Jason Seiken leaves the Telegraph
Thursday 2 April, 2015 The Telegraph's editor-in-chief Jason Seiken is leaving the group, 18 months after being recruited to oversee editorial strategy.
In that time a number of long-serving journalists have left, including Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher who was sacked in January last year and is now deputy editor of the Mail.
While retaining his title and role as "chief content officer", Seiken had retreated from day-to-day editorial operations since last autumn, and chief executive Murdoch Maclennan said today: “We completely understand Jason’s regrettable decision to move on to new opportunities now that he has completed his work here."
In a message to staff this morning, Seiken said: “I’m proud of how the Telegraph has become a digital leader, and I’m gratified that the Telegraph has seen such a large growth in its digital audience."
Figures released by the National Readership Survey in February suggest that the Telegraph had a digital audience of more than 12m last year, and a total readership in print, tablet and online of 16.37m, behind the Mail and Mirror and just ahead of the Guardian.
Victory for Guardian on prince's letters
Thursday 26 March, 2015 The Supreme Court has ruled that letters from the Prince of Wales to the Blair Government should be released and told the Attorney General that he cannot overturn court decisions just because he disagrees with them.
The Guardian submitted a freedom of information request to see the "black spider" letters - believed to be about the environment, architecture and GM crops - ten years ago, but had been thwarted at every turn until the Appeal Court ruled in its favour last year.
Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, then issued a certificate vetoing the release.
But in the 5-2 majority Supreme Court ruling today, Judge Neuberger says that the law did not allow him to override a tribunal or court decision "merely because he, a member of the executive, considering the same facts and arguments, takes a different view". He continues: "This would be unique in the laws of the United Kingdom and would cut across two constitutional principles which are fundamental components of the rule of law, namely that a decision of a court is binding between the parties and cannot be set aside, and that decisions and actions of the executive are reviewable by the courts, and not vice versa."
Clarence House and the Prime Minister said that they were disappointed.
See the full judgment here.
See the Guardian live feed, reaction and and background links here
Kath Viner named as new Guardian editor
Friday 20 March Katharine Viner is to take over as editor-in-chief of the Guardian when Alan Rusbridger steps down in the summer.
Viner, the 44-year-old head of Guardian US, beat 25 other candidates to secure the job, and was the overwhelming choice of the paper's staff in the hustings last month. Announcing the appointment today Liz Forgan, outgoing chair of the Scott Trust, said: “Kath shone through in what was a tremendously strong line-up of candidates. In her 18 years at the Guardian she has done almost every editorial job in the organisation, including running Guardian US and Guardian Australia, and has shown herself to be an inspiring and courageous leader."
Viner said that to be editor-in-chief of the Guardian and Observer was an enormous privilege and responsibility: "I intend to lead a media organisation that is bold, challenging, open and engaging. It will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events".
See the Guardian's announcement here
Read Viner's vision for the digital age here
Trinity Mirror in talks to buy Express
Bar on civil servants talking to media
Wednesday 18 March Civil servants have been told that they may speak to the media only with the express permission of a minister under a new amendment to their code of conduct. The code says that civil servants should be ready to spread official information when the Government says so, but that they must not "draw upon their experience" in public appearances without prior approval. They must also remain silent on confidential matters after leaving the service.
The change comes on the day that Theresa May said that police and civil servants should be freed from the bounds of the Official Secrets Act in giving evidence to the Westminster child abuse inquiry.
The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the code had been changed to clarify the existing position and a Civil Service spokesman said that it would not affect whistleblowers' rights, which were protected by law. The FDA Civil Service union said a blanket ban was an unnecessary, unworkable and unjustified restriction on civil servants' work.
Viner is staff choice to edit the Guardian
Thursday 5 March Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief of Guardian US, is the overwhelming favourite of Guardian and Observer staff to succeed Alan Rusbridger as Guardian editor in June. She won 53% of first-choice votes in the staff ballot with a total of 438, more than double that of her nearest rival Emily Bell, who polled 188. Janine Gibson was third on 175, while Wolfgang Blau managed only 29 votes.
Viner's win earns her an automatic place on a shortlist of three to go forward to the final interviews with the Scott Trust, which owns the paper. The new editor is expected to be named this month.
Wannabe editors line up to woo staff
Friday 13 February, 2015 Twenty-six people have applied to succeed Alan Rusridger as editor of the Guardian and these four have put themselves forward for the staff hustings to be held at the newspaper's offices on February 25. Candidates do not have to submit themselves to the staff ballot, but the winner of the poll is guaranteed a place on the shortlist. Janine Gibson is editor of theguardian.com; Emily Bell is director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and a non-executive director of Guardian owner the Scott Trust; Wolfgang Blau is director of digital strategy and Katharine Viner editor-in-chief of Guardian US.
Alan Rusbridger was the overwhelming choice of the staff when the last such ballot was held in 1995 and, as we know, he also received the backing of the Scott Trust. Read more from the Guardian here
Dacre's pay hits £2.4m
Paul Dacre's pay package grew by nearly a quarter this year to just over £2.4m, including a £1m bonus on top of his £1.38m salary. The Mail editor also received £38,000 in taxable perks, including his company car and health insurance.
Dacre, 66, had been on a rolling one-year contract since agreeing to stay beyond the DMGT's normal retirement age six years ago. He is now moving to a new pay structure tied to the performance of the business, which will put his incentives in line with other directors. Under the previous contract he would have been entitled to a 5% pay rise and a bonus of at least £500,000. Now, if he achieves set targets, he could receive up to 70% of his basic salary in bonuses. Dacre's basic salary rose by 3% in October, so his 2015 income could reach £2.42m plus benefits. Read the details here (22/12/14)
The Sun is increasing its weekend cover price to 70p on Saturdays and £1 on Sundays. News UK is promising further investment in its printed newspapers, including "enhancements" and expanded sections for the Sun soon (12/03/15)
The i cover price rose to 40p today, putting it in line with the Sun and Daily Star. It is the second increase within a year - last February the paper went up from 20p to 30p. The Saturday paper now costs 50p. (23/02/15)
Jonathan Hall, a former HMRC press officer, has been given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for selling information to the Sun's former Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley for more than £17,000. He was also given a 200-hour community service order and ordered to pay £535 costs. Judge Rook told him at the Old Bailey that he was not jailing Hall because he had waited 32 months to learn his punishment since pleading guilty in August 2013. Hartley and Hall's girlfriend Marta Bukarewicz were cleared of the same charge last year. (09/02/15)
Read more on the Hall sentencing hearing here
Heidi Blake, who picked up three titles at Press Gazette's British Journalism Awards last month, is leaving the Sunday Times Insight team to become investigations editor at Buzzfeed UK. She will report to the US-based investigations and projects editor Mark Schoofs, who described her as one of the best investigative journalists anywhere and a natural leader who would build a powerhouse.
Andrew Miller is to step down as Guardian Media Group chief executive in June - as editor Alan Rusbridger moves to succeed Liz Forgan as chair of owners the Scott Trust. Miller's five years in charge have seen Guardian and Observer losses cut from £171m to £30m. The sale of GMG's majority stake in Auto Trader secured the papers' future and earned him a £1.4m bonus.(29/01/15)
Former editor goes freelance
Chris Blackhurst is leaving the Independent and London Evening Standard group after five months as head of business. Blackhurst, who was Independent editor until July, said he wanted to broaden his horizons. He is to concentrate on writing and will continue to contribute to the papers. His departure comes as more jobs go at the Standard in a new round of cost-cutting. (16/01/15)
Fake Sheikh case abandoned
The CPS has dropped another case arising from an investigation by "Fake Sheikh" Mazher Mahmood. It said it had decided not to prosecute 13 Football League players suspected of match fixing "in the light of events" in the trial of Tulisa Contostavlos, which was halted because the judge suspected the reporter of lying. The football story appeared in the Sun in 2013. (16/01/15)
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