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Diminishing trust in photographs

Readers are losing their trust in photographs now that Photoshop has made manipulation so easy. Each time another case of comes to light that trust weakens further.

A rather nasty example of image manipulation emerged this week in Florida where El Nuevo Herald put together two pictures to give the impression of police standing by chatting, and ignoring prostitutes who were soliciting a tourist for business in Cuba. The superimposed headline read (in translation) “Hookers, the sad meat of the dollar”.

The Miami paper, stable-mate of the Miami Herald and recently taken over my the McClatcy Company as part of its purchase of the Knight Ridder group, put together two pictures, one by a staff photographer and the other from AP.

The manipulation came to light in a story in The Miami New Times which said the picture “pushed an anti-Castro agenda” in the newspaper. It also claimed that a veteran photographer on El Nuevo who objected was over-ruled, a allegation denied by the Spanish language paper.

Andrés Reynaldo, editor of the section in which the picture appeared, has responded: “Our intention was to make a photographic montage from various sources. We have made two errors: the graphic treatment did not fully meet the intention and we did not publish an appropriate credit.”

The question remains of why anyone in a newspaper offices should think such manipulation, with its political overtones, should be acceptable and why it got through to the presses. (via Romenesko)

Connected world is moving in Reuters direction, says CEO Glocer

Tom Glocer, CEO of Reuters, was brimming with confidence yesterday at the analysts briefing on the interim figures which showed first-half revenue up by 9% at £1.28 billion.

Reuters believes the internet revolution will only do it good, in contrast with the print and broadcast businesses which are filled with gloom over declining audiences and the migration of advertising.

He told the analysts: ” …the world is moving in our direction: in short, because Reuters was built 155 years ago for an always-on, connected world. We have always lived on a 24 hour rolling clock. We have never had to stop the news to go to press.”

He gave them three reasons for buying Returers shares:

  • First, because of the huge transformation we have made to date (and our determination to see it through), which will continue to bear fruit in terms of better products, better service and greater efficiencies.
  • Second is because our Core Plus strategy has identified the ‘sweet spots’ in the changing financial services and media markets and is moving Reuters to capitalise upon them.
  • And, third is because the world is changing in a way that makes Reuters unique assets more valuable than ever.”

What many in the media industry see as threats, Glocer saw as opportunities, saying:

In Media, the advent of user-generated content plays to our long history of aggregation and customer contribution.
The cacophony of the blogosphere highlights the value of a trusted, no-spin brand.
The globalisation of the internet confirms the relevance of reporting in 19 languages and the convergence of broadcast television and the internet raises the value of our 24-hour multi-media publishing skills.

The transcript of the analysts briefing and the interim results are on the Reuters site. Well worth reading by those who are gloomy about the future of journalism.

Guardian’s Polly Toynbee banned from writing for mag

Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee has been banned by editor Alan Rusbridger from writing for a magazine which is said to compete with the paper’s profitable Society section.

According to the Press Gazette, Toynbee failed to ask permission to write a column for Third Sector, a Haymarket publication for charities and the voluntary sector.

Third Sector and the Guardian’s advertising-rich supplement both come out on Wednesdays.

Toynbee’s new column was only announced by Third Sector editor Peter Cardy on July 12. He said then: “Polly is already established as an outstanding commentator on the voluntary sector, with a rare ability to place its concerns in the wider context of politics and social policy.”

Yesterday, he told the Press Gazette: “I’m disappointed, particularly for our readers — people are very defensive about their own territories these days.”

Other Guardian people write regularly for other publications, so there would seem to be some particular sensitivity over Third Sector.

Guardian's Polly Toynbee banned from writing for mag

Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee has been banned by editor Alan Rusbridger from writing for a magazine which is said to compete with the paper’s profitable Society section.

According to the Press Gazette, Toynbee failed to ask permission to write a column for Third Sector, a Haymarket publication for charities and the voluntary sector.

Third Sector and the Guardian’s advertising-rich supplement both come out on Wednesdays.

Toynbee’s new column was only announced by Third Sector editor Peter Cardy on July 12. He said then: “Polly is already established as an outstanding commentator on the voluntary sector, with a rare ability to place its concerns in the wider context of politics and social policy.”

Yesterday, he told the Press Gazette: “I’m disappointed, particularly for our readers — people are very defensive about their own territories these days.”

Other Guardian people write regularly for other publications, so there would seem to be some particular sensitivity over Third Sector.

IFJ calls for more and better reporting of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is not getting the coverage the story deserves, according to International Federation of Journalists president Christopher Warren. He was speaking at an IFJ Afrrca-Asia cross regional meeting on the reportin of HIV/AIDS in Phnom Penh at which a research report was released. Warren said:

By increasing the quality and quantity of news reports on HIV/AIDS – particularly in the broadcast and regional media – we can significantly slow the transmission of HIV. Simply put, more accurate and balanced information about prevention and transmission of HIV in the news media will save lives.

The report found that despite low levels of literacy among the populations most at risk there was greater coverage in print media than in broadcast media. They also found sensational and derogatory reporting, although coverage of orphans tended to be sympathetic.

It also calls for a sustained training programme for journalists.

B2B spend moves away from magazines

The decline in print media is underlined by a quote from David Levin, chief executive of the business-to-business giant United Business Media, who said: “We are not in anyway fixated against print but the trend in revenues is against it.” (via Guardian)

UBM‘s B2B magazines include Music Week, Travel Trade Gazette and Farmers’ Guardian in the UK. In the US it is the largest B2B media business concentrating on global technology industry. The group also includes PR Newswire and a string of specialist websites as well as exhibitions.

The first half statement issued yesterday says: “We continue to see some customers allocating more of their spend towards online and events. Print performance is in line with established trends, with volumes trending down.”

In a period of acquisitions and disposals the group’s revenue was up by 25% to £393.3 million while operating profit was up by a similar percentage at £82.3 million. Turnover on print shrank by 4%.

Orkla deal advances Montgomery’s pan-European newspaper group dream

Interesting times are ahead in the Norwegian and Danish media following the delayed confirmation this morning that David Montgomery’s Mecom group has finalised the deal to buy Orkla Media.

Montgomery sees the deal as the next step in building a pan-European newspaper publishing business. He has already bought newspapers in Germany becoming the first foreign owner of daily newspapers there.

There have been fireworks at the Berliner Zeitung where the editor was suddenly replaced by the editor tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost. In Norway journalists have been concerned about the culture of their journalism as Norwegian blogger Kristine Lowe wrote. There is also rivalry between Orkla’s Norwegian and Danish papers.

After a press conference to announce the deal last week was postponed there were rumours that Montgomery was having difficulty putting together the finance.

In the event, Mecom will pay £481 million of the £647 price in cash. The remainder will be made up of £73 million in Mecom shares and a loan note for £93 million from Orkla.

This gives Orkla a 20% share in Mecom which would rise if the loan is not repaid within two years and is converted into shares.

Orkla deal advances Montgomery's pan-European newspaper group dream

Interesting times are ahead in the Norwegian and Danish media following the delayed confirmation this morning that David Montgomery’s Mecom group has finalised the deal to buy Orkla Media.

Montgomery sees the deal as the next step in building a pan-European newspaper publishing business. He has already bought newspapers in Germany becoming the first foreign owner of daily newspapers there.

There have been fireworks at the Berliner Zeitung where the editor was suddenly replaced by the editor tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost. In Norway journalists have been concerned about the culture of their journalism as Norwegian blogger Kristine Lowe wrote. There is also rivalry between Orkla’s Norwegian and Danish papers.

After a press conference to announce the deal last week was postponed there were rumours that Montgomery was having difficulty putting together the finance.

In the event, Mecom will pay £481 million of the £647 price in cash. The remainder will be made up of £73 million in Mecom shares and a loan note for £93 million from Orkla.

This gives Orkla a 20% share in Mecom which would rise if the loan is not repaid within two years and is converted into shares.