Axegrinder: Bell declines opportunity to hit back at Mail; Eye apology; trade titles slip through regulation net; Guardian's theft warning

Sir David Bell turns down chance to hit back at Daily Mail

Axegrinder attended the annual Stationers’ Company lecture by Sir David Bell last week hoping that the Media Standards Trust founder might take the opportunity to hit back at the Daily Mail.

Back in November the Mail devoted 11 pages to condemning Sir David for his sinister links with other “elitist liberals” who wanted to take over the world and were in fact shape-shifting lizards. Or something like that anyway.

Sadly (for me) Sir David kept his response dignified when quizzed about the episode.

“I didn’t recognise most of what was in that article and thought the best thing was to leave it alone and that’s what I have done.”

Eye’m sorry

Rare that see you an apology in Private Eye, especially one as craven that which appeared in the 22 March edition.

Under the headline Peter Cruddas – an apology, the Eye noted that in its coverage of the Paul Foot Awards it said that The Sunday Times was shortlisted for a piece suggesting that Mr Cruddas “has even prepared to receive a donation illegally from a Lichtenstein fund”.

In its apology it says: “We now know that Mr Cruddas has brought libel proceedings against the Sunday Times over what it published, and that in these proceedings the Sunday Times’s defence does not claim that Mr Cruddas acted unlawfully.”

Strange that such high-profile legal proceedings (Cruddas has already successfully sued The Independent over a related matter) should apparently be news to the Eye.

Trade titles slip through the net

Apparently trade titles like Retail Week (and presumably Press Gazette) won’t be covered by the exemplary damages threat used to underpin the proposed state-recognised press regulator.

This is the word from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The fact that it also does not see the British Medical Journal as a publisher of “news related material” will also, I suspect, come as something of a surprise to the many excellent journalists working there.

One bemused insider told Press Gazette: “We do some hard-hitting stuff, but we won’t be fighting to be regulated either”.

Thieves pose threat to Guardian office

The Guardian may have the swankiest national press offices by some way, but it is a different world when journalists leave the building. York Way, near Kings Cross, is still apparently holding out against gentrification five years after Guardian News and Media moved there.

A sign in the entrance hall warns staff to guard against the attentions of thieves operating outside the building who have been targeting them.

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