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Journalism Weekly – After 9 years, Jaspan returns to UK armed with 10,000 boffins

By Press Gazette

Top stories in this week's Press Gazette – Journalism Weekly (click links to read the stories in full):

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After 9 years, Jaspan returns to UK armed with 10,000 boffins

Nine years after leaving the UK, former Sunday Herald editor Andrew Jaspan has returned with an ambitious scheme to turn 10,000 academics into an army of specialist contributors.

The Conversation launched in Australia two years ago and already claims to be the number one independent news website Down Under.

“We are a source of free content for websites to use. In Australia it is used everywhere – it’s like a Reuters or a PA service.  It’s also become an ideas-portal for journalists and a source of new ideas and talent.”

3 Eight subs could go as Newsquest plans hub move

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Newsquest is set to slash its sub-editor team in Wales and Gloucestershire as it introduces a single copy editing hub.

In a memo to affected staff this week, Newsquest said the new system “will provide a more streamlined workflow for the production of pages, along with direct interfaces with our digital platforms".

4 Business and technology site to launch print edition

A B2B publisher has launched a new technology and business title with a print version promised for the autumn.

“We believe there hasn’t been a tech title looking at it from a business point of view like this before.

“What we have found from our research is that there are a lot of people out there who are looking for a print magazine to keep up to date on the technology business.”

Loaded sister title axed after 9 issues

Lads’ magazine Zip, sister to Loaded, has ceased print publication after nine issues.

“The ability to break stories quickly to a digital audience is something the printed edition could never achieve.

“Now is the right time to focus on the digital market where the real reader and advertiser action is.”

6 The Conversation gives academics the chance to take on media distortion

It’s a long-standing beef from academics that the media distorts and over-simplifes their research.

New website The Conversation, seeks to tackle this by turning the boffins into journalists themselves.

“People ask how we have managed to this so quickly – there has been no spend at all on above the line advertising, it has all been social media.”

8 Independent on Sunday editor vows to keep title ‘distinct’ amid integration

Newly appointed Independent on Sunday editor Lisa Markwell has pledged to maintain the paper’s independence amid moves to integrate all three Evegeny Lebedev-owned national titles.

“In these times of austerity I don’t have an open cheque book but what’s fantastic about it is I know all the journalists here and how fantastic they are.”

9 Saudi cleric sues Guardian over ‘extremist’ claim

A Saudi cleric is suing The Guardian for unlimited damages claiming the paper has wrongly suggested he is an “extremist” sympathetic to al-Qaida.

The claim form said it was “understood to mean that… [Shathri] is an extremist, hard-line cleric and is therefore supportive of or sympthetic towards the fundamentalist beliefs and activities of reactionaries such as al-Qaida, the well-known terrorist organisation active in the Arabic region”.

10 Auto Trader’s move to digital-only could provide blueprint for other titles

At the height of its powers, Auto Trader magazine had a circulation of almost 400,000 and was sold in 15,000 shops across the country. In the 1980s it was one of the UK’s top five selling magazines.

Skip forward a few decades to last week and this once mighty beast of the magazine jungle announced that it was to shut down its print operation and move online only.

As it feels like every week brings news of another print closure, Auto Trader’s decision surely just reflects the times – unhappy times for journalists still clinging to the last vestiges of the print era. But, the reality is that the car buyer’s bible’s move to digital could in fact provide a blueprint for other titles to follow.

12 The Press Barons’ Royal Charter offers more of the same

The idea of parliamentarians using an ancient device like a Royal Charter to provide recognition for any new press regulatory body set up by the publishing industry may have its charms, but it is a rather infantile response in an open parliamentary democracy where the public elect representatives to speak on their behalf.

In short, the industry’s version of the Charter offers ‘more of the same’, rather than a fresh approach to press regulation likely to find favour with the public. While not without its good points, the initial provenance of the Press Barons’ Charter is enough to ensure that any new regulator starting life under its purview will suffer the same credibility problems as the existing PCC.

14 Alex Ferguson’s press beatification was daft and over the top

When everyone else thinks one thing and you think the complete opposite, chances are they are right and you’re wrong.

Well, SubScribe is sorry, but last week our entire national press was out of step.

16 Why Catholic Church sex abuse story beat Savile documentary to Bafta

One of the big surprises at last week’s Bafta Awards was that Mark Williams-Thomas did not win the current affairs category for his ITV Exposure documentary on Jimmy Savile.

With two Royal Television Society awards under its belt – not to mention a subsequent police investigation and major BBC internal inquiry – the ITV programme was a firm favourite to claim the prize.

Williams-Thomas had originally been working on Newsnight’s investigation into Savile, which was  controversially shelved.

It is perhaps ironic then that his documentary lost out at the Baftas to another BBC investigation into child sex abuse, which the BBC gave its full support to. It first went onto the air in May 2012 – five months after Newsnight spiked its Savile programme, and five months before Williams-Thomas’s ITV documentary.

22 Axegrinder

LSE winds Right up; Party of one; Last chance saloon; Crick's identity crisis

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