For the record: 01/03/2010

"There is increasing evidence that in recent years investigative journalism is being deterred by the threat and cost of having to defend libel actions," the Media Select committee says the law has become imbalanced


'Monocle' vision


Speaking on the third anniversary of
Monocle, the global affairs, culture and design magazine's founder Tyler Brûlé has more news of his multimedia ambitions.

Monocle 24 will be the name of the brand's full-time global audio operation. A 30-minute weekly Monocle television show will launch on BBC World News, with Brûlé and the magazine's editor Andrew Tuck as lead presenters. A new Monocle southern Asia bureau is set to open in Hong Kong, funded by a shop downstairs selling ultra-stylish goods recommended by the magazine. And the head office in Marylebone is now too small, so Brûlé is looking to acquire adjoining property or move somewhere close to the BBC's fancy £1bn Broadcasting House. "We won't be going to Isleworth," says the high-living Brûlé sniffily.

No Berlin paywall

An intriguing conference starts today in Berlin, the Digital Innovators' Summit. The opening keynote is by Carolyn McCall, currently overseeing losses of £100,000 a day at Guardian Media Group. Her talk is titled "Striking the Right Balance". Also there is Charles Frankl, CEO of Click & Buy, a tech company working with FT Deutschland and Axel Springer's Bild to encourage readers to pay for written content online. Over coffee in London, Frankl asserts that a gradually introduced mix of pay-per-view micro-payments and subscription charges has a greater chance of success than the "big bang" introduction of a pay-wall. He is working with Facebook and can see a day when users pay to have their favourite news sites embedded in their profiles or buy articles for pennies as gifts for friends. "Facebook is where people spend their time. They don't spend it browsing 15 publications," he says.

Bad defending

Poor Ashley Cole. He calls off his breach of privacy legal action with The Sun in the hope the paper would promote the new album by Cheryl, right, and then the same title exposes his extra-marital shenanigans and brings about their divorce. At least Ms Tweedy got plenty more coverage out of it.

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