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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 

Election corner

While purdah may not have officially started yet, media outlets have wasted no time in covering the election battle. The Guardian’s Media Editor Jim Waterson notes that the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail’s front pages have ‘complete message discipline’ that echo the ‘election attack / defence lines’ of the two main parties. For example, last week, the Mirror led with ‘Boris & Trump plot NHS sell-off’ whilst the Mail splashed: ‘Poll: Boris more trusted than Corbyn on NHS.’

Separately, Sky News has announced a partnership with Full Fact on fact-checking during the election. Economics Editor Ed Conway will present Campaign Check every day to ‘verify the claims and counter claims’ of politicians. The broadcaster has also ramped up Sophy Ridge’s air time, moving her show to twice weekly (now 9am on Saturday and Sundays). Meanwhile, Mark Austin will present The Path to Power which will take him ‘across the whole of the UK to meet voters in the towns and communities where this election will be decided, and where traditional political loyalties are being torn up’.

At the BBC, Brussels Correspondent Adam Fleming and the politics team will host Electioncast – ‘the essential guide to the 2019 UK general election’. The podcast will be in addition to the weekly Brexitcast, published by the team each Thursday. In an awkward coincidence, BuzzFeed News’ Media and Politics Reporter Mark Di Stefano reports that Sky will also be producing a podcast called Electioncast

Help fund journalism, says BBC

The BBC has asked private businesses to help fund more reporters as part of its local democracy scheme. Director General Lord Tony Hall called on business to support the scheme, saying: ‘I want businesses and other institutions to join with us so we can get even more reporters into local communities – and give people the local journalism they deserve.’ To date, the BBC has funded around 150 reporters as part of the scheme, which enables reporters to scrutinise local councils. If funding is secured, new reporters would be hired and ‘greater scrutiny would be given to frontline services and institutions’. An outside body would also be established to oversee the scheme.

Solidarity with Meghan

A cross-party group of more than 70 female MPs have signed an open letter criticising the media for coverage of Meghan Markle. Labour MP Holly Lynch posted a picture of the letter on Twitter. The group writes that they ‘express [their] solidarity’ with the Duchess and argue that some coverage ‘cannot be allowed to go unchallenged’ because it has ‘outdated, colonial undertones’. The letter continues: ‘With this in mind we expect the national media to have the integrity to know when a story is in the national interest, and when it is seeking to tear a woman down for no apparent reason.’ The Duchess of Sussex reportedly rang Lynch to say how much she ‘appreciated the sentiment’.

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

 

MEDIA MOVES

The Financial Times has hired Cheryl Brumley as it plans to take a ‘close and focused’ look at its audio output. Brumley joins from The Economist where she was co-executive producer of its flagship daily podcast, the Intelligence. She will manage a team of eight at the FT and help craft the paper’s audio strategy.

Shaun Lintern has joined The Independent as a Health Correspondent.

Matt Discombe is joining the Health Service Journal.

Anoosh Chakelian is now Britain Editor at the New Statesman.

Benjamin Butterworth has been appointed Late Editor at The i paper.

Duncan Weldon is joining The Economist to cover the British economy.

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