Gone to press: preview of this week's Press Gazette

It’s was a hectic morning after news broke last night of Express Newspapers’ extraordinary £550,000 libel payout and quadruple apology to the McCanns.

With a 10.30am print deadline we were up against the clock to get the story in this week’s mag.

But we did get some insightful comment from former Daily Mirror editor David Banks: “Group apology equals group conspiracy.” And from top media lawyer Caroline Kean on how other journalists can avoid repeating the mistakes made at the Express titles.

As an aside, the Express titles may have got away lightly – with more than 100 alleged libels, two victims, four newspapers and an upper limit on each libel payout of £200,000 – the mathematics are mind boggling.

Other newspapers will no doubt now be anxiously watching their fax machines for more writs and to see if Carter Ruck was just limbering up with the Express. More on this in the issue of 28.3.8…

But back to this week’s mag:
 

We look at reporting Iraq five years on – and ask why so few UK news organisations still have a full-time presence in the country.

We reveal a new levy on local newspapers which could cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Martin Stabe talks to the boss of one of the UK’s most popular news websites – MSN UK’s Peter Bale who says: “It’s not all about Britney.”

We take a closer look at News International’s Broxbourne printing plant – which claims to be the biggest in the world, capable of printing a million papers an hour.

Maggie Brown explains why Channel 4’s bid to obtain public funding is good news for journalists.

We detail the extraordinary stories of courage behind the six British Press Awards international journalist of the year nominations.

Zoo editor Benn Todd casts an expert eye over the relaunched Daily Sport: “By taking the Sport down the lads’ mag route it may end up falling between two stalls.”

In The Knowledge:

Phil Reay-Smith from ITV news explains how the broadcaster managed to persuade British troops fighting in Afghanistan to carry headcams.

The Guardian’s night editor James Hislop shares some trade secrets.

Cleland Thom explains how to proof read on screen.

Rosie Niven on how journalists can satisfy their taste for adventure while still earning a crust by obtaining a work placement overseas.

And Helen Kant offers some tips to freelances on surviving the recession by finding alternative sources of income on the peripheries of journalism.

Press Gazette gets posted to subscribers this afternoon. If you want to be one of the people seeing the mag first tomorrow morning – try out four issues for free.

Press Gazette is in newsstands on Friday. Find your nearest stockist.

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