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  • seandodson 3:19 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guardian, guardian local, ,   

    Sad news about The Guardian pulling its local projects. We had John Baron
    @johncbaron over of Guardian Leeds at Leeds Met only last week and he was full of good ideas about how big media could re-engage with a city like Leeds

    • Mr Dyas 3:23 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That’s bad news. A backward step.

      • seandodson 12:04 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I agree. There was a time when the Guardian had not just a Leeds-based correspondent, but ones in Sheffield and Manchester too. If you like it you could always pledge to save it

        • Mr Dyas 1:10 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink

          I don’t have that kind of money. I could just pledge to undercut John Baron and enlist the help of local journalism students to come up with a more economically viable option.

  • seandodson 1:11 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guardian, , , newspaper sales   

    ABC figures just in. The combined Independent (The Indy + i) is now outselling the Guardian.

    The Independent’s publishers – Lebedev Holdings – today trumpeted the figures as taking the combined daily print circulations of the Independent titles well above that of The Guardian. In a press statement they noted that the combined circulation of i and The Independent is now 358,227 versus The Guardian on 262,612.

  • seandodson 3:08 pm on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , guardian, , ,   

    Why Twitter matters for media organisations, by Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor (in 15 tweet-like points)

  • seandodson 8:01 pm on August 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guardian, ,   

    I really like Phil Gyford’s restructuring of the Guardian website (using the Guardian Open Platform). You read it online, but browse it like a newspaper, one page at a time.

  • seandodson 5:32 pm on January 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , guardian, guardian online, , , victor keegan   

    The Guardian’s technology supplement finally goes to the great online archive in the sky 

    Another break from blogging (this time to make way for the birth of our lovely daughter) which meant that I missed commenting on the passing of the Guardian’s Technology supplement in the week before Christmas. It was a sad day, for me, to see the paper section finally go offline, not least because it had been given my first big break in journalism. Without the section (pictured, right) I might never have enjoyed many of the opportunities to develop my journalistic career; might never have seen quite so much of the world; and, by extension, never have met my darling Anna one fateful day in Helsinki without the network of contacts the section gave me access to. It’s not the end of an era, but it is the passing of a part of my life that proved pivotal. It was, however, really sweet, or more accurately bittersweet, to be remembered in the final issue, mind. This following comment by the section’s last editor, Charles Arthur, unexpected as it was, made me giggle when I stumbled across it one morning in the university library:

    “Of the thousands of words that I’ve edited in Guardian Technology since November 2005, none has delighted me quite so much as the opening of Sean Dodson’s article in May 2006: “In 1824 an English bricklayer named Joseph Aspdin rediscovered one of the great secrets of the ancient world.” It has it all: mystery, storytelling, and most of all it’s about the sort of technology that you can drop on your foot. (Don’t quite recall what he rediscovered? Find out online).”

    The section will continue online and in different parts of the paper. But it will be missed. Thanks to Vic, Jack, Neil and Charles for all the help you gave me.

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    • Paul Anderson 5:58 pm on January 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That was an awesome intro, Sean! Happy new year and all the best to you and family. See you next month…

    • Neil McIntosh 7:33 pm on January 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Five very happy years of my career too, Sean. You wrote some lovely pieces for that section over the years – thanks for putting in a nice high-res image of the front page to let me take a closer look. Takes me right back to some glory days… I can almost remember writing the trails next to the masthead that week 🙂

  • seandodson 1:14 pm on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carter-ruck, guardian, injunction, paul farrelly, trafigura, ,   

    Defying yesterday’s ‘super injunction’ is a victory for the twittering classes 

    I’ve always thought that the libel lawyers Carter-Ruck sounded like a euphemism or, perhaps, a piece of forgotten cockney rhyming slang. Anyway, I’m delighted that they have dropped their attempt to prevent the British media from reporting on the proceedings of parliament. It is, in part, a victory for the chorus of twitterers that defied the ban yesterday. Only hours after the ruling was announced the full report as made available on Wikileaks and transmitted across the internet by hundreds of users of the microblogging site Twitter. Carter-Ruck, acting on behalf of the oil firm Trafigura, were attempting to prevent the Guardian reporting on a question tabled on Monday by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly.

    The rule of prior restraint has been gaining ground in recent years, despite misgivings from European Court of Human Rights, as judges seem more willing to allow last moment injunctions against the publication of exposes. But the kind of injunction used on Monday (a so-called super-injunction) not only prevents publication, but also makes the injunction itself secret. It is a type of censorship that recalls Apartheid-era South Africa, when newspaper editors were not allowed to leave pages blank or blacked-out when they had been censored by the government.

    Interviewed in the Guardian, Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, said:

    “The injunction against the Guardian publishing questions to ministers tabled by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly is an example of a chill wind blowing more widely through the press. In increasing numbers, aggressive lawyers, who used to use libel law to protect their clients, are now using injunctions to secure privacy and confidentiality. They have found it is a legal technique which shuts stories down very quickly so that now it is not a question of publish and be damned, as it used to be: we are now finding that we can’t even publish at all.”

  • seandodson 7:05 pm on March 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , future of newspapers, guardian, , , , polly toynbee   

    Future of newspapers is all about public trust 

    Really good piece by Polly Toynbee in this morning’s Guardian on what is to be done about failing local newspapers. The first paper who ever paid me (a fiver for a band review), The Holme Valley Express, went bust a couple of months back. Many others are in navigating similar straits. But maybe, just maybe, argues Toynbee, a new business model, one based on the idea of a public trust, could save local papers.

    “Bring in the money available from awful ITV local news. Add in some BBC money: their local news is shamingly bad too, partly because the area covered is too wide. Then oblige local councils to stop wasting money on their own Pravda sheets, and to buy space in clearly defined zones in their local news trusts. It might need a small subvention from council tax, too. Roll all this into a local trust with an obligation to good reporting, fair rules and open access, and you could have independent local news across web, print, radio and television offering a genuine community service. It is on the table.”

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  • seandodson 8:14 pm on July 5, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Charles Wheeler, guardian, , , obituary   

    Charles Wheeler: last of the great bureau chiefs 

    Lots has been written about the sad death of the great Charles Wheeler. I though John Tusa summed him up best in today’s Guardian:

    “Charles was the obverse of a puffed-up “personality journalist” – the kind of person who thinks his personal presence is our message. Charles was the last of the great BBC bureau chiefs, the journalists expected to lead the BBC’s coverage of a great subject – India, the US – and to do so with real knowledge and total authority. Listeners and viewers recognised that when he expressed a judgment, it was based on thought, knowledge, experience, and acquired information, not on prejudice or wish-fulfilment.”

  • seandodson 7:36 pm on May 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , guardian, hate laws, , , , , political correctness, , , racism, shane richmond, socrates, , Unite Against Fascism, user-generated content, Weyman Bennett   

    You might quote Socrates, but you can’t spell my name 

    If you’ve got nothing to hide, why hide behind an official spokesperson? If you believe in free speech, why not agree to a proper interview? The morning’s Media Guardian published an article I have been researching for the last few months. Headlined A Platform for Free Speech … or Hate, it examines the Telegraph’s attitude towards some of the more extremist views available on its readers blogs. My investigation has uncovered that the My Telegraph service is being used by members of the British National Party (BNP) to promote their nefarious views. I knew that I would attract a fair bit of heat from the article, as you can’t go around accusing a national newspaper of harbouring the views of the far right, albeit a vocal minority of them, and not expect it to bite back.

    So here goes. One of the card-carrying neo-fascists I mentioned in the article quoted Socrates in his defence (although he couldn’t actually spell my name correctly) on his blog. Many others from the far right called me, and the newspaper I often work for, a lot of nasty names. All as to be expected. Many of them, moreover, also accused me (apparently without reading my article as there comments were published before it was printed) that I was against free speech. I think it goes without saying that I’m not against freedom of speech. I just want to question whether a reputable and recognised brand like the Telegraph (a newspaper I’ve long admired) wants to allow members of the far right to use it as a platform to propagate their extremist views. Of course, it’s not me who is against free speech, but a party that routinely uses violence to support its views; who deny the holocaust and whose leader has been tried twice for incitement to racial hatred (although he did eventually get off). The BNP is also a party that, according to its own constitution, is “committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration.”

    I asked Weyman Bennett, national secretary of Unite Against Fascism what he thought of the free speech defence and whether the Telegraph should allow active members of the BNP to use the Telegraph to promote their views. He told me that the British National Party remain far from a legitimate organisation and that he “would assume that the Telegraph would be at pains to condemn the BNP. Instead they are allowing a fascist party to whip up racism and that it needs to recognise that it is not a benign organisation, but threat to anybody who believes in democracy.”

    The communities editor of the Telegraph, Shane Richmond, published a list of my questions on his blog on Friday without my consent. I took such an intrusion into our private correspondence in good humour, but I think it’s a bit rich of him to complain about freedom of speech when he refused both a face-to-face and telephone interview forcing me to send any questions I had via email and to conduct most of his comments over the internet and in public before even reading my article. So one that question again to Shane Richmond: if you’ve got nothing to hide, why hide behind your official spokesperson?

    • FYO 11:41 am on May 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps the Telegraph might want to comment on how advertisers feel about some of the posts published under its brand. Maybe a new strapline; ‘The Telegrapg – Proud To Be Associated with the BNP” might make things clearer for all?

      The same goes for many other poorly moderated sites across the country. Have a look at Newsquest sites for example and see just how reactive moderations works, or fails to work, in practice. One day someone will post something, say an allegation of paedophilia, with personal details, that leads to a serious incident. Will the T&Cs and “reasonable time” for removal of posts (assuming reported) be a suitable defence? Even if legally that stands up – debatable I’d imagine – what damage to the brand? Local news sites are arguably more dangerous – more easy for immediate physical reaction and moderation which as as good as invisible.

    • seandodson 3:32 pm on May 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Just received this email from a Mr G Greenwood:

      The obvious solution to newspapers intent of offering user-generated content (Platform for free speech … or hate? 19 May 08) is to require all correspondents, bloggers et al to use their real names. We’ve had enough time to test the concept of anonymous comment and it has failed. With rare exceptions most ‘comment’ represents the unleashed fury of people previously muted by the nature of their opinions or an inability the express themselves rationally and coherently. Now we’ve got a Babel seemingly enraged people shouting at the rest us from the cyber-shadows, able to express their often vile or banal opinions in national newspapers that now appear to equate their hard-earned authority with that of an obscure blog.

      By all means let people say what say think – but only after they’ve shown they’re prepared to put their name to their words

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