Back Issues 28.10.04


The News, Portsmouth, which this month found Hampshire Police reluctant to release details of a crash involving a
police car, was facing the same problem five years ago. Then the names of two WPCs injured in a crash were withheld. A police officer told the paper: “We wanted the dust to settle. We look after our own.”


There were calls for broadcasters to be vigilant over archive footage after film of the Bradford football stadium fire was released by ITN to a US disaster clips programme. Yorkshire Television’s lawyers were seeking redress from ITN and US broadcaster Fox after clips of victims of the fire were shown on the “shock” programme.


Rival Reading newspaper editors agreed a “no death knocking” pact following the Paddington rail disaster. Andy Murrill, editor of the Reading Evening Post, and Marc Reeves, editor of the Reading Chronicle, agreed they would not join the nationals in trying to get interviews with bereaved families. Instead, they said they would wait for relatives to contact them. Reeves said: “We are putting our usual rivalries aside on this. The national press is all over Reading like a rash and it’s going to be bad enough for relatives coping with that.” There were reports that relatives and friends of those killed in the crash had attacked national journalists when they gathered outside the homes of victims in Reading.


Remember News Bunny, the Weather in Norwegian, Topless Darts, the Bouncing Dwarf and Tiffany, who stripped as she gave out share tips? Then you were one of the viewers of Mirror Group’s Live TV channel. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough of you and the plug was pulled on the fledgling station. Former director of programmes Nick Ferrari wrote in Press Gazette that Live TV went wrong when it tried to be serious. “It was decided that Live TV should become grown-up, but it just wasn’t ready, willing or able.”


News International journalists were to get £500 for working the 10pm-6am shift on 31 December, eve of the millennium. The deal was said to be the best on offer by any national newspaper group. But in a letter to Press Gazette, Woking News & Mail editor Justine Stevenson bemoaned the attitude of young journalists who wanted the millennium eve off so they could join the celebrations. “Journalism is a vocation, a job we go into knowing that we will be working when others are playing and, what’s more, wanting to work when others aren’t, as that is when the good stories are often had.”


Sly Bailey, who was just about to become chief executive of IPC, hit back at The Mirror after it attacked women’s weeklies in a full-page puff for its new M magazine. The paper ran pictures of some of IPC’s best-known magazines under the headline: “Why buy any of these?” Bailey said: “I think it is interesting that newspaper publishers continue to emulate magazines as a means of hanging on to a declining circulation.” Ouch! One can only hope the person responsible for the attack on IPC had moved on by the time Bailey became chief of Trinity Mirror.

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