30 January 2015

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Trinity Mirror creates group-wide user-content role

Trinity Mirror has created a new senior editorial role overseeing user-generated content on its regional titles.

Jo Kelly, currently social media and communities editor for the Liverpool Echo and associated weeklies, is to become communities editor for Trinity Mirror Regionals.

Her role will include working with editors to develop a “reliable, high quality flow” of user-generated content for use in newspapers and on websites.

Jo, pictured left, will also aim to help newsrooms to set up networks of community contributors and be responsible for spreading “best practice” throughout the group.  She will report to TMR editorial director Neil Benson.

Said Neil:  “Over the past year, Jo has done an exceptional job in reaching out to individuals and organisations on Merseyside and organising them into a highly-effective team of regular contributors, whose content has enhanced our products, making them more relevant to the local community.

“’Localness’ is the heart of the regionals business, and Jo’s appointment will enable us to forge even stronger links with the communities we serve.”

Jo began her career with the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser in 2007 after completing the Press Association training course in Newcastle.

She moved to the Liverpool Echo in February 2009 to become a member of the newly-formed Web and Data Development team before moving into her current role.


  1. Ink Splasher

    Memo to Trinity staff: update your CV and start planning for a post-journalism career.
    This is pure comedy: “Her role will include working with editors to develop a “reliable, high quality flow” of user-generated content for use in newspapers and on websites.”
    And there we were, thinking that this is what reporters and editors did. TM’s aim, presumably, is to finesse this to the point where they can dispense with those pesky and costly journalists who seem to hang around the newsroom doing nothing but chatting on the phone.

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  2. Hard Pressed

    U n b e l i e v a b l e…. how can they justify creating a Senior Editorial role to develop a “reliable, high quality flow of user-generated content”….. a euphemism for more job losses and publishing rubbish!

    Lions led by donkeys.
    So sorry for all involved, it must be heartbreaking.

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  3. Cherrywonder

    Ink Splasher’s dead right – and to make matters worse the lazy journalists don’t even charge people for going in the paper.
    What IS the point of them, eh?

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  4. Confused

    Ink splasher seems to forget why newspapers exist (and has a low opinion or reporters it would seem).

    They exist to serve communities and provide them with news. People now have a greater expectation to influence what goes in their newspapers. Look at the rise of hyperlocal sites – many done voluntarily, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the quality of the articles they produce.

    The industry has a choice: We can take Ink Splasher’s approach and put our fingers in our ears and pretend that nothing has changed in the world, or we can adapt and change, and start working with people who want to see their stuff in print. That doesn’t mean quality newspapers turn themselves into so-called ‘good news papers’ like the Independent freesheets in the North West or those odd ones launched in the Midlands, but it does mean people will feel more involved in our newspapers.

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  5. Ink Splasher

    Hmm…right…. I hold reporters in high esteem as it happens. I do have a low opinion of TM, certainly – I’ve experienced what they did on Merseyside. The difference between reporting, as trained journalists know it, and the world of screamy blog central, is that reporters report – or should – without fear or favour. Hyperlocalism is a theoretical ideal of plurality but which is more commonly manifest as interest-driven. Artisan content generation is all very well, but there won’t be many of them who’ve had to knock on the door of the recently bereaved or know how to tunnel through an inch-thick planning agenda. No-one does that except for hard cash. Print journalism has done UGC since Adam was a lad and it has always had a valuable place. Trinity’s approach seems to be based on making it the spine of the beast, rather than the rib it ought to be. But let’s not be surprised. Shareholders want a dividend, and ideally an increasing dividend, and that can only be achieved by cutting the bottom line. And that is where a “reliable, high quality flow of user-generated content for use in newspapers and on websites” comes in. Let’s not pretend anything else.

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  6. sutler

    In my experience, the punters who want to see their purple prose in print are at best self-serving and, at worst, idiots. It is the people who want to keep their stories out of the newspapers that make the best copy – and root out those stores we need trained journalists, not a motley crew of Citizen Kane’s orchestrated by a social media and communities overlord.
    Newspapers filled with the jottings of the Twitteratti, will indeed by doomed.

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  7. Runaway Ed

    What I always think about all this community involvement / ‘localness’ / engagement argument for user generated content is – would the newspaper companies be chasing UGC if it cost more than real journalists?
    I think it would suddenly lose all its glamour and no longer be seen as vital to connecting with audiences.
    It’s just a modern cost-saving twist on vanity publishing. If people are paid nowt they have near unlimited choices when publishing their bits and bobs online. Many newspaper businesses are trying to scoop up this freebie stuff, regardless of its value, because it’s free. I wonder how many of the better eager beaver ‘authors’ eventually catch on that they are toiling away free of charge for large corporations, their share prices and top level bonuses.

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  8. This is getting silly

    Sentiment and language such as “screamy blog central”… “punters who want to see their purple prose in print are at best self-serving and, at worst, idiots”… “This is pure comedy”… “publishing rubbish”…tells its own story.

    These staunch defenders of traditional journalism skills appear to have lost their own sense of proportion and objectivity.

    Fine example to be setting the digital kids, guys.

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  9. Cherrywonder

    Well it’s true.
    They used to be called the green-ink brigade and they’d pester the newsdesk all day long with rubbish.
    Now they’ve bought laptops and can post their rantings on the internet.
    And most emphatically NOT journalism
    How depressingly predictable that the suits running the regional newspaper industry today are entirely incapable of telling the difference.

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  10. Digital kid

    This is getting even more silly.

    ‘These staunch defenders of traditional journalism skills appear to have lost their own sense of proportion and objectivity.

    Fine example to be setting the digital kids, guys. ‘

    Those who defend ‘traditional journalism’ know what they are talking and wrting about. They have also watched over the years as management cretins have eroded their values. Digital kids have all the skills of a talking donkey.

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  11. ex-student journalist

    I think you’ll find that most of the user-generated content was sourced and written by student journalists who were doing it for work experience.

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  12. Confused

    The obvious thing here is the contempt journalists hold their audience – ie readers – in. If newspapers don’t work with communities and be part of their communities, then there is no future. Being part of a community isn’t just have feet on the ground when a big story breaks, or being able extract stories from a community through contacts to shout about with each other. It’s about letting the community help set the news agenda. I don’t know why journalists wear doing death knocks as some sort of badge of honour – most people hate being disturbed by a journalist who only wants to get a story. And we wonder why people don’t buy papers as much as they used to. It’s easier to blame the websites or the shareholders than it is to face the fact that we need to change.

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  13. Dave

    “Digital Kids have all the skills of a talking Donkey?”

    I think these digital kids might disagree with you


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  14. Eric Rayner, Peterborough

    A lot of user-generated content is very good; however, if you want the argument against see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/08/april-jones-teenager-jailed-facebook?CMP=EMCMEDEML665

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  15. Jonny Philpot

    Come on Eric Rayner, there are plenty of arguments against established journalism too!

    Report this comment

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