Dog watches dog 29.04.05

STAFF ON STANDBY AS WEB EDITOR FEARS VOTER APATHY

The Norwich Evening News has used its website to good effect during
the election, in particular running a series of live “web chats” with
local candidates. Readers were invited to submit their questions for
the sessions, which were each scheduled to last an hour. But what if
the election campaign hadn’t captured the imagination of enough
web-savvy Norfolk folk? Forward thinking web editor Patrick Prekopp had
spied the danger, as this memo to all staff shows:

A reminder regarding the WebCasts this week.

There is no guarantee that enough people
(general public) will take the opportunity to quiz these illustrious
candidates. Therefore, to save any embarrassment, uncomfortable
silences and red faces all round, I would appreciate it if each of you
would send me at least one pertinent question to post during any lulls
in the webcasts.

Directory enquiry
service 118888 shouldn’t have any problems recouping the cost of its
£10m relaunch aimed at winning back share from market leaders BT and
The Number. When a journalist dialled up the service to get the phone
number of the Dublin headquarters of owners Conduit, he was told that
she would have to ring 118888 every time he wanted to be put through –
and be charged 39p for a connection plus 9p for every subsequent minute
he was on the line. A nice little earner.

They
need not be ideologically challenging, politically testing or right-on
questions – although it might help depending on what we get from the
great unwashed – but make them relevant, or fun but definitely local.

Readers
and web visitors can file their questions in advance by e-mail to
webdesk@edp24.co.uk or go online on the day and take part in the live
interviews.

Please leave a name – it can be a nickname, first name or even your real name – and phone number for reference.

Thank you in anticipation.

 

Is this the way to cover up news in Chowchilla?

Jack W Pacheco, 35, of Chowchilla, California, was upset when his local newspaper reported he had been arrested on drug charges.

He insists the drugs weren’t his, but when the newspaper wouldn’t
pull the story he tried to buy every one of the 700 copies of The
Chowchilla News that were printed, and estimates he got as many as 600
of them.

“I have a whole garage full of newspapers,” he says.

There
were only three things wrong with his plan: first, the paper also
prints 550 copies for subscribers, which weren’t intercepted; second,
after Pacheco bought up the remaining newsstand copies the newspaper
had 500 more printed; and third, Pacheco’s tactic was reported on by
other local papers – and the report was picked up and spread
internationally by newswire services… Nice try though, Jack.

 

ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS…

Western Daily Press deputy editor Chris Cowley was asked to sign
this classic expenses claim from reporter Erin Dean, who had been sent
over to Germany to meet war veterans during the paper’s run-up to the
VE Day 60th anniversary celebrations.

The details were as follows: Two nights accommodation in Colditz plus breakfast… £47.70.

 

BRIGHT IDEAS DISCOURAGED

How many BBC staff does it take to change a lightbulb? Too many, if
a recent memo to staff at the new £250m media centre is anything to go
by.

It seems that lights in the stairwell at the centre were flickering
annoyingly, leading some staff to take direct action. Too direct, it
turns out.

Customer services co-ordinator Louise Wood has emailed
all workers, explaining that the property management company will be
carefully investigating the problem.

“All bulbs will be replaced, each will be monitored daily and any failings noted,” the memo explained.

“Some staff in the media centre may be aware that by ‘tapping’ the fittings they can be temporarily repaired.

“I
would ask that during the trial staff refrain from ‘tapping’ fittings
where the bulbs have failed to ensure that our results are accurate.”

Those whose jobs are under threat will no doubt be disappointed that their simple cost-saving actions have not helped.

 

Conduit proves to be a big drain on the pocket5

Directory enquiry service 118888 shouldn’t have any problems
recouping the cost of its £10m relaunch aimed at winning back share
from market leaders BT and The Number. When a journalist dialled up the
service to get the phone number of the Dublin headquarters of owners
Conduit, he was told that she would have to ring 118888 every time he
wanted to be put through – and be charged 39p for a connection plus 9p
for every subsequent minute he was on the line. A nice little earner.

 

Great excitement this week at the arrival of the new Empire
magazine, complete with its “breathing” cover – which is supposed to
sound realistically like Darth Vader when opened (see page 7).

Alas, one kennel inmate’s reaction to the ceremonial opening may not
be quite the response Emap was hoping for: “Reminds me of the
soundtrack to a German porn film.”

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