Archive for the ‘journalisted’ tag
This post was first published on mediastandardstrust.org on 6th December 2010
It is a curious thing. British national newspaper editors have the power to choose what should be read by over 10 million people in Britain everyday (in print, many more eyeballs online), have the ability to influence public policy, and are regularly invited to meetings at Downing Street and Chequers.
Yet we know very little about them. If you Google the names of the editors of the Daily Telegraph (Tony Gallagher), the Daily Mirror (Richard Wallace), the Daily Star (Dawn Neesom) and the Sunday Times (John Witherow), you will find hardly any information online. Tony Gallagher is remarkably invisible on the net given that over 600,000 people rely on his editorial judgment every weekday morning.
This relative invisibility seems inconsistent with the power these editors wield. So journalisted.com thought it would have a go at making them a little less invisible.
From today www.journalisted.com (run by the Media Standards Trust) is publishing profiles of each of the national newspaper editors. These profiles contain basic biographical details like education and employment (where they are available), articles and books written by the editor, awards won, and professional contact details. The profiles also link to other sites that have biographical information, interviews or speeches given by the editor.
These are works-in-progress, and as you’ll see from some of the profiles, the information in the public domain is very sparse. So we’ll keep adding to them, and appealing to people to send us more information to fill in the many gaps (if you know of any please email us). Equally, if you are a national newspaper editor and you’re reading this, you’re welcome to claim your profile and add further information to it.
A few interesting things we’ve uncovered to date:
- Dominic Mohan (The Sun), Gareth Morgan (Daily Star Sunday), Martin Townsend (Sunday Express), and Richard Wallace (Daily Mirror) were all showbiz/celeb gossip editors at one stage in their careers before becoming editors
- Tina Weaver, Ian MacGregor, Dominic Mohan, and John Witherow have no publicly available email address where their readers can contact them, not even ‘email@example.com’ or equivalent
- Gareth Morgan (Daily Star Sunday) studied physics and used to be a rocket scientist for British Aerospace
- Colin Myler (News of the World) changed career in 1996-8 by becoming Chief Executive of the Super League Europe
- Lionel Barber is fluent in French, German and Russian
- Alan Rusbridger is, in addition to being editor of The Guardian, chairman of the National Youth Orchestra, visiting Professor of history at Queen Mary (despite having studied English at university) and writes children’s books
- James Harding (The Times) has lived in Japan as a speechwriter for politician Koichi Kato (Democratic Party of Japan), and also in China as a correspondent
There is still lots more to add. We plan to put up a list of the awards won by each newspaper under the editor, and the formal complaints made about each newspaper while under the current editor (i.e. via the PCC).
Though our budget for telling people about the new journalisted.com is close to non-existent, we have managed to squeeze enough out to become the proud patron of Tobias Grubbe, an 18th century jobbing journalist, the creation of the uber-talented illustrator Matt Buck and writer Michael Cross.
Grubbe will be expressing his opinions about the election on The Guardian website from Monday 12th to the election (and a bit after). He has also become an honorary member of journalisted.com, joining over 18,000 of his colleagues.
You might notice that Tobias’s 18th century London bears striking parallels with the capital today, particularly in terms of the venality of its politics and the cut throat coffee house culture of its writers.
Any resemblance between the murky, mired media world of Tobias Grubbe and our contemporary situation is entirely deliberate.
We are honour’d to be supporting him and wish him well.
You can follow Tobias Grubbe’s progress on his journalisted profile.
A few days ago we released a new version of journalisted.com.
We discovered that, for a lot of journalists, their journalisted profile is becoming a bit like an online CV, so we wanted to give each journalist an opportunity to add stuff to his/her own page. Stuff like:
Articles from publications we don’t cover
Journalisted automatically adds all articles published in the national press or on the BBC to a journalist’s profile. But many journalists have written articles for other publications. We can’t find everything a journalist has written, so we figured it was much better to let people put up articles themselves
If you’re on journalisted you can now also indicate where you’ve worked, what qualifications you have, what books you’ve written, and what awards you’ve won (e.g. see Graham Norwood’s profile)
… and links to your blog, your website, your Wikipedia page, etc.…
You can also put up your email address, your twitter name, your phone number, and – if you want – your correspondence address (and edit them if they change)
Journalists you admire
You can even link to other journalists you admire… because recommendations make the web go round and give everyone something to talk about
More information gives the rest of us more to go on
Of course, giving journalists the opportunity to add information has significant benefit for the rest of us too. It gives us more context, more background, and a better indication of where the journalist is coming from. It should take us closer to our aim, to help people answer the question; ‘how do I know this journalist knows what they’re talking about?’.
If a journalist is commenting on global warming it can be helpful, for example, to know if they have a background in science, if they’ve won any awards in science journalism, and if they’ve written any books about global warming.
It also means if you want to contact a journalist – to follow up on a story or offer them employment – say – then you’ve got all their details.
Even though we’re yet to do any marketing of the new site, over 75 journalists have already claimed their profile, and the number is growing every day (for example, see Michael Hewitt’s profile, or Lisa Kjellson, or Bertan Budak or Michel Rose).
If you are featured on journalisted.com and would like to claim your profile, you can find your page by searching here. If you’re a journalist but not yet featured on journalisted, fear not – within the next few weeks we’ll be enabling any journalist to create their own profile, and add links to their work.
If you like journalisted and want to express your appreciation by making a donation to its upkeep (journalisted.com is free and funded by donations and foundations to the Media Standards Trust) we’d be most grateful.
Hooray! We’ve just launched a *new, improved, fresh faced Journalisted (www.journalisted.com)*. Apart from looking cleaner and more well scrubbed, we’ve added a bunch of stuff to the new site to make it – we hope – that much more useful:
- *Compare journalists who write similar articles*. Our clever semantic search tool compares the articles of all national news journalists and identifies journalists who write stories about similar subjects. Andrew Grice (The Independent), Andrew Sparrow (The Guardian), and Andrew Porter (The Daily Telegraph) – for example – as well as sharing the same first name, also all write about Westminster politics. Richard Littlejohn, Peter McKay, Peter Oborne, Macer Hall and others all tend to write trenchant pieces on the government and Gordon Brown. Charlie Brooker, who writes a TV and a feature column, pens pieces similar to Anna Pickard and Sam Wollaston (the TV ones) but also Paul Carr and Hugo Rifkind (the technology and features types stuff). It gets even more fun if you do one degree of separation but that’s for those with far too much time on their hands
- *Read similar articles by other journalists*. Click on an article and you can not only see people who are blogging about it or commenting on it, but read similar articles by other journalists. This is meant to help in three ways: (1) You can compare facts – e.g. on swine flu cases, on political revelations, crime etc (2) You can compare opinions – about books, people or politics, (3) You can see who is churning out press releases (because their articles will bear a remarkable similarity to wire copy in other papers)
- *Link to more biographical info*. We’ve made it alot easier for journalists – and the public – to send us more links to Wikipedia pages, Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts, you name it. And we’re going to encourage people to send links to prizes won, books written etc.
- *Articles from other publications*. The old site only covered the national press and the BBC. Though we don’t automatically add any additional articles on the new site journalists can now send us articles published in other publications – to better represent their output
There’s some more new stuff – and alot more in the pipeline – but I’ll let you find that for yourself.
If you’ve got any thoughts on how we can make the site better – or if you find any glitches we haven’t spotted – please let me know (by commenting here or emailing me at martin DOT moore AT mediastandardstrust DOT org).