Trust Auntie Beeb

Despite recent reports to the contrary, the BBC is still by far the most widely used source of news in the UK both online and offline, and it is one of the most highly trusted sources of news, according to a recent report by The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The outlet reaches more than 400 million people globally with news every week, and is still as trusted as major newspapers including The Guardian and the Financial Times.

The BBC is the most popular source of news among both Conservative and Labour voters, and among both Leave and Remain voters. The combination of wide reach and politically diverse audience suggests that public service broadcasting can ensure people see more diverse news.

The author, Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, also appeared last week in the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee hearing its first evidence session on the future of journalism, asking Ofcom and the Reuters Institute how the consumption of news has changed.

SpAd Shake-up

The latest on Dominic Cummings’ quest for “misfits and weirdos” (see 6th January Issue) sees No. 10 open its hunt for fresh advisory talent by launching an open application process to fill its SpAd vacancies. The job advert, which signals a break with the tradition of appointing party loyalists, was posted on the new website, and calls for applicants with a “track record of success working in communications or digital fields to apply” to help “effectively tackle long-term problems and take advantage of the opportunities Brexit has opened up”. The role of government advisors has been in the spotlight recently following the resignation of Cummings’ hire Andrew Sabinsky following criticism of his part remarks on pregnancies, eugenics and race.

Full of harmful and toxic messages

Following the petition to “protect celebrities” in the media after Caroline Flack’s death, one creative team in London is hijacking the covers of celebrity and gossip magazines to raise awareness of the harmful impact that media can have on people’s mental health. They were inspired by news that hair salons across the UK have boycotted “toxic” gossip magazines following the death of the presenter.


Reach plc is launching a new digital news site, YorkshireLive, that will cover news, sport and “what’s on” information across the whole of Yorkshire. The publisher has announced the new 30-strong team for what it is calling its “largest digital launch yet” after hiring 12 new journalists to join the six already employed by LeedsLive and the 12 digital journalists at the Examiner’s offices.

Lexington’s Associate Director Jennifer Lipman comments on the news…

The demise of regional press has long been reported, and hundreds of local papers have closed in the last decade, but the reality is that certain publications and certain formats are thriving, and publishers are desperately searching for new models that will work. Last year, Reach announced its intention to launch at least seven new regional news websites next year and recruit 46 journalists. What’s clear is that any new title or website will need to serve specific local needs and provide more than clickbait or coverage that can be accessed elsewhere. With the BBC and the Yorkshire Post – owned by rival JPIMedia – already providing high-quality local reporting, the question is whether readers will feel there is room for more.


Nick Rostron-Pike is now head of content at News UK, working across The Sun, The Times and talkSPORT.

Politics Home editor Kevin Schofield is leaving journalism after more than 25 years to take up the role of director of communications and digital at the Betting and Gaming Council, a new standards body aiming to build public trust in the gambling industry, in the summer.

Tom Wainwright has started as The Economist’s new media editor.

Sarah Corker has been appointed consumer affairs correspondent at BBC News for the next eight months, and will be based in Manchester.

Ella Pickover has returned from maternity leave, and resumes her role as health correspondent at PA Media.

Amita Joshi has now started her new role as digital lifestyle editor at The Daily Telegraph.

ITV News has appointed Jessica Omari as business and economics producer.

Digiday has appointed Lucinda Southern as media editor.