Axegrinder: Newspaper reporting now worse than being a janitor...Torin recalls a particularly middle class revolt at the BBC

Good news from the Loverson Inquiry

It’s rather sweet really that an office romance has come out of the Leveson Inquiry.

Loathsome perma-tanned counsel for the victims of press intrusion David Sherborne has somehow managed to win the heart of married counsel for the inquiry Carine Patry Hoskins.

The Daily Mail is in a ferment of moral outrage over the affair, crying foul over how it could have compromised the process.

The Sun played it for laughs by giving away “a FREE holiday for two romantic readers to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini.

“And – just like Leveson lovebird lawyers David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins – you don’t have to be in a relationship before you step on the plane to paradise…”

The pair insist that the romance only blossomed after the inquiry had finished. But Axegrinder doesn’t see why professionals on opposing sides of the fence can be romantically entangled.

Remember, for instance, David Leigh who was news editor of the Daily Mirror when his wife Sue Thompson was news editor of The Sun.

He once told Press Gazette: “We’d be on duty at weekends, bidding for the same stories – she’d be on the upstairs phone and I’d be on the downstairs one talking to our respective reporters. If she got the story I wouldn’t be best pleased and vice versa.”

Middle-class revolt

Torin Douglas, who has taken redundancy after 24 years as BBC media correspondent, once had to encounter middle-class revolt against proposals to radically change the Radio 4 longwave offering.

Reminiscing on his 24 years, he said: “Perhaps the most surreal BBC story I ever covered was the protest march on Broadcasting House in the early 1990s when the BBC was planning to turn Radio 4 longwave into an all-news station – the one that eventually became Radio 5 Live.

“The middle classes descended on Broadcasting House in droves, one Saturday afternoon – and you can still find my report in the BBC archive.

“This was the politest march you have ever seen and heard.  

“They were chanting: ‘What do we want? Radio 4.’    

“‘Where do we want it? Longwave.’”  

“‘What do we say? PLEASE.’”

Reporting is the worst profession?

Axegrinder has always taken the view that at least journalism is clean work indoors, but according to the US website CareerCast.com being a newspaper reporter is worst profession there is.

It rated 200 jobs on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, stress and hiring outlook. And newspaper reporter came out worst.

Reporting ranked some 50 places below being a janitor. Actuaries came out top.

Tony Lee publisher of CareerCast.com said: “It’s been low for a while”, (last year the role of newspaper reporter was ranked 196 out of 200). “What probably pushed it to the bottom is that several things got worse – job prospects decreased, the average salary continued to fall, and work hours continued to rise. Those factors also make the job more stressful.”

To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.

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