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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism. To subscribe please email communications@lexcomm.co.uk. 

MEDIA NEWS

Off you go

In the last 48 hours, two of Britain’s best-selling papers joined MPs and Cabinet Ministers suggesting Theresa May should quit. On Saturday, The Times told May to ‘stand aside’ while today’s Sun puts it more bluntly with a 700-word comment piece and the front page headline: ‘Time’s Up, Theresa’. The paper acknowledged that it ‘has supported Theresa May since before she became Prime Minister’ but said ‘she has lost the backing of much of the country and now her party’.

The Sunday Times led with Tim Shipman’s ‘Cabinet coup’ story, in which he spoke with 11 ministers all calling for the ‘haywire’ PM to resign, while The Observer ‘revealed’ the ‘EU war-gaming for fall of May government’. Today’s Times Red Box, meanwhile, featured an article penned by May’s former PR advisor and ally Katie Perrior, in which she declares that ‘it’s time for May to name her departure date’. We’re sure more calls will be heard over the coming days.

Sporting choice

The Telegraph has launched a women’s sport section, hiring four new staff to produce the monthly print supplement. New editor Anna Kessel said it was ‘truly a landmark moment for sports coverage and I am extremely proud to be part of it. Over the years too many women’s sports stories have been lost, forgotten, or undervalued. The repercussions of this exclusion have been felt by all women, and by young girls in PE halls across the country’. Contributors will include tennis coach Judy Murray, sprint champion Dina Asher-Smith and England football vice-captain Jordan Nobbs.

Regulation, regulation, regulation

It was the order of the day at the Oxford Media Convention, which we attended last week, with both the Digital Minister Margot James MP and chair of the DCMS Select Committee Damian Collins MP calling for tighter regulation of the online world.

When asked whether the regulation of social media would impact on free speech, Collins dismissed the assertion. He said that it is possible to have free speech but with standards: ‘We cannot just shrug our shoulders and say anything online is “free speech”.’ He echoed James’ comments in noting that newspaper editors have codes of conduct, and incur penalties when these are breached, and said the same should happen in the online world.

On foreign interference Collins again called for higher standards for platforms and big tech. He used an analogy, saying banks have a responsibility to report transactions that they regard as suspicious, but big tech does not. He said that it was ‘not unreasonable’ to ask tech companies to report suspicions of foreign interference in elections or referenda, and added that they cannot ‘just sit back and take money until the regulator comes along’.

Build that wall

JPI Media, publisher of papers such as The i, Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, is considering putting some content behind paywalls following concerns about a fall in advertising revenues. Editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford said to staff that considering the continuing decline of advertising revenues the owners were ‘asking a lot more about where the revenue streams can come from, including reader revenues and subscriptions for our websites’. One anonymous staff member said: ‘Paywalls are obviously a terrible idea which won’t work… if The Sun and Mail can’t get paywalls to work then the Fleetwood Weekly News isn’t likely to.’

CONVERSATION OF THE WEEK

MEDIA MOVES

Anna Kessel has been appointed editor of The Daily Telegraph’s new Women’s Sport section. Vicki Hodges is the deputy editor.

Laura Hughes, political correspondent at the Financial Times, has been announced as the Stern Fellow this year, reporting on the USA at the Washington Post.

Emily Maitlis will be the lead presenter on Newsnight alongside Kirsty Wark and the newly appointed Emma Barnett. The all-female presenting team is edited by Esme Wren.

Yuan Ren is now a science and technology reporter at the Mail Online.

Jack Simpson has been appointed news editor at Inside Housing.

Ria Jones is now The Economist’s Instagram editor.

Katie Grant is now a consumer affairs correspondent at The i.

Kevin Young is now communities editor at The Economist.

Jordan Waller is now the editor of the indy100 at The Independent.

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