Tag Archives: columnist

Media Trust and the Sun launch new Column Idol contest

The Media Trust and The Sun have joined together to launch this year’s Column Idol competition,.

The contest, now in its second year, is open to 18 to 25 year olds. Six shortlisted entrants will have the opportunity to be mentored by journalists from the Sun newspaper and the overall winner will then be given the chance to have their column printed in the tabloid.

Applications are now open and can be submitted until 20 June.

From Marxism Today to the Mail on Sunday: Suzanne Moore on the life of a columnist

Columnist Suzanne Moore’s career has has taken her, somewhat improbably, from Marxism Today to the Mail on Sunday, via the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, a stab at politics. This weekend gone Moore began writing for the Guardian anew. On Friday she was in Bristol to deliver the annual Benn Lecture.

I never applied to be a newspaper columnist, there’s no job application form, and it certainly wasn’t the family business … I’d always liked reading, but I came from the sort of family where it was seen as a sign of depression.

Listen to full lecture at this link.

Press Complaints Commission: Sunday Times columnist breached Editors’ Code

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint from television broadcaster Clare Balding against language used in a television review by AA Gill, published by the The Sunday Times in July.

Balding complained that a reference to her in the article as a “dyke on a bike” was a pejorative reference to her sexuality, irrelevant to the programme and a breach of Clause 12 (discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The newspaper had defended its columnist on grounds of freedom of expression and said the word “dyke” had been reclaimed as “an empowering, not offensive, term” by two “Dykes on Bikes” organisations. But the PCC said in this case the term was used in a “demeaning” way.

In this case, the commission considered that the use of the word “dyke” in the article – whether or not it was intended to be humorous – was a pejorative synonym relating to the complainant’s sexuality. The context was not that the reviewer was seeking positively to “reclaim” the term, but rather to use it to refer to the complainant’s sexuality in a demeaning and gratuitous way. This was an editorial lapse which represented a breach of the Code, and the newspaper should have apologised at the first possible opportunity.

See the full adjudication here…

Monbiot, the Spectator and the ‘spiked’ debate

Environmental campaigner and journalist George Monbiot vents his anger with the Spectator on Guardian.co.uk today. It’s the latest update to a saga in which the Spectator and the Guardian columnist dispute the facts over a proposed debate between climate change denier Ian Plimer and Monbiot.

It has never taken place but both sides disagree as to why. Spectator editor Fraser Nelson declares the publication of Monbiot’s correspondence with the Spectator on Monbiot.com ‘an act of desperation’. Today Monbiot retorts that he is glad he did publish the emails in full:

“Among other accusations, he [Fraser] maintains that I spiked the debate the magazine was hoping to organise between myself and Ian Plimer. This is the opposite of the truth. It was the Spectator that spiked the debate.”

EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk’s makeover

A new look for  Guardian.co.uk’s environment pages was unveiled today, with the promise of more editorial content from its six correspondents.

“The Guardian has built this unrivalled team in the belief that environmental issues, and in particular global warming, is the defining issue of our age, combining politics, economics and social justice,” said James Randerson, editor of EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk, in a release from Guardian News & Media.

“We hope that all of the new features on the site – together with the enthusiastic participation of our visitors – will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to understand the context behind the headlines.”

Expert correspondents now include one in Washington DC, one in China and one dedicated to green technology, the release said.

Also announced:

  • A new video series featuring the Observer columnist Lucy Siegle
  • To mark the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December, the foreign secretary David Miliband will answer users’ questions in a live online Q&A at lunchtime on Tuesday (September 8, 2009) – time to be confirmed.

Randerson is asking for user feedback at this link.

Homeless Tales: Elle Magazine offers an internship to homeless blogger

Homeless Tales reports that one of its US bloggers, Bri, has been offered a four month internship at Elle magazine, with columnist E.Jean Carroll.

It came about after Bri wrote into Elle, after failing a screen test for a reality TV show offering an internship with the publication.

An extract (full letters on Elle.com)

Dear E. Jean: I’m currently homeless and living in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I’m educated, I have never done drugs, and I am not mentally ill. I have a strong employment history and am a career executive assistant. The instability sucks, but I’m rocking it as best as I can.

(…)

My question: How does one get another shot when one screws up a job interview? —Homeless, but Not Hopeless

And an extract from E.Jean’s reply:

“You knocked me out with your courage and spirit. I am therefore, Miss Not Hopeless, offering you a four-month internship. Of course it’s the most hideously humdrum internship in America. (…) At the end of the four months, if you don’t have a job and an awesome place to live, I will become your intern.”

Full post at this link…

More at NYMag.com.

Paperhouse: The Telegraph’s ‘financially contrary’ newsroom

Following Boris Johnson’s flippant comment about his ‘chicken feed’ column payment (a deal earning him £250,000 a year) Sarah Ditum takes a look at the Telegraph’s financial strategy:

“The Telegraph is in the perplexing position of having both made rather a lot of money last year, and then lost even more of it buying itself out of joint ventures. And from the outside, the newsroom looks similarly financially contrary: the Telegraph appears to have invented seven sports hacks to cover up a reliance on agency copy, and yet still have the money hanging around to spend a quarter of a million hiring Boris Johnson as a columnist.”

Maybe, she ponders, for the Telegraph to agree to that kind of money, he does add ‘galactic levels of value to a masthead’.

Full post at this link…

The Mayor of London on the BBC’s HardTalk programme, in which he describes the ease of bashing out a column on a Sunday morning:

Guardian: Columnist fired for reviewing leaked Wolverine film sues Fox News

Roger Friedman, the former Fox News columnist who was sacked after reviewing a leaked copy of the last X-Men film, is suing his former employer for a reported £3 million ($5 million) in damages.

Friedman’s dismissal on April 4 was followed by a statement from News Corp, which said the company had ‘zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy’, the Guardian reports.

But the writer claims his review was ‘tacitly cleared’ by his editors.

Full story at this link…

Afghanistan in the media: ‘The Good War?’ Public meeting – July 13

A public meeting is to be held in London on July 13, hosted by Media Workers Against the War / Stop the War Coalition.

The Good War? Afghanistan in the media

Speakers include:

  • Stephen Grey, investigative journalist embedded with British troops in Helmand and author: ‘Operation Snakebite: The Explosive True Story of an Afghan Desert Siege’, and ‘Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program’.
  • Guy Smallman, photojournalist, recently returned from Helmand.

7pm, July 13: Friends Meeting House (small hall), 173 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ, opposite Euston station.

Telegraph.co.uk: Peter Foster responding to China Daily’s claims

The Telegraph’s Peter Foster writes: “In an article headlined ‘Who is spinning the propaganda?’, Patrick Whiteley, an Australian columnist for the paper [China Daily], attacks The Telegraph for ‘constantly labeling’ Chinese government initiatives as propaganda.”

“This is factually incorrect,” Foster responds. “When The Telegraph writes about Chinese health reforms or its plans to green the economy, as I have on this blog and in the pages of the newspaper, the word ‘propaganda’ is nowhere to be found.”

Full story at this link…