The Telegraph

Tit for tat media war erupts in wake of Oborne resignation

When Peter Oborne left The Telegraph and outed their compromised and corrupted newsrom hiding stories a few other media outlets jumped in for the kicking.

But the tables have turned in a tit for tat war that is breaking out over media ethics, with accusations now besetting the Guardian.

The Guardian is facing questions over its relationship with advertisers after allegations that it changed a news article amid concerns about offending Apple.

The media organisation has criticised The Telegraph for failing to observe the “Chinese wall” between advertising and editorial coverage, a claim The Telegraph strongly denies.

However, The Telegraph can disclose that in July last year Apple bought wraparound advertising on The Guardian’s website and stipulated that the advertising should not be placed next to negative news.

A Guardian insider said that the headline of an article about Iraq on The Guardian’s website was changed amid concerns about offending Apple, and the article was later removed from the home page entirely.

The insider said: “If editorial staff knew what was happening here they would be horrified.”The Guardian declined to comment on the specific allegation, but said: “It is never the case that editorial content is changed to meet stipulations made by an advertiser. ? Read more »

Telegraph chief political journalist quits because paper lacked the stones to publish things that might upset their advertisers

Tim Murphy from the NZ Herald tweets about Peter Oborne?the chief political journalist of The Telegraph, who has resigned because the paper lacked the stones to publish things that might upset their advertisers ? for example the recent scandals around HSBC bank.

This is?a big story over there at the moment.

Circulation was falling fast when I joined the paper in September 2010, and I suspect this panicked the owners. Waves of sackings started, and the management made it plain that it believed the future of the British press to be digital. Murdoch MacLennan, the chief executive, invited me to lunch at the Goring Hotel near Buckingham Palace, where Telegraph executives like to do their business. I urged him not to take the newspaper itself for granted, pointing out that it still had a very healthy circulation of more than half a million. I added that our readers were loyal, that the paper was still very profitable and that the owners had no right to destroy it.

The sackings continued. A little while later I met Mr MacLennan by chance in the queue of mourners outside Margaret Thatcher?s funeral and once again urged him not to take Telegraph readers for granted. He replied: ?You don?t know what you are fucking talking about.?

Ahhh the arrogance of mainstream media editors and executives.

Solecisms, unthinkable until very recently, are now commonplace. Recently readers were introduced to someone called the Duke of Wessex. Prince Edward is the Earl of Wessex. There was a front page story about deer-hunting. It was actually about deer-stalking, a completely different activity. Obviously the management don?t care about nice distinctions like this. But the readers do, and the Telegraph took great care to get these things right until very recently.

The arrival of Mr Seiken coincided with the arrival of the click culture. Stories seemed no longer judged by their importance, accuracy or appeal to those who actually bought the paper. The more important measure appeared to be the number of online visits. On 22 September Telegraph online ran a story about a woman with three breasts. One despairing executive told me that it was known this was false even before the story was published. I have no doubt it was published in order to generate online traffic, at which it may have succeeded. I am not saying that online traffic is unimportant, but over the long term, however, such episodes inflict incalculable damage on the reputation of the paper.

Herald bombs? Read more »

Part 2: The sinister deception of world media and Pallywood

One thing that has always stood out to me surrounding the past and current conflicts between Israel and the resident Gaza Strip Arabs is the obvious imbalance of firepower. And I’m not talking about military firepower, I am talking about the weapons grade propaganda and compliance from the world media as the Gaza Arabs feed as much misinformation as possible to anyone carrying a camera and microphone.

We’re talking about supposedly reputable sources such as The Telegraph who have boots on the ground in Gaza reporting live to the world. The trouble is they report everything they see without question nor query. And like an infectious disease, it spreads far and wide as news repeaters around the world enable it to reach every citizen without an ounce of scrutiny. Perhaps it is a heat of the moment thing and not intentional in the frantic moments of a live report in a war zone, but is a clear and deliberate act of deceptive propaganda by ‘innocent’ Palestinians, Hamas and any other militant factions in Gaza. Read more »

When old media loses its audience

Again, as it is so often now it surely can’t be a coincidence, news from the UK closely mirrors what is happening in New Zealand.

James Delingpole at Breitbart discusses the problems that are dragging down the Telegraph. Loss of focus on core customers and their wants and needs and following a left wing path to mediocrity…all reducing their readership and value as a result.

If you change out Telegraph for NZ Herald you will realise the same malaise is besetting our biggest paper in NZ.

Speaking as one who spent most of his journalistic career on the Telegraph – I joined in 1988 and worked variously there as an obituarist, diarist on the (defunct) Peterborough column, and arts correspondent – I can’t say this affords me any?Schadenfreude. I loved the Telegraph: for at least two decades it was the only paper to which I subscribed because its generally pro-small-government, pro-tradition, pro-personal-responsibility, pro-freedom, pro-country politics aligned most closely with my own.

But I can’t pretend it isn’t good news for the operation here at Breitbart London. And to understand why all you have to do is look at some of the comments below our posts.

Many of them come from disgruntled ex-Telegraph readers, furious at the studiedly centrist direction their paper has taken, yearning for more of the red-meat conservatism and/or libertarianism which these days they can find almost nowhere in the UK mainstream media but which is Breitbart’s raison d’etre.

It wasn’t always this way. And it didn’t need to be this way. Not so long ago, the Telegraph had a secret weapon in the form of the superb, incisive, tell-it-like-it-is blogs section established by Damian Thompson. Thompson’s unspoken ambition – in sly defiance of the print paper’s increasingly centrist stance – was to create a kind of UK online answer to Fox News. To this end, he recruited a roster of some of the finest right-wing commentators in the business which, at various stages, included: Thatcherism’s living conscience Lord Tebbit; MEP Dan Hannan; Toby Young; Douglas Murray; Ed West.

I was on the list too and, for a period, Telegraph blogs was the only place to be. At least it was if you thought that the media desperately needed a counter to the almost overwhelmingly left-wing online narrative provided by HuffPo, Slate, Salon and the Guardian’s?Komment Macht Frei. It was, indeed, like the Telegraph used to be in its glory days, only more colloquial, funny, snarky and up-to-the-minute topical. The traffic was huge; and growing. For example, when it helped break the Climategate scandal, its post garnered over 1.5 million hits.

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Photo Of The Day

Johannes Stoetter

Johannes Stoetter

This Is Not A Parrot

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Daniel Hannan nicely sums up MSM v Blogs

Daniel Hannan explores and explains the sometimes unhappy relationship between traditional media and blogs…from his own blog, that is ironically part of The Telegraph.

Back in the pioneering days, blogs were seen as a challenge to the established media. And, in one sense, they were. When Guido scalped his first minister, Peter Hain, in 2008, something changed, though the newspapers were slow to notice. When, the following year, he aimed his tomahawk at Derek Draper and Damien McBride, old-style pundits were still laboriously explaining to their readers what these blog thinggies were. By the time Tim Yeo became Guido?s latest victim, no one needed to ask any more.

When a dozen dead tree newspapers determined the agenda, the media?s chief power lay in?not?reporting a story ? not through conspiracy, but from shared assumptions about what constituted news. Take the leak of the ?hide the decline? emails from climatologists at the University of East Anglia in late 2009. At first, the astonishing trove was reported only by bloggers. It wasn?t that environment correspondents were meeting behind drawn blinds and vowing to repress the discovery; it was that, being uncomplicated believers in the AGW orthodoxy, they couldn?t see why the emails were a story. Only when repeatedly needled by online commentators were they were eventually forced to report perhaps the biggest event in its field of the century.

The key moment came when the story was?picked up?by James Delingpole, whose post attracted 1.6 million hits. Tellingly, that post appeared here, on Telegraph Blogs. Blogs were now part of the established media. In the early days, some had believed that the MSM would be displaced, others that the old brands would conscript the upstarts. In fact, something more interesting happened:?the distinction broke down. ? Read more »

Funny tweets of 2013

The Telegraph has a list of 40 funny tweets.

My favourites are:

Number 2 is top work, and what I have said all along about’engagement’ in social media by politicians.

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Daniel Hannan on judging blogs by their comment threads

People, okay mainly left wing tossers with their heads jammed up their fundament, claim that this website is rubbish or a sewer not by what is written on it but by what is in the comments. their site is better, smarter or more erudite because we have nicer commenters is the answer.

Of course it is petty jealousy fuelled with an unhealthy dose of intellectual snobbery. The market speaks and?the market decides if you’re good enough not some pompous leftwing snob’s idea of what people should say or think.

Daniel Hannan explores this in his blogpost (again the Telegraph is a mainstream “news medium” that has bloggers).

The FT?s former correspondent at the European Parliament used to ask me the same question at every press conference. ?So does this mean you voted the same way as Jean-Marie Le Pen??

It?s amazing how many people want to judge a proposal, not by its merits, but by its incidental supporters. We need only state their implication openly ? that you should drop an otherwise sensible idea because someone you don?t like agrees with you ? to see how absurd it is.

Yet people carry on doing it. It?s the phenomenon that lies behind Godwin?s Law, the observation that all Internet discussions, if allowed to run long enough, end with comparisons to the Nazis. Hitler didn?t like trade unions! Hitler banned foxhunting! Hitler was a vegetarian! Hitler was an atheist! Hitler was a Catholic! Hitler was a pagan!

Now there?s a new variant of the phenomenon: judging a blog by its comment thread. Again, the absurdity should be obvious. Bloggers are not responsible for what happens after they have posted. Those who comment most aggressively are more often than not hostile to the writer. The word ?troll? didn?t originally mean, as is often thought these days, someone who is rude and unpleasant; it meant someone who used an assumed identity to discredit someone else.? Read more »

Map of the Day

Map by Stuart Laycock (via The Telegraph)

Credit: Stuart Laycock at The Telegraph

 

The Only 22 Countries in the World Britain Has Not Invaded (not shown: Sao Tome and Principe)

 

‘Tards upset over use of the word retard

The world is full of people being outraged on behalf of other people…they really need to get over themselves.

BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme breached the broadcasting code when it aired an offensive word describing people with learning difficulties, watchdog Ofcom has ruled.

Crime writer Lynda La Plante made the remark after she was asked to discuss her induction into the Forensic Science Society.

The Telegraph has been gay about it too refusing to print the word ‘retard’…what a bunch of mongs.

The Prime Suspect creator said that she wanting to deny ”a headline that apparently I call people at the BBC ‘r——‘.”

The presenter Sarah Montague thought that La Plante, also responsible for crime drama The Commander, and Trial And Retribution, wanted to deny her use of the word.

Instead, the author went on to say: ”You do not send a script, full script, anywhere, you learn how to do a treatment, because you don’t know if there’s a r—– at the end of that envelope reading it’. Suddenly I’ve called everybody at the BBC a ‘r—–‘.” ? Read more »

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