NoW drops scholarships after Greenslade 'rant'

By Dominic Ponsford

The News of the World has withdrawn its two
annual scholarships on City University’s journalism course in protest
at the “anti-tabloid views” of its professor, Roy Greenslade.

In particular, executives at the tabloid are unhappy about the way
Greenslade covered its Newspaper of the Year triumph at last month’s
British Press Awards in The Guardian.

In a 21 March piece
headlined ‘Hall of Shame’ he wrote that journalists on serious papers
“believe their profession has been devalued by the naming of the News
of the World as Newspaper of the Year”.

And he also reported that
one senior executive saw the News of the World’s Scoop of the Year
award for its Beckham affair story as a triumph of the chequebook.

Following the article, the News of the World decided to stop its sponsorship of the City University course.

It has sponsored up to two student journalists a year and five have gone on to work for the NoW .

News
of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner said this week:
“Regrettably we no longer feel able to work with the City University.

“We
are sad because our tie-up with City has produced reporters of the
quality of Ryan Sabey, who won the Young Journalist of the Year award
last month.

“We cannot have a situation where our graduates are
trained by a university with a professor of journalism conducting a
relentless hysterical vendetta against the tabloid media.

“Week after week, Roy Greenslade demonstrates that he is incapable of providing balance.

“For
example, in The Guardian on 21 March he plumbed the depths of
negativity about the redtops – particularly in his rant against the
British Press Awards and the News of the World.”

Greenslade again
criticised the paper in his column this week. He claimed the NoW
“routinely entraps people”, concentrates on “soft targets” and
condemned it as “Britain’s most venal and vulgar paper”.

Kuttner
said: “The NoW has exposed more drug peddlers, child molesters,
terrorists, gun racketeers and fraudsters than any other newspaper.

“If
Greenslade thinks these are soft targets perhaps he would care to put
his tender neck on the line every week like Mazher Mahmood and other
journalists here. Armed gangsters are far from soft targets. Especially
those whose criminal careers have ended up behind bars, thanks to
Mahmood’s endeavours and bravery. They have long, unforgiving memories.”

Kuttner
also emphasised that the paper’s Scoop of the Year revelation that
David Beckham was having an affair was obtained without use of a
chequebook – although payments were made for exclusive follow-up
interviews.

Greenslade said the News of the World’s decision to
pull out of City University “is a matter of complete indifference to
me”, adding: “I’m here to teach a course in journalistic ethics.

If
they don’t want their people to learn about ethics that’s fine. They
are shooting themselves in the foot because this is a great university
with a great record and they are denying people the chance to have this
wonderful opportunity of an education.”

The NoW is currently in talks with other institutions about starting a new scholarship scheme.

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