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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

Edit: Mark Blackstock, editor of TheYamYam, has replied to this post, and you can find his comments here.

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One of the clichés you hear thrown around on the interweb is that "nobody owns the news".

I've never heard anyone claim that they do own the news, and I wouldn't understand what they meant if they did.

You can't own "the news" in general, any more than you can own fiction or music as a concept, but if you write a novel, song or article - however good or bad - you own that. Or, if you have sold your labour to someone else, they own it.

Frankly, I suspect the phrase is sometimes used simply to justify ripping people off. Which brings me to theyamyam.com.

I wrote about theyamyam before, in fairly positive terms. I did note at the time that the site was taking more from newspaper websites than they had chosen to syndicate via RSS (it seems to me that if you put something in an RSS feed you are tacitly giving people permission to use it), but didn't make much of it.

Their latest angle, however, is to scan in full stories from local newspapers and stick them up on their website, with a handy Google ad placed next to the scanned image.

Here's one example, ripping off the Express and Star (for some reason the Birmingham Post, Mail and Mercury don't seem to be getting the same treatment yet).

theyamyam

The Express and Star is credited - but believe it or not, there is no link to the E&S website. The name of the paper is there, but that's not a link.

In any case, once the entire original story has been posted on the YamYam, why would anyone want to click through and read the original?

To those who say local newspapers simply cut and paste press releases anyway, I ask why the YamYam doesn't just do that? (Answer - because that's not what local papers do. But any website is welcome to do it).

This is just theft, in the same way as downloading a pirated copy of a film or CD is theft. I regret saying nice things about this website, as it's become nothing more than the digital equivalent of the guy down the pub trying to flog dodgy DVDs.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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