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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

The numbers are up 

The Sun’s livestream of the Conservative leadership debate last Monday attracted a record 300,000 viewers. The debate was streamed on the Sun’s website, TwitterYoutube and Talkradio, with Talkradio receiving more than 300% of its normal Monday evening listeners. By comparison, ITV’s televised debate was watched by 4.3 million people on 9 July and the BBC’s debate on 18 June attracted more than five million. Channel 4’s earlier round debate, which Boris Johnson did not attend, drew in 1.3 million viewers.

Opinion is in 

Editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK Jimmy Leach has announced that the website is to close its blogging section to focus on ‘opinion and news delivery’. ‘When The Huffington Post started in the US 14 years ago, its blogging-for-all platform was a genuine novelty,’ writes Leach. But, he says, with a range of options available now for self-publishing the platform is no longer necessary. In its place, the title is launching HuffPost Opinion and HuffPost PersonalHuffPost Opinion will look ‘to find new voices to break out of the media echo chamber… We’ll be concentrating on finding the voices of those who have opinions through experience, rather than because it’s their profession.’ While HuffPost Personal will publish ‘original, first-person pieces which will uncover singular stories to allow us to see ourselves through the lives of others’.

It’s been a big week for HuffPost UK, as executive editor Jess Brammar announced The HuffPost School of Journalism at Birmingham City University. It will be open to undergraduate and postgraduate students to ‘focus on quality journalism’ and ‘breaking traditional media forms’.

Sustaining local news 

The Government has announced a £2 million fund to support public interest journalism, following recommendations in the Cairncross Review. Dame Frances Cairncross, who carried out a recent review into the future of journalism, recommended that extra funding be made available to protect investigative journalism and reporting on the activities of public institutions, which she termed ‘public interest journalism’. The Future News Fund will focus on helping local and regional news providers from autumn 2019 until April 2020. At this stage it remains a trial, a decision on making the fund permanent will be made based on the outcomes of the trial.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

 

MEDIA MOVES

Ayesha Hazarika, a former Labour adviser, will be the new editor of The Londoner at the Evening Standard. George Osborne announced the appointment on Twitter.

Sky News has appointed Hannah Thomas-Peter as climate change correspondent, she will be based in New York. To date, no other UK title has a dedicated climate change reporter.

Andrew Neil presented the final episode of the BBC’s This Week.

Liz Bates is leaving the Yorkshire Post to join Channel 4 as a political correspondent, replacing Michael Crick.

Rochelle Toplesky is joining the Wall Street Journal as a London-based reporter.

Muinat Abdul is now social media editor at the Daily ExpressDaily Mirror and the Daily Star.

Helen Macdonald has been appointed UK research editor at The BMJ.

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