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    • Welsh are most likely to seek out local news on the internet and buy local newspapers
    • Online magazine subscriptions remain flat at just 2 per cent
    • 62 per cent pay more attention to newspaper adverts than online

    The overwhelming majority of people prefer to read magazine content in print and just a third of tablet owners use them to access magazines, according to a new study.

    Deloitte's sixth annual State of the Media Survey found 88 per cent of people who read magazine content in 2011 preferred to do so in print - a proportion unchanged since 2010.

    It found that 2011 was a 'good year for magazines'after 35 per cent of respondents said they subscribed to at least one magazine, up from 29 per cent in 2010.

    But despite a sharp rise in the number of tablet devices in the UK, online magazine subscriptions remained flat at just 2 per cent.

    Seven per cent of respondents said they preferred to access magazine content via a laptop or PC and the remainder opted for the tablet or smartphone.

    The study concluded: 'Deciding whether this is due to the early stages of tablet adoption, or a more fundamental reason related to the mode of use of these devices, will be critical to the magazine industry as they move towards a more digital future."

    The report also revealed that the Welsh were most likely to seek out local news on the internet (40 per cent) but also the least likely to receive and read a free paper (23 per cent).

    Welsh consumers were also most likely to listen to local radio services than anywhere else in the UK - with more than 60 per cent doing so at least weekly - and they were most likely to buy a local newspaper, with nearly half (49 per cent) of Welsh consumers doing so at least once a week.

    Nationally, around 40 per cent of people said they read a local paper or magazine at least weekly. The over 55s were most likely to buy a local newspaper (62 per cent).

    The study found that around two-thirds of respondents read local news, weather or current events on the internet at least weekly in 2011 but that this was down ten per cent from 2010.

    It also found consumers were 60 per cent more likely to view this content on the local pages of national websites than on websites dedicated to their local area.

    Seventeen per cent of consumers expressed an interest in applications that send localised news to them based on their geographic locations.

    Other key findings:

    • The fastest growing device categories were tablets such as Apple's iPad and e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle, with Deloitte estimating five million UK consumers now own an e-reader and three million own a tablet computer.
    • Half of UK consumers said they own a smartphone.
    • 62 per cent said they paid more attention to newspaper adverts than their online equivalents, and 50 per cent said that they discovered websites through newspaper advertising.
    • Two-thirds of respondents watch a local TV news broadcast at least daily including 80 per cent over 55s.
    • London is the least likely region to watch local TV news and access local news online.

    The current study is Deloitte's sixth annual State of the Media Democracy survey and questioned 2,276 UK consumers, aged between 14 and 75.

     


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    • Panel would be staffed by independent media experts
    • Online advertising ‘will not have significant impact' of newspaper profits
    • Risks of ‘news black-holes' where titles close

    The National Assembly has recommended the creation of a new independent panel to examine the Welsh media and the creation of sustainable business models for the local press.

    The recommendations were made in a report by the task and finish group set up to examine the future of the Welsh media last September.

    It said panel should also examine issues such as the devolution of powers over broadcasting in Wales, and carry out a wide-ranging review mapping the country's 'media needs".

    If it gets the green light from the Welsh Government, the new panel would be staffed by independent experts with experience across the sector. It would also be asked to monitor the Welsh media landscape and provide advice and guidance to the Government.

    'What has become clear during the course of our inquiry is that there is still a healthy appetite for Welsh-focused media and information in Wales,'said Labour AM Ken Skates, who chaired the group.

    'However, the way that people are consuming that information is evolving rapidly."

    The group made a total of 23 recommendations. They included:

    • The Welsh Government setting up news protocols to engage with newspapers following closures and job losses to ensure 'viable measures can be put in place'
    • Making Ofcom, broadcasters and newspaper owners report annually to the Assembly on their responsibilities and commitments to Wales
    • Closely monitoring the amount of political coverage provided by BBC Wales
    • Exploring opportunities for the introduction if a 'Wales-specific Channel 3 licence".

    During its submissions to the inquiry, the NUJ warned that Welsh newspapers were facing a crisis that 'threatens their survival".

    In response, the task and finish group said it was clear that online advertising 'will not have a significant impact on the profitability of newspapers".

    It was also difficult to see how journalists 'can continue to produce content for a number of platforms without quality suffering", the group suggested, adding that the situation was worsened by the reduction in the number of journalists.

    The group recommended: 'Given the contribution that print media can make to local communities, and indeed its importance on a national level, and given the risks of news black-holes appearing where titles close, we feel that, where there are job losses at a newspaper company, or where there is a risk of a title closing, the Welsh Government should ensure that it is in a position to be able to assist those companies, in the same way that it would assist companies in similar difficulties in other industries.'

    It also noted that, given the limited time frame of its investigation, it was unable to gather enough information to make conclusions on the issue of public subsidy of the press.

    'However, we feel that the independent forum should consider, as part of its role, sustainable models for the print industry, and that this consideration should also include the issue of public subsidy, as happens in other small European countries,'it added.

    'A strategic approach to the sustainability of Welsh Language publications should also be a focus for the independent forum‘s work."

    It was reported last month that the committee's report was delayed because it was split over the subject of public notices such as traffic orders - which are considered to be a form of indirect public subsidy - being removed from newspapers.

    The group concluded that Welsh Government should 'fully consider the impact any such proposals could have on an industry in which existing business models are already experiencing considerable difficulties".


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    News radio stations saw listener numbers fall as radio listening across the board fell slightly in the first quarter of this year.

    Radio 4's flagship current affairs show Today saw one of the biggest falls, from 7,026,000 in the first quarter of 2011 to 6,660,00 in the first quarter of this year. Overall, listening of Radio 4 dropped to 10,307,000 a week from 10,829,000.

    Radio 5 Live (including 5 Live Extra) dropped to 6,553,000 a week from 6,750,000.

    The BBC Asian Network, which was saved after originally being threatened with closure as part of BBC cost-cutting plans, increased its numbers to 540,000 from 500,000 a year ago.

    BBC local radio had a partial reprieve this week with news that budgets would be cut by £8m rather than the £15m which was originally proposed. Total BBC local/regional radio listening dipped slightly in the first quarter to 9,895,000 a week from 10,197,000.

     

    In the commercial sector, Talksport was the top non-music station with 3,233,000 listeners a week (down slightly from 3,248,000 in the same period a year ago).

    London station LBC 97.3 reached 867,000 listeners a week, down from 935,000.

    Overall, according to Rajar, 90 per cent of UK adults listened to the radio at least once a week in the first quarter of this year: 46,677,000 – down from 47,266,000 in the same period in 2011.

    Full breakdown of UK radio station listener numbers in the first quarter of 2012:

    Name of station: weekly reach in thousands, percentage change year on year

    • 102.1 Bay Radio : 44 , 4.8
    • 102.4 Wish FM : 79 , 2.6
    • 102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire : 47 , 14.6
    • 102FM Touchradio - Warks Worcs Cotswolds : 54 , 42.1
    • 105-107 Atlantic FM : 66 , -7.0
    • 106 JACKfm (Bristol) (was Original 106) : 118 , 15.7
    • 106 JACKfm (Oxford) : 57 , -6.6
    • 106.1 Real XS (was 106.1 Rock Radio) : n/a , n/a
    • 106.1 Real XS Manchester (was 106.1 Rock Radio) : 122 , n/a
    • 106.3 Bridge FM : 37 , -7.5
    • 107 The Bee : 25 , 8.7
    • 107.2 Wire FM : 63 , 12.5
    • 107.3 Touchradio - Warwick : n/a , n/a
    • 107.4 Tower FM : 51 , -3.8
    • 107.5 Sovereign Radio : 23 , -11.5
    • 107.6 Banbury Sound : 16 , 6.7
    • 107.6 Juice FM : 204 , 16.6
    • 107.7 The Wolf : 45 , 12.5
    • 107.8 Arrow FM for Hastings : 22 , 0.0
    • 1Xtra from the BBC : 916 , 2.7
    • 2BR : 58 , -1.7
    • 3FM : 24 , 9.1
    • 96.2 The Revolution : 30 , -14.3
    • 96.2FM Touchradio - Coventry : 17 , -45.2
    • 96.3 Radio Aire : n/a , n/a
    • 96.3 Radio Aire : 133 , n/a
    • 96.3 Real XS Glasgow (was 96.3 Rock Radio) : 68 , -1.4
    • 96.4 BRMB : 354 , -12.4
    • 96.4 Eagle Radio : 153 , 7.0
    • 96.4 FM The Wave : 141 , 10.2
    • 96.9 Viking FM : 206 , -2.4
    • 97.1 Radio Carmarthenshire : 38 , -2.6
    • 97.2 Stray FM : 44 , -13.7
    • 97.4 Cool FM : 404 , 7.4
    • 97.4 Rock FM : 276 , -3.5
    • Absolute 80s : 857 , 37.3
    • Absolute Radio 00s : 84 , -50.6
    • Absolute Radio 60s : 151 , n/a
    • Absolute Radio 70s : 157 , n/a
    • Absolute Radio 90s : 380 , 19.9
    • Absolute Radio Classic Rock : 396 , 15.8
    • Absolute Radio London : 580 , -4.0
    • Absolute Radio National : 1194 , 31.1
    • BBC 6 Music : 1454 , 12.1
    • BBC Coventry and Warwickshire : 75 , -7.4
    • BBC Essex : 235 , -15.8
    • BBC Hereford & Worcester : 104 , -13.3
    • BBC London 94.9 : 504 , -9.5
    • BBC Oxford 95.2FM : 77 , 28.3
    • BBC Radio 1 : 11141 , -5.8
    • BBC Radio 2 : 14560 , 0.2
    • BBC Radio 3 : 1902 , -15.8
    • BBC Radio 4 : 10307 , -4.8
    • BBC Radio 4 Extra : 1502 , 29.6
    • BBC Radio Berkshire : 120 , 10.1
    • BBC Radio Bristol : 144 , -25.0
    • BBC Radio Cambridgeshire : 106 , -24.8
    • BBC Radio Cornwall : 169 , 19.9
    • BBC Radio Cumbria : 112 , -28.2
    • BBC Radio Cymru : 136 , -5.6
    • BBC Radio Derby : 182 , -3.2
    • BBC Radio Devon : 229 , -6.5
    • BBC Radio FIVE LIVE : 6364 , -4.3
    • BBC Radio Gloucestershire : 95 , 6.7
    • BBC Radio Guernsey : 25 , 31.6
    • BBC Radio Humberside : 216 , 0.9
    • BBC Radio Jersey : 27 , -10.0
    • BBC Radio Kent : 258 , -3.7
    • BBC Radio Lancashire : 247 , -1.2
    • BBC Radio Leeds : 250 , -7.4
    • BBC Radio Leicester : 175 , 5.4
    • BBC Radio Lincolnshire : 105 , -9.5
    • BBC Radio Manchester : 259 , 27.6
    • BBC Radio Merseyside : 390 , 20.7
    • BBC Radio Newcastle : 310 , 2.6
    • BBC Radio Norfolk : 234 , 3.5
    • BBC Radio Northampton : 97 , -11.0
    • BBC Radio Nottingham : 225 , 1.4
    • BBC Radio Scotland : 1007 , -3.6
    • BBC Radio Sheffield : 268 , 3.1
    • BBC Radio Shropshire : 111 , 0.9
    • BBC Radio Solent : 273 , 0.7
    • BBC Radio Stoke : 172 , -6.0
    • BBC Radio Suffolk : 142 , -0.7
    • BBC Radio Tees : 159 , 3.9
    • BBC Radio Ulster : 509 , -9.8
    • BBC Radio Wales : 462 , 0.7
    • BBC Radio Wiltshire/Swindon : 89 , -1.1
    • BBC Radio York : 84 , -8.7
    • BBC Solent for Dorset : 24 , 20.0
    • BBC Somerset : 67 , -18.3
    • BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey : 229 , -23.7
    • BBC Three Counties Radio : 162 , -11.5
    • BBC WM (Birmingham & Black Country) : 239 , 13.8
    • BBC World Service : 1303 , -27.2
    • Beacon Radio : 242 , 0.8
    • Buzz Asia 963 & 972AM : 119 , 7.2
    • C.F.M (Bauer Carlisle) : 87 , -23.7
    • Capital Birmingham (was Galaxy) : 431 , -6.1
    • Capital East Midlands (was Leicester Sound RAM FM & Trent FM) : 478 , -13.7
    • Capital London : 2269 , 4.1
    • Capital Manchester (was Galaxy) : 453 , -10.3
    • Capital North East (was Galaxy) : 521 , -7.8
    • Capital Scotland (was Galaxy) : 484 , 5.2
    • Capital South Coast (was Galaxy) : 236 , 13.5
    • Capital South Wales (was Red Dragon) : 207 , -33.2
    • Capital Yorkshire (Was Galaxy) : 1107 , 3.3
    • Central FM : 51 , -5.6
    • Channel 103 FM : 45 , 7.1
    • Cheshire's Silk 106.9 : 17 , -10.5
    • Chester's Dee 106.3 : 33 , 0.0
    • Chill : 229 , 33.1
    • Choice FM London : 577 , 36.4
    • City Talk 105.9 : 76 , 22.6
    • Citybeat 96.7/102.5FM : 134 , -11.3
    • Classic FM : 5444 , -10.5
    • Clyde 1 FM : 517 , -10.7
    • Clyde 2 : 184 , -28.1
    • Colourful : n/a , n/a
    • Connect FM (was Connect FM and Lite 106.8FM) : 42 , -2.3
    • County Sound 1566 : 6 , -33.3
    • Dearne FM : 55 , 3.8
    • Downtown Radio (DTR) : 228 , -19.1
    • Dream 100 : 47 , -4.1
    • Exeter FM : 28 , 3.7
    • Fire Radio : 48 , 29.7
    • Fire Radio South Coast : 5 , n/a
    • FIVE LIVE SPORTS EXTRA : 952 , 19.1
    • Forth2 : 76 , -20.0
    • ForthOne : 354 , 18.4
    • Gem 106 : 380 , -19.1
    • Glide FM 1079 (was Oxford's FM 107.9) : 19 , -5.0
    • Gold Birmingham : 71 , 34.0
    • Gold Cambridgeshire : 38 , 8.6
    • Gold Coventry : 21 , -8.7
    • Gold Devon : 52 , 30.0
    • Gold East Anglia : 64 , -5.9
    • Gold East Midlands : 71 , -15.5
    • Gold Essex : 54 , -3.6
    • Gold Four Counties : 79 , 12.9
    • Gold Kent : 49 , -5.8
    • Gold London : 266 , -16.1
    • Gold Manchester : 103 , 3.0
    • Gold North West & Wales : 30 , 42.9
    • Gold Solent : 72 , -6.5
    • Gold South Wales : 54 , -1.8
    • Gold Sussex : 66 , 20.0
    • Gold Thames Valley : 41 , -18.0
    • Gold West Country : 94 , -4.1
    • Gold Wolverhampton : 47 , 6.8
    • Hallam FM : 388 , 4.0
    • Heart Cambridgeshire : 205 , -20.8
    • Heart Devon : 299 , -6.3
    • Heart East Anglia : 312 , -3.7
    • Heart East Midlands : 97 , 223.3
    • Heart Essex : 399 , -1.2
    • Heart Four Counties : 617 , 21.5
    • Heart Kent : 353 , -9.3
    • Heart London : 1939 , -8.0
    • Heart North West and Wales : 205 , -1.4
    • Heart Solent : 322 , 11.4
    • Heart Sussex : 367 , -6.9
    • Heart Thames Valley : 385 , 0.5
    • Heart West Country : 677 , 1.0
    • Heart West Midlands : 766 , -6.8
    • Heat : 716 , 14.4
    • IOW Radio : 39 , 5.4
    • Island FM 104.7 : 26 , -3.7
    • Jack FM South Coast (Was The Coast) : 165 , 38.7
    • Jazz FM : 564 , 13.9
    • KCFM 99.8 : 79 , 25.4
    • Kerrang! 105.2 : 295 , -22.6
    • Kestrel FM : 35 , 9.4
    • KESTREL FM - was Delta Radio : 17 , -5.6
    • Key 103 (Manchester) : 503 , 14.3
    • Kingdom FM : 78 , 2.6
    • Kismat Radio 1035 (Greater London) : 105 , -2.8
    • Kiss 100 FM : 1958 , 7.5
    • Kiss East : 467 , 17.9
    • Kiss West : 448 , -7.2
    • KL.FM 96.7 : 41 , -10.9
    • kmfm East : 98 , -7.5
    • kmfm West : 54 , -31.6
    • Lakeland Radio : 16 , 14.3
    • LBC 97.3 : 867 , -7.3
    • LBC News 1152 : 405 , -9.4
    • Lincs FM 102.2 : 309 , -9.6
    • Magic 105.4 : 1963 , -1.8
    • Magic 1152 (Manchester) : 112 , 16.7
    • Magic 1152 (Newcastle) : 169 , -1.2
    • Magic 1161 (Hull) : 66 , -28.3
    • Magic 1170 (Teesside) : 105 , 9.4
    • Magic 1548 (Liverpool) : 99 , 25.3
    • Magic 828 (Leeds) : 107 , -8.5
    • Magic 999 (Preston) : 42 , -4.5
    • Magic AM (Sheffield) : 82 , 2.5
    • Manx Radio : 39 , 5.4
    • Mercia : 144 , 3.6
    • Metro Radio : 385 , 5.2
    • Midwest Radio : n/a , n/a
    • Midwest Radio : 41 , n/a
    • Minster FM : 69 , -19.8
    • Mix 96 : 36 , -14.3
    • Moray Firth Radio (Bauer Inverness) : 127 , 6.7
    • Nation Radio : 100 , 1.0
    • NME Radio : n/a , n/a
    • North Norfolk Radio : 23 , 4.5
    • Northsound One : 127 , -3.1
    • Northsound Two : 42 , 0.0
    • Nova Radio - Weston (was Star Radio in North Somerset) : 20 , 5.3
    • Oak FM : 25 , -30.6
    • Original 106 (Aberdeen) : 50 , 11.1
    • Palm FM : 39 , 2.6
    • Peak 107 FM : 90 , -1.1
    • Pirate FM : 161 , 6.6
    • Planet Rock : 861 , 8.0
    • Premier Christian Radio : 153 , 13.3
    • Pulse 2 : 44 , -17.0
    • Q : 214 , -26.2
    • Q100.5 (Was Five FM) : 19 , -17.4
    • Q102.9FM/Q97.2FM/Q101.2FM : 81 , -5.8
    • Q106 (was Six FM) : 12 , -7.7
    • Q107 (was Seven FM) : 14 , -17.6
    • Radio Borders (Bauer Borders) : 57 , -6.6
    • Radio Ceredigion : 10 , n/a
    • Radio City 96.7 : 447 , -0.9
    • Radio Mansfield 103.2 : 38 , 2.7
    • Radio NORWICH 99.9 : 53 , 3.9
    • Radio Wave 96.5 FM : 73 , -8.8
    • Reading 107 FM : 23 , -11.5
    • Real Radio North East - (was Century Radio) : 309 , -11.0
    • Real Radio North West - (was Century Radio) : 461 , -2.3
    • Real Radio Scotland : 650 , -0.6
    • Real Radio Wales (North) : 56 , n/a
    • Real Radio Wales (South) : 412 , -10.6
    • Real Radio Yorkshire : 386 , 15.6
    • Ridings FM : 45 , 15.4
    • Rother FM : 39 , 14.7
    • Rugby FM : 24 , 20.0
    • Signal One : 292 , 7.4
    • Signal Two : 64 , -7.2
    • Smash Hits Radio : 991 , -9.4
    • Smooth Radio East Midlands : 320 , -1.2
    • Smooth Radio Glasgow : 290 , 11.1
    • Smooth Radio London : 626 , -2.6
    • Smooth Radio North East : 420 , 12.3
    • Smooth Radio North West : 848 , 2.8
    • Smooth Radio West Midlands : 387 , 10.9
    • Southend & Chelmsford Radio : 56 , 9.8
    • Spire FM : 44 , 0.0
    • Spirit FM : 42 , -26.3
    • Star NE - North (was Durham FM) : 24 , 26.3
    • Star NE - South (was Alpha 103.2) : 27 , 22.7
    • Star Radio in Cambridge : 23 , -28.1
    • Sun FM : 75 , 7.1
    • Sunrise Radio (Greater London) : 285 , -15.2
    • Sunrise Radio National : 457 , -2.6
    • Swansea Sound - 1170 MW : 62 , -8.8
    • talkSPORT : n/a , n/a
    • talkSPORT : 3233 , n/a
    • Tay-AM : 72 , 2.9
    • Tay-FM : 124 , -4.6
    • TFM Radio : 202 , 5.8
    • The Bay : 111 , 6.7
    • THE BEACH : 53 , -7.0
    • The Breeze (East) (formerly The Quay) : 20 , -35.5
    • The Breeze (South West) (was Star Radio (Bristol)) : 23 , -30.3
    • The Breeze (West) : 19 , 18.8
    • The Hits : 1081 , -5.3
    • The Pulse : 125 , -29.0
    • Time FM 106.6 : 16 , -23.8
    • Total Absolute Radio (London) : 797 , 10.1
    • Total Choice (UK) : 788 , 19.0
    • Touchradio Staffs : 28 , 0.0
    • Town 102 FM : 62 , 40.9
    • Trax FM : 94 , -1.1
    • U105 : 193 , 0.0
    • Wave 102 FM : 27 , -15.6
    • Wave 105 FM (Bauer South Coast) : 378 , -6.9
    • Wessex FM : 43 , 0.0
    • West Sound (Bauer Southwest Scotland) : 189 , 3.8
    • Wyvern FM : 105 , -7.1
    • XFM London : 409 , -32.3
    • XFM Manchester : 153 , 13.3
    • Yorkshire Coast Radio : 44 , 10.0
    • Yorkshire Radio : 96 , 29.7

     


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    Journalists at the BBC have accepted a 1 per cent pay rise staving off the threat of strike action disrupting the Queen's Jubilee celebrations next month.

    The pay offer for 2012 -13 also includes a minimum increase of £400 and other 'concession'on conditions.

    NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "We are now making constructive and positive progress with trying to find proper and long term solutions. The immediate risk of redundancies at TV Current Affairs and the World Service have been averted. This has only been achieved because NUJ members have stood solidly together in opposition to compulsory redundancies.

    "We have been deeply concerned by the failure of the redeployment process so the settlement today addresses the problem which we welcome. The BBC's stance on pay is disappointing, but the package of concessions on other pay-related issues and appraisals addresses key concerns for journalists across the BBC."

    The agreement is a joint deal with BECTU. That union's general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: "There is absolutely no question that the BBC's handling of this year's pay talks will continue to anger staff and what is more, our members, not least in London, will suffer financially. However from the soundings we have taken, viewed nationally, pay was not the primary concern and in light of this we doubted the success of strike action over the Jubilee weekend.

    'However, putting basic pay to one side for the moment, we believe that this week's agreement with the BBC, incorporating as it does valuable concessions, not only on collective bargaining but on key allowances, appraisals and on redeployment, represents vital protections for staff which will resonate with members across the country."

    A BBC spokesperson commented: 'It is great news that the threat of a strike has been lifted and that BBC viewers will now be able to enjoy the Diamond Jubilee coverage without fear of interruption."


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    The director of BBC Vision, George Entwistle, has been named as the successor to outgoing director-general Mark Thompson.

    Entwistle has been with the BBC since 1989 when he joined as a broadcast journalism trainee.

    Before his current position he was controller of knowledge commissioning, and before that had stints as head of current affairs and editor of Newsnight.

    Entwistle will receive a salary of £450,000 as director-general, compared with his predecessors salary of £671,000.

    Thompson announced his intention to leave the BBC in March this year and will hand over to Entwistle in the autumn.

    Announcing the appointment, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said: "George is a creative leader for a creative organisation.

    "His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love - built up through many years of working for the corporation - will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.

    "Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways."

    Entwistle said: "I'm delighted that the chairman and trustees have decided I'm the right person for the job. And I'm very excited about all that lies ahead. I love the BBC and it's a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life."

    Thompson added: "I think this is a brilliant appointment. George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting.

    'He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come."


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    A son beat his retired BBC journalist father to death with a hammer in a "shocking and gruesome" attack at the country cottage they shared, a court heard today.

    Joseph Cooper, 24, even broke the hammer handle in half as he used it, along with three kitchen knives and a pair of large secateurs, to inflict appalling injuries on Winton Cooper.

    The 64-year-old was discovered by police at the cottage in the picturesque Dorset village of Marnhull, near Sturminster Newton, on 15 April last year.

    Cooper pleaded guilty today at Winchester Crown Court to manslaughter through diminished responsibility but denied murder.

    The prosecution accepted his plea after reports found he was mentally ill.

    Cooper was a retired BBC Radio Sheffield reporter who was at the 1989 Hillsborough football tragedy where 96 Liverpool fans died. He was killed on the 22nd anniversary of the disaster.

    Stewart Jones QC, prosecuting, said Cooper junior had a troubled childhood at the hands of his father and mother, who had drink problems and Cooper had been violent and abusive to his son.

    His parents had acrimoniously split in the 90s and Cooper was the middle of three brothers and he had spent his younger years in care and in trouble with the police after his father did not want him and his mother could not cope with him, the barrister said.

    Cooper moved to Dorset after his retirement to look after his elderly father and eventually his son came to stay. Jones said the pair lived a "peaceable existence" in the village revolving around going to the pub, local shops and home.

    But Cooper did attack his father in December 2009 with a bar and pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, the court was told. The older man had barricaded himself into his bedroom on that occasion after his son "lost it".

    But in April last year Cooper launched the fatal attack on the landing of their home just hours after Winton Cooper had told neighbours his son "was acting strangely".

    After the killing, Cooper phoned his brothers and mother Gail to say he had killed his father. Jones said that, at first, all three were sceptical but eventually Mrs Cooper called the police and three officers turned up.

    "The scene that confronted the three there was a shocking and gruesome one," Jones said.

    Two psychiatric reports found that Cooper suffered from such an abnormality of mind it had impaired his responsibility for his actions.

    Judge Guy Boney QC adjourned sentencing for a date to be fixed so that Cooper can undergo a hospital assessment.

    No mitigation was entered on his behalf at today's hearing.


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    The editor-in-chief of the Reading Chronicle has accused BBC radio of reading out page leads from her paper “masquerading as its own news bulletin”.

    Sally Stevens raised her concerns with Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman at a recent meeting along with nine other regional newspaper editors.

    Writing in the Chronicle this week, she said:

    ... I await Labour's reaction to the Leveson Inquiry confident that the Opposition will quote at length my passionate plea not to tar local newspapers with the same brush as the national media; to protect The Chronicle's right to give a voice for the many people in the communities we serve who feel they are not being heard; to respect Berkshire Media Group as a business and local employer; to tell the BBC off for paying 60p a week for our reporters' hard work so its radio presenters can read a page lead out every day masquerading as its own news bulletin and castigate other newspapers for copying and pasting our online news onto their own websites.

    Stevens said she also raised concerns over the use of the phrase "the media' to cover “everything from an independently-owned local newspaper to the international portfolio of the Murdoch Empire”.

    She added:

    No one would expect to lump together a little church hall pre-school and a university so why not refer to 'the national media' and 'the local media'?

    I expressed support for the Press Complaints Commission which I feel works fairly and promptly to resolve issues between local newspapers and readers, free of charge to both parties, and was supported by the other editors who strongly argued against statutory regulation for local newspapers and national papers which was described as 'using a sledge hammer to crack a nut'.

    I personally would not be against the PCC accepting complaints from third parties.

    I just hope I am not misquoted by the Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport - after all, to whom would I send my complaint?


    0 0

    Richard Horsman is a radio consultant and lecturer at Leeds Trinity University College

    Don't get me wrong, I love commercial radio. I worked in it for 22 years, plus a further two as a consultant, and during that time I took great delight getting one up on the BBC and our other media rivals whenever I could.

    I've also been a strong, often isolated, defender of the commercial sector in the academic world where the default position tends towards 'public service good - profit bad'.

    But I've reached a position where I think it has to be said that UK commercial radio news has become a vampire industry, sucking in talent whilst putting next to nothing back.

    There will be those reading this who will decide that Dickie's finally gone native. The self-styled 'least likely academic' has opted for a comfy armchair and forgotten how tough life is in the real world.

    After all, getting a job in commercial radio news has always involved effort and sacrifice.

    For many years the conventional route into an IR newsroom has been through higher education; either an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (or increasingly the National Council for the Training of Journalists, but that's a topic for another day).

    The trainee takes all the risk, paying for their own training with no employer support long before they're in a position to even bid for a job.

    The employer benefits from a Darwinian struggle in which the brightest, the fittest or in many cases just those with the richest parents come hammering at the door looking for placements.

    Editors and corporate suits tend to romanticise this bit. They call years of poverty and sacrifice 'determination', recalling their own days of breaking into radio.

    Yes, my generation gave up a lot of time and energy to earn our chance, cleaning carts for free instead of flipping burgers for money. My youth and enthusiasm was expended in a Bradford basement.

    But my university education was paid for, and I was even able to claim the dole during the long holidays. Support became less generous over time but the model worked, more or less, until the advent of tuition fees.

    Kids graduating under Labour's 'three grand' model ended up with an average of 14 thousand pounds of debt at graduation, allowing for living costs. Those starting now under the Coalition's full cost scheme (thanks, Clegg, that includes my son) will accumulate debt of between £30-£40K over three years of study; money they'll still be paying back when they're my age.

    Today's talent can't afford to take on all that and give up the same time and effort.

    The first candidates to be deterred by debt are those from the diverse backgrounds employers claim to be seeking so diligently. As I've witten before, diversity matters, but even for the relatively affluent the model is broken.

    So what is the radio industry doing about it? Next to nothing is the answer.

    In terms of bursaries, I was able to launch a Real Radio bursary, shared between Leeds Trinity and Sheffield University, in 2004. This scheme was absorbed within the Scott Trust and expanded to cover the whole country with two broadcast training bursaries in (if I recall correctly) 2009. What will happen now GMG's being merged into Global is still unclear. I think Global themselves pay for a student at LCC under some legacy deal. If there are any other bursaries I'm unaware of them - please let me know.

    The consequence of neglect of training will be a falloff in the number of suitable applicants for news roles.

    Of course there will always be plenty of wannabes, but those with the right skills - voice, legal knowledge, appreciation of what popular news is about - will diminish. Those who do have the skills will be lured, increasingly, by the BBC. Commercial radio news could become trapped in a downward spiral.

    So I would urge all commercial radio employers to consider their position.

    Decide what you can do to invest in maintaining local and regional news services that often form such a large part of successful franchise bids as a fast, sharp, bright, popular alternative to the BBC; not (OK, I'm mixing my undead metaphors) a zombie service of rip 'n' read and newsline calls.

    I'm delighted to have taken the first steps on this route last week, signing a partnership deal with Bauer Radio in Yorkshire to help recruit applicants for my course. There's no bursary on offer but it's a start, and it's always easier to negotiate when an ideal candidate is standing in front of you. Other groups, from the very largest to the smallest, should see what they can do to match or exceed this commitment.

    Otherwise the suits should remember what happens to vampires at the end of the movie. They usually crumble to dust.

    This blog was first published on Richard Horsman’s blog.


    0 0

    BBC London 94.9 continued to lose ground to commercial rival LBC in the second quarter of this year.

    According to figures released by Rajar, the BBC London station reached 374,000 listeners a week (down 17.4 per cent year on year) versus LBC 97.3's weekly reach of 927,000, which was up up 14.6 per cent year on year.
     
    Radio 5 Live's main output (including Sports Extra) did not apear to benefit from an Olympics boost in the third quarter of 2012. According to Rajar it reached 6.3m listeners a week in the period, which was a slight 0.6 per cent dip year on year. However the BBC said that the Five Live Olympics Extra digital station achieved a reach of 1.9m listeners.
     
    Commercial station Talksport was slightly down year on year according to Rajar, with an average weekly reach of 3m (down 3.6 per cent).
     
    Radio 4 was up 3.5 per cent year on year at 10.8m. Radio 4's flagship current affairs programme Today was up year on year with an average weekly reach of 6.9m according to Rajar (compared with 6.8m in the same period a year earlier).
     
    Five Live breakfast had a weekly reach of 2.8m (versus 2.5m a in the same period last year) and Talksport's breakfast show was steady year on year with a weekly reach of 1.3m.
     
    In London, BBC London 94.9's breakfast show slumped from 209,000 a year ago to 152,000 while rival commercial station LBC 97.3 grew from 527,000 in the same period a year ago to 566,000.
     
    Full breakdown of radio listening figures for the third quarter of 2012
     
    Name of station: average weekly reach (in thousands); percentage change year on year
     

    102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire

    48

    14.3

    102FM Touchradio - Warks Worcs Cotswolds

    44

    -12

    106 JACKfm (Bristol) (was Original 106)

    92

    -19.3

    106 JACKfm (Oxford)

    55

    -39.6

    106.1 Real XS (was 106.1 Rock Radio)

    n/a

    n/a

    106.1 Real XS Manchester (was 106.1 Rock Radio)

    168

    n/a

    106.3 Bridge FM

    33

    -19.5

    107 The Bee

    29

    20.8

    107.2 Wire FM

    52

    -14.8

    107.3 Touchradio - Warwick

    n/a

    n/a

    107.4 Tower FM

    56

    9.8

    107.5 Sovereign Radio

    27

    22.7

    107.6 Banbury Sound

    15

    0

    107.6 Juice FM

    221

    19.5

    107.7 The Wolf

    34

    -30.6

    107.8 Arrow FM for Hastings

    21

    -8.7

    1Xtra from the BBC

    1114

    23.2

    2BR

    60

    9.1

    3FM

    27

    28.6

    96.2 The Revolution

    41

    -14.6

    96.2FM Touchradio - Coventry

    20

    -25.9

    96.3 Radio Aire

    119

    -16.2

    96.3 Real XS Glasgow (was 96.3 Rock Radio)

    63

    5

    96.4 BRMB

    n/a

    n/a

    96.4 Eagle Radio

    145

    -0.7

    96.4 FM The Wave

    130

    -13.9

    96.9 Viking FM

    255

    8.5

    97.2 Stray FM

    48

    0

    97.4 Cool FM

    382

    -9.3

    97.4 Rock FM

    267

    -5.7

    Absolute 80s

    895

    -12.1

    Absolute Radio 00s

    143

    19.2

    Absolute Radio 60s

    189

    n/a

    Absolute Radio 70s

    172

    n/a

    Absolute Radio 90s

    435

    18.9

    Absolute Radio Classic Rock

    356

    2.9

    Absolute Radio London

    592

    7.4

    Absolute Radio National

    1055

    -11.9

    BBC 6 Music

    1620

    31.8

    BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

    86

    -2.3

    BBC Essex

    250

    -10.1

    BBC Hereford & Worcester

    98

    -3.9

    BBC London 94.9

    374

    -21.1

    BBC Oxford 95.2FM

    62

    -15.1

    BBC Radio 1

    11198

    -5.5

    BBC Radio 2

    13903

    -2.8

    BBC Radio 3

    2150

    4.8

    BBC Radio 4

    10845

    2.7

    BBC Radio 4 Extra

    1694

    11

    BBC Radio Berkshire

    125

    -13.8

    BBC Radio Bristol

    141

    -2.1

    BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

    108

    0

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    154

    1.3

    BBC Radio Cumbria

    100

    -29.1

    BBC Radio Cymru

    142

    2.9

    BBC Radio Derby

    155

    10.7

    BBC Radio Devon

    203

    -21.6

    BBC Radio FIVE LIVE

    6098

    -2.2

    BBC Radio Gloucestershire

    114

    22.6

    BBC Radio Guernsey

    23

    0

    BBC Radio Humberside

    238

    36

    BBC Radio Jersey

    27

    -6.9

    BBC Radio Kent

    266

    12.7

    BBC Radio Lancashire

    202

    -6.5

    BBC Radio Leeds

    209

    -13.3

    BBC Radio Leicester

    181

    8.4

    BBC Radio Lincolnshire

    117

    21.9

    BBC Radio Manchester

    231

    29.1

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    322

    -7.5

    BBC Radio Newcastle

    308

    16.2

    BBC Radio Norfolk

    172

    -18.9

    BBC Radio Northampton

    100

    6.4

    BBC Radio Nottingham

    187

    -1.6

    BBC Radio Scotland

    928

    -2.6

    BBC Radio Sheffield

    255

    6.7

    BBC Radio Shropshire

    103

    -4.6

    BBC Radio Solent (Hants/ IoW/ East Dorset)

    n/a

    n/a

    BBC Radio Solent (West Dorset)

    n/a

    n/a

    BBC Radio Stoke

    156

    -25.4

    BBC Radio Suffolk

    115

    -10.2

    BBC Radio Tees

    106

    -2.8

    BBC Radio Ulster

    542

    0.7

    BBC Radio Wales

    450

    -6.1

    BBC Radio Wiltshire/Swindon

    83

    -10.8

    BBC Radio York

    94

    0

    BBC Somerset

    66

    -1.5

    BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey

    241

    -7.7

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    146

    -19.8

    BBC WM (Birmingham & Black Country)

    214

    -10.5

    BBC World Service

    1387

    -7.6

    Beacon Radio

    n/a

    n/a

    Buzz Asia 963 & 972AM

    88

    -12.9

    C.F.M (Bauer Carlisle)

    74

    -30.8

    Capital Birmingham

    421

    -9.9

    Capital East Midlands

    480

    -14

    Capital London

    1999

    -8.3

    Capital Manchester

    516

    0.2

    Capital North East

    491

    -10.6

    Capital Scotland

    476

    -4.8

    Capital South Coast

    164

    -18.8

    Capital South Wales

    236

    -9.6

    Capital Yorkshire

    1100

    7.7

    Central FM

    53

    0

    Channel 103 FM

    47

    6.8

    Cheshire's Silk 106.9

    17

    -15

    Chester's Dee 106.3

    32

    -8.6

    Chill

    n/a

    n/a

    Choice FM London

    508

    -9.6

    City Talk 105.9

    62

    -7.5

    Citybeat 96.7/102.5FM

    126

    -9.4

    Classic FM

    5450

    1.2

    Clyde 1 FM

    574

    -1.5

    Clyde 2

    230

    12.7

    Connect FM (was Connect FM and Lite 106.8FM)

    38

    -17.4

    Dearne FM

    48

    -15.8

    Downtown Radio (DTR)

    267

    -7.3

    Dream 100

    46

    -6.1

    Eagle Extra (formerly County Sound 1566MW)

    10

    -33.3

    Fire Radio

    40

    -7

    Fire Radio South Coast

    5

    n/a

    FIVE LIVE SPORTS EXTRA

    1005

    -12.6

    Forth2

    73

    -27

    ForthOne

    342

    0

    Free Radio 80s (Birmingham & Black Country)

    93

    n/a

    Free Radio 80s (Coventry & Warwickshire)

    21

    -12.5

    Free Radio 80s (Shropshire)

    12

    n/a

    Free Radio FM (Birmingham & Black Country) (was BRMB and Beacon)

    335

    n/a

    Free Radio FM (Coventry & Warwickshire) (was Mercia)

    109

    -28.8

    Free Radio FM (Herefordshire & Worcestershire) (was Wyvern)

    82

    n/a

    Free Radio FM (Shropshire) (was Beacon)

    78

    n/a

    Gem 106

    n/a

    n/a

    Gem 106

    392

    n/a

    Glide FM 1079 (was Oxford's FM 107.9)

    18

    -14.3

    Gold Birmingham

    n/a

    n/a

    Gold Cambridgeshire

    49

    32.4

    Gold Devon

    31

    10.7

    Gold East Anglia

    74

    -5.1

    Gold East Midlands

    65

    -11

    Gold Essex

    59

    -25.3

    Gold Four Counties

    85

    34.9

    Gold Kent

    58

    13.7

    Gold London

    353

    -6.4

    Gold Manchester

    116

    46.8

    Gold North West & Wales

    28

    21.7

    Gold Solent

    66

    -13.2

    Gold South Wales

    76

    65.2

    Gold Sussex

    70

    25

    Gold Thames Valley

    36

    20

    Gold West Country

    112

    7.7

    Gold Wolverhampton

    n/a

    n/a

    Hallam FM

    375

    3.6

    Heart Cambridgeshire

    235

    16.9

    Heart Cornwall (was 105-107 Atlantic FM)

    69

    -1.4

    Heart Devon

    322

    -5.6

    Heart East Anglia

    305

    -5.9

    Heart East Midlands

    102

    67.2

    Heart Essex

    415

    -16.7

    Heart Four Counties

    555

    12.3

    Heart Kent

    365

    -3.4

    Heart London

    1826

    -9.9

    Heart North West and Wales

    255

    22

    Heart Solent

    341

    9.6

    Heart Sussex

    386

    10.6

    Heart Thames Valley

    388

    2.6

    Heart West Country

    643

    -9.2

    Heart West Midlands

    690

    -17.8

    Heat

    681

    7.9

    IOW Radio

    38

    2.7

    Island FM 104.7

    30

    3.4

    Jack FM South Coast (Was The Coast)

    211

    104.9

    Jazz FM

    624

    22.8

    KCFM 99.8

    87

    27.9

    Kerrang! 105.2

    307

    -17.7

    Kestrel FM

    31

    -6.1

    KESTREL FM - was Delta Radio

    19

    35.7

    Key 103 (Manchester)

    483

    -15.3

    Kingdom FM

    83

    5.1

    Kismat Radio 1035 (Greater London)

    81

    -39.1

    Kiss 100 FM

    1952

    14.6

    Kiss East

    443

    3.3

    Kiss West

    501

    6.4

    KL.FM 96.7

    48

    9.1

    kmfm East

    90

    -6.3

    kmfm West

    69

    -5.5

    Lakeland Radio

    14

    0

    LBC 97.3

    927

    10.2

    LBC News 1152

    439

    14.9

    Lincs FM 102.2

    315

    -2.8

    Magic 105.4

    2174

    9.1

    Magic 1152 (Manchester)

    69

    -24.2

    Magic 1152 (Newcastle)

    164

    -7.9

    Magic 1161 (Hull)

    59

    -32.2

    Magic 1170 (Teesside)

    88

    -15.4

    Magic 1548 (Liverpool)

    89

    -11.9

    Magic 828 (Leeds)

    113

    6.6

    Magic 999 (Preston)

    30

    -25

    Magic AM (Sheffield)

    102

    -1

    Manx Radio

    36

    0

    Metro Radio

    382

    5.8

    Midwest Radio

    n/a

    n/a

    Midwest Radio

    35

    n/a

    Minster FM

    73

    -3.9

    Mix 96

    39

    5.4

    Moray Firth Radio (Bauer Inverness)

    115

    -10.2

    Nation 80s (was 102.1 Bay Radio)

    39

    -9.3

    Nation Radio

    138

    1.5

    NME Radio

    n/a

    n/a

    North Norfolk Radio

    20

    -16.7

    Northsound One

    126

    -7.4

    Northsound Two

    52

    20.9

    Norwich 99.9fm

    54

    12.5

    Nova Radio - Weston (was Star Radio in North Somerset)

    21

    5

    Oak FM

    26

    -21.2

    Original 106 (Aberdeen)

    44

    -13.7

    Palm FM

    34

    -19

    Peak 107 FM

    99

    11.2

    Pirate FM

    163

    -0.6

    Planet Rock

    864

    2.9

    Premier Christian Radio

    164

    -9.4

    Pulse 2

    57

    11.8

    Q

    162

    -22.5

    Q100.5 (Was Five FM)

    15

    -34.8

    Q102.9FM/Q97.2FM/Q101.2FM

    80

    1.3

    Q106 (was Six FM)

    8

    -33.3

    Q107 (was Seven FM)

    11

    -26.7

    Radio Borders (Bauer Borders)

    51

    -16.4

    Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM

    42

    5

    Radio Ceredigion

    13

    30

    Radio City 96.7

    465

    0

    Radio Exe 107.3 FM (was Exeter FM)

    25

    -13.8

    Radio Mansfield 103.2

    41

    7.9

    Radio Wave 96.5 FM

    66

    -12

    Reading 107 FM

    22

    -12

    Real Radio North East - (was Century Radio)

    252

    -22

    Real Radio North West - (was Century Radio)

    442

    -24.7

    Real Radio Scotland

    545

    -12.9

    Real Radio Wales (North)

    61

    27.1

    Real Radio Wales (South)

    436

    -2.5

    Real Radio Yorkshire

    396

    6.7

    Ridings FM

    48

    6.7

    Rother FM

    36

    2.9

    Rugby FM

    24

    9.1

    Signal One

    258

    -9.2

    Signal Two

    69

    -12.7

    Smash Hits Radio

    970

    9.1

    Smooth 70s

    749

    n/a

    Smooth Radio East Midlands

    295

    -22.8

    Smooth Radio Glasgow

    265

    3.9

    Smooth Radio London

    431

    -29.6

    Smooth Radio North East

    410

    -1.9

    Smooth Radio North West

    907

    3.9

    Smooth Radio West Midlands

    376

    -5.5

    Southend & Chelmsford Radio

    58

    7.4

    Spire FM

    45

    7.1

    Spirit FM

    57

    21.3

    Star NE - North (was Durham FM)

    21

    -4.5

    Star NE - South (was Alpha 103.2)

    26

    -10.3

    Star Radio in Cambridge

    26

    -21.2

    Sun FM

    57

    -32.1

    Sunrise Radio (Greater London)

    282

    -21.7

    Sunrise Radio National

    403

    -11

    Swansea Sound - 1170 MW

    58

    -10.8

    talkSPORT

    3018

    -3.6

    Tay-AM

    81

    20.9

    Tay-FM

    124

    -6.8

    TFM Radio

    161

    -7.5

    The Bay

    101

    -6.5

    THE BEACH

    60

    7.1

    The Breeze (East and West)

    42

    n/a

    The Breeze (East) (formerly The Quay)

    n/a

    n/a

    The Breeze (South West) (was Star Radio (Bristol))

    26

    -3.7

    The Breeze (West)

    n/a

    n/a

    The Hits

    893

    -10.3

    The Pulse

    143

    -14.9

    Time FM 106.6

    24

    50

    Total Absolute Radio (London)

    832

    7.9

    Total Choice (UK)

    701

    -8.4

    Touchradio Staffs

    27

    -10

    Town 102 FM

    64

    8.5

    Trax FM

    98

    6.5

    U105

    198

    -11.2

    Wave 102 FM

    26

    -7.1

    Wave 105 FM (Bauer South Coast)

    350

    -11.8

    Wessex FM

    47

    11.9

    West Sound (Bauer Southwest Scotland)

    190

    5

    Wyvern FM

    n/a

    n/a

    XFM London

    372

    -14.5

    XFM Manchester

    228

    7.5

    Yorkshire Coast Radio

    41

    0

    Yorkshire Radio

    100

    38.9

     

     


    0 0

    The owners of the Australian radio station behind a prank call where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has suggested the UK media is on a “witch-hunt” after one of the nurses they duped was found dead in a suspected suicide.

    Austereo, the company behind Sydney-based station 2DayFM, has been at the centre of a media storm since news of nurse Jacintha Saldanha’s death broke on Friday afternoon.

    The two presenters behind the prank, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, have been suspended from the station and expressed their remorse in a series of interviews today.

    A spokeswoman for Austereo, Sandy Kaye, told the Sydney Morning Herald: “The backlash is just ferocious.

    “Australia seems to be much more balanced. In the UK it's like they're on a witch-hunt.

    “It's intense and what's incredible to me is it's so much easier for the British media to have us as the target. They haven't once looked at the hospital.”

    Commentators in other Australian titles have also come to the defence of the DJs.

    Andrew Bolt, writing in the Daily Telegraph, wrote:

    Three days after being made a butt of a joke that went around the world, Saldanha killed herself. Cue the outrage. The ‘blood on their hands’ fury of commentators. The tens of thousands of furious tweets. The messages, some disgusting vile and abusive, on the 2DayFM website.

    But wait right there. No one can yet be certain if the prank was in fact the primary cause of Saldanha's suicide. Indeed, it seems an unusually extreme reaction.

    And before we scapegoat Greig and Christian, remember also all the radio and TV stations which gleefully rebroadcast their prank and all the listeners and viewers who laughed. They are just as culpable.

    To be guilty of bad taste is one thing but to be held guilty of manslaughter is a monstrously unfair other, and makes the finger pointers seem hypocrites. Want to push more people over the edge? Keep on screaming ‘blood on their hands’

    Let's see if Greig and Christian now crack, too. Is that the game?

    An editorial in the same paper said:

    It is profoundly unfair to load responsibility for Ms Saldanha's death upon the shoulders of 2DayFM's young presenters.

    They could not have possibly known anything of the torment that clearly placed the mother of two at risk of self-harm.

    Writing in the Sunday Mail, journalist Jane Hansen said she felt for the pain of the presenters “because I have been there":

    Fifteen years ago I did a story for A Current Affair on a television repairman who was overcharging for work not done.

    It goes down as one of the most despicable pieces of journalism in Australia because of its outcome.

    It was the weekend promotion for A Current Affair and it ran on the Monday of that week.

    This man committed suicide several days later.

    I can't begin to fathom the pain his family has been through, although I have met with them and cried with them.

    I will forever blame myself for walking into the newsroom that day and being assigned that story and not seeing the disaster that was coming.

    Those consumer protection stories were daily fodder for nightly television current affairs, and still are.

    The shame and humiliation this man obviously felt were quickly my shame and humiliation as well.

    The then-host of Media Watch, Stuart Littlemore, called me an "unspeakable bastard" and, of course, I agreed with Littlemore.

    In fact, I agreed with every aspect of the criticism.

    There was no justification for the outcome, but the event tore my life apart too.

    In a series of emotional interviews on Australian TV networks, Greig and Christian insisted their prank call to the King Edward VII's Hospital in central London had "never meant" to get that far and they had expected staff to hang up on them.

    A tearful Greig told Today Tonight on Australia's Channel Seven: “There's nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now. And for what I feel for the family.

    "We're so sorry that this has happened to them."

    Christian said he was "gutted, shattered, heartbroken" by the nurse's death.


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    The BBC is recruiting a new director of news after moving Helen Boaden to the job of director, BBC Radio.

    Boaden was sidelined from her job in November pending the outcome of the Pollard review into BBC coverage of Jimmy Savile child abuse allegations. Her deputy Stephen Mitchell resigned in December.

    Incoming BBC director general Tony Hall announced Boaden’s job move today and also revealed that former Labour Secretary of State for Culture James Purnell has been recruited director, strategy and digital.

    Hall said: “I am building a senior team that will define the BBC and public service broadcasting for the next decade. It will be a team that is made up of outstanding talent from outside the BBC combined with the best people from within.

    “There will be more changes over the coming months and there is a lot of hard work ahead but today’s appointments are the first steps in delivering that vision.”

    Purnell is currently a senior producer at Rare Day and adviser to the Boston Consulting Group. His new remit will include running the Strategy, Digital, Communications, Policy, Public Affairs, Marketing and Audiences divisions.

    Purnell said: “I'm really excited to be coming back to the BBC, to work on its future with such a great team. Over the last couple of years, producing and developing programmes has rekindled my passion for the career I had before politics. I feel very lucky to have the chance to return to the BBC at such an important time.”

    Acting director-general Tim Davie is to move back to BBC Worldwide as chief executive and will also be director, global, responsible for developing the BBC’s international brand and editorial strategy.

    Tim Davie added: "I am very pleased to take on the important task of building the BBC brand

    Boaden said: “It is a huge pleasure to be returning to my first love of radio. I look forward to working with our outstanding Controllers and some of the most creative on and off air talent in the BBC. The British public love BBC Radio and I intend to cherish and champion it.”


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    The National Union of Journalists and broadcast union BECTU have announced plans to take strike action at the BBC over Easter.

    The unions said the action is being taken in protest at compulsory redundancies, excessive workloads, bullying and harassment.

    The BBC is shedding some 2,000 jobs under the Delivering Quality First programme and the NUJ is particularly opposed to compulsory redundancies. According to the BBC, some 30 journalists are at risk of compulsory redundancy.

    The NUJ said that a new strike ballot had resulted in a 61.2 per cent vote in favour of strike action and 79.9 per cent ion in favour of action short of a strike.

    Last month the NUJ led a nationwide journalists' strike at the BBC.

    According to the BBC, it had to cancel and replace 17 hours and 58 minutes of broadcast news output for licence fee BBC radio and television networks throughout the day on 18 February.

    This included the cancellation of Today on Radio 4. The corporation has estimated that 1,935 individuals took part in the last stoppage.

    The NUJ said BBC members in Scotland will be on strike on Friday and Monday over and that there will be a “demonstration of solidarity” at New Broadcasting House on Friday, while all members will be observing a work to rule.

    Further action for the Easter period, in collaboration with BECTU, is expected to be announced tomorrow.

    The NUJ and BECTU have called for a six-month moratorium to discuss the cuts.

    In addition the NUJ has provided evidence to the BBC’s review on policies and processes relating to sexual harassment. This comes, according to the NUJ, after allegations that there was a “culture of endemic sexism and harassment” at the BBC.

    The NUJ said a request for confidential evidence resulted in “huge” response showing a “picture of widespread bullying and harassment and the management’s failure to deal with the perpetrators”.

    In a statement, NUJ secretary general Michelle Stanistreet said:

    “It is disappointing that once again the BBC has decided not to properly engage, refusing our call for a moratorium to give space for meaningful discussions on the worrying impact of the cuts. BBC executives know they've got a major problem on their hands – the recent investigation into bullying and harassment has lifted the lid on a problem that has been allowed to grow to shocking levels, under the noses of senior executives supposed to be responsible for upholding 'BBC values'.
     
    “We hope the forthcoming Respect at Work report will be a positive step forward in tackling a problem that has become institutionalised – but it's hard to believe that there's a real commitment to change when we're seeing cases of people who have been targeted, bullied and unfairly picked off being rushed out of the door. Compulsory redundancies being pushed through at the same time as jobs are being advertised externally is not just bad management, it's a waste of licence fee money.
     
    “The BBC is adamant that the cuts are having no impact on quality. NUJ members know this is bunkum – they are the ones dealing with the real impact of cuts that have been targeted directly at frontline programming, they can see that corners are being cut, that staff are being put under huge pressure to deliver with fewer resources, and inevitably quality journalism is compromised. Calling their package of 20 per cent cuts Delivering Quality First was always a nonsense and an insult – and it is becoming clearer every day that these cuts, which are being badly implemented from the top, are diminishing quality journalism at our public service broadcaster.”


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    The National Union of Journalists has announced strike action at the BBC next week threatening a string of high-profile news and current affairs shows.

    In a joint action with Bectu, staff will walk out of BBC studios at midday on Thursday 28 March, hitting the corporation’s Easter schedule.

    The NUJ is complaining about compulsory redundancies, excessive workloads and even bullying and harassment at the corporation.

    The 12-hour strike has been prompted by the Delivering Quality First project that will lead to 2,000 job losses. The corporation has called upon both unions to cancel the proposed action as it says cost savings are unavoidable.

    NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Members are taking strike action next week in a clear message to the BBC that it needs to listen to its staff and properly address the problems created by their ill-conceived and badly implemented cuts programme.”

    The NUJ claims that the Corporation is refusing to engage with staff or discuss the impacts of cuts.

    Worse still, the Union said: “The recent investigation into bullying and harassment has lifted the lid on a problem that has been allowed to grow to shocking levels under the noses of senior executives supposed to be responsible for upholding BBC values.”

    BBC Scotland will be hit by a strike tomorrow and Monday over the continued threat of compulsory redundancies.

    UPDATE: The BBC Scotland industrial action has been called off.

    The NUJ held an earlier walk-out on 18 February which affected shows such as BBC Breakfast and Radio 4’s Today.

    A BBC spokesperson claimed they had held “constructive meetings” with unions in recent weeks but said redundancies were necessary because of tighter budgets.

    A spokesperson said: “We must progress with those given the significant savings we have to make and strike action will simply not change this.

    “We continue to work extremely hard to redeploy staff and have already succeeded in redeploying nearly double the number of people that have been made redundant. We hope with such a low turn out and relatively small numbers voting for a strike that the unions will reconsider taking industrial action.”

    The NUJ said they had 61.2 percent support for a strike with a further 79.9 percent favouring action short of a work-stoppage.

    The NUJ has handed over a dossier of evidence collated by Dinah Rose QC consisting of confidential reports of bullying and harassment suffered by current and former staff.

    NUJ National Broadcast Organiser Sue Harris called on the corporation to implement a six-month moratorium on all redundancies to allow further talks.

    According to the NUJ, the BBC has already lost more than 7,000 jobs over the last decade.

    The Corporation admitted that 1,935 people took part in last month’s strike forcing it to cancel and replace almost 18 hours of television and radio broadcasts – including the cancellation of Today on Radio 4. 


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    The National Union of Journalists has cancelled tomorrow’s planned BBC strike action in Scotland after management agreed to defer compulsory redundancies.

    Following an eleventh hour intervention, plans to sack the three NUJ members on 31 March have been put on hold, the union said.

    As a result, the planned strike tomorrow and a further strike on Monday, 25 March have been cancelled.

    Talks on the future of the three staff have now been extended into April, allowing the possibility of retraining or redeployment of the staff at risk.

    A planned protest outside New Broadcasting House in London tomorrow has also been cancelled.

    Scottish NUJ and BECTU members will still join the UK-wide 12-hour BBC strike next Thursday

    Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish Organiser, praised the move to seek further talks and avoid confrontation.

    He said: "This was achieved by the NUJ Scottish chapels standing firm behind their colleagues and some spirited negotiations by their officials. It has been extremely hard work but it will all be worth it if we can get work for these members and enter talks in a constructive manner in how our newsrooms operate in the future.”

     


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    The BBC has now received nearly 600 complaints over Eddie Mair's interview with Boris Johnson on the Andrew Marr Show.

    A BBC spokesman said the total number of complaints was 589, having risen from 384 yesterday. The Corporation says it has been contacted by 21 people who voiced their appreciation of the programme.

    Boris Johnson's father, Stanley, yesterday told LBC Radio the interview was "one of the most disgusting pieces of journalism I've listened to for a very long time" and argued "the BBC sank about as low as it could."
     
    In the interview, which has been called a 'bicycle crash' for Johnson, Eddie Mair asked the Mayor of London if he was "a nasty piece of work", and attacked his record ahead of a BBC Two documentary probing Johnson's life, which was watched by 2.4 million people last night.
     
    Johnson struggled to answer questions about his dismissal from The Times after he fabricated a quote, giving information to a friend who was planning to assault a journalist and lying to Conservative party leader Michael Howard about an extramarital affair.
     
    Earlier last week Johnson faced another tough interview from some schoolchildren working for the BBC News School Report on Radio 4. After sustained questioning about whether he wanted to be Prime Minister, Johnson finally replied: “If people genuinely wanted me, of course I would want to do it.”
     
    At an event in London yesterday  Johnson said Eddie Mair had been right to challenge him, and that he had done a "splendid job".
     
    Johnson said: "He was perfectly within his rights to have a bash at me - in fact it would have been shocking if he hadn't. If a BBC presenter can't attack a nasty Tory politician, what's the world coming to?...
     
    "I should think he'll get an Oscar, it was an Oscar-winning performance. I think he'll get a Pulitzer."
     
    Responding to the complaints, and Stanley Johnson's criticism, a BBC spokesman said “We believe this was a fair interview which took in issues facing London and the wider political landscape as well as looking towards tonight’s TV portrait programme.
     
    "As the documentary is biographical exploring controversial episodes in the Mayor’s life was considered appropriate. Eddie’s line of questioning attempted to elicit responses to direct questions that were not being answered.”
     
    The BBC also said it was important to recognise that the complaints were in the context of an audience of 1.7 million live viewers. The interview clip was the most watched item on BBC News Online on Sunday.
     
    Mair was presenting the show as one of several stand-ins covering for Andrew Marr while he continues his recovery from a stroke.
     
    This is not the first time Mair's interviewing has made headlines. During a radio interview in 2009, Mair persuaded former government minister John Hutton to admit – on the eighth attempt – that he had been the anonymous source of an earlier quote warning Gordon Brown would be a "fucking disaster" as Prime Minister.
     
    Read the transcript of Mair's attack on Johnson (courtesy of the BBC):
     
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) I know you can talk about this all day but I want to talk about you. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid. 
    EDDIE MAIR: This documentary. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: Thanks for nothing.
    EDDIE MAIR: You haven’t seen this documentary, have you?
    BORIS JOHNSON: I have not, no. 
    EDDIE MAIR: I have. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: Right, well Eddie, I mean…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Why did you agree to it?
    BORIS JOHNSON: …I think that’s over and above the call of duty, if I may say so.
    EDDIE MAIR: Why did you agree to do it?
    BORIS JOHNSON: I’ll tell you. It’s very simple. It’s like, it’s like, when the News of the World ring up and they say, or whatever, you know, and they say listen, you’re going to be in this story. You can either co-operate or not cooperate. And Michael Cockerill the producer and presenter, the guy who did it…
    EDDIE MAIR: Michael Cockerill blackmailed you, is that what you’re saying?
    BORIS JOHNSON: I, no. Well, effectively, yeah (laughs). What he said was, look, the BBC have commissioned this. It is going to appear, and so we faced a choice, either to try to help or rather prissily to just stand on one side and let them do whatever they wanted and I thought on the whole, it was probably wiser, given that it was going to happen anyway, to try to say something, rather than leave the field clear to you know…people who might want to put the boot in.
    EDDIE MAIR: Let me ask you about some of the things that came up in the documentary. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: Right. I haven’t seen it, so you know … 5
    EDDIE MAIR: But this happened in your life, so you know about this. The Times let you go after you made up a quote. Why did you make up a quote?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well. This…again, you know, these are, these are big terms for what happened. Well, I can tell you the whole thing, I think… you know… Are you sure our viewers wouldn’t want to hear more about housing in London…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Well, alright. If you don’t want to talk about, if you don’t want to talk about the made up quote, let me talk about something…
    BORIS JOHNSON: (over) But I will tell you. It was a long and lamentable story...
    EDDIE MAIR: Okay. But you made a quote up.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, what happened was that… I ascribed events that were supposed to have taken place before the death of Piers Gaviston to events that actually took place after the death of Piers Gaviston…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Yes. You made something up. Let me ask about anotherlittle, er…
    BORIS JOHNSON: (over) Well, I mean, I mildly sandpapered somethingsomebody said, and yes it’s very embarrassing and I’m very sorry about it.
    EDDIE MAIR: Let me ask you about a bare-faced lie. When you were in Michael Howard’s team, you denied to him you were having an affair. It turned out you were and he sacked you for that. Why did you lie to your Party leader?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, I mean again, I’m… with great respect… On that, I never had any conversation with Michael Howard about that matter and, you know, I don’t propose…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) You did lie to him.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, you know, I don’t propose to go in to all that again.
    EDDIE MAIR: I don’t blame you.
    BORIS JOHNSON: No, well why should I? I’ve been through, you know, that question a lot with the, well, watch the documentary. Why don’t we talk about something else?
    EDDIE MAIR: Well the programme also includes – well this is about your integrity. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: Okay
    EDDIE MAIR: The programme includes your reaction as you listen to a phone 6call in which your friend Darius Guppy, asks you to supply the address of a journalist…
    BORIS JOHNSON: Yes.
    EDDIE MAIR: …so that he can have him physically assaulted. The words “beaten up” and “broken ribs” are said to you…
    BORIS JOHNSON: Yes.
    EDDIE MAIR: …and you, having heard that, you tell your friend, Darius Guppy, you will supply the address. What does that say about you Boris Johnson? 
    BORIS JOHNSON: (over) Well I … 
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Aren’t you in fact, making up quotes, lying to your party leader, wanting to be part of someone being physically assaulted? You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, Eddie, I think of all three things I would dispute …
    EDDIE MAIR: You don’t factually dispute them.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well I do. And I can, you know, if we had a long time, which we don’t, I could explain that I think all three interpretations you’re putting on those things aren’t wholly fair. And certainly, the final thing which you raise, which is the case of my old friend Darius, yes, it was certainly true that he was in a bit of state and I did humour him in a long phone conversation, from which absolutely nothing eventuated and… you know, there you go. But I think if any of us had our phone conversations bugged, they might, you know, people say all sorts of fantastical things whist they’re talking to their friends.
    EDDIE MAIR: But even Conrad Black, your friend. Convicted fraudster, even he says he doesn’t trust you completely. 
    BORIS JOHNSON: I hadn’t seen that Conrad had said that, but obviously, you know, nonetheless I have got a great admiration for Conrad who in my view is a pretty good journalist and a pretty good proprietor.
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Now, if you dispute some of these things, you can be absolutely direct and honest and straightforward with me. Whenever you’re asked about Prime Minister and goodness knows, Michael Cockerill had a go, you obfuscate, well, I want to be a pop star, I want to be painter, I want to do all of those things. But you never actually say … (interjection) …. I want it clearly, plain as a pike staff, of course like many politicians you want to be Prime Minister. Why don’t you do just say the words? What’s the problem?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, if I may, permission to obfuscate. 7
    EDDIE MAIR: Oh, please don’t.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Can I just go back to what I said before, which is… 
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) No, don’t repeat yourself. The documentary is full of people, your sister for example gives a blistering performance, who talk about your ambitions. Your father even suggests they could change the rules so you could party leader and Prime Minister, but you, the words will not cross your lips. Why not?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Because it’s not going to happen …
    EDDIE MAIR: No, no. But it’s about your desire, not whether it’s going to happen.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well I’ll tell you what I want… 
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) You’re not going to land on the moon either. But do you want to be Prime Minister. Say it.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Well, all I want is for David Cameron to win this election,which he deserves to do.
    EDDIE MAIR: Do you want to be Prime Minister?
    BORIS JOHNSON: I want to do everything I possibly can to help, and in those circumstances it is completely nonsensical for me to indulge you know this increasingly… hysterical…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) You could end it all just by saying what you know to be true.
    BORIS JOHNSON: What, that I don’t want to?
    EDDIE MAIR: That you want to be Prime Minister.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Oh, come on. Look, what I want is to spend the next – my time remaining as Mayor to do as well as I can as Mayor of London. I’ve got three and a bit years to go…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) What should the viewers make of your inability to give a straight answer to a straight question?
    BORIS JOHNSON: I think people would rightly conclude that I don’t want to talk about this subject because I want to talk about what I think should happen, which is the government deserves to win the next election and indeed I think it’s a measure of the triviality of politics, that I thought I was coming on to talk about the budget and housing in London, and, you know, you’ve – I mean, I don’t mind all these questions about this other stuff, but I think it is more important that we look at the things that are happening now in the economy and we look at what the government is doing to help. And by the way the reason I want David Cameron to win and the reason I don’t want Ed Milliband to win is because I’m genuinely alarmed by some of the things the Labour Party is saying, and I strongly agree with what Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair have said about Labour, which is that I don’t think they’re offering anything approaching the right prospectus for the country. And so – look at the budget. Look at what… (interjection)
    EDDIE MAIR: We don’t have any time I’m afraid … 
    BORIS JOHNSON: What people want to know is – they don’t care about phone conversations with my friends twenty years ago, they don’t care some ludicrous, so-called made up quote, and what’s the third accusation? I can’t remember.
    EDDIE MAIR: Lying to Michael Howard.
    BORIS JOHNSON: Michael Howard! What they care about…
    EDDIE MAIR: Where is he now, eh?
    BORIS JOHNSON: Yeah, exactly. What they care about Eddie, is what is happening in the UK economy and who of the two parties has the best prospectus for recovery. I mean if you look at what George Osborne put forward this week – last week rather, in the budget, I think that is the way forward. I think it’s unbelievable that Labour, who’ve got absolutely nothing to say …
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) I hate to cut you off.
    BORIS JOHNSON: No, no, you’re not cutting me off. Labour have got nothing to say about how to help people on middle incomes who need their homes…
    EDDIE MAIR: (over) Are you going to watch it tomorrow?
    BORIS JOHNSON: No ,I’m certainly not, not after what you’ve told me. I’m not going to watch it.
    EDDIE MAIR: Boris Johnson, thank you.

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    NME Radio stopped broadcasting at midday on Monday, shortly before NME magazine owners IPC Media announced a decision to bring the station back in-house.

    The award-winning station was taken off air without warning, with current operator Town & Country Broadcasting saying its broadcasting licence would be returned to Ofcom, and that its branding licence with IPC had been terminated with immediate effect.
     
    NME Radio presenter Michelle Owen confirmed the decision on Twitter, saying: "To those asking, it's with sadness I inform you NME Radio is no longer on air. 
     
    "A massive thanks to the bands and artists who did sessions and chatted, thanks to you for listening to new and real music."
     
    Industry news website RadioToday.co.uk reported that the station's Facebook page, website and Twitter feed were also immediately taken offline.
     
    In a statement Martin Mumford, managing director of Town & Country Broadcasting, said "NME Radio isn’t part of Town and Country’s core media business in Wales," and that the company had decided to concentrate on other local stations.
     
    But IPC told Press Gazette it had actively taken the decision to return the radio station to its control, and that it would announce plans for a relaunch later this month.
     
    A spokesman for IPC said: “After almost three years of working with Town & Country Broadcasting on NME Radio we have decided to terminate the arrangement in order to focus our attention on developing new ways in which NME’s audience can engage with audio content... we look forward to unveiling exciting plans in the coming weeks."
     
    NME Radio was launched in 2008 by XFM's Sammy Jacob, and broadcast nationally on DAB, Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media platforms, along with occasional FM radio slots, until 2010, when Jacob's DX Media ended its licensing agreement with IPC. 
     
    Later that year Town & Country Broadcasting purchased the licence from IPC and relaunched the station on some regional DAB networks, along with Freesat and Sky. 
     
    Since the end of 2011 it had been broadcast through the NME website, iPhone app and across a limited number of regional DAB networks.
     
    On Tuesday IPC media announced the appointment of former NME section editor and BBC Radio One music reporter Greg Cochrane as the new editor of NME.com. Cochrane will replace Luke Lewis, who recently left to become editor of the newly launched BuzzFeed UK.

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    Tony Hall began work as the sixteenth BBC director general this morning, and is spending much of his first day speaking to staff about how to improve the corporation's reputation.

    Lord Hall, 62, was the only person contacted by the BBC to replace George Entwistle in November, having already narrowly missed out on the job in 1999 to Greg Dyke.

    Entwistle stepped down from the £450,000-a-year director general post after just 54 days in the wake of the Savile scandal and Lord McAlpine sexual abuse allegations.

    Lord Hall said the BBC was “learning lessons” from these “difficult times”.

    He said: "We are now winning back trust, something which will always be the most precious commodity for our organisation.” He added: "We must never take it for granted." 

    During his first week, Hall is going on a tour of the country to get views from BBC staff and viewers outside of London, according to The Daily Telegraph. He will listen to concerns and ideas on how to restore public faith in the BBC’s damaged reputation.

    Hall has already appointed former Labour Culture Secretary James Purnell as director of strategy and digital, but he still needs to find a new director of television and director of news. At the moment these roles are being temporarily filled by Roger Mosey and Fran Unsworth respectively.

    Having joined the BBC as a trainee in 1973, Hall became head of news and current affairs in 1996, and oversaw the launch of Radio 5 live, BBC News 24, the BBC News website and BBC Parliament.

    Restoring the BBC’s reputation is not Hall’s only challenge – he has to contend with low staff morale; fights with unions over job cuts, pay and rising work load; renegotiating the licence fee; and the upcoming royal charter renewal.

    The ongoing dispute over job cuts could see the the NUJ hold strikes timed to disrupt key events such as Wimbledon or the political party conferences. According to The Daily Telegraph, Hall has already rejected union calls for the BBC to renegotiate the current licence fee freeze

     


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    Torin Douglas leaves the BBC after 24 years as media correspondent next month and he told Press Gazette that he leaves the corporation at a time when morale is low.

    Douglas cited job cuts under the Delivering Quality First scheme and the Pollard Review, which “exposed real weaknesses”, as factors in making BBC staff “unhappy”.

    “The fact is, morale within the BBC is not good – particularly with the strikes and everything,” said Douglas, who has taken voluntary redundancy under the DQF scheme.

    “A lot of BBC staff are unhappy about the pay of their managers, the way the BBC is managed and so on.”

    Douglas is leaving the corporation on 31 May this year. He is not retiring and will continue to speak at events and to write.

    He said: “I’m not giving up work but I’m getting off the treadmill because in this job you are on call all the time if a big enough story breaks – they have no qualms about calling you and getting you on the air. So it will be nice, after 24 years, to get off that.”

    Talking about the challenge of covering his own employer, he said: “The BBC was always going to be a major part of the story. We’ve had phone-hacking, we’ve had Leveson, so obviously the press stuff has come back in to centre stage – in a way as it was when I started in 1990.

    “But the BBC is the one that keeps coming back, and it’s all about the BBC crises… There is always something to say about the BBC - partly because it’s publicly funded, but also because rival media have economic interest in the BBC being damaged.”

    Admitting that it was difficult for the BBC to "break" stories about itself, he said: "I don't mean we never break stories about the BBC – obviously we’ve done a lot over the years – but it’s not easy to break unconfirmed allegations...It sounds odd if you say, ‘the BBC has learnt that the BBC is going to do this’, or that ‘the BBC has done that’.

    “Once a story is moving then it is perfectly possible for the BBC to broadcast certain things about itself. But I wouldn’t look to the BBC for a big exposé about the BBC.”

    Asked whether the corporation covers its own affairs too much, Douglas said: “I do think there is a danger that the media are more interested in the media than the public at large.

    “It’s a difficult balance. If you don’t cover stories that are critical about yourself you could be accused of a cover-up – particularly if it’s being heavily covered in the newspapers.

    “But on the other hand you could say that you are obsessed with your own affairs.

    “Sometimes I think the BBC does give too much coverage to itself but I don’t think you’ll ever find the BBC covering its own affairs more than the newspapers are covering the BBC’s affairs.”


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    BBC Radio is launching a new apprenticeship scheme believed to be the first of its kind, which will focus on giving school leavers a chance to break into radio. 

    The two-year BBC Radio Journalism Apprenticeship will offer six candidates the opportunity to combine study at Lambeth College in London with work placements at the BBC radio production department. 
     
    The scheme will concentrate primarily on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service and will train the individuals in every aspect of radio journalism, from creating accurate and balanced reports, to writing for radio, the web, and social media.

    The apprenticeship is aimed at people who can demonstrate passion for radio rather than those with academic qualifications from University.
     
    Ruth Gardiner, acting controller of radio and music production, said: “We want to give people who do not have graduate experience but who listen to some of our programmes and who have a genuine interest in how such programmes are made the opportunity to join the department.
     
    “Apprenticeships are important because they help attract recruits from a wide range of backgrounds by offering the opportunity to earn while learning.”
     
    James Hardy, head of communications at BBC Radio, added: “Applicants will not be expected to have a great deal of technical proficiency and know-how, just a real passion for radio.”
     
    The apprenticeship has been developed in conjunction with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and at the end of the two-year period the six individuals should have all the skills to gain an Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism.

    Last year Press Gazette revealed the London Evening Standard and Independent titles would be taking part in the same NCTJ apprenticeship scheme. Managing editor Doug Wills said the titles were planning to take on three school leavers.
     
    Joanne Butcher, Chief Executive of the NCTJ, said: “The Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism is a brand new qualification developed by the NCTJ in partnership with leading employers.
     
    “It provides a new pathway into journalism careers, combining learning on the job and at college, and to the same exacting standards we expect from all NCTJ trainees.”
     
    The pilot apprenticeship and work placement will start in September 2013 and at the end of the two years, successful candidates can expect to be in with a chance of a job within BBC radio.
     
    Hardy said: “The hope is to offer the six successful candidates a job at the end of the scheme because there is no point spending all that time and effort training someone if you’re not going to take them on full-time. 
     
    “Of course in some cases it might not work out, but we would hope the qualification would help them to find a position elsewhere.” 

    The application process will open via the BBC Careers site on 6 May.

    Mark Silverman, Principal of Lambeth College, said: “We are delighted that we have the opportunity to launch the new Apprenticeship in Radio Journalism in partnership with the BBC Radio production department.”


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    Good news from the Loverson Inquiry

    It’s rather sweet really that an office romance has come out of the Leveson Inquiry.

    Loathsome perma-tanned counsel for the victims of press intrusion David Sherborne has somehow managed to win the heart of married counsel for the inquiry Carine Patry Hoskins.

    The Daily Mail is in a ferment of moral outrage over the affair, crying foul over how it could have compromised the process.

    The Sun played it for laughs by giving away “a FREE holiday for two romantic readers to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini.

    “And – just like Leveson lovebird lawyers David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins – you don’t have to be in a relationship before you step on the plane to paradise…”

    The pair insist that the romance only blossomed after the inquiry had finished. But Axegrinder doesn’t see why professionals on opposing sides of the fence can be romantically entangled.

    Remember, for instance, David Leigh who was news editor of the Daily Mirror when his wife Sue Thompson was news editor of The Sun.

    He once told Press Gazette: “We’d be on duty at weekends, bidding for the same stories – she’d be on the upstairs phone and I’d be on the downstairs one talking to our respective reporters. If she got the story I wouldn’t be best pleased and vice versa.”

    Middle-class revolt

    Torin Douglas, who has taken redundancy after 24 years as BBC media correspondent, once had to encounter middle-class revolt against proposals to radically change the Radio 4 longwave offering.

    Reminiscing on his 24 years, he said: “Perhaps the most surreal BBC story I ever covered was the protest march on Broadcasting House in the early 1990s when the BBC was planning to turn Radio 4 longwave into an all-news station – the one that eventually became Radio 5 Live.

    “The middle classes descended on Broadcasting House in droves, one Saturday afternoon – and you can still find my report in the BBC archive.

    “This was the politest march you have ever seen and heard.  

    “They were chanting: ‘What do we want? Radio 4.’    

    “‘Where do we want it? Longwave.’”  

    “‘What do we say? PLEASE.’”

    Reporting is the worst profession?

    Axegrinder has always taken the view that at least journalism is clean work indoors, but according to the US website CareerCast.com being a newspaper reporter is worst profession there is.

    It rated 200 jobs on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, stress and hiring outlook. And newspaper reporter came out worst.

    Reporting ranked some 50 places below being a janitor. Actuaries came out top.

    Tony Lee publisher of CareerCast.com said: “It’s been low for a while”, (last year the role of newspaper reporter was ranked 196 out of 200). “What probably pushed it to the bottom is that several things got worse – job prospects decreased, the average salary continued to fall, and work hours continued to rise. Those factors also make the job more stressful.”

    To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.


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