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Archive for the ‘salford’ tag

2013: What’s on the cards for media in the north


Starting the year with a look at what could be in store for the media in the north during 2013.

Picture from last month’s Bradford Animation Festival by the National Media Museum on Flickr.



Good news for Media City?
Of course it was too much to hope for. I had thought we might get all the way into the new year without a knocking story about Media City appearing in the nationals but then this arrived from The Telegraph.

Now I don’t have any problem with the investigation into costs – although I personally don’t see why a single penny needs to be paid out to persuade people to move north when there’s so much talent already here – it’s a fair enough question to ask on behalf of us licence fee payers.

But what I did find startling was the quote attributed to the Angie Bray, a Conservative member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee (bolding mine):

I can’t help feeling that Salford is an expensive box- ticking exercise. I absolutely understand that the BBC feels the need to demonstrate that they are not entirely London-centric but the fact is the programming from Salford is not as good and it is costing an awful lot of money.

Apart from showing a lack of understanding of long-term costs, where does the evidence for this ‘fact’ come from? How is the quality of programming gauged exactly? Whatever your view on the BBC’s new home, having MPs of any party making unexplained judgements of opinion on the quality of programming and presenting them as fact is something we should all be wary of.

Although I haven’t written so much about Media City recently, I remain an avid follower of all that happens there and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a little rush of pride when the announcers say ‘produced in Salford’ or ‘going over to our Salford studio’. Now the site itself looks more established, as well as the general public being more aware thanks to the regular credits, here’s hoping the knocking stage of its evolution is now over.

New look websites and apps for many northern newspapers
Trinity Mirror, which runs the websites for many big city titles including the Manchester Evening News and The Journal is rolling out a new look and new functionality after a launch in Birmingham in October. The new versions reportedly include built-in live blog technology, better presentation of picture galleries and video, and a new hyperlocal section called In Your Area – more on that here.

Meanwhile, Johnston Press gets app-y with titles including The Yorkshire Post, The Sheffield Star and The Sunderland Echo. Developed by Pagesuite Ltd, all 18 titles will also launch Android versions which will work on devices including the new Amazon Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.Alex Gubbay, Director Digital Platforms, said: “The range of more affordable tablet devices now available is expanding rapidly. Our new iPad and Android apps allow us to tap into this growing trend and learn how best to offer users the best from their local title in a more dynamic, convenient way.

The Skinny on its way to the north west
The crowded cultural sector of Manchester and Liverpool is just about to get even busier as Scottish publisher The Skinny prepares to set up shop. Currently seeking various editorial positions (including editor) the magazine will hope the independent stance which has made it a must-read for Edinburgh will travel across the border. Longtime followers of this blog might remember that we’ve been here before…….

High praise for north east weekly paper
The Teesdale Mercury, ‘the voice of Teesdale since 1854′, newspaper found itself in line for praise by MPs discussing the future of he local press. It reports that Helen Goodman, Shadow Minister for Media and Communications, said: “Notwithstanding whatever marvellous local newspapers honourable members have, none could be better than the inestimable Teesdale Mercury.”

All change for The Guardian in the north
The irrepressible Martin Wainwright is today replaced by new Northern Editor Helen Pidd who takes on the mammoth task of walking in the outgoing Northern editor’s shoes. As anyone who has had the pleasure of working with, or even just following his writing knows, Martin will be a hard act to follow as a tireless champion of the north against the increasing London-centricity of the national media. He writes more here:

For most of my time, and during my 37 years at the Guardian which will finish at the end of March, my method has been to get as much about the north into the paper as possible. In recent years, that has changed with the move to digital-first and the chance to try new ways of coverage such as the Northerner. I have loved this, as a way of using the resources of the north to describe and discuss the north; more than 200 people have contributed posts in the 22 months since we changed from a weekly email to daily blogging.

A fond farewell to Martin – and a warm welcome to Helen for 2013.


Written by sarahhartley

January 1st, 2013 at 10:12 am

BBC North job applicants, hires and paygrades

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This morning over at The Northerner I posted details from a recent Freedom of Information request which gives more infomation about the number of people applying for jobs and MediaCityUK, those who were hired and the paygrades in place at the new home of the Beeb in the north.

To provide further transparency, I’ve also published the full document below.

The data referred to is also available in spreadsheet form via my data store page. Please do drop me a line in the comments below if you use this data elsewhere.

[scribd id=78336085 key=key-1wghrfooctk7tdabx4gn mode=list]

Written by sarahhartley

January 16th, 2012 at 8:46 am

BBC’s move to Salford: ‘Limitless and long term opportunity’

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The impact the BBC’s move north will have on the region’s existing digital industry is something that hasn’t received much attention to date but an interview with Photolink‘s Craig Johnson giving a refreshingly upbeat view of what’s in store at the MediaCityUk development and calls on the naysayers to think again.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the region, and I’m disappointed in the doom mongers that say our digital talent will all migrate across to the BBC, leaving a staff and skills shortage so significant it’ll keep the region’s creative business owners awake at night.”

He continues: “Ok, so it may throw up some teething problems in the immediate term, but these are far outweighed by the limitless, long term opportunity that the BBC’s move up north presents. Yes, the talent could be able to command more money, and staff retention has the potential become a fierce competition, but business owners can address this now by putting longer-term incentives in place that are linked to the success of the business.”

Read the full interview here.

(Disclosure: Johnson is a former colleague when we worked at ManchesterOnline back in the day).

Written by sarahhartley

April 18th, 2011 at 8:48 am

BBC North bridge complete and other media moments from the week

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Bridge to BBC North complete
This afternoon came the announcement that the new Salford Quays bridge spans the Quays water from Trafford side to BBC North for the first time. See the webcam image capturing the moment here.

Navigating MediaCity
and talking of MediaCity there’s a special event on next week to consider the opportunities it will yield for businesses and individuals living and working across the north of England
Navigating MediaCityUK is on Thursday 2 December from 6pm-9pm at Waterside Arts Centre.Tickets are £10 and are available from Waterside Arts Centre box office on 0161 912 5616, 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday.
Further information and updates:

Happy fourth birthday, Techcelerate

The technology network that has brought together some of the digital technology with its investment and support community, celebrated four years of knowledge sharing onTuesday 23rd November.
Manoj Ranaweera, founder of Techcelerate said:

“When we held our first event in November 2006, I had no idea that it would turn into a thriving and trusted network for tech entrepreneurs and their companies. I was simply trying to find few tech entrepreneurs to learn from without having to travel to London often. Today our community is over 1850, made up of tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of technology companies, investors, deal makers and service providers all united to create an ecosystem for UK’s tech community. We are also trying to put the North West on the world’s tech map as a place to set up and grow global tech businesses.”

For further information about Techcelerate and its next event visit

Launch of Business Week
The new title from the MEN sounded like an opportunity for a new approach in the sector following the demise of Crain’s in the city. I was unable to get my hands on a print copy and so had a look online and found this digital edition. Commenters on HowDo have been typically forthright on both sides of the divide: For: “It’s a good product and congrats to the team for getting something fresh to the market.”
Against: “..can’t see many boardroom doors swinging open, unless it’s to hand over a press release for printing unchanged, in full.”
Which camp do you fall in?

Re-branding of Wythenshawe
I’m late to this post from PR Media Blog but wanted to sneak it in anyway. A fascinating sounding event which considered the Wythenshawe area as a ‘brand’: “The brand needs to shift from industrial estates to what it is today.”

That’s all for now – don’t forget if you’ve got any Manchester media news to share you can contact me via the comments below or via email to SarahMancunianWay AT

Written by sarahhartley

November 26th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

BBC’s Salford leaflets: Your views?

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As I reported on The Guardian’s Organ Grinder blog today, the newsletter exercise to inform Salford residents about the BBC move to MediaCityUK is set to cost almost £10,000 over the year.

Is that value for money?

So far the comments have been from people who aren’t in receipt of the newsletters from BBC Outreach. I’d like to hear from anyone who has had one delivered to their door – did you find it useful? What do you hope to see in future issues?

Please feel free to contact me below or via email to sarahMancunianWay AT

Written by sarahhartley

November 22nd, 2010 at 6:15 pm

People’s Voice Media plans to go international

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The community development organisation People’s Voice Media has launched its annual report in a multimedia format using the online platform myebook.

And it reveals how the Manchester-based organsiation, which aims to help get a community reporter for every street corner, has had a busy year expanding into other parts of the UK  and is now looking internationally.

In the concluding page, chair Bernard Leach says:
” The last year has been an important one in that we have now become an organisation with a national profile by working closely with partner organisations ranging from Housing Associations in London and the West Midland, a residential care home in Blackpool, refugee communities in Sheffield, a Seaside Voices project with four coastal resorts and a bespoke digital inclusion project now aiming to develop community reporters across Europe with partners from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Germany and Hungary.”

Taking things a bit closer to home, chief executive Gary Copitch mailed the annual report to interested people saying:

“We have done some great activity over the year including working with Housing Associations and the Police as well as undertaken consultations with residents in Lower Broughton in Salford. The report also highlights our work to develop community reporters in Owton Manor in Hartlepool and Preston.”

See the full report via this link.

Written by sarahhartley

November 11th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Crain’s Manchester and Salford Star: Counting the cost of getting up people’s noses?

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It was sad, but perhaps not that surprising, to hear that Crain’s has finished its Manchester publication.

Sad, because it brought along with a specialised in-depth printed product, a decent website, regularly updated and with some free-to-air elements. Unsurprising, because of the overcrowded marketplace of the business niche in Manchester.

A statement posted on its website this morning explained

“While we have been pleased with the support received from Crain’s Manchester Business readers from the beginning of the project, ultimately the limited support from key advertising sectors has made the project unsustainable,” said Chris Crain, senior vice president, Crain Communications Inc. and editor-in-chief, Crain’s Manchester Business.

The Manchester based journalist David Quinn was quick to give some analysis to the demise of the title with five points which included the pertinent;

“I was told by contacts from time to time that they’d stopped talking to Crain’s, supposedly because the paper had messed up some story or other. But from what I could see Crain’s very rarely got things wrong, it just printed things that others either missed or ignored. This got up people’s noses.”

……..and in a seamless link to another publication which is often accused of getting up people’s noses, the Salford Star today had its appeal hearing against the loss of funding by the devolved community committee of Salford Council deferred. I’ve already posted at length on this at The Guardian and the Star is due to release its statement on the ongoing saga tomorrow.

Written by sarahhartley

June 22nd, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Digital Editors’ Network: Data special today

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Today’s meeting of digital editors from across the country is a special event to discuss various issues around open data and is being held at the offices of North West Vision and Media in MediaCityUK, Salford.

A live blog has been set up via CoveritLive which you can see updated here as the event gets underway from 1pm.

The progamme is detailed here.

The hashtag for the event is #dendatameet

Written by sarahhartley

May 12th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

50 (+) Useful MediaCity links


This struck me as a useful set of links to share – 50 Useful MediaCityUK, BBC North and Salford Quays Web Links.

It’s being added to all the time since Mark Whitfield posted it on LinkedIn and is reproduced here with Mark’s kind permission – check out his website to learn a little more about WEB technologies (DotNetNuke, ASP.NET, HTML, Java Script etc.)

Offical MediaCityUK

BBC North Jobs

Offical MediaCityUK Twitter

Offical MediaCityUK RSS Feed

MediaCityUK Photographic Timeline Journal

About the Photographic Timeline Journal

SkyScraperCity Forum – Special Interest Thread

This LinkedIn Group (1000+ Members)


MediaCityUK:Blog Twitter

MediaCityUK Jobs

MediaCityUK Jobs Twitter

MediaCityUK Jobs RSS Feed

BBC North

BBC North Jobs 2011 LinkedIn Group

MediaCityUK 360 Movie Spin

Official MediaCityUK Flickr Photos

Timeline Journal MediaCityUK Flickr Photos

Official MediaCityUK YouTube Movies

Timeline Journal MediaCityUK YouTube Movies

Peel MediaCityUK

Creating a City MediaCityUK Twitter

The Pie Factory MediaCityUK

The Pie Factory MediaCityUK Twitter

MediaCityUK Manchester Evening News Articles

The Designer Outlet

The Lowry Centre

The Imperial War Museum North

The Quays

The Quays Twitter Feed

Visit Salford

MediaCityUK and Quays Point Planning

Ramada Hotel Salford Quays

MediaCityUK Media Access Bureau

Salford Quays.ORG

ETAP Hotel Salford Quays

Merchant Quay

The Heart of Manchester

The Quay Property Investment Salford Quays

MediaCityUK – NWDA

The Quays on Wikipedia

MediaCityUK on Wikipedia

Manchester Docks on Wikipedia

Restaurants in the Quays

Trams in the Quays

Salford Quays Software

Chris Kane – BBC Spaces

Web Aviation in the Quays

e-Architect of Salford Quays

Hotels in the Quays

Written by sarahhartley

April 20th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Ambitious plans for BBC online in 2009


Bigger, faster and more personalised – that’s the direction the BBC news website is travelling in according to head of editorial development and multimedia journalism Pete Clifton.

Addressing students and academics at Salford University this afternoon, Mr Clifton gave a presentation to demonstrate what’s in store for online users – and for media jobseekers in the region.

He said that journalists being recruited in the future would all need to have online skills as well one other specialism, but he thought that would not seem unexpected for graduates from courses such as Salford’s journalism course.

And he said the move north would undoubtedly open new job opportunities for journalists in the region.

“The MediaCity expectation is that we will be able to work across more platforms. Online skills will be the other skill that everybody has to have,” he said.

Users of the website can expect more of social media feel to the site in the coming months. A project called Identity will open up the possibility of a passport-type registration which allows users to travel into different services and another called Spaces, which will give users their own pages.

But he assured the audience that the BBC would not become another Facebook. He said: “We want to make the site feel more social, make the activity of others obvious. We won’t be turning ourselves into a social media site, but giving more of a feel as to what others are doing on the site.”

And the site will continue to be underpinned by an improved breaking news service.
He said: “A lot of audience testing came out with the updating of stories being an issue.

“A fundamental of a successful news site is how we deal with breaking news. It has to be at the very forefront of that. They have to rely on you to do breaking news really well. Yes there’s all the polishing after that, contextualising and analysis but you have to put up the stories quickly.”

The site redesign will make it more obvious to users which stories have been updated and when, even if the running order of the pages has remained constant for an hour or so.

Some of the other developments coming up in the next year for the BBC sites include;

* Bigger video players and more profile on the front pages.

* Larger pictures and galleries which are navigated by thumbnail pictures to encourage users to stick around on the site.
* A new look for the local site which is currently being tried out in Norwich and aims to hold the news elements and local sites together better.
* Moving the management of the mobile sites into main news CMS to make uploading quicker.
* After the success of bloggers such as Robert Peston and Nick Robinson, the blogs are being redesigned, they are wider templates and we’ve learned a lot about how effective they can be about telling stories and letting people know what’s going on.
* Taking inspiration from the work carried out by the meta data team at the New York Times, BBC journalists will be expected to start putting more meta data tags around our stories. “When you start to do that you can start to do many more things automatically than we can at the moment,” said Mr Clifton.

It sounds like an ambitious lists of developments and one which has an ethos running under it which will encourage consumption of content in places other than the website – expect widgets, sharing options and embeddable video.

Written by sarahhartley

March 25th, 2009 at 8:48 pm