Facts are sacred. Spelling, less so.

March 12th, 2015

Alan Rusbridger, soon to depart after 20 years as editor of the Guardian, reflecting upon his early years at the paper:

For quite a long time the Guardian struggled to get my name right #oldcuttingsbooks

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June 9th, 2014

If you think the only thing wrong with Instapaper is that you have to read the articles you've saved on a phone / tablet / computer screen, Newspaper Club have just the product for you: InstapaperOnPaper PaperLater. From their blog:

PaperLater lets you save the good stuff from around the web and enjoy it in a newspaper made just for you. When you find yourself on something you'd prefer to read in print, just press the 'Save for PaperLater' button in your browser, and we'll do the rest.

When you've got enough articles, hit print and we'll automatically layout, print and ship you a newspaper. It'll be on your doorstep in a few days.

What gets me isn't the 'read it on paper' angle; I get that a lot of people prefer to read long form pieces on paper, and I'm sure Newspaper Club do a nice job of formatting a piece from the web so that it works well in print. But I just can't get past the 'on your doorstep in a few days' thing. A few days! Are we living in the Dark Ages?

[Via @cityofsound]

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Oh, (Little) England…

December 31st, 2013

The Daily Mail in a Nutshell:

DAILY MAIL IN A NUTSHELL: Top rated comment - refuses to read... on Twitpic

[Via Memex 1.1]

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June 16th, 2013

Alex Hern reckons that #guardiancoffee is the future:

Journalism is dead. Come on, we all know it. The only problem is that it's also kinda useful.

[Via Martin Belam]

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We Are Amused

April 30th, 2013

James Fallows caught the Times being very naughty in captioning a news photo earlier today.

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With apologies to the Grauniad's sub… >

March 26th, 2013

The Guardian Truncation Team highlights the occasional unfortunate consequences of the paper's mobile app truncating all headlines at the two line mark:

Loyalist protestors urged to end Belfast...

[Via Martin Belam]

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Not making a fuss, Ma'am. Just a little … worried.

March 5th, 2013

Freed to kill…?

[Via @michaelhogan, The Morning News]

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It shouldn't be allowed

November 23rd, 2012

I think my favourite part of the newspaper report about a Pervert caught pleasuring himself in slurry for third time (From This is The West Country)

A man found naked in a field amongst cow dung and mud had been sexually pleasuring himself, a court has heard.

It was the same farm he had returned to over a period of seven years.


When police officers arrived soon after, they found him covered in a large amount of slurry and mud, in a quagmire, surrounded by tissues.

This is the third time that he has appeared in court for this kind of behaviour. […]

… is that the first comment on the article is from a reader objecting to the fact that the newspaper's web site filed this story under 'Devon'1 when the incident took place in Cornwall and the offender was from Cornwall. After all:

Readers unfamiliar with the geography of Britain may inappropriately be led to believe that this sort of thing could possibly be allowed to happen in Devon.

[Via Blood & Treasure]

  1. I don't currently have a cornwall tag on the site: I suppose in the circumstances I should create one.

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Sexy A-Levels, 2009 – 2011

August 16th, 2012

Why Sexy A-Levels must die:

2) We're all fabulously important people now. Seriously you guys. we're like the 1% these days and this shit does not look good on golf club applications. Or we're just busy.

[Via flashboy dot org]

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As it [happened|will happen]

July 18th, 2012

Martin Belam predicts the tenor of Olympic media coverage by the British media over the next few weeks:

DAY FIVE: After a couple of failed drugs tests, and a fracas in one of the men's hockey matches, nearly all newspapers feature an online poll: "Is the spirit of the Olympics dead?". Except the Daily Express which features a poll "Would Diana have enjoyed the London Olympics?"


THE DAY AFTER: The general consensus is "Wow, that was great. What can we bid for next?"

Three months later: George Osborne cites the Olympics as a "special factor" in worse than expected economic results as the UK hits a triple-dip recession


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Showcasing his post-prison body

February 11th, 2012

Sometimes I think Marina Hyde is wasted on the Guardian's Lost in Showbiz column. Then she writes a piece like Abu Qatada's weight and the showbizification of terror and I realise she's exactly where she needs to be, doing $DEITY's work:

[The Daily Mail…] is distressed the corporation should regard "extremist" as a value judgment best avoided in news reports, where "radical" would do. But more than that, it seems, they are incensed at the Beeb's guidance on Qatada's present dimensions, despite the fact it was clearly only given to ensure current rather than out-of-date stock pictures are used. "BBC staff have also been advised against using images of the preacher looking fat," the paper shrieks to its readers. "He is apparently now much slimmer than he used to be."

"Apparently"? Now come, come, Daily Mail. This disingenuity does not become you. I put it to you that you knew very well indeed that Qatada had slimmed down – just as you are aware of even minuscule cellular changes in the adipose layers of everyone from Cheryl Cole to third-tier government ministers to babies such as Harper Beckham, who are only one whitewashed inquiry into press standards away from being described as "pouring their curves" into romper-suits and the like.

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'Who are those people over there, laughing?'

January 31st, 2012

Harry de Quetteville, Obituaries Editor for the Daily Telegraph, on The Art of the Obituary:

[It is…] rare for us to reflect on funeral arrangements, although there are exceptions. It may be fitting to note that a Spitfire will fly over the church where a Battle of Britain fighter pilot is being buried, or that the proprietor of a famous haunt for sozzled actors has asked for mourners to come to his funeral in costume and make up. Rob Buckman, the doctor who died last October after a career which was devoted to improving the way medics counsel the terminally ill, left instructions for a recording to be played at his own interment. It was to run: "Thank you so much for coming. Unlike the rest of you, I don't have to get up in the morning."

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Abu Dhabi 6, Texas 1

December 21st, 2011

Frank Keating's article on the best of 2011's letters to the editor finds room for a reminder of a classic of years gone by:

Memories here a week ago of the late John Arlott stirred a friend to send the cutting he had hoarded for 35 years of a long-forgotten letter to the editor after John and I had enjoyed a lunch at Lord's on the day we reported on the start of a new cricketing summer. It was from Catherine Waterson of Bishopbriggs, Glasgow: "Sir, I see that the English cricket season has begun in typically changeable weather. So changeable that the sun did not once come out at Lord's for John Arlott on page 20 but shone all day for Frank Keating on page 21. Yours sincerely."

No doubt Keating's summons to appear before the Leveson Inquiry to account for himself is in the post.

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December 1st, 2011

Clarifications & corrections from the Daily Mail.

[Via LinkMachineGo]

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Actually, they did…

October 4th, 2011

The Daily Mail on the Amanda Knox verdict: you couldn't make it up!

[Via MeFi user Artw, posting to this MetaFilter thread]

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September 21st, 2011

In the preface to a new edition of Good Times, Bad Times, former Sunday Times and Times editor Harold Evans finds one small consolation in the wake of his having left the News International empire:

On my departure from the Times I became a non-person, and it proved a very happy experience. For years my birthday had been recorded in the Times, a matter I felt more and more to be an intrusion into private grief. After my resignation, my name was left out of the birthdays list. I then came to regard each passing year as not having happened since it had failed to be recorded in the paper of record, and I adjusted my stated age accordingly. More recently my name has been put back in the birthdays list, which is a pity. Perhaps this new edition of Good Times, Bad Times will generate another act of rejuvenation.

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August 5th, 2011

Want to freak out a newsroom full of college journalists?:

Sit them down at manual typewriters and ask them to plunk "2011" onto a piece of paper.

They'll only make it halfway.

"Mine's broken!" one reporter at Florida Atlantic University yelled a couple of Saturdays ago, when we launched the inaugural ALL ON PAPER project. "There's no number 1 key."

"This one is busted, too!" yelled another.

"They're not broken," I replied. "Manual typewriters didn't have a number 1 key. They used a lower-case L instead."

"Seriously?" asked the first reporter. […]

"That's totally fucked up!" declared the second. Those same words have been repeated often these past two-and-a-half weeks, as we've embraced pre-computer technology to publish the last summer issue of FAU's student newspaper, the University Press. […]

[Via Feeling Listless]

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

July 17th, 2011

Robert Fisk remembers working at Rupert Murdoch's Times:

He is a caliph, I suppose, almost of the Middle Eastern variety.

You hear all these awful things about Arab dictators and then, when you meet them, they are charm itself. Hafez al-Assad once held my hand in his for a long time with a paternal smile. Surely he can't be that bad, I almost said to myself – this was long before the 1982 Hama massacres. King Hussein would call me "Sir", along with most other journalists. These potentates, in public, would often joke with their ministers. Mistakes could be forgiven.

The "Hitler Diaries" were Murdoch's own mistake, after refusing to countenance his own "expert's" change of heart over the documents hours before The Times and The Sunday Times began printing them. […]

[The paper's foreign editor…] dispatched me to editor Charles Douglas-Home's office with the Reuters story and I marched in only to find Charlie entertaining Murdoch. "They say they're forgeries, Charlie," I announced, trying not to glance at Murdoch. But I did when he reacted. "Well, there you go," the mogul reflected with a giggle. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." Much mirth. The man's insouciance was almost catching. Great Story. It only had one problem. It wasn't true. […]

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July 16th, 2011

Long ago, in an era before newspaper web sites had comments:1

From Lt. Col. A.D. Wintle.
The Royal Dragoons
Cavalry Club
127 Piccadilly W.1.

To the Editor of The Times.


I have just written you a long letter.

On reading it over, I have thrown it into the waste paper basket.

Hoping this will meet with your approval,

I am
Your obedient Servant

(Signed, 'ADWintle')

6 Feb '46

  1. OK. An era before newspapers had web sites.

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'You could always freelance for a while'

July 9th, 2011

The News International scandal gets the Downfall parody treatment.

[Via Liberal Conspiracy]

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