Dog watches dog

NOTE TO SUBS: DO NOT CORRECT ONE’S SPELLING

Has anybody got a lead for page 11? The anguished call from news
editors the length and breadth of the land is answered in many ways.
But how many can say that their prayers for copy have been answered by
a future monarch?

Fiona McWhirr, of The Press and Journal, Aberdeen, was able to use
this prestigious addition to the reporting staff last week – although
she admits it didn’t call for any great enterprise by the editorial
staff.

The royal byline appeared on a page lead to mark the
launch of the North Highland Initiative, a regeneration scheme in which
Charles became actively involved two years ago.

Prince Charles’ office at Clarence House approached the P&J and asked if it would be interested in an article penned by HRH.

Explains
McWhirr: “The reply was, of course, that the paper would be interested,
very interested indeed: and the copy duly arrived by email in the
newsroom.

“The prince’s office made no great demands on the
handling of the article other than to politely ask it they could leave
his spelling unaltered as he often likes to use ‘z’ in place of ‘s’.”

The
kennel will be happy to pass on any thoughts from the subbing community
about the royal reporter’s stylistic quirk to his office.

 

An obituary on Jan. 6, 1993, about
William G. McLoughlin, an emeritus professor of history and
religion at Brown University, misstated the date and cause of his
death. Professor McLoughlin died on Dec. 28, 1992, not on Jan. 4, 1993;
the cause was colon cancer, not liver cancer. The article also
misstated the location of his World War II military service. It was at
Fort Sill, Okla., not in Europe. The Times learned of the errors
through a recent e-mail message from a family member.

The above correction appeared in the 29 July edition of The New York
Times, putting right an error it had made a mere 12 years earlier. Was
this, Dog wondered, the slowest correction ever to appear in a
newspaper?

Dennis Griffiths’ Encyclopaedia of the British Press, the fount of
all such knowledge, explains this is very far from a record. In fact,
it’s held by The Observer, which on 20 January 1991 corrected a piece
about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in which it had given his nationality as
German (he was Austrian) and the wrong date for his death.

The
date of the original piece was 5 December 1791 – nearly 200 years
earlier. The Observer correction noted: “As today is his birthday, we
should like to take this opportunity to apologise to the composer’s
family.”

 

Horrocks’ mountain MEN in trouble at 45,000 feet

Dog’s best wishes go with editor Paul Horrocks and his team of
intrepid Manchester Evening News stalwarts, currently halfway up Mount
Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Kirsty Appeal. But it seems they
almost didn’t make it to base camp. A technical hitch forced the
Africa-bound plane carrying the expedition to turn back to Britain.

The eight-strong team – including Horrocks and deputy managing
director Mark Rix – are due to trek to the summit of the fearsome peak
in Tanzania this weekend.

But their British Airways flight to
Nairobi was turned back when the captain reported a fault with the
aircraft’s weather radar tracking system three hours into the flight.
At the time the plane was flying in darkness 45,000 feet over Tripoli
and because there had been thunderstorms reported in the area, the
pilot was forced to return to Heathrow.

Dog is sure that reports Horrocks was seen tampering with the tracking system before take-off are wildly wide of the mark.

 

The Guardian’s website reported the news of Lachlan Murdoch’s
departure from his father’s media empire with its usual rigour. But was
that strap ad at the top of this comment piece really just a
coincidence?
 
Not playing the game
 
Livingstone FC, the Scottish football club that
narrowly escaped relegation from the Scottish Premier League last
season, could do with some solid PR advice.

Last week the club posted a notice saying that journalists and
photographers would need to pay a £5 entrance fee to get into the
club’s stadium car park.

Fortunately, someone at the club saw sense, and an instruction went out the following day: Please ignore.

We would bloody hope so.

You can’t put a good Stan down

Stan the man lives on. Unceremoniously booted out of the Bristol
Evening Post last month in the Northcliffe cull, deputy editor Stan
Szecowka’s picture disappeared from the paper between editions. His
face and number were used to promote a readers’ line to generate and
get feedback to stories.

But although his picture and job have been axed, Dog is glad to hear
that Stan’s disembodied voice lives on. If you dial 0117 934 3302, you
can hear him cheerfully urging you to leave a message.

If only it
was a recording of his feelings at being told to clear his desk in 10
minutes after more than 20 years’ graft for Northcliffe.

Now that would be worth paying a premium rate for.

 

From the Clacton Gazette. Poor Frank. As he might have said to the
writer and sub who let this one through: a plaque on both their houses.
 
Fleet St still has a hold over Reuters
 
Reuters’ ceremonial farewell to Fleet Street
after 66 years at number 85 gave a headline grabbing opportunity which
it seized in June with aplomb, laying on a service at St Bride’s, which
was attended by the great and the good of the industry.

Its employees from all six centres were to be relocated to an impressive 10-storey building at South Colonnade, Canary Wharf.

But
what’s this? Dog hears that the London reporting team, the Treasury
desk and picture editors have ended up at Kildare House – apparently
Canary Wharf was considered too far out for them when they needed to be
on the spot for central London stories. Their office is at 3 Dorset
Rise – directly behind 85 Fleet Street and just the shortest of
stumbles into the street of shame itself.

They tried to tear themselves away, but they still can’t quite leave.

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