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

Media News

Back to basics

HuffPost UK has relocated its entire newsroom to Birmingham for the week in a bid to take their journalism back to basics. Taking up residence in the city’s Bullring shopping centre and partnering with Birmingham Live, the news team will get out into the city to talk to readers about the issues that matter to them and what they should be reporting on as part of the new ‘HuffPost Listens’ project. The team has also recruited a Birmingham journalist to report from the city permanently and aims to expand this model across the country. Editor-in-Chief, Polly Curtis, said: “If we can step away from our laptops, turn off social media and instead spend more time listening to people, I believe we will understand more and in doing so, produce better journalism.”

Education, education

The Times and The Sunday Times titles have launched a free media literacy scheme for schools to teach kids how to spot ‘fake news’. Through the scheme, students at secondary schools, colleges and sixth forms will learn how to think critically about the news and the sources they can trust. The launch of the scheme follows a report by the National Literacy Trust highlighting a deficit in the media literacy skills of young people as the way they consume news continues to change. The new Times titles programme is already being trialled at ten schools and has been commended by Damian Collins, Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, who is leading the UK’s fake news inquiry.


Following the criticism levelled at social media platforms around the spread of fake news and political propaganda during the 2016 US Presidential Election, Twitter and Facebook have both launched tools promoting ad transparency in the last week. Twitter’s new Ads Transparency Centre allows users to see the adverts bought by any account and Facebook has launched a tool to allow users to go to any Page and view its history, including name changes and details of every advertisement it is running on the platform including the creative copy and a link to the website the advertiser wants people to visit.

Touch of a button

Scottish investigative journalism co-operative, The Ferret, has launched a new text messaging service for readers to have a say on the issues they want investigated. Members of the new network, ‘Ferret Underground’, will be able to send their views directly to the journalists and influence the journalism they read. The software being used aims to promote a two-way conversation between the journalists and their readers so that they can continue to feed in as a story develops.

Conversation of the Week

Media Moves

Eddie Mair is set to leave the BBC’s PM programme after more than 20 years at the helm to join LBC. His last show leading the PM programme will be August 17.

Helen Thomas has been made Director of BBC England having previously been Business Editor for Newsnight.

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