Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm a web celeb, get me out of there!

A sex pest rang this week to pester me about his privacy.

He wanted me to remove his court case from our web archive in keeping with Home Office guidelines about limiting the time criminal charges are held online.

Not sure which one he was referring to but he didn't seem to accept that the public had a right to know who among us had been compromising 12-year-old girls and failed to see the irony that he had commited his crimes - via the web.

But he was just the latest in a very long line of archive appellants to come out of the virtual woodwork wanting to rewrite history. Here are some of the best of late:

1. The party goer pictured (quite innocently) standing too close to a woman that wasn't his wife. (Poss solution: add a link to Relate)

2. The fantasist who claimed he was being watched by shadowy figures and didn't want his address used. We only reported it as Texas. (Poss solution: cc the CIA when replying)

3. The rite of passage youth who, on seeing his picture in the paper, realised he was no oil painting and didn't want to compound his misfortune by letting strangers clock him. (Poss solution; Free Photoshop download link)

4. The smiling couple who wanted their wedding picture expunged but wouldn't say why. They made their requests separately. At different times. From different numbers. (Poss solution: two free subscriptions to the dating site)

5. The businesswoman delighted with her print interview who later decided she was "probably a bit misquoted" when she the ex-partner she had shafted read it. (Poss solution: doorstep the partner for a quote. You never know.)

6. The elderly couple who bought a guest house only to Google it and find a year-old review condemning it as Devon's Fawlty Towers. (Actual solution: clarify as per moral obligation and suggest to Travel desk they review again later).

As for the sex pest quoting the Home Office: I referred him to the Foreign Office.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Murdoch and the tide of change

It's for good reason that the industry is gripped with Rupert Murdoch's plans to charge readers to see stories. And it's not just about whether he has, as many first thought, lost the plot. It's more to do with the fact that he’s in the enviable position of actually having one, for better or for worse.

Whatever his plans, he’s making an audacious statement that flies in the face of the panic sweeping newsrooms: telling Google he can do without them at a time search engines have begun dictating what we write.

As someone used to dictating the agenda, certain practices may not sit well with him, and the pandering to optimisation may be one of them. I’m not decrying SEO, far from it, but the thought of national newsrooms being told by their SEO police to write something – anything – about Jedward or the some nutter who’s taking Twitter by storm because they’re scoring well on Google Trends must rub a bit.

Not to mention the thought of some lackey sending a round-robin: "Can we start tagging stories ‘fags’” mid-budget speech or “Euro” during election night just so we can stay keyword savvy.

The issue here is not about whether he has hit upon the holy grail of business plans but how enduring is his influence as a catalyst for change. We're seeing the green shoots of that already.

Journalism as a whole was a late adopter to the web and many of the old school are still just waking up to what it represents. At its best, it means serious industry names joining key debates with conviction; at its worst, the unseemly scramble for seats from the dead wood eager to nail their colours to a new mast and reinvent themselves. (“Hey everyone, I'm now in charge of digital paperback blogging. Does that mean I get a student?”) Don't tell me that doesn't ring a bell?

Then there’s the fallacy that integration would reduce costs in Fleet Street and the qualitative cost to local journalism by virtue of the fact that it has (seriously, more on that later...).

We’ve got to accept that the face of journalism will change as the dam we’ve been holding back for the past few years finally bursts. The profile of those practicing it will change with the job description we’ve yet to write – and the commercial future will lay not with the words we produce but how we leverage our brands as a tool to attract something that will.

There are more twists and turns to come and, while Murdoch may not end up leading the change, he’s doing what he’s done many times in the past and forcing us more quickly into it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Here's a couple we did earlier...

Another one for the mantelpiece, courtesy of the European Newspaper Awards.

Was this a case of months of planning - or just an example of the amazing things you can achieve when you're hard up for a front page picture? You decide.

Either way, we're gonna need a bigger mantelpiece people.
What Will they do next?

Congratulations to Will Lewis on his latest promotion - this time to launch a new division of Telegraph Digital following his Harvard sabbatical.

I'm not sure what a move to Euston means for the man Murdoch Mclellan first hired as City Editor then promoted to Deputy Editor even before he'd finished his gardening leave at The Times.

But it was only a matter of time before Tony Gallagher cashed in his brownie points over the MPs expenses exclusive to take the editor's chair.

What intrigues me most about this, though, is the promise of 50 new digital jobs.

The Telegraph Group has come on leaps and bounds, but one thing they have got disgracefully wrong over the past year or so is the misguided way it it has discarded some of its best talent, particularly among the more anonymous, junior ranks. If a stint at business school has taught Lewis anything, I hope it is how to recognise where the real value in a workforce lies.

And, maybe, invite a few of them back.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A timely intervention

I've just joined an interesting think-tank which aims to explore emerging cross-media business models.

It's an academic network funded by London's Kings College and Bristol's Brunel University and has the backing of a number of diverse digital businesses and the AOP.

It's early days and I'll report back on progress. This space needs to be watched.

PS: a small boast. We've just bagged another award. Need a bigger mantelpiece.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Katie pays the Price

I hope the Sun’s first-person headline on Katie Price’s jungle torment was rhetorical. Since she returned to I’m a Celebrity last week, strutting around in a Lara Croft outfit and telling everyone she was there for “closure” when she meant exposure, viewers have been voting for her to do every gruelling, filthy and frankly, highly disturbing task on offer. Thus the question: Why are they picking on me?

The answer, as your publicist must surely have told you, is simple: that’s what you are there for.

Anyone who builds themselves into a massively lucrative brand by taking their clothes off, having boob job after lip job after boob job, earns a bundle from a fly-on-the-wall documentaries on their every movements and flogs their wedding pix for substantial sums must realise that is their role in life.

This show is built on the premise that viewers can pay small amounts via their phone bills to put minor and rather annoying celebs in the stocks, happy in the knowledge that the show’s producers will throw more than tomatoes and rotting eggs at them.

And given the C-list group they have in there at the moment, a cockroach or two down Katie’s cleavage is, frankly, the best we can hope for. Which is also probably why she attracts a considerably higher fee than her camp mates.

That aside, let's hope the medical support we keep hearing about is as good as we’d hope. Sideshow that Price is, can it really be right to subject anyone to such pressure? Is it wise for someone with a genuine water phobia to be entombed underground in the dark surrounded by rats – and then literally flushed by a sudden and surprise torrent into an underground tank and left screaming to get out?

To give her credit, she does get stuck in. But all the controlled conditions and teams of medics on hand doesn't mean someone can’t have a heart attack?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad press for adverorials

The Express's thinly veiled attempts to pass off advertorials as real news was tantamount to a Premiership star not trying too hard against his old club. At the end of the day, and with the score at 0-0, no-one gets hurt, so what if a few rules got a bent a little?

After all, how many travel puffs have you seen tarted up as the poetically knowing prose of the world weary. Or adjectives laden as a hefty tip in a breathless blurb disguised as a restaurant review?

I don't even blame Richard Desmond. He's a businessman. I'd expect him to do what he could to keep an advertiser happy.

But the question remains: how the hell did it get on the page? And it shouldn’t have taken the Advertising Standards Authority to see it for what it was – a creeping cancer that should have never dodged the copytaster’s spike.

As for ad concessions, I think the Sunday Express probably did enough with last week’s awful Tesco Club Card ad that reduced their splash on The McCann’s stalker to a mere five lines.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson: how to cover a running story

Michael Jackson’s death fell just right for the late editions, to the relief of night editors who must have been wetting themselves at the thought of running a 3am Final in limbo.

But they had enough on their plates, coping with web updates as speculation grew and newsrooms turned in desperation to Twitter which was, to anyone sifting their tweets, ahead of the game with the first referrals to TMZ, who broke the story way ahead of anyone.

It was interesting reading. As the midnight hour approached and many of the 60,000 tweets were reflecting the death line (Thanks to David Cohen, or dgcohen23, for that), The Times prefixed their home page splash with Breaking: Jackson 'dies' after suffering heart attack. The story moved very slowly though and the more follows was slow to live up to its promise.

The BBC got round it by splashing on Gravely ill Jackson in hospital and shoving their media player across top of the home page for some real-time reporting.

The Guardian did have Michael Jackson dead but attributed with say reports. They too offered only a few lines. Oddly, they were still attributing doubt to the hours-old: Farrah Fawcett dies at age of 53 – PA.

The SEO-savvy Telegraph wisely used cardiac arrest in a clunky-but-friendly 13-word head and repeated it in a 22-word summary. They did much better on the copy though, pulling together a story long enough to justify the subject, even if they had Micheal in the headline briefly. Ouch. Been there.

Then, as Google was apparently crashing under the strain of a search-term siege, TV news reports repeated, almost by the minute, that the reports were “uncomfirmed”.

At around 11.50, the BBC announced: Singer Michael Jackson is 'dead' then rather sloppily added a list of links that included the earlier gravely-ill story.

USA Today fared a lot worse. At 11.30, their site led with Michael Jackson dies at 50 - but clicked through to a lengthy obit with no mention of his death or the circumstances. A case of grab what you can from the basket and throw it up. An intro would have helped.

The New York Times had Michael Jackson, 50, is dead but put the story in the 'arts beat' section. Worse, it consisted of an incoherent series of blog-style posts with garbled reaction

By this time the Telegraph were rewriting the style book on attribution with an intro that announced he was dead, according to showbiz site TMZ, the LA Times, AP, the BBC and PA. Back well covered then, chaps.

The Mirror joined the slower sites by sitting on a couple of pars with a more follows and The Sun relied on a series of Yahoo links!

It was harder for the live broadcasters. Sky managed to grab a bit of airtime with Paul Gambaccini who managed to fill a quote book (remember those?) on his own with gems such as: “It’s the biggest news story in the world at the moment. I know it’s number one in Japan for example”; and when likening his death to that of John Lennon, adding: “There was one difference there. There was violence. Murder is much worse than a heart attack.”

But quote of the night went to Sky: “We just spoke to Uri Geller, a close friend. He was so emotional he couldn’t speak to us.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wired: the future just caught up with me

I’ve just read the second edition of David Rowan’s Wired magazine and he’ll no doubt rest a lot easier knowing I think it’s shaping up nicely. I didn’t dwell too much on the launch issue; I never do as they’re always too long in the making to represent real publishing.

Besides, it was hard to find. This month’s editorial puts that down to a sell-out, something I’ve done on all my launches. Hope it did but, even so, the truth is, no matter how much sway even major publishers have with the multiples, it’s hard to guarantee launches a good show in the independent newsagents.

I also wasn’t a fan of the original cover. I liked the fold-out image but the texture just irritated. But that’s just me. I’m the same with fabrics. Never could wear wool.

Anyway, this month’s “proper” issue does itself serious credit. It’s well-presented, eclectic enough to move beyond the obvious niche market and nicely mixes the waiting room reads (How to read war and Peace in 34 seconds) with those requiring a decent hammock and a bit of peace and quiet ( Britain’s Internet censors, How the Web was almost brought down, World’s biggest diamond heist).

I did smile to myself when I read that he’d sent writers to India, Kenya, US, Sweden, Italy, Holland, St Kitts. Must be wonderful not to have me querying the cost of an overnight stay in Blackpool.

Private jokes aside, good editors build the best brands when they do it in their own image. This is a good example. Here’s a very exceptional editor; an intellectual having fun with a subject that fascinates him.

We just need to see it in a few more shops.

Otherwise, I’ll just have to get a subscription.

Friday, May 22, 2009

To Davos and beyond

I have to say congratulations to Adrian Monck on his appointment as the new communications head for the World Economic Forum. I'll miss his blog, but what the hell; he’ll be in for a good time there. It’s one hell of a job.

How do I know? I was in line for it a while back, about a year before I parted company with the Telegraph, in fact. The title wasn’t quite the same and the internal changes that would have facilitated it never came about, but the job was roughly the same: travelling the world and spreading the word.

It was sold to me as the ultimate networking opportunity during the few hours I spent in a massively-gated James Bond-base style headquarters in Geneva. Apart from the meet-and-greet stuff at Davos, it offered what was probably the most enviable opportunity to get inside the global corridors of power than any in the media.

I’d gone as far as looking into the possibility of becoming a frontalier, one of those people who buys a small estate over the border in France for the price of a Barbican flat and commutes every day past sweeping vineyards in an open-top sports car.

My only recollection of a downside to the job was that, high up in the hills fronted by a dusty residential road leading to nowhere, where does one go for lunch.

Then I noticed outside on the grass overlooking the lake, loads of them working out in the sun, with a personal trainer.

Beats the queue for Pret any day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good excuse for being late for work

The day began a little later than usual, because a woman almost gave birth on a train.

Passengers travelling on the Central Line into the City were stuck for about 20 minutes as the driver gave constant updates. But left out the best bits.

After first explaining there appeared to be a door problem with the train in front at St Paul's Station, he then announced the unexpected labour.

But from then on, his minute-by-minute "customer updates" included everything from how the train was being cleared, how he could see the driver ushering people off, how the platform was now dangerously crowded, how it was being cleared, how we would be technically jumping a red light and "proceeding at 10kph or less", how only the first carriage would reach the platform as the other train was still there and how the driver would have to open the doors "manually from the outside" to let us out, single-file.

But no news of mother and baby.

It was only as I boarded the escalator for the exit that I found out. There, riding alongside me on the next one, strapped to a stretcher and screaming the place down, was mum-to-be.

The time it took to move her from the platform suggested either the ambulance had been stuck in rush-hour traffic or they'd expected a platform birth.

Eiher way, bet she calls it Paul.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Council papers - journalism they aint

I can fully understand why journalists on the breadline find the lure of jumping ship to council papers so attractive. But I can’t understand how they can still call themselves journalists. They’re not. They’ve taken the very well-trodden path across the road to PR.

It was ever thus. More than once a town hall took one of my promising, albeit starving, young reporters and gave them a living wage to write the sort of press releases they’d have rewritten or spiked a few days earlier. But they became as much a part of the spin machine as Alistair Campbell did when he left the Mirror for Whitehall – and never made any secret of it.

The defections have grown in line with the rise of council newspapers which are, in the main, awful. OK, in house magazine terms, which is more or less the genre in which I’d place them, some are not bad. But don’t let’s persist in the notion that they any more deserve a place in the media than the corporate newsletters big companies place in dump bins in the factory canteens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Katie and Peter - the latest chapter

Jordan and Peter Andre's marriage is on the rocks, and they have asked for privacy during their difficult time.

I'd love to think their wishes could be granted, particularly as I used to rent a flat to his publicist and never once felt tempted to invade his privacy. Mind you, he had faded from view after his one fairly forgetable hit.

But that's beside the point. Given that the pair met on a reality show that reinvigorated his career, they sold their wedding pictures for a sum equivalent to 50 backbenchers' expense claims and made a fortune by living their lives in front of the cameras, they've got as much hope of privacy as Newcastle has of winning the premiership.

Incidentally, the publicist moved out ages ago. Pity. I'd love to ask her what she thought of the mileage the couple are getting out of this, particularly as their story is currently the most read on several national newspaper websites - even beating those expenses stories.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Raising Standards?

Just seen the new-look Evening Standard. In a nutshell:

1. The masthead: play with that at your peril. Eros defined the brand. Not sure where that has gone.
2. Standfirsts: over-long. They call them sells in magazines, which are read sitting down. This is read standing up.
3. Those Tesco ads: top and bottom of facing pages. Hope Tesco paid through the nose for them to sacrifice the editorial that now flows under them.
4. The design: has a look of Lite about it; breezy, modern and a bit freesheet. It’s not. It’s the market leader. It’s paid-for and should evoke authority. The spot colours don’t help.
5. It’s also day one. The key here is not today, but next week and next month when the staff have settled into it and moulded it.
Good Morning, here's the bill

GMTV, my morning favourite, have done it again. This morning they flew two presenters and a film crew all the way to Monte Carlo launch their Win £100,000 competition.

“What better place?” they asked as they stood on the deck of the boat emblazoned with banners announcing the OK!-sponsored competition. Indeed. But why did the viewer not get a single image of this “millionaire’s playground”?

Close-ups, side of the boat, cartoon cutaways of Jenni Falconer wondering how the cash would change her life, but no Monte Carlo. Just the odd snatch of blue sky.

Glad I’m not signing off the eccies.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sorry can be the daftest word

Veronica Wadley must be chuffed to bits with the Standard's Sorry for losing touch campaign

All incoming editors arrive with a vision and want to stamp their mark pretty much immediately. But Geordie Greig’s campaign that includes apologetic ads on London buses is both risky externally and potentially undermining internally, if you factor in staff loyalties.

I've worked with Veronica and know she’s never one to do anything without conviction.

The only time I've shared office space with Geordie was in the eighties on the ill-fated Today. He moved on and may well have flown by the time Tiny Rowland bought out Eddie Shah and we relaunched with a campaign to mitigate the disastrous launch. By saying sorry. My views haven't changed since.

Sadly, there are many reasons for a newspaper to say sorry. Not agreeing with your predecessor isn't one of them.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Call me cynical..

“I’m from a marketing company ringing on behalf of Vodafone. You recently changed your Blackberry handset and we’d like to ask you some questions. Were you satisfied with the service?”

“No. It took three days when I was told it’d be done in one. I had nom proper explanation and was left without a functioning handset for much longer than I was told I’d have to.”

“Can I ask what profession you’re in. Is it public relations, marketing, sales of journalism.”


“In what position exactly.”

“Managing editor of a national newspaper.”

“Could you hang on a moment?”

A full minute later…

“Are you the person who dealt directly with the handset transfer?”

“Of course not. I have people to do that.”

“In that case, we can’t talk to you. We can only speak to those directly involved. Goodbye.”

I’ll spare the rest but summarise my response: You asked a customer care question of a media worker and got a negative response. You gingerly asked if they were in journalism and took advice on the implications. Then you came with a closing question to which there could be only one answer.

No hard feelings. I wrote this on the new Blackberry. Works a treat.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I paid £50 not to see Bob Dylan

There are some stars who just don’t get bad reviews. Paul McCartney’s concerts will always get the same slavish treatment as his divorce hearings. The Stones can play Honky Honk Woman like a pub band and still be lauded as iconic.

That’s probably why Andy Gill let him off lightly in the Independent and Bloomberg’s Mark Beech cut him a little slack after his piss-take of a performance at the O2 on Saturday night. Only Andrew Perry in the Telegraph seemed to see the concert I saw. That is, before I joined the other poor souls who voted with their feet totally hacked off after booking a ground-floor seat only to find they could neither see or hear him properly.

They couldn’t hear because his voice, so past it, it was rendered a grumble, didn’t take advantage of the arena’s sound system and couldn’t see because the wave of dew-eyed superannuated hippies who rose to their feet to greet his arrival, stayed upright throughout and the hapless hundreds from row B backwards were denied the convenience of the big screens that usually flank the stage.

Why? Because, venue staff assured me as I left, burbling Bob, Pop’s Poet Laureate couldn’t be doing with it.

Fine, I suppose: if you’re a true pop icon who’s always played by his own rules, we can expect no more.

Just don’t charge £50 a ticket and make us work harder than the band for the privilege. And don’t let nostalgia say it’s anything other than what it was.

Glad that’s off my chest. Now, what’s the chance of a refund?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No stop press at Press Gazette

Yet again, Press Gazette has been saved from closure, this time after being bought Progressive Media. It’s website opened for business again yesterday and it looks like we’ll be getting another edition for May.

Editor Dominic Ponsford said the deal was “a positive sign for all journalists working on titles going through dramatic change”.

I’d say that was an understatement.

I was, for different reasons, a little sad to learn that The Ecologist will stop printing from July and spare the carbon footprint by publishing exclusively online. It’s innovative, leads by example and the decision is completely in keeping with a magazine that has done shedloads to raise awareness of some of the most serious issues facing mankind.

All I can say is that it’s come a long way since its early days in small first floor office in Tavistock High Street when it tried to make an editor out of a local newspaper reporter who knew so little about the environment he arrived early for the interview and kept his car engine running for 20 minutes to keep warm while he sat in a car park reading a back copy and trying to convince himself that the Baldwin Effect was nothing to do with Coronation Street.

Luckily, I didn’t get the job.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To print or not to print

What would you do if the chairman of the local bench was up in his own court for shoplifting, threatened to pull his firm’s advertising if you ran a word of it and your staff urged caution because his wife had heart problems? Oh, and he was a pillar of the local community, did shedloads for charity and was a big golfing buddy of your chairman.

Yep – the poor sod gets 100pt Ariel Bold across the front page, a decent turn inside on his wife’s sudden heart attack and a cross-ref to a leader on how we expect our betters to set an example.

Obvious, yes? But not to the journalists of the future, apparently. The scenario is one used in media workshops run by the Independent Schools Careers Office to make candidates think about the dilemmas they could be facing in the real world.

Over two days last week, 40 of the 70-odd candidates from schools such as Eton and Cheltenham, said they’d either not publish it at all, or tuck it away inside so as not to sensationalise. A few said the decision was purely commercial, but most sympathised with his position and didn’t want to upset his wife.

Where does this come from? It’s not as if these extremely bright youngsters, all destined for our top universities, don’t read newspapers.

Could it be that these papers simply give a more caring impression than some of us may imagine?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Law and order, an appreciation

Last week saw the end of Law and Order, not the glossy NBC one on at the moment but the G F Newman four-parter I first watched on a black and white portable in 1979. If you’re unlucky enough to have missed it, it was the seediest of tales about a small-time villain framed for robbery by a bent cop.

It told the story through the eyes of the villain, the copper, the lawyer and, eventually, the prisoner “banged up” for a stretch because “he was well overdue”.

It was full of “nonces” and “slags” saying things like “leave it out,” and “do me a favour” and the worst swearing was the occasional “bladdy hell.”

But what made it so special was that it just rang true. Not the institutionalised corruption (heaven forbid) but the sheer vagaries of a justice system itself well overdue for a clean-up.

I spent days on end in courts in those days and absolutely recognised the judge who wouldn’t hear a word said against the police, the brief who met DCs in pubs to “do a bit of business”, the hapless families who packed the public galleries, the juries who got it all wrong and the prisoners who emerged with tales unbecoming of a modern penal institution.

Newman's tale was both entertainment and nostalgia for the days when the first seeds of a healthy cynicism were sown. Whether fact ever really mirrored fiction, I didn't know. But that didn't matter quite as much as the moment the elderly court reporter I'd spent years siting next to felt compelled to write to the local paper to voice his frustration at having to sit through "allegation after baseless allegation of police curruption made by criminal elements".

Friday, February 13, 2009

What a load of pap

Not the best night for press relations last night with BBC3’s somewhat repetitive mini-doc Paparazzi: Next Generation. Camera crews followed a group of young bucks with telephoto lenses, driving with one hand, jumping red lights and sticking their cameras in the faces of everyone from Amy Winehouse to Goldie Hawn.

Narrator Lee Williams did his best to big them up by referring to them variously as Top Gun, Lone Gun and Sharpshooter and pondered what it must be like “looking down the barrel”. There were shoulder-cam shots of chirpy chappies running around in pursuit of prey and one or two of them came over well; waiting for hours in one spot, giving it large when the moment came, and downloading £££-a time shots from their laptops.

But it was worth it to see the hapless Ryan Essex standing outside a Thames-side hotel waiting for the prime Minister emerge from credit crunch crisis talks. Somehow he hadn’t sussed that while shouting “Paris” outside Stringfellows may elicit a pout in his direction, shouting repeatedly “Gordon” would not.

Having failed to snap anything of value he complained: “It would have hurt him to turn round. Why is he so moody?”

He may have got a few pix in the papers, but it wouldn’t hurt to read them….

Friday, February 06, 2009

Oh Carol, you and your big mouth

It didn't surprise me at all that Carol Thatcher compounded her golliwog gaffe by taking ages to apologise.

From the little time I've spent in her company, it's obvious she has a somewhat bombastic sense of fun and I’ve no doubt, genuinely imagined it to be innocuous at the time and in the context she said it.

Admittedly, it would have been better if she'd fessed up and backed down on the spot. It’s daft, belongs to a best-forgotten age when black and asian people were described as coloured and it’s galling to find it’s still in circulation. But did it really warrant Adrian Chiles and Jo Brand "storming out" in disgust? Stick her firmly in her place by all means. It’d sink in later. But don’t blab…

Carol's a big character, great fun and it’s the public’s loss to see joining the queue through the BBC’s PC exit door.

And don‘t tell me there is any contrition in this punishment. No sooner had Jonathan Ross served his time in obscurity, he was back on his Friday night show taking the p*** and milking it for all it was worth.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Courting contempt

They've done it yet again. My local free magazine, The Voice of the Village, has committed another blatant contempt.

The same mag that all but convicted a drunk driver a day or so after his arrest, this week, under the headline; 'Man charged with post office robbery' listed in detail the full indictment, including times and dates of eight other charges and the date he is due in court.

But it also included the killer lines: He was responsible for the attempted robbery...he threatened staff... he demanded money...before lapsing into belated anonymity by concluing that 'the man' escaped in an uinknown direction on his bike.

And if there were any doubt as to who the guilty party is - they used an old police-issue mugshot.

There but for the grace and all that . . . but someone should have a word.