Archive for July, 2008

Regional newspapers do not produce good journalists…

…or at least that was the opinion of one desk editor from a national newspaper that I met during my London trip.

I had asked him why there were not more regional journalists breaking into the nationals.

His response was that staffing cuts at regional and local newspapers meant journalists at that level were not given the time to develop proper investigative and writing skills.

“We no longer see the regional newspapers as a source for staff,” he said. “We find that training graduates ourselves produces better journalists.”

He added that they had a few regional journalists who were trying to break in to London by working shifts, but they didn’t have the skills the newspaper demanded from someone with a staff job.

This had me reeling.

I had always been told that regional journalism was one of the best ways to cut your teeth in the trade and could – if you wanted it to and were good – pave a way for a career in the nationals.

Now it seems national newspapers may regard themselves as an entirely seperate industry.

Is it really the case that regional newspapers no longer train good journalists?

What every regional journalist needs to hear about their industry…

In this Seesmic post Kevin Anderson, Blog Editor for The Guardian and co-author of Strange Attractor, pretty much covers many of the things I’ve wanted to say, but better:

Kevin Anderson on Seesmic

Kevin Anderson on Seesmic

He is answering a question posed by Birmingham City University’s Paul Bradshaw – with recent job freezes/cuts at UK newspapers, is there any point in universities running journalism degrees training students for the newspaper and broadcasting industries?

links for 2008-07-17

  • “There are thousands of business reporters covering hundreds of beats at newspapers across the country. And odds are there’s at least one who would pose a competitive threat to any B2B publication you could name.” (via Adan Tinworth)
    (tags: blogging)

London – the itinerary

So, just before I pack my bags and spend a small fortune filling up the car with fuel, I thought I’d let you know what I’m up to during my weekend jaunt to London.

It’s looking busy!


Morning: The Tuttle Club – where I am looking forward to meeting some well-known social media types such as Lloyd Davies and Steve Lawson.

Lunch: Meeting up with an old friend and mentor from The Times, who I haven’t seen for years.

Afternoon/Evening: Free. Anyone wanna meet?


Family things




Morning: Meeting the veritable mine of blogging knowledge that is Adam Tinworth and fellow digital journalist in crime (amongst other things) Gary Andrews.

Lunch: Tour of The Guardian. {muffled squeak of excitement about this one!}

Afternoon/Evening: Off to Trinity Mirror Towers aka Canary Wharf to meet colleagues including über boss David Black.

links for 2008-07-16

People skills

Taken from Do Start-ups need Community Managers? on ReadWriteWeb.

links for 2008-07-15

links for 2008-07-14

links for 2008-07-13

Developing The Birmingham Post forum

Out of my post about naming newspapers in a Web 2.0 world another interesting debate has start to develop.So, I have decided to turn it into a post.

The Birmingham Post forum, which launched in February along with the companion website, is looking a little sorry for itself and perhaps needs a little TLC.

It’s a topic I’ve been mulling over since Alison Gow’s post on the subject.

At the moment, there are links at the bottom of our stories linking to our forum:

Link to Birmingham Post Forums

When the forum link is clicked, this takes you to a registration page. If you have registered then you have to go on to another login page.

Some have commented that this is a labourious way to enter a forum and that they feel many people will just give up.

This is not necessarily true however, I note that The Stirrer forum requires registration and yet that seems relatively active.

So, I would like to make it easier for people to use the forum. Thought it might be nice to involve people in how it might work.

Obviously there are no promises as I have very little understanding of what we are technically capable of doing, but I do promise to make enquiries and make any improvements that I can.

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