Dog watches dog 28.10.04

The Campaign for Real Exclusives swings slickly back into action
courtesy of this piece of audacity by the Daily Mirror last week. Its
splash “Exclusive” – a word capped-up in 32 point, no less, reversed
out of red – heralds a story about Tory MP Jonathan Sayeed suggesting
that ITN news legend Sir Trevor McDonald had benefited from positive

But hold on, wasn’t that the story broken by the previous day’s
Independent in its Pandora column? The same story that was followed up
by the Evening Standard and other newspapers? It was indeed.

At least Mirror reporter Gary Jones had the good grace to drop an
email note to Pandora’s Guy Adams. “Sorry about that. Problem of
working for our kind of tabloid. Good story tho,” he said.



Charity begins at Newsquest

“The Missing £millions” sang the Southern Daily Echo’s front page
splash of 14 October, explaining how the organisers of one of Britain’s
biggest charity campaigns were still chasing money that had been pledge
in its Race for Life event – a sponsored run.

The Echo coverage was complete with a leader saying how “shameful”
it was and urging those who took part to “go the extra mile” and hand
over the cash they had promised.

But what’s this? A letter arrives in Dog’s basket, dated 14 October,
from the organisers of another charity event, the Walk To Cure
Diabetes. It thanks teams for taking part and urges them to send the
remaining sponsorship money that they owe. Attached is a handy table
showing the generous sponsors whose amount pledged is not yet matched
by the amount banked – including a £1,219 shortfall from Newsquest
Media (Southern) plc, owners of…. the Southern Daily Echo.

Game of two halves at the Mail

This spread from the Daily Mail’s sports pages really had Dog
scratching his head. It was a report of Chelsea’s victory in the
Champions’ League, courtesy of two goals from John Terry. But what
could that headline mean? Convinced it must be a witty pun, Dog set the
kennel’s best brains on the case, but they too admitted defeat. Only
then did a pair of eagle eyes spot the two stars in the top right hand
corner. It appears the right hand page was from the second edition,
while the left came from the third.

A good sport

It’s refreshing to come across a journalist who is distinctly unfazed about those who take the piss out of his profession.

Graham Spiers, chief sports writer of The Herald, engagingly reports
that two football-loving Cambridge academics, John Leigh and David
Woodhouse, seriously take the mickey out of his trade in a new book,
Football Lexicon: A Dictionary of Football Journalism .

Reveals Spiers: “I warn both authors – the hacks won’t like this book at all.

One of the oddest things I have discovered about my own business is
that journalists ordinarily cherish the principles of criticism,
ridicule, mocking or lampooning in print… erm, except when they are
turned on themselves.

Why, then they are deemed repulsive.”

Spiers affirms that Leigh and Woodhouse have a field day. His own favourite, is the following sequence of cliches:

1. If a goal is wrongly disallowed by a linesman then it is always “a perfectly good goal”.

2.When this happens, a team’s celebrations are either “cut short” or, more usually, “short-lived”.

3. If the goal stands, but the opposition quickly equalises, then they are said to have “immediately hit back”.

Dog will be stocking up with these handy Christmas stocking fillers for a few sporting luminaries of his acquaintance.

Stalinist Yorkshire

Johnston Press executives in West Yorkshire appear to have taken a
leaf out of Stalin’s book, erasing “unfashionable” individuals out of
their official history.

The Batley News celebrated its 125th birthday recently, and a
special pullout remembered, among other things, the men who’d had the
editor’s chair.

The office historian, however, managed to leap from
ex-editor-in-chief Keith Hustler to the popular Barry Salmon,
completely by-passing Danny Lockwood, who actually upgraded Salmon to
the chair. Nothing to do, surely, with Lockwood’s launching of a rival
paper against the News and its parent Reporter Group? “An oversight,
I’m sure,” said Lockwood. “And the Royal Mail obviously mislaid my
invite to the official birthday bash…”

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