Back Issues 06.01.06

‘The BBC is hideously white’

BBC
director general Greg Dyke had hit the headlines with his controversial
claim that the BBC was “hideously white”. Dyke made the remark in an
interview with Anvar Khan on BBC Scotland’s The Mix. BBC journalists
told Press Gazette that they felt the BBC was dominated by all-white,
all-male managements – the “men in suits”. One journalist claimed that
the proportion of staff from ethnic minorities in the newsroom was 8.8
per cent – the highest at the BBC – but added: “I think we [in news]
are more representative on air because we’re more conscious that you
can’t have just white men, but the management is still totally white
male”.

Grob was ‘Crook, cheat, liar, traitor’

The
Sun did not mince its words after the Court of Appeal overturned a
finding by a jury that it had libelled Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce
Grobbelaar. “Crook Cheat Liar Traitor” declared The Sun on its front
page. The Appeal Court had ruled that the jury’s decision to find
against The Sun was “perverse” and that, in all probability, Grobbelaar
had been a party to corrupt practices. He was stripped of his £85,000
award. A bid by Grobbelaar’s lawyer to stop the Court of Appeal’s
decision being made public, ahead of an application to the House of
Lords for leave to appeal, failed. Lord Justice Brown pointed out the
story was likely to already be running while the application was being
made. He was right. PA and Reuters put out the story within minutes of
the judgment being handed down.

Hall determined Hello will remain upmarket of OK!

Former
News of the World editor Phil Hall had been made editor-in-chief of
Hello!, which was locked in a circulation fight with OK! Hall said he
was determined not to take the magazine downmarket to compete with OK!
“I think there are two distinct magazines – OK! is the Mirror of the
magazine world; Hello! is the more upmarket brand, closer to Tatler
than to OK! And it’s very important that it must stay there.” He said
he did not want to see Coronation Street stars on the front of Hello!

Journalist murders up, deaths down

The number of journalists killed covering wars had dropped
dramatically during the previous year. According to the World
Association of Newspapers, 46 media workers were killed in 2000,
compared to 71 in 1999. WAN reported that seven journalists died in
crossfire in conflict areas, compared with 46 in 1999. The
International Federation of Journalists put the 2000 death toll at 62.
Reporters Sans Frontieres, the press freedom campaign group, estimated
in its annual report for 2000 that close to one-third of the world’s
population was living in countries without any press freedom.

Bulger killers get anonymity for life

The killers of James Bulger were given anonymity for life. Dame
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss granted injunctions restraining the media from
disclosing information about the new identity of Robert Thompson and
Jon Venables, their appearance or addresses when they were released
from detention.

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