Back Issues 06.05.05

MAY 2000

BY JON SLATTERY

Wade joins News of the World

Rebekah Wade was made editor of the News of the World following the
surprise departure of Phil Hall. Wade, 31, was moving over from The
Sun, where she was deputy editor. Hall told Press Gazette: “I’ve had
five great years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

BBC lures Bowen back from Middle East

Jeremy Bowen returned from the Middle East to co-anchor the BBC’s
new breakfast show. BBC chiefs had been wooing Bowen for some time to
take the post. The dangers of covering the Middle East were underlined
the same week when Bowen and cameraman Malek Kenaan were covering the
Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. They had just got out of a car when it
was hit by a tank shell. The driver, Abed Toukash, was killed.

Morgan admits share dealing breach

Trinity Mirror backed Mirror editor Piers Morgan after he and the
company admitted the Editors’ Code of Practice was breached in relation
to share buying and tipping at the paper. It followed a Press
Complaints Commission investigation that ruled Morgan had twice
breached the code by dealing in shares tipped by the paper and his
conduct, in not ensuring his staff rigorously followed the code, “fell
short of the high professional standards demanded”.

Sex discrimination claim by male reporter

A male journalist lodged a sex discrimination claim against the
Birmingham Post & Mail after he said he was forced to give up work
to care for his hyperactive son. Court reporter Gary Hopkins claimed
the newspaper group had failed to offer him alternative hours that
would enable him to collect his son from school. Hopkins said his wife,
a civil servant, earned more money than he did and the couple could not
manage financially if she went part-time. The case ended in a
confidential settlement.

A juicy appointment for Marr

Andrew Marr landed the plum job of political editor of the BBC,
replacing Robin Oakley. Marr was then working as a columnist for The
Observer and the Daily Express. He had to fend off accusations that he
was a “Blairite” appointment. Two years earlier, Marr had lost his job
as editor-in-chief of The Independent when Simon Kelner came in as
editor.

Dennis backs publishing’s idiot savant

Felix Dennis had been revealed as a backer of former Loaded editor
James Brown’s new publishing company, I Feel Good. Dennis told Press
Gazette: “I guess it’s slightly odd to invest in someone else’s
company. I have never done it before, but James is a bit of an
exception. The industry needs an idiot savant and he is close to a
genius.”

It’s not bullying, it’s my right

Alastair Campbell hit back at claims that he bullied the press. He
told the British Society of Magazine Editors that, as Tony Blair’s
spokesman, he had every right to correct newspapers when they got
things wrong. “I don’t know where the bullying thing comes from,” he
said.

“The media basically think that comment should be a one-way street.”

In search of salary details

In a forerunner to the NUJ attempting to use the Freedom of
Information Act to obtain BBC documents, journalists in Ireland had
requested salary details of state broadcaster RTÉ’s top presenters
using FoI legislation. The journalists wanted to know how much Gay
Byrne, host of The Late, Late Show, was earning.

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