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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

Out of date

The Guardian has announced more prominent date stamps for articles after becoming ‘aware of certain issues around social sharing’. The new yellow labels will feature at the top of stories highlighting how many years ago the piece was written and, crucially, will be visible on the thumbnail of any article older than one year when shared on social media. The paper cites a six-year-old story on horsemeat in supermarket food that resurfaces every February as readers post it without considering the year. The Guardian hopes the changes will ‘improve transparency’ and ‘contextualise [its] journalism accurately’.

Echooooo

Politico has analysed who MPs follow on Twitter to ascertain whether our political representatives are trapped in echo chambers. Broadly, political allegiance impacts who they choose to follow: the Prime Minister is followed by 206 Conservative colleagues and only 53 from Labour. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn counts 203 Labour MP followers, and 55 Conservatives. David Cameron boasts more followers than both May and Corbyn, with 213 Tories and 68 Labour MPs. 175 Labour MPs follow the Guardian, as do 78 Tories. The Telegraph has 123 Tory followers and 91 from Labour. The Times and MailOnline have a more cross-party appeal. The Times counts 95 Tories and 76 Labour MPs, and the Mail has 73 Conservatives and 57 Labour followers. Overall, the top five politicians most followed by other MPs (in order) are: David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Tom Watson, Jeremy Corbyn and Chuka Umunna. Our current PM ranks seventh, sandwiched between Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves…

….and in case you weren’t already aware, Politico has developed a handy tool so you can check your own Westminster influence.

Keep quiet

The BBC’s director of news Fran Unsworth has emailed staff asking them not to express views on a ‘controversial subject’ on social media, warning they face sanctions if they do. ‘We all have personal views but it is part of our role with the BBC to keep those views private,’ she wrote. ‘There is no real distinction between personal and official social media accounts.’  The issue was raised after several staff tweeted about the backlash to children learning about LGBT relationships in schools. BBC Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson criticised Question Time after an audience member was allowed to ask: ‘Is it morally right that five-year-old children learn about LGBTQ+ issues in school?’ BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour apologised after tweeting a link to its programme with the caption: ‘Do you think LGBT rights should be taught in schools?’

Positive spin

Facebook is paying The Daily Telegraph to publish a series of sponsored positive articles about the site. The series, Being human in the information age, has published 26 articles over the last month in Telegraph Spark, the sponsored content section. The articles are clearly stamped with a ‘brought to you by Facebook’ watermark, but that has not stopped criticism of the partnership.

Winner winner

Carole Cadwalladr and Amelia Gentleman have more awards to add to their collections after winning at the National Press Awards last week. Cadwalladr was awarded technology journalist of the year for her work for the Observer on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which was also named investigation of the year. Gentleman led coverage of the Windrush scandal for the Guardian which won the Cudlipp Award for Campaign of the Year. The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor collected the Hugh McIlvanney sports journalist award for his work on the crimes of youth football coach Barry Bennell. The Times and The Sunday Times took home the prize for best daily and Sunday paper as well as a commendation for their digital subscription models. The Sunday Times’ political editor Tim Shipman was lauded as a ‘peerless interpreter of Brexit’ by judges, and awarded Political Reporter and Political Commentator of the year. Anthony Lloyd of The Times was awarded Foreign Reporter of the Year after his scoop interviewing Shamima Begum. The Telegraph won best front page for its ‘British #MeToo Scandal’ cover that used a silhouette to draw attention to the use of NDAs to suppress sexual misconduct allegations. The Sun was awarded best news website of the year.

That’s enough!

The Liverpool Echo has hit out at the Daily Mail with an open letter attacking the tabloid’s coverage of women at the races ahead of the Grand National 2019. The article, written by Catherine Murphy, criticises ‘sneering headlines’ and tells the paper: ‘It’s time to leave our girls alone – and let them have fun.’

Podcast alert

The Department of Journalism at City University, one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism courses, is launching a podcast: ‘The Know How’. The first episode will feature chief political advisor at BBC Politics Ric Bailey, Financial Times political correspondent Laura Hughes, and former Telegraph Whitehall editor Holly Watt discussing how the media has covered Brexit.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

 

MEDIA MOVES

Former editor of BuzzFeed UK Janine Gibson is joining the Financial Times as an assistant editor.

Faisal Islam’s arrival as the BBC’s economics editor has been delayed until June. He is currently political editor at Sky News.

Martin Beckford has joined The Sun as Whitehall editor.

The BBC’s Alex Forsyth has been appointed political correspondent outside of London, covering issues around the country. She is currently a Whitehall-based political reporter.

Elisabeth Mahase will be joining The BMJ as a clinical reporter.

Allison Landman has been appointed deputy editor at The Lancet Oncology.

Mike Williams is now interim editor at Time Out magazine.

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