Dog watches dog 15.04.05


You’ve heard of Benji the Binman, the Fleet Street tipster who goes
through the rubbish bags of the rich and famous in search of scoops to
sell (and if you haven’t, then go to page 13).

Local journalism, however, has an even less glamorous version.

Step forward, Dan the rubbish man.

Herald reporter Dan Sanderson didn’t get to make any extra cash from
the story, but he did get to keep the Marigold gloves his editor
graciously let him buy on expenses.

And the intrepid journalist
had the satisfaction of knowing that searching through a dumped bin
liner that had been rotting for weeks in a Worthing alleyway will help
the local council bring one fly-tipper to book.

Dan, 24, a Herald
reporter for six months, said: “Going through someone else’s dumped
rubbish has got to be the worst job I have had so far. But I found at
least five envelopes addressed to the same person, so we have a good
idea who dumped the bag.

“The town centre alleyway is a
disgusting mess and I was able to pass on the details to the council,
and it may lead to a prosecution.”

Editor Jon Buss said: “It was a dirty job and somebody had to do it.

And that person was Dan.

always try to take the story just a little bit further and finding out
who might have been dumping the rubbish by going through it was a
public service. Dan should be proud of himself, even if he brought the
smell back into the office with him.”

There’s no accounting for non-Catholic tastes

Greg Watts, a press officer and media consultant with the Catholic
Communications Network (that’s the Church’s press office to you and
me), was left speechless after putting a call in to PR Week.

As he explained to the reporter who answered the phone, it might be
worth writing about how busy his team had been this past week.

There was a long pause.

“Sorry, er, what’s the news story?”

Not even a disaster can make Croydon attractive

Staff at IPC Towers in Waterloo are reportedly up in arms about the
company’s disaster plan, which involves relocating all staff, should
the bomb drop, to work out of offices in… Croydon.

Despite a recent Times article proclaiming the south London
satellite town to be the new Manhattan (and the fact that the Press
Gazette team have been, er, happily working from Kate Moss’s birthplace
for the past six years), many staff have refused to take part in a
proposed field trip intended to make sure they all know how to get that
far south of the river.

Former hardman evokes the spirit of Christianity

Former NUJ general secretary Harry Conroy was back in the limelight
at his most ebullient last week – holding forth, for the benefit of the
Scottish media, on the recently deceased Pope and matters involving the
Roman Catholic Church.

Conroy, who as FoC at the Daily Record earned a legendary hardman
reputation, was called on to pontificate in his current role as editor
of The Scottish Catholic Observer – and not, as he repeatedly had to
remind his interviewers, The Catholic Herald.

On the BBC’s
Newsnight Scotland, Christine Odone – a former editor of The Catholic
Herald – was expounding on the late Pope’s absence of liberal
tendencies when Conroy butted in to denounce her views as those of “the
metropolitan chattering classes”.

Viewers will have noticed Odone looking distinctly unchuffed about the gravel-voiced Conroy’s withering putdown.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Conroy was
equally outspoken and to the point. In the midst of discussions about
who the next Pope should be, and how the college of cardinals would
vote, he patiently explained that everyone had forgotten who else would
be to the fore the moment white smoke rose from the Vatican.

“Who would that be?” asked presenter Derek Bateman in all innocence.

“The Holy Spirit,” growled Conroy – clearly enjoying his role as a pundit enormously.


Express Newspapers journalists showed their bottle on Friday while taking industrial action over a pay claim.

Meeting in a wine bar close to their HQ in Lower Thames Street, in
the City of London, they enjoyed a vintage bottle of Enyoojay (geddit?)
with their food as they mulled over their quarrel with their employers.

mandatory two-hour chapel meeting by journalists from the Daily Star,
Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday marked a return to
industrial action in Fleet Street for the first time in many years.

than 70 journalists left their posts to take part in the dispute over a
3.3 per cent pay offer. By taking action they hope to bring management
back around the negotiating table for more meaningful talks on
holidays, contracts, casual rates and extra money for the low paid.

They are also demanding a resumption of house-agreement talks.

And what colour was the wine? Ah yes… red.

Dog fans are encouraged to send their own suggestions of what such a
grape variety might taste like, in return for the usual prize of a
‘Trust me, I’m a journalist’ badge.

Agency says ‘never mind the b*ll*cks’

Unlike hotel-trashing rock stars, who are all in a day’s work for
the NME, Manchester news agency boss Brian Whittle spells trouble.

Whittle has written to the picture desk over an unpaid Cavendish
bill of £150 for a gig photo. “I understand you are now refusing to pay
our invoice and offering us a kill fee of £75. This is not acceptable,
neither is shouting at our office staff, telling them, ‘You’re not
going to win this argument,’ and slamming the phone down.

if it’s the wrong time of the month but we will win this argument, and
you will pay the £150 commission agreed in the first place. We will
also inform all our colleagues in the National Association of Press
Agencies, Press Gazette and elsewhere, of your appalling behaviour so
that they know how the NME picture desk treats its contributors. In the
meantime stick the NME up your bottom.”

How very rock and roll.

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