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

Media News

  • The way forward with journalism is making the public cough up. At least that’s what Amol Rajan appears to suggest in a column for the New Statesman. The BBC’s media editor writes that despite some success by news websites at keeping content from behind a paywall, the free model ‘is under terrible, perhaps terminal, strain’. He concludes: ‘Most journalists do something valuable. Asking the public to pick up the tab for that value should be a source of pride, not guilt; and doing so makes it more likely they’ll be able to carry on.’ Read the whole piece here.
  • Trinity Mirror has agreed to buy titles including the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell in a £126.7 million deal. It is the most significant deal on Fleet Street since the Telegraph titles were bought by the Barclay brothers for around £670m in 2004, the Financial Times reports. Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror’s chief executive, admitted there will be some job losses.
  • Magazine sales decreased by nearly 6 per cent on average in the second half of 2016, but the industry is holding up better than the newspaper industry, the latest ABCs found. Publications including The Spectator, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement all increased their circulation, while Hello!, Glamour, Look, Star and Now saw their sales fall. For the full breakdown of UK magazine sales, see here.
  • Over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of British Facebook users this year as teenagers and millennials switch to other services including Snapchat, the Guardian reports. New research found there will be approximately 700,000 fewer 12-24 year olds using Facebook this year when compared to 2017, while 500,000 over-55s are expected to join. Despite this, Facebook remains the most popular social networking site with Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter all expected to grow.
  • In other digital news, BBC iPlayer attracted a record number of viewers last year, with Blue Planet II, Taboo and Doctor Foster the most popular shows. Viewers streamed more than 270 million programmes a month on average, up 11 per cent on 2016. See the full list of popular shows here.
  • MPs were warned against using the term ‘fake news’ in the first ever live broadcast and public hearing of a select committee session outside the UK. The Culture Committee heard testimony about misinformation at George Washington University last week. Before the hearing, Harvard research fellow Dr Claire Wardle warned that the term is ‘woefully inadequate’. ‘Neither the words “fake” nor “news” effectively capture this polluted information ecosystem,’ she said. Read more here.
  • The New European editor, Matt Kelly, has written to the BBC to ask why his pro-Remain publication does not feature on the corporation’s newspaper reviews. In September last year, the BBC confirmed Radio 4’s Today programme would expand to include some ‘significant’ stories from websites and foreign publications. But according to Kelly, his publication, which has included pieces by Andrew Adonis, Alastair Campbell and David Miliband, has not been mentioned once.

Media Moves

  • Glamour editor-in-chief Jo Elvin – who announced she was stepping down from the role in October after the magazine decided to go digital-first – will be the new editor of the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine. She replaces Sue Peart, who is standing down after 17 years. Read more here.
  • Jane Martinson, the Guardian’s former head of media, will become a professor of Financial Journalism at City University from April, leading a Masters course for students. In a statement, Martinson said: ‘The world needs dedicated, diverse journalists more than ever in an industry under attack from fake news and more.’

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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