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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism.

MEDIA NEWS

Regional support

Facebook has announced it will donate £4.5 million to the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) to fund trainee journalists in local media. Roughly 80 journalists will be recruited to the two-year scheme at various organisations around the country including Newsquest, Reach, Archant, the Midland News Association and JPI Media. Facebook’s decision comes amid mounting pressure about its impact on the news industry and its role in perpetrating ‘fake news’.

TV showdown

Labour has said leader Jeremy Corbyn ‘relishes’ the prospect of a live TV debate with Theresa May on her Brexit deal. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister, who famously refused to take part in a televised debate during the 2017 election campaign, is preparing to face Corbyn during a prime Sunday night slot in order to help sell her deal to the public.

Today

Angelina Jolie is to guest edit an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 28 December with presenters Justin Webb and Mishal Husain. Jolie said she intends to put the spotlight on women in conflict zones and the refugee crisis, exploring ‘themes of justice, accountability and international leadership, hearing directly from refugees and survivors of conflict themselves’. Other guest editors who will take the helm during the Christmas period include award-winning fiction writer Shamsie, Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox, Churchill biographer Andrew Roberts and fashion blogger and body image campaigner Chidera Eggerue. The final guest episode will take place on New Year’s Day, edited by ‘outer space’.

Long live print

Editor of the Financial Times Lionel Barber said he firmly believes in the power of print and predicted a ‘second technology revolution’ in the news business. Speaking on the future of journalism at the James Cameron Memorial Lecture at City University, he said: ‘We are rapidly approaching the moment where all text can be understood by machines – a revolution as big as the launch of the internet’. But he continued to say that ‘algorithms are not going to take over’ as people around the world will be more prepared to ‘pay plenty for reliable news’. ‘In the age of information overload, there has to be a place in the market for print, especially at the weekend,’ he said, citing sales figures of the Spectator and Private Eye magazines. Specifically, Barber said that print publications such as the Financial Times have an advantage in that they are specialist, and that general news titles should find their own specialism to exploit in order to survive.

True / False

A joint study by News Co/Lab and the Center for Media Engagement in the USA has found that those who harbour negative views about the news are more likely to be fooled by ‘fake news’. Of the 4,854 people surveyed across several southern states, almost 62 per cent responded negatively to the word ‘news’ with the remaining 38 per cent providing a positive or neutral reaction. When presented with two real and one fake headline, 82 per cent of positive or neutral respondents were able to correctly identify the false story. However, amongst those who reacted badly to the word ‘news’, only 69 per cent of respondents were able to correctly identify a false headline.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

MEDIA MOVES

James Warrington is now covering media, telecoms and marketing for CityAM.

Joel Adams has joined the MailOnline as a UK news reporter.

Selina McKee is now the editor of PharmaTimes.

Newquest has rebranded two of its titles, with the Wimbledon Guardian and the Wandsworth Guardian becoming the Wimbledon Times and the Wandsworth Times. The new weekly titles now have 48 pages, up from the previous 32.

Martin Wright has been appointed editor-in-chief at Midland News Association with responsibility for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

Natasha Loder is now health policy editor at The Economist.

If your organisation needs communications advice, or you would like more information about how Lexington’s team of media experts can support you, please contact caroline.nagle@lexcomm.co.uk.

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