THE BRITISH LIBRARY

The Newsroom

News about yesterday's news, and where news may be going

Introduction

Whether you are studying history, politics, society, international relations, economics, media history, sports history or family history, our collections will have something for you Read more

18 April 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 14

Add comment Comments (0)

Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.   

Dailymirror

Daily Mirror, 16 April 2014

The Mirror’s Crying Child Photo – Not All That it Seems: Ethical conumdrum and news image of the week was the Daily Mirror's hotly debated selection of an image of a crying child for a front page story on food parcels in Britain.  Blogger Dan Barker points out that the children isn't hungry (she was crying over an earthworm), she's American, and it was taken in 2009.

Pulitzer Prizes Awarded for Coverage of N.S.A. Secrets and Boston Bombing: Some would imprison them; others hand them garlands - The Washington Post and The Guardian have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their reports based on the National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, a year ago this week.

To the Snowden story system a crowning Pulitzer might have gone: No prizes should be awarded for the grammar in the title of Jay Rosen's article for his PressThink blog, but he argues that how the Snowden story was developed and shared internationally, outflanking national attempts to prevents its publication, is what merits a Pulitzer prize.

Tusrkey is a case study in the value of citizen journalists, thanks to the ones behind @140journos: Fascinating account by Mathew Ingram on how journalists use social media  in some countries when the traditional news media are perceieved to have failed - here the example of a citizien journalism initative in Turkey, crowdsourcing verification of poll results.

Appeals court says blogs are not only media, they're an important source of news and commentary: Mathew Ingram again, on the implications of a legal decision from a Florida court case on the status of blogs in a defamation case.

Digital journalism: we're still waiting for the third model of news publishing: Emily Bell asks what the recent launches in America of news sites such as Vox.com and the FiveThirtyEight mean for the development of the news media. 

Vox.com 's Melissa Bell: 'This is a chance to do journalism differently': Talking of which, Vox's co-founder Melissa Bell explains what the sites aims are, and what explanatory news (its special selling point) aims to achieve.

The IMPRESS Project's plans for press regulation: Journalism.co.uk reports on a crowdfunding initative to create a regulator for small regional and hyperlocal publishers.

 

Pathe Gazette's report on the evacuation from Dunkirk (1940), filmed by Charles Martin

British Pathé releases 85,000 film on YouTube: The British Pathé newsreel has released its entire archive of 3,500 hours of newsfilms 1896-1970 on YouTube. The films have all been available on the site www.britishpathe.com for twelve years, but this bold gesture should greatly increase their reach and profile.

A ... is for Advertising: The Newsroom blog gets its scond contributor, Jaimee McRoberts from the British Library's newspaper reference team, who kicks off an A-Z series on newspapers with Advertising.

The only way is ethics: Will Gore at The Independent is very interesting on the reporting of the Oscar Pistorious trial by the South African media, with its more permissive approach to what gets reported - and the different news imperatives between print and web news outlets.

Data journalism in Venezuela: Philip Smith at Media Shift tells how data journalism is developing in Venezuela, despite all of the hurdles:

... a visual history of violence in Venezuela; the relationship between Venezuela and Columbia in the trafficking of cocaine; analysis of various epidemics and outbreaks; live-tracking of how long ships sit in ports waiting to be unloaded of much-needed staples like sugar; an investigation into the paper shortage facing newspapers; a Twitter analysis of candidates in a recent election; and deep search into the network behind several Venezuelans who were charged in the U.S. for finance-related crimes, which was not well reported in Venezuela itself.

An enthusiastic, engrossing account.

Pickles pursues the wrong policy as people reject local newspapers: Thought-provoking piece from Roy Greenslade on the closure of a local paper (the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle), the supposed competition from the local council's free paper, and how demographics are as much of a theatre to local newspapers as rival news sources.

BBC is the most-shared news brand on Twitter: 96 million unique users in March 2014;  user figures up 26 per cent on the monthly average of 76 million; news stories shared 2.71 million times across the month on Twitter - the BBC website marches on, having celebrated its 20th anniversary last week. The Drum reports.

A print newspaper generated by robots: The Guardian has been experimenting with a limited edition printed newspaper - called #Open001 - that is produced by algorithms based on social-sharing activity. So the robots are gathering the stories, not writing them. Yet.

Well, this is hawkward: Hmm, how good are robots at spotting humour? Press Gazette gleefully reports how The Guardian was fooled by a Vatican April Fool's Day story (about hiring a hawk to protect the Pope's doves).

14 April 2014

A is for… Advertising

Add comment Comments (0)

Today’s blog post marks the start of an eclectic A-Z of Newspapers which we hope you will find to be a stimulating if not invaluable resource. We begin with A for Advertising.

Advertising seems to be everywhere these days, and I personally cannot seem to go more than a few paces on my daily commute without coming across another advert. Whether it’s a poster, billboard, digital screen, projector, ticket barrier, or even a human with advertising strapped to their bodies or leaflets to hand out, there is an advert every couple of steps in some of our daily lives.

20120110_2302092
Just a photo taken during a small portion of my commute home

The history of advertising is as old as newspapers themselves: Jackson’s Oxford Journal, dated 5 January 1799, features a fantastic advertisement for lozenges (amongst others) – although whether or not the integrity of the benefits offered by the product is entirely true is up to the readers’ discretion.

Oxfordjournallozengeadvert
Oxford Journal, 5 January 1799. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Advertising has been essential to the success of newspapers as a whole, as the payment received for adverts allows them to employ their writing staff, editors, photographers, and for the actual physical publication itself, including all of the printing costs. Investigative journalism, which can impact on a papers readership, is especially made possible by these funds. This is why many feel that print newspapers will continue for a while yet, instead of being superseded by news blogs.

The evolution of advertising is dramatic, and the history of advertising in newspapers is no different. In the past, newspapers were dominated by advertisements, and it wasn’t until 6 May 1966 that The Times actually published news on the front page. Until then, the front page of every issue was solely devoted to advertising.

These days, most advertisements in newspapers are inserted on a portion of the page, rather than taking up the entire page (although there are some full-page and double-page advert spreads). Generally speaking, these adverts blend into the background, although occasionally there are some ad placements which seem to contradict an article that lead to a fair bit of amusement.

Enhanced-buzz-25317-1364477626-3
This crime duo may not be part of an advertisement but this image illustrates the inopportune layouts that some newspapers fall victim to. Image courtesy of BuzzFeed.

Advertisements today must adhere to certain regulations and are kept in line by regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Agency and the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Office of Fair Trading). Where advertisements are found to be misleading or promotions
are falsely advertised they can be investigated and made to change their advertisements or promotions, such as certain ‘free’ offers in certain national newspapers or misleading statements on products’ manufacturing location.

This wasn’t always the case and untruthful, boastful, and downright ridiculous adverts used to dominate the newspapers. Here are some of the more delightful examples I have come across:

These cigarettes are 'so safe, agreeable, and beneficial, as to be patronized extensively by the Medical Faculty of Paris. [...] The Diseases in which they have been hitherto employed and found so useful are, difficulty of Breathing, tightness of the Chest, Spasmodic Asthma, Catarrhs, Hoarseness, Sore Throats, Ear-aches, Rheumatism of the Jaws, and Tooth-Ache.'

Cigarettesad1
The Western Times, 29 May 1847. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Perhaps one should consider taking this ‘grand discovery’ after trialling the previous cigarettes, as ‘Dr. Kiesow's Elixir of Life’ advertises that ‘a sudden Indisposition, a disorder of the Digestion, is AT ONCE removed by A SINGLE SPOONFUL'.

Elixiroflife
Bucks Herald, 7 April 1860. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Could this be one of the first instances of modern-day ‘spam’?

Cigarettesad2
Yorkshire Evening Post, 15 August 1893. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

I guess I can skip next years’ flu shot, so long as I have plenty of hot beefy ‘power’ in my kitchen cupboards!

Bovril
Hull Daily Mail, 14 March 1935. Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Further Reading:
Dictionary of nineteenth-century journalism in Great Britain and Ireland edited by Laurel Brake & Marysa Demoor, 2009.
‘Advertisements’, p139-163, From Grub Street to Fleet Street by Bob Clarke, 2004.
A History of English Advertising by Blanche Beatrice Elliott, 1962.
Advertising in Britain: a history by T.R. Nevett, 1982.

11 April 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 13

Add comment Comments (0)

Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.  

Newsroom3April2014-13

The Newsroom

Opening day: So of course the British Library tops the week's news about news with the opening on April 7th of the Newsroom, its new reading room for news. Newspapers, television news, radio news and web news can now all be found in the one physical space - though for newspapers that means microfilm and digital for now, until the print papers become available again in the autumn. It all looks very beautiful - and has a lot more people in it than in this photo taken just before it opened.

Shift 2014: It's all been happening here this week, with Newsworks, the marketing body for UK national newspapers, holding its Shift 2014 conference at the British Library. The live blog of the event includes reactions to star turns such as the editors of The Guardian (Alan Rusbridger), The Independent (Amol Rajan) and The Telegraph (Jason Seiken) and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP. Jason Seiken's speech is here.

Here & Then: And there's more. The British Newspaper Archive, which provides digitised copies of British Library newspapers online, has issued a free iPhone app, Here & Then, with articles, images and adverts from the collection. Oh, and 135,000 pages were added to the BNA site in March.

What will yesterday’s news look like tomorrow?: Article of the week, by a mile. Adrienne LaFrance at Medium looks at the future of news archives, which focus on how they are catalogued and their data mapped for rediscovery in the future. "News organizations need to design archives that better mirror the experience of consuming news in real time, and reflect the idea that the fundamental nature of a story is ongoing".

The Press Freedom Issue: Contributoria, the community funded, collaborative journalism site, published a special issue on press freedom this month. Among the great articles available are Crowdfunding critical thought: How alternative finance builds alternative journalism, Court and council reporting - still a bedrock of local news?, Pirate journalism and The printing press created journalism. The Internet will destroy it. Read and learn.

News is still a man's world: A City University study reveals that male experts still outnumber female experts by a ratio of four to one on flagship radio and TV news programmes.

Has Thompson at the NYT given newspapers a new way to pull in extra cash and readers?: Mark Thompson, former BBC DG and now heading the New York Times, may have had a big idea - New York Times Premier, an added subscription to the online version of the newspaper, with additional content, offers (two free ebooks a month), even special crosswords. The Drum speculates.

Upvoting the news: long, engrossing article by Alex Leavitt for Medium on how news spreads across social media channels, with particular emphasis on Reddit.

The state of Egypt's news media: Al Jazeera's excellent news analysis programme The Listening Post looks at the "sorry state of journalism in Egypt".

Fracking

A sample 'card' from Vox.com

Three good things about Ezra Klein’s new site Vox, plus three challenges that it faces: The much-hyped Vox.com site, with celebrity news blogger Ezra Klein, launched on April 6th. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom says what he likes (especially the user-friendly 'cards' with background information to stories) then wonders how it will thrive.

Bristol Post editor baffled by fact that front page gay kiss costs thousands of sales: Press Gazette reports on what happened when Bristol Post editor Mike Norton decided to put same-sex marriage on his paper's front page.

'Video-checking' the Clegg and Farage debate: Fact-checking videos - where videos of speeches are analysed to see whether or not the statements made stand up - have been popularised by The Washington Post's Truth Teller. Now the fact-checking organisation Full Fact have done the same for LBC's Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage debate.

Peaches Geldof – was the coverage by newspapers, and TV, over the top?: Roy Greenslade ponders on what would have been proptionate news coverage for the sad death of Peaches Geldof.

More UGC, fewer photographers – and no paywalls:  Editors set out visions of future: Hold the Front Page reports on the Society of Editors Regional Conference, where likely changes to the regional newspaper world were set out: user-generated content, smaller offices, cover price rises,  no staff photographers, and no paywalls.

One easy, transparent way of making accuracy visible: open sourcing: George Brock argues that the way for news providers to build up trust is through links to source material - footnotes, sort of, though he prefers the term open sourcing. 

How some journalists are using anonymous secret-sharing apps: Using apps like Whisper and Secret to turn rumour into news.

We need to talk: Raju Narisetti, senior vice president of strategy at News Corp, poses 26 questions to ask news organisations about the move to digital. Fascinating insight into a business in transition.