewhere.  It is in daily newspapers and in separate magazines of the Saturday and Sunday editions; it is available online.  Yet 3.4 million read What’s Read More

The words flow like water…

I was captivated as a child by the idea that the planet is an entirely closed system. I hadn’t yet encountered the brilliant James Lovelock or his elegant, totally sensible Gaia theory, but could see that something very clever was going on. If literally nothing escaped our atmosphere – ever – then water, for example, was a Read More

Why is my [media] diet failing?

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last decade or so steadily cutting back on my media consumption. After all, I’ve had to find time for surfing the web, playing video games, loading – and listening to – my iPod, and of course, to spend hours seeing “what else is on” while scanning the EPG on Read More