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Northern Echo invests £10,000 in bid to ‘save’ Darlington Football Club

February 20th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Newsquest title the Northern Echo has announced an investment of £10,000 as part of a campaign to try and ‘save’ Darlington Football Club.

The newspaper reports that “the money will be used to buy shares in new company, Darlington FC 1883 Ltd, which hopes to purchase the Quakers and prevent it from being liquidated”.

Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, said: “The paper has been at the heart of the campaign to save Darlington Football Club from the outset and we have decided to make this investment as a further demonstration of our support.

“These are challenging economic times for all businesses and we recognise the sensitivities of making this investment. However, as Darlington’s local paper, we felt it was something we had to do. Darlington Football Club is an important part of our business, supporting sales of the paper, and it is an investment on behalf of our readers.

“The £10,000 will be split over the three phases of the appeal and I sincerely hope we get that far. It certainly won’t be for the lack of effort.”

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The Jobless Journalist: Week four – Are subbing and reporting roles merging into one?

September 23rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs

This is the fourth post in a series from an anonymous UK-based journalist recently made redundant. To follow the series, you can subscribe to this feed.

Last week I blogged about whether you should apply for subbing jobs if you’re a reporter or a features writer.

This week I’ve spoken to two journalists – one print and one online – about the ‘concertina effect,’ i.e. whether subbing and reporting roles are merging into one, particularly in an online environment.

Peter Sands is a veteran newspaper sub and director of PA Training and insists that the standalone sub is far from dead.

Even with web publishing where content goes live before it is subbed (meaning the reporter has to ensure copy is clean first), Sands says the role of the sub-editor is still vital.

“I would definitely say that you have to have a second pair of eyeballs,” he says.

Sands was editor of the Northern Echo in the early 1990s and admits much has changed since then.

At that time there was real animosity between subs and reporters: “In Darlington there was the Red Lion pub for subs and the Britannia for reporters and never the two should meet,” he says.

While Sands believes the sub is alive and kicking, he acknowledges that their role is being redefined. “The divide [between reporters and subs] has really gone now,” he says.

Sub, web editor and corporate blogger Fiona Cullinan agrees: “Divide?  What divide? The divide is less about reporting versus subbing and more about are you engaged or not, are you digitally included or not?”

“By not engaging more in online environments, traditional journalists are not developing their digital writing or subbing skills, let alone all the other skills that go with publishing to the web, like picture research under Creative Commons licences, image manipulation, linking skills, SEO knowledge, how to upload and promote content, and the big one: the ability to deal with readers talking back to you.”

Apart from the odd typo creeping in when you publish first and hone later, many reporters who write straight to the web can face serious libel issues.

Cullinan says checking factual inaccuracies and avoiding legal pitfalls is ‘perfect sub-editor territory‘.

“From what I’ve read, reporters in multimedia newsrooms are being asked to sub their own work; meanwhile subs are being made redundant,” she adds.

“How reporters are supposed to sub to old-school standards, perhaps with minimal experience or training, and 24-hour newsroom deadline pressures, should be interesting!”

Cullinan also points out that the comments section can act as a ‘rather more public second set of eyes, pointing out your typos and incorrect facts’.

The upshot? To keep up with the changing face of journalism a reporter needs to be savvy about subbing as well as having other web skills, but it is still the sub-editor who has the last word.

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Reverend Peter Mullen’s apology: ‘Homosexual men and women among my dearest friends’

October 14th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

In the latest (and possibly last) of the Reverend Mullen updates, the vicar apologises again over at his, no doubt more popular than usual, column in the Northern Echo. Some extracts:

  • “I do believe The Evening Standard took my words out of context”
  • “I number many homosexual men and women among my dearest friends”
  • “What I do oppose – on the authority of the Christian faith – is the corrupting influence of the promotional parades of homosexuality by such as Gay Pride demonstrations.”
  • “I was delighted to be so warmly welcomed at church last Sunday by the many homosexual people in my congregation.”

He quotes Sandy Toksvig as making the London Stock Exchange / buggery quip on the Radio 4 News Quiz, which I yesterday attributed to Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times… Maybe Liddle thought of it at exactly the same time as she did.

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Why the Northern Echo will carry on employing Reverend Mullen

October 13th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

Today the editor of the Northern Echo, Peter Barron, again addresses the issue of his controversial columnist the Reverend Peter Mullen.

Barron writes that he told Mullen that his comments on Mullen’s personal blog, which were extremely derogatory towards gay people, were ‘not funny’ and had placed Barron in a ‘difficult position’.

Today Barron writes:

“Should I go on employing someone as a columnist who had written such comments, albeit on a private blog which has nothing to do with The Northern Echo? I know there will be those who believe that the answer should be a resounding “no”.

The Northern Echo is a broad church, with columnists representing all shades of opinion.

Their views do not necessarily coincide with the views of the paper.

I do not always share Peter Mullen’s views.

But I regard him as a high quality, thought-provoking writer. His decision to remove the offending remarks from his website, and to issue an unreserved apology for causing offence, were essential steps if he were to continue writing for The Northern Echo. His column tomorrow will be an expression of regret.”

So Mullen keeps his column. But Mullen’s most notable position is not as a regional newspaper columnist. As Rod Liddle pointed out in yesterday’s Sunday Times, Mullen is also chaplain of the London Stock Exchange. Liddle wrote:

“Mullen’s principal worry is about the act of buggery – although he seems censorious about it only when it takes place between two consenting adults, rather than when it is applied without consent to the entire country.”

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Priest who wrote offensive comments about gay people on blog keeps newspaper column

October 9th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

The vicar who faced national outrage after he posted offensive comments about gay people on his personal blog will continue writing for the Northern Echo newspaper.

The Rector of St Michael’s, Cornhill, in the City of London, and chaplain to the Stock Exchange, Peter Mullen, has been widely criticized for posts on his blog, including: a poem about gay marriage; a suggestion that proponents of gay culture should have a tattoo across their buttocks; and a call for Gay Pride parades to be outlawed.

Nonetheless the priest will continue to write his column for the Northern Echo, which can be read online.

The Northern Echo’s editor, Peter Barron, wrote on his own blog this week that he had advised Mullen to issue an apology to the Press Association, and that Mullen would be writing another apology in the Northern Echo next week, even though the original comments were not ever posted on the Northern Echo site.

Mullen has now deleted his blog but the offensive comments can be read in this Google cache (via Zefrog).

On a side note, if you now search priest + sodomy, on Google most the results return articles about Peter Mullen. Ironic, that.

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