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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

Robot news

The newswire Associated Press is set to introduce an artificial intelligence-based tool that can instantly verify – or discredit – videos sent in by people around the world. The tool, which has been in development since 2017 and was originally funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative, uses ‘visual recognition and machine learning technologies’ to make snap assessments of videos that would otherwise have to be manually verified by journalists. Social media and smartphones have led to an increase in user-generated videos leaving journalists inundated with footage to verify. This creates challenges for Associated Press, which aims to be the first to break a story without compromising on accuracy.

‘TV of Tomorrow’

BBC boss Lord Tony Hall spoke at last week’s Media and Telecoms 2019 & Beyond conference on the ‘TV of Tomorrow’. He recognised that streaming platforms are the future of television and outlined his plans for iPlayer: programmes will be available for ‘at least’ 12 months after broadcast and the site will be more personalised to individual users to better tailor for their viewing preferences. Both Lord Hall and Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright spoke of the need to update regulation to better manage the competition between digital platforms such as Netflix and public service broadcasters.

Scrutiny

Ofcom outlined the details of its review into the BBC’s news and current affairs programming. The review will assess how well the BBC is adapting to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex news landscape, and its role as a trusted destination for audiences. BBC news online will also form part of the review: Ofcom will examine how the BBC differentiates its content and how people navigate the website compared with other news services. Ofcom has said that BBC News must be ‘substantially different’ from commercial competitors after complaints that the public service broadcaster offers ‘clickbait’ articles that overstep its public interest remit and steal online traffic.

Open…

Bauer Media UK has launched two new magazines: Crime Monthly and Take a Break Makes were both available on newsstands as of March 7. Crime Monthly promises ‘the darkest crimes and evil minds’ whilst Take a Break Makes asks readers to ‘get crafting’ with its step-by-step guides.

Bauer Media Group is expanding its reach by acquiring 10 local radio stations owned by UKRD Group. Combined, the stations have a weekly reach of 722,000 listeners across the UK. This was Bauer’s fourth purchase of the year as it continues to expand its catalogue of commercial radio stations.

….Close

Regional news publisher Archant has announced it will close five offices, leaving journalists to work from home or ‘in the field’ because keeping them open ‘makes no sense financially’. So far Archant has promised that no papers will close and no jobs will be lost as a result.

Get your hands on this

Despite recent staff cuts, BuzzFeed decided last week to print a one-off free magazine that was distributed in New York. While the motives remain unclear, BuzzFeed tweeted: ‘Get your BuzzFeed newspaper in NYC today for all the best of the internet without the internet!’.

BBC on tour

The BBC has announced a series of ‘pop up offices’ across the UK to ‘better reflect the stories which really matter to audiences’. UK news editor Richard Burgess announced the plan on Twitter: ‘First stop – Bradford. #BBCWeAreBradford’.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

MEDIA MOVES

Jonathan Dimbleby has announced he is leaving BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? in the summer.

Jessica Elgot is the Guardian’s new chief political correspondent.

John Rega has been appointed financial services editor at POLITICO.

Gabriella Swerling is now social and religious affairs editor at The Telegraph.

Tim Cross is now technology editor at The Economist.

Abul Taher has been appointed security correspondent at The Mail on Sunday.

Sebastian Payne is now Whitehall correspondent for the Financial Times.

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To get our media round-up in your inbox every Monday, please email communications@lexcomm.co.uk.

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