This week in Press Gazette - Journalism Weekly: UK press boycott Indian cricket pics

In this week’s Press Gazette – Journalism Weekly (CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE)

1 UK Press boycott Indian cricket pics. Britain’s national press has joined a photographic boycott of England’s latest test series in protest over a ban imposed on two major photo agencies by Indian cricket’s governing body.

“The BCCI has offered to make its own photographs available but this is no substitute for independent and objective press photography.

“Despite numerous opportunities, the BCCI has yet to explain why it is discriminating against photographic agencies or indeed whether other news sectors will be targeted next.”

3 Sunday Times man questions editorial integrity. Former Sunday Times Magazine editor Robin Morgan has questioned whether today’s Fleet Street editors would be able to stand up to major commercial pressure from advertisers.

“The prospect of losing an annual multi-million pound advertising contract would be a decision taken upstairs – and the editor would have a serious ‘squeaky-bum’ time thinking how he could spike the story without losing face in the newsroom.”

4 McAlpine tweet authors facing legal ultimatum. Lord McAlpine’s solicitors have issued a stark ultimatum to all journalists – and others – who libelled him on Twitter by linking him to the false child abuse allegations made on Newsnight on 2 November.

“They could have saved themselves a lot of agonising, and money actually, if they had just made that telephone call. They should have called me and I would have told them exactly what they learned later on – that it was complete rubbish and that I had only ever been to Wrexham once in my life.”

6 The Bureau in danger of becoming another casualty of BBC crisis. After a week which has seen the BBC engulfed in its biggest crisis since the David Kelly affair a decade ago, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been looking in danger of becoming another casualty. Here, Dominic Ponsford looks at how the scandal unfolded – and what the future holds for the beleaguered Bureau.

It can only be healthy that other journalists now probe the workings of the Bureau as rigorously as they would any other body that has fouled up in such a horrendous way.

But if – as currently seems to the case – the child abuse report for Newsnight was a one-off mistake made without malice then it must be given a second chance.

Iain Overton

8 Metro announces ‘mobile first’ strategy after most successful year in history. Free national daily the Metro has announced that it is going “mobile first” with a new android app and relaunching its website built with “responsive design” technology which tailors it to different devices. Editor Kenny said:

“The most important thing to remember is that while today the gadgets and the platforms are the story for you people and for us today, for the rest of the world that is not the story. It’s just a way of accessing the audience.”

9 No further action for pair arrested by Elveden police. A retired police officer and former journalist arrested as part of the investigation into corrupt payments to public officials will face no further action, Scotland Yard said this week.

The two men answered bail at south London police stations and were told that their cases will go no further.

10 Society of Editors 2012: Show goes on despite the notable absentees. A round-up of this week’s SoE conference, featuring PCC chairman Lord Hunt, Independent editor Chris Blackhurst and Culture Committee chairman John Whittingdale.

“We’ve heard a lot over the last 18 months about what journalists have been allowed to get away with. But what’s really shocked me is what the anti-press, pro-regulation lobby have been allowed to get away with.

How they have been allowed to assume the moral high ground, to get away with rewriting history in the most outrageous way.”

12 Filling the media black hole in Wales with hyperlocal news. David Williams is the co-founder of My Town Media, an independent hyperlocal news company in Wales. Here he explains how a chance encounter in a Virgin Records store helped inspired him to launch a successful series of website in mid-Wales.

A media black hole was widening over rural Wales as the decline gathered pace. The area had an excellent weekly but time was catching up. The daily Shropshire Star’s impact was depreciating while radio and magazine coverage was virtually non-existent.

13 You can’t fail to notice the growth of Crap Local News. Grey Cardigan on the rise of the non-story, featuring ‘mitten in a hedge’, silly-string armed robbery and the legendary Whitstable custard shortage.   

Driven by Twitter and a handful of mocking websites, the minutia of our daily content is constantly being held up to ridicule, as Trinity’s digital doodah Dave Higgerson has noted.

Now I have some sympathy with the sneering smartarses, having berated photographers about unimaginative pictures of people pointing at holes or looking disapprovingly at offending dog turds.

But that’s what we have to work with, our currency, our daily bread.

14 Should any media organisations have so much power? Brighton’s Latest TV owner Bill Smith on the Local TV landscape.

"The Guardian and the BBC and the liberal left used the phone-hacking scandal and Leveson to attack Sky, and Rupert Murdoch and his attempt to consolidate what they saw as his excessive power and influence in the media.

Then, like a backhand winner in tennis, the right-of-centre press and TV media – that’s frankly the Mail, Times and Sky – picked up on the Savile scandal to retaliate against the BBC, Guardian etc."

16 The hyperlocal mouse that ‘roared’ in the North West. Fighting against regional giants the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo, the Saddleworth Independent was a runner-up in this year’s North West Media Awards. Owner Ken Bennett tells the story behind the paper’s success over the past year.

“We are not a good newspaper in the sense that we just report the pretty things that happen in the community. We celebrate success but equally we campaign and I’ve had considerable fortune in having our campaigns backed. We’ve made over £10,000 for charity this year alone.”

18 The rise of Politico provides a signpost to Big Media's future. In many ways, the parlous, scanty economics of mainstream print media in the UK and the US resembles the barren state of American network television in the late 1970s before HBO came along to stake its claim over high-quality serial drama and force others to up their game.

A good example, if only in miniature, is the rise and rise of Politico. Launched in 2007 by two former Washington Post staffers (a paper which has continued its lurch downwards), Politico is now one of the most visited news sites in the United States.

19 Cringe: Why I turned down a national newspaper editorship. If you ask me with Eamonn McCann.

I used to draw a sharp line between considering myself as an activist and a journalist, but not anymore. I think most journalism is to some extent political, and that almost all political journalism is partisan.

If I am up to my eyes in a campaign of some sort, I naturally think of myself as an activist. But when I am behind time and trying to grind out another 300 words, I am definitely a journalist.

I suppose it’s unusual for somebody to be as politically active as I am and hold down a job in journalism at the same time.

24 Axegrinder: Streatham become local news desert, Lord Hunt’s tasteless joke at the SoE conference, Mail readers all bit cloak and Dacre.

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