Monday, December 23, 2013

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS







I would like to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas.


Thank you to all who have read and supported the Jersey Blogs. 


Have a good time - recharge the batteries - and then we go again.


Next Postings

The Jersey Jurat System

Operation Refault

The Committee of Enquiry

Take Care and see you in 2014


Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

PAUL CARTER - MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GUITON PUBLISHING - REPLIES TO MY POSTING

PAUL CARTER - MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GUITON PUBLISHING

"They do this because, despite a myriad of alternatives and competitor media outlets, the JEP represents excellent value for money and has a deeper penetration of Jersey than TV and Radio combined, it is trusted, it is respected and it is proven."




"PAUL CARTER.MANAGING DIRECTOR OF  GUITON PUBLISHING REPLIES TO MY LAST BLOG POSTING - "THE JERSEY EVENING POST - IS THE WRITING ON THE WALL????"



"BELOW IS A REDACTED VERSION OF THE LETTER SENT BY PAUL CARTER"




Let us cut straight to the chase here. I thought long and hard about publishing his not for 'publication' reply to me.  The fact that he sent his reply to my place of work is not satisfactory. In fact, I take that it  as a form of intimidation. Should I be surprised that I get a response from the JEP when I mention the possibility of them selling below 13,000 copies and be published only 4 days a week? I mean, lets not talk about their Child Abuse Cover -UP of "Operation Rectangle" and the denigration of SIO, Lenny Harper, the zero investigative journalism, never delivering any ground breaking stories that are of any benefit to the people of Jersey, running Philip Bailhache's election campaign by sticking him on the front page during the run up to election and calling SIO, Mick Gradwell a whistleblower for helping Daily Mail Journalist, David Rose trash the Jersey Child Abuse Investigation.   The list could go on and on. 



What exactly did I say in my last posting that really ruffled the feathers of Mr Carter?



Well this is what I said in my last posting.



"THE JERSEY EVENING POST"



"A DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD"



"IT MUST CHANGE - BUT CAN IT?"



There can be no doubt that the Jersey Evening Post - Jersey's only newspaper- is facing a very difficult future.  I was talking to the Editor designate, Andy Sibcy, this week and we touched on this subject.  I told him that it was an obvious fact that the "JEP"  was in trouble. The sales are dropping, advertisers are moving elsewhere, no investigative journalists, repeating what they are told and only a very few believing what is written in it. We have new magazines coming out now who are in competition with the JEP for advertising. Estate Agents are bringing out their own glossy pamphlets and Jersey Insight are in a league of there own. Times are changing and they are changing fast. The printed news is facing a battle that is intensifying by the month. 


Andy Sibcy will taking the helm with the perfect storm brewing on the horizon. Can he make a difference?  

The new generation are the computer generation. They go online for their news. Sales would suggest that they no longer view the JEP as an important or necessary news source. Maybe, and I mean just maybe, could the JEP under new leadership start properly representing the people of Jersey. Not reporting the news but investigating the news. This obviously comes with it's own problems as it is subsidised through advertising by our own government. Can the new Editor be his own man? In Jersey I very much doubt it. I look forward to being proved wrong. 


Times are changing and they are changing fast.


Are we about to see sales fall below 13,000 a day and the paper being reduced to 4 days a week. 


They have some big decisions to make.


Is the writing now on the wall for the JEP?




HERE IS THE REPLY FROM PAUL CARTER. 



Jersey Evening Post


PRIVATE AND PERSONAL - ADDRESSEE ONLY


11 December, 2013


Rico,

I understand that you are interested in investigative journalism and, while it is good to have a productive hobby, I do think that you should at least make a small effort to achieve some sort of balance for your readers and not just the blind pursuit of your own agenda, leading you to present disinformation as fact.

You claim as an "obvious fact" that the JEP is in trouble, you claim a conversation with Editor designate Mr Sibcy but then only offer what you said to him, not his response or reaction?

From this you deduce that the JEP is no longer relevant as audience go online for their news (but no reference to who will be supplying this?) and that any changes will be difficult due to the JEP being subsidised with government advertising.

The fact is that the JEP is a privately owned business with no ties to Jersey Government and, unlike other small democratic jurisdictions, has no financial incentives in place from the government to ensure it's survival. The SOJ do place advertising within the newspaper and online platforms provided by the JEP but on a contracted basis and at the same rates and terms and conditions as any commercial advertiser.  They do this because, despite a myriad of alternatives and competitor media outlets, the JEP represents excellent value for money and has a deeper penetration of Jersey than TV and Radio combined, it is trusted, it is respected and it is proven. As an aside, the impact of SOJ revenues to the JEP equate to less than **** of annual group turnover, something to contemplate when constructing conspiracy theories about alleged "State Media".

The JEP's audited copy sales figures (by an independent industry authority) are widely available and a quick reference to Google would have provided you with the undeniable fact that the average daily sale is, according to the most recent independently audited trading period, 17,076 copies per day, of which 97.6% are paid for and the remainder are free/courtesy or promotional copies. It would also show that the decline, year on year, was -***%. Perhaps you might compare this with similar sized populations in the UK to put it in context?

The second half-year period is still under audit but, last week, for instance, the JEP's bestselling day was **,**** copies and the second bestselling day was **,*** copies. It is highly likely that the rate of decline we saw in the first half of the year will regrettably be repeated in the second half of the year but this is still a long way from your proclaimed 13,000 copies per day, or four days per week publishing.

The new generation, that you appear so concerned might never grow up with the JEP as their media choice, already enjoy our platforms online and we already serve ***,*** unique users across our various online offerings with over 1.5m page views per month. Our social media platforms are supported by **,*** registered followers  (growing daily) and these aren't zombie sites that just harvest numbers for the sake of it, they are constantly updated and enjoy interaction and two-way dialogue with our membership.

Compare these numbers with Channel Online, BBC Jersey, JT Insight etc and then reconsider your statement.

The writing isn't on the wall for the JEP, It's in our newsprint, devoured by over 60% of adults daily (independently audited research), it's on PC's, Tablets, and smart phones all over the island and even further afield. Our traditional business model might be changing (whose isn't?) but the reach and influence of our content has potential for growth as digital develops. 

You mention in your blog that you look forward to being proved wrong about your assumptions regarding the JEP and considering the litany of half-truths, errors and misinformation in your posting I think it is safe to say that this is the job done.

This letter is not for publication or distribution but I urge you to do your own research and then address the misinformation in your posting, like any self-respecting investigative journalist, part time or otherwise, would do.

Please do not misinterpret this letter as the beginning of an exchange; please view this as the conclusion. I have no intention of debating or discussing this business with you, unless of course you continue to wilfully misrepresent your own personal assumptions about the JEP as a matter of fact.

Yours sincerely 

Paul Carter

Managing Director, Guiton Publishing Ltd, Jersey Evening Post Ltd 



Here is my reply Mr Carter.



First up, Mr Sorda would have been a nice way of addressing me.  Never forget ones manners even if a little upset. 

 I had an off the record chat with JEP Editor, Andy Sibcy. I thought it was only right and polite not to divulge what he said to me. At no time did I say to him that our conversation would be used in a blog posting. For this reason and this reason alone I never mentioned his replies.  If you had phoned or spoken with Mr Sibcy before writing your letter you would have realised this to be the case.  The economic climate in Jersey is changing very quickly. The competition for advertising and the amount people are spending on advertising is very competitive and in some cases dwindling. 

 I can't speak for everyone, but the people I speak to are looking for proper news - not some regurgitated no questions asked  press release delivered on a daily basis. You have offered up a wealth of stats and figures but the one stat that would have stopped me in my tracks would have been the stat for big breaking stories. Big breaking stories achieved through investigative journalism. Yet we have nothing. You couldn't even be bothered to check why I didn't mention what Andy Sibcy had said to me. 

You say "As an aside, the impact of SOJ revenues to the JEP equate to less than 1.3% of annual group turnover, something to contemplate when constructing conspiracy theories about alleged "State Media"."

Well let me tell you this Mr Carter;  the Jersey Evening Post has failed. It has failed the people of jersey.

 I have published more hard documented evidence in two years than the JEP has produced in the last two decades.  The Jersey Blogs have investigated, researched and published more evidence than the JEP has probably ever produced.  It is the attitude in this letter that has me worried as to the future of the Jersey Evening Post. I have never been contacted by anyone from the Jersey Evening Post/Guiton Group concerning the multitude of hard evidenced and leaked documents that have appeared on my blog which one would expect from any self respecting journalist. The one time I do get contacted by anyone from the Guiton Group is to complain of the statistics of their dwindling readership. 

I'm not sure if Mr Carter is a journalist but I wish he had not misquoted me. I clearly asked the question "Are we about to see sales fall below 13,000 a day and the paper being reduced to 4 days a week." 

Mr Carter stated "It is highly likely that the rate of decline we saw in the first half of the year will regrettably be repeated in the second half of the year but this is still a long way from your proclaimed 13,000 copies per day, or four days per week publishing."  As you can clearly see I didn't proclaim anything I simply asked the question.


The reason for the redaction above is that some of the figures mentioned above are not in the public domain and will remain so. The tone of the letter is there for all to see. like I said, I don't appreciate a letter being sent to my place of work when the Jersey Evening Post have my email address. I will leave it to the readers of my blog to come to their own conclusions. 

The only reasons I'm publishing this letter as it is of great public interest. Remember we only have one newspaper in Jersey. I'm not sure that 60% of the adult population "devour" what the JEP dish up but who am I to argue that point.


Rico Sorda


Part Time Investigative Journalist


Links to the blogs that the passed the Jersey Evening Post investigative journalist team.













Sunday, December 8, 2013

THE JERSEY EVENING POST - IS THE WRITING NOW ON THE WALL?????







"THE JERSEY EVENING POST"



"A DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD"



"IT MUST CHANGE - BUT CAN IT?"



There can be no doubt that the Jersey Evening Post - Jersey's only newspaper- is facing a very difficult future.  I was talking to the Editor designate, Andy Sibcy, this week and we touched on this subject.  I told him that it was an obvious fact that the "JEP"  was in trouble. The sales are dropping, advertisers are moving elsewhere, no investigative journalists, repeating what they are told and only a very few believing what is written in it. We have new magazines coming out now who are in competition with the JEP for advertising. Estate Agents are bringing out their own glossy pamphlets and Jersey Insight are in a league of there own. Times are changing and they are changing fast. The printed news is facing a battle that is intensifying by the month. 


Andy Sibcy will taking the helm with the perfect storm brewing on the horizon. Can he make a difference?  

The new generation are the computer generation. They go online for their news. Sales would suggest that they no longer view the JEP as an important or necessary news source. Maybe, and I mean just maybe, could the JEP under new leadership start properly representing the people of Jersey. Not reporting the news but investigating the news. This obviously comes with it's own problems as it is subsidised through advertising by our own government. Can the new Editor be his own man? In Jersey I very much doubt it. I look forward to being proved wrong. 


Times are changing and they are changing fast.


Are we about to see sales fall below 13,000 a day and the paper being reduced to 4 days a week. 


They have some big decisions to make.


Is the writing now on the wall for the JEP?


Rico Sorda
Part Time Investigative Journalist 



David Yelland, 

Former Editor of 

the Sun, 

Speaks Honesty at 

Leveson's 

Anniversary Lecture
World Affairs & Lifestyle Commentator

On Friday afternoon I attended a talk by David Yelland, a former Editor of The Sun, organised by the Media Standard Trust and Article 19.
There were various journalists in the auditorium but from what was said in the introduction there was not a single editor or sub editor in sight - even though the organisers went out of their way to extend their invitations to all of them!
What does this tell us?
Yelland admitted that if he were was still an editor he most likely would have not been in the room either! He commented that to speak openly as an Editor is a bad career move - a clue why perhaps none were present.
Yelland's delivery was refreshingly honesty. There was humility in his tone. "Humility is not a characteristic we see much in the mass market press" he said and added that it certainly pays to have a little humility.
He spoke of bullying and how very dangerous it is to have big newspapers in the wrong hands. They can make small men big and small ideas big too - they can make untruths almost seem truths so long as huge generalisations are repeated many times! According to Yelland, it appears that we have come to the place where facts don't' seem to matter anymore, a statement very hard to dispute.
He compared newspapers to pyramid like dictatorial structures where what the editor says goes. This applies even more to the proprietor of the paper.
But has history not shown us how dangerous it is to put immense power in one person's hands? According to Yelland, many newspapers remain dictatorships! In newsrooms anyone who challenges the editor does not remain on the payroll for long.

Is it not ironic as well as hypocritical that the press barons are rejecting the Royal Charter under the guise of a threat to freedom of speech, yet if an editor gets challenged, serious censorship occurs and the challenger gets ousted? What of Freedom of Speech and Freedom to Express here?
He gave a funny (yet chilling) example/story of how far journalists are prepared to go to please the proprietor and in the case of the Sun - Rupert Murdoch. For over 10 years every man at the Sun wore black leather shiny lace up shoes because there was a belief that Murdoch loved them. One day Yelland made some serious enquiries and found out that it was a myth and that somebody somewhere along the line misinterpreted what Murdcoh had said yet the 'sheep' mentality carried on for well over a decade.
He spoke of himself being influenced by the proprietor saying there were mornings when he would wake up pondering which side of the bed would Murdoch want him to get out of and at times wondering what his real view was and what his true thoughts were on various subjects!
Then a grand moment in Yelland's delivery. He vocalised something very profound - that the most potent weapon a newspaper has is to totally ignore a story. We often judge newspapers for the terrible and at times extremely damaging things they print, and think that's the worst they could do, but it is what they do not print that is often the bigger story. 

What if not printing a story that DESERVES to be printed does much more harm?
Yelland posed a great question: How is it that journalism/journalists have become so hated and deviated so far away from a force for good to this sad state of affairs?
He mentioned fear a few times and in the context of being a way of controlling and often impulsing Editor's/Journalists' deeds and words. The editors get sucked into the culture of fear and doing what's raising the margins and figures rather than what's true!
Yelland put forward another question: How is it that journalism as an honest trade went from being a force for good to a force that inflicts suffering on the weak?
There is an awareness that this needs to change. However, we cannot have change without truth! As he suggested a solution to the mess created by the press' abuse of power might be simply for the current editors to accept a chink of light into the debate and a little chink (or even a chunk) of humility.
If journalism is to move on and thrive, journalists need to stop and ask themselves how it is that the industry has become so hated! The British press (and I feel this can be extended beyond British borders) has become the very thing it is there to attack: a vested interest! In Yelland's final words "What a total mess we have made of this and how badly have we failed the British people."
And how badly have they failed Humanity! As a very dear and close friend put it: "'They have robbed humanity of the right to truth."
At the very start of his talk Yelland said that when he left the Sun's office almost 11 years ago he began a long period of re-entry into the human race. Perhaps this is what's needed on prescription for each and every editor and sub-editor - an invitation to re-join their fellow human beings, to break ranks when that is needed, to deepen their self-awareness and to speak up about their own industry without playing it down or censoring what's printed and to come to terms with the fact that just because they shout something from the rooftops does not mean it is True!
Let us remind ourselves that the press and media are all about people and about being of true service to people. It is about the rights of ordinary folks and that the system we are attempting to set up has to serve All and not just a handful of men sitting behind Editorial desks in their black leather shiny lace up shoes.