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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

Plastic no more 

The Times and Sunday Times have followed the Guardian and switched to biodegradable potato starch wrapping to protect their newspapers, instead of the usual plastic. Publisher News UK said: ‘These moves form part of News UK’s plastics pledge to remove all single-use plastic used to wrap our titles and inner magazines by 2020.’ The Sun, also published by News UK, is expected to make the same move later this year. The Financial Times stopped using plastic bags to deliver newspapers after concerns from readers in January, but will continue to in cases of ‘harsh weather’. The Telegraph said that it was looking into compostable wrapping.

Power Up the North

In a rare move, more than 30 regional newspapers from the north of England have joined forces for the ‘Power Up the North’ campaign. The Northern Echo, Yorkshire Post, Liverpool Echo and others today called on politicians and civil servants to invest and focus on the north, saying they want a ‘sea change in the way the country is run’ to happen ‘before it is too late’.

Cuts, cuts and more cuts 

News Group Newspapers, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News UK that publishes the Sun and the Sun on Sunday, has invited staff to apply for voluntary redundancy and warned of future compulsory redundancies. The job cuts are one part of cost-cutting as the publisher seeks to balance the loss-making tabloids. News Group Newspapers’ total revenue fell from £424 million to £401 million for the year to 1 July 2018 as sales dropped 8% and 9% for its daily and Sunday papers.

Fake news! 

American adults are more likely to cite ‘made-up news’ as a big problem than they are climate change, racism, terrorism or sexism, new research has found. However, drug addiction, the political system and the gap between rich and poor were more often seen as a ‘big problem’ in comparison to made-up news and information. Research by the Pew Research Center found that respondents believed such news is the fault of politicians, but that it is journalists’ job to fix the problem. 62% of Republicans think made-up news is a very big problem, compared with just 40% of Democrats.

MEDIA MOVES

Arthur Neslen is joining Politico as a senior policy reporter.

Katy Dillon has joined Sky News as Westminster news editor.

Fiona MacRae will be covering health news for The Times over the summer as Chris Smyth and Kay Lay are on leave.

Jane Merrick has been appointed policy editor at The i paper.

Jillian Ambrose has been appointed energy correspondent at the Guardian.

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