This week in Press Gazette - Journalism Weekly: Axed editor issued with 'bizarre' writ

In this week’s Press Gazette – Journalism Weekly (CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE)

1 Axed editor issued with ‘bizarre’ writ. A sacked magazine editor has been issued with a “bizarre” writ by his former employers after returning home to find a bailiff on his doorstep.

"You wonder what a charity is doing spending that amount of money to silence a journalist. The whole thing was just bizarre and annoying, but now it has been encapsulated in a high court writ."

3 BBC names ‘digital pioneer new director-general. The BBC Trust has appointed Lord Hall, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, as its new director-general.

"It’s been a difficult few weeks – but together we’ll get through it. I’m committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world. I’m committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work."

4 Cam, Clegg and Ed want ‘action’, says Hacked Off. All three Party leaders met with representatives of Hacked Off yesterday and reportedly all said they “want to see action in this Parliament and as soon as possible” to regulate the press.

"All three leaders were ready to stand up to the propaganda and smear campaigns of some newspapers, who are trying to undermine Leveson before it has even reported. Finally, all of the leaders agreed that when Lord Justice Leveson has reported, there should be swift action."

David Montgomery and Steve Auckland

6 Monty’s Local World to resuscitate regional press. Seven years ago the Daily Mail & General Trust put Northcliffe up for sale with bids starting at £1.2bn – but withdrew the regional press group for sale after it failed to get the price it was looking for. On Wednesday it accepted just over £52m for its regional newspaper arm and a 38 per cent stake in new owners Local World, in what signals one of the biggest shake-ups of the local press in recent years.

"We are going to stop the trend of cost reductions for the sake of cost reduction. We are going to grow the business and invest in people. We are prepared for a fight back in local publishing in many different forms."

8 Gilligan cleared after High Court hack ‘extortion’ bid. The High Court has thrown out a privacy action against the London Evening Standard which centred on the baseless claim that journalist Andrew Gilligan hacked the emails of a businessman.

"Where a person assumes a role of national importance, as Lord Coe did, and it is a role which requires a clear separation between it and his private business interests, then the public has an interest in knowing to whom he has entrusted matters relating to his private business interests."

9 Sunday Times sued by Ryanair over safety claims. Ryanair is suing The Sunday Times for libel over an article claiming the airline operator routinely breached safety violations.

The 23 September story was based on a leaked a report from Spain’s air safety agency and claimed the company had broken safety rules 2,210 times in Spanish airspace in the first half of the year.

10 How students turned £20 into one of Northern Ireland’s fastest growing websites. Online news site The Newry Times was launched in December 2011 by three graduates struggling to find work in the region’s recession-hit media. Editor Paul Maloney tells the inspiring of how one year on, the website now regularly attracts 14,000 readers a month and some of the biggest advertisers in Ireland.

"They say that finding a good idea is the hard part but I disagree. In my experience, finding good business advice was the hardest and proved the most elusive. None of us had any business experience but, speaking personally, I knew a long time ago that running my own business was something I would always end up doing."

New Broadcasting House. Pic: Reuters

12 Newsnight is dying of shame… it is a ghost of its former self. Ex-BBC man Michael Cole writes:

"I am sad to see the BBC in crisis but not surprised. The rot set in years 30 years ago when the Oxbridge clever dicks ousted the seasoned journalists who had made BBC News trusted around the world.

"I saw it happen. When I joined the BBC in 1968, the senior journalists were people who’d learned their trade on regional and national newspapers. They would rather have died than broadcast an unchecked story, as Newsnight did, disastrously."

13 Give me a nose for news over cheque books and chancers. Former Daily Mirror editor David Banks on the death of The Sun’s former medical editor Leslie Toulson:

Les was the editor’s dream: a constant supplier of ‘Hey, Mabel!’ stories, particularly on sleepy Sunday afternoons when a Monday morning splash was always going to be hard to source. You might remember some of the stories he fished out of learned medical journals and remote scientific papers and laundered through the Sun into folklore:

Sardines Make You Randy, Scientists Prove . . . Sperm Swims Faster in Outer Space, Astronauts Warned . . . Cows Give More Milk Listening to Pop Music . . . Radioactive Fish Breed Better; every Toulson headline demanded an exclamation mark.

14 Leveson must mediate the clash between freedom and privacy. Head of journalism at City University on the “phoney war of words” being fought over Lord Justice Leveson’s upcoming report.

"Is Leveson’s choice on future regulation really a simple one between a tougher regulation system backed up by new law and a revamped version of the self-regulatory Press Complaints Commission?

"It isn’t and it needn’t be. There’s a third, better way."

16Financial crisis: Good news for economics journalism. Sky News economics editor Ed Conway explains why economics has been the backdrop to some of the biggest stories over the past four years – and how some of his biggest scoops came from figures no one else had the appetite to dig into.

"It doesn’t feel like all that long ago economics journalism was regarded as boring, inaccessible and hardly the kind of backwater an aspirant reporter should be aiming for. Perhaps if there’s one good thing to come out of the financial crisis, it’s to have put right this misconception."

Israel airstrike in Gaza. Pic: Reuters

18 Growing evidence journalists are a target in Gaza. T here was growing evidence this week that the Israeli Defence Force has been deliberately targeting the media during assaults on Gaza.

"Hamas chose, out of all the buildings in the Gaza Strip, to choose this building – the media, civilian building – to place its electronic infrastructure and communications on the rooftop. The target was on the roof and only that target was hit."

19 Never buy papers – they ruin your weekend. If you ask me with David Hepworth, a writer, broadcaster and editor who has worked on titles including NME, Smash Hits, Just Seventeen, Q, Empire, Mojo, More, Heat and The Word.

"I have no patience with people who spend hours telling you they’ve got no time. My advice to writers is the same as PG Wodehouse’s: ‘First apply the seat of the trousers to the surface of the chair.’ If you’re asked to do something the only answer is yes."

24 Axegrinder: The Sun gleefully monsters Guardian, why the FT and Times have fallen out of favour with MPs, and one of the most parochial headlines ever written.

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