The battle between Britain’s newspapers is about to spill onto the streets of New York, as Associated Newspapers and Guardian News & Media both prepare to launch their first dedicated editorial operations in the city that never sleeps. Read more »
News Corporation has been forced to abandon plans for its eagerly anticipated digital news platform, part of the company’s so called ‘Project Alesia’ initiative, citing runaway costs.
As we revealed this morning, bean-counters at Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate have decided to pull the plug on the year-long activity when it was expected to be finalised. The decision is said to be absolute: this is not a delay, or grand standing or being placed on hold; this an entire, dedicated News Corp UK operation being dismantled just days before a product was due to go to market.
The Observer might be battling sluggish circulations since its revamp in February, down 21% year on year in last ABCs, but the Sunday paper is the undisputed leader when it comes to four-letter abuse and general swearing.
Much to the disgust of The Observer’s readers’ editor, Stephen Pritchard, up to the early August 2010, the Sunday paper has published 272 articles with the word “f*ck” and 13 using the word “c*nt”. [Belated apologies for those of you with a sensitive disposition, but you’re in the wrong business.]
In contrast, the Independent on Sunday ran 122 pieces containing “f*ck” and 10 “c*nt”, while the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph were both profanity-free, in accordance with their editorial guidelines.
Following the chart-topping performance, Pritchard takes some solace in the fact these figures nevertheless represent a vast improvement on the previous before, when The Observer turned the air blue by printing “f*ck” 293 times and “c*nt” 25.
The relative clean-up of the newspaper’s copy is one of the few positive side-effects of this year’s staff cull, which resulted in the closure of the three monthly magazines, Observer Woman, Sport Monthly and Music Monthly.
It would appear the paper still has some way to go to appease some of its less liberal contingent though. Pritchard himself admits: “…I have a visceral dislike of seeing these words in the pages of a newspaper that is read by all ages.
“I don’t go along with the argument that the Observer is a grown-up newspaper for grown-up people. Everything we write appears on the internet and is accessible, free, to anyone, whether they are nine or 90…
“I would far rather we adopted the policy of some of our rivals and expunged swearing entirely.”
Well quite Stephen. But before you get too green-eyed, do bear in mind that if you were working at rival News International, your content would be neither accessible or free, but rather hidden behind a paywall.
Coverage of the UK media business will be among the casualties of the upcoming restructure at The Observer in 2010.
As details of the cost-cutting drive at one of the country’s oldest national
newspapers start to emerge, it transpires the Business & Media section will
be folded into the main paper.
It will be a loss to the British media industry and signals a seismic change
for The Observer, which has had a separate Business section for more than 30 years. Read more »