Back Issues 03.02.06

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 0 1

Royal trio
and hottest ticket Press Gazette revealed that Prince Charles, Camilla
Parker Bowles and Prince William had chosen the Press Complaints
Commission’s 10th anniversary party as the first official engagement
they were to attend together. The news was a great coup for the PCC and
the event was quickly dubbed “the hottest ticket in town”.

‘Downing case will change British law’

A
jubilant Don Hale, editor of the Matlock Mercury, was pictured outside
the Appeal Court after convicted murderer Stephen Downing was granted
bail. Hale had been running a long campaign to free Downing, who had
spent 28 years in prison for the murder of Wendy Sewell, a crime he
denied. Hale told Press Gazette: “I am elated. I think it has been a
vindication of my six years of hard slog.”

Banned from filming
Western journalists in Beijing were banned from filming in Tiananmen
Square following a suicide attempt by five members of the outlawed
spiritual movement, Falun Gong. Reports in Chinese newspapers said
journalists could face charges of “instigating and abetting” a suicide
if they had been involved in planning the incident in which the five
set themselves alight. One woman died as a result of her burns. Richard
Bestic, then Sky News’s Asia correspondent, said relations between the
foreign media and Chinese authorities had plumbed a new low.

Settlement
for secret sum in sex discrimination case A journalist had settled his
sex discrimination claim against the Birmingham Post & Mail.

Gary
Hopkins, a court reporter, was about to claim at an employment tribunal
that the company had discriminated against him by refusing to let him
work more flexible hours so that he could help look after his
five-year-old son. He said his wife earned more as a civil servant than
he did as a regional reporter and the family could not manage
financially if she had to work part time. The terms of the settlement
were kept confidential.

Cream forced to change its name – for
£25,000 New glossy lifestyle magazine Cream was forced to change its
name less than a month after its launch because of a legal challenge by
the Liverpool nightclub, Cream. The cost of changing the magazine’s
name to Ampersand was £25,000.

Thomson earns top US honour Robert
Thomson, then US managing editor of the Financial Times and now editor
of The Times, had been named business journalist of the year in the
Journalist & Financial Reporting awards.

Pierce-ing scream
Times assistant editor Andrew Pierce had survived an attack by two
muggers in a London park. Quotable as ever, Pierce told the Dog column:
“I screamed like a girl and one of them said, if I shouted any more he
would stick a knife in me.” It was then Pierce used his secret weapon.
“I didn’t want them to get my contacts book, so swung at them with my
briefcase. I had forgotten there was a bottle of champagne in it – a
present from the Times Diary.” The muggers fled empty-handed.

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