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Author Archive for Roy Greenslade

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Sam Allardyce urges Daily Telegraph to release its secret tapes

Sacked England manager hopes to be exonerated by full record of meeting

Sam Allardyce is demanding that the Daily Telegraph release its tape recordings of his meeting with the newspaper’s undercover reporters, which led to his dismissal as England’s football manager.

Allardyce believes the full tape recordings might exonerate his behaviour – although the newspaper has been warned by City of London police not to give the tapes to any third party because of its ongoing investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption in British football management.

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New record for Leonard Barden, grandmaster of newspaper chess columns

The Guardian’s columnist has written weekly for the newspaper for 61 years as well as running a daily column at the London Evening Standard for 60 years

The Guardian’s chess columnist, Leonard Barden, has recently broken another record, according to a report on Chess Base.

It points out that Barden’s 61-year stint as the paper’s columnist – uninterrupted since September 1955 – has overtaken the 60 years and six months record set by Tom Widdows, who wrote weekly for the Worcester News from October 1945 until April 2006.

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New record for Leonard Barden, grandmaster of newspaper chess columns

The Guardian’s columnist has written weekly for the newspaper for 61 years as well as running a daily column at the London Evening Standard for 60 years

The Guardian’s chess columnist, Leonard Barden, has recently broken another record, according to a report on Chess Base.

It points out that Barden’s 61-year stint as the paper’s columnist – uninterrupted since September 1955 – has overtaken the 60 years and six months record set by Tom Widdows, who wrote weekly for the Worcester News from October 1945 until April 2006.

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Fairytale newspaper coverage for Leicester City’s fairytale victory

National press revels in the chance to report good news by recording the remarkable Premier League success by the 5,000 to 1 outsiders

Leicester City’s Roy-of-the-Rovers-style achievement by winning the Premier League dominated the front and back pages of the national press on Tuesday.

Amidst the Brexit debate, the Labour party’s internal strife and the ongoing war against Isis, editors clearly revelled in the opportunity to report a good news story.

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Two columnists depart from Glasgow Herald in row with Rangers

Award-winning sports writer leaves in disagreement over newspaper’s apology to football club… and a columnist who supported him is fired

Two columnists have lost their jobs at the Herald newspapers in Glasgow following complaints from Rangers football club.

Graham Spiers, an award-winning sports writer, departed after threats of legal action over one of his Herald columns.

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FA must intervene to stop journalists being banned by football clubs

Newspaper industry needs to get behind a sports writer’s call for action

A sports writer has called on the Football Association to intervene over the persistent problem of clubs either banning journalists or enforcing restrictions on them.

It’s a sensible idea, so I think all newspapers – national, regional and local – need to support the plea by Will Watt of the Blackpool Gazette for the FA to step in.

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Roy Keane sues Paddy Power over Braveheart poster image

Republic of Ireland assistant manager seeks compensation from bookmakerRoy Keane, the former footballer who is now assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland team, has launched a legal action against the bookmaker Paddy Power.He objects to the use of…

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Darts champion Phil Taylor fails in high court bid to gag the Sun

Judge allows newspaper to publish interview with his estranged daughtersThe Sun defeated a legal attempt by darts champion Phil Taylor to prevent the newspaper from publishing an interview with his two daughters.Taylor had sought a high court injunctio…

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Stan Collymore dropped as commentator by BT Sport after Twitter remarks

Football pundit calls for boycott of Rangers because of sectarian singing by fans

Football commentator Stan Collymore has been dropped by BT Sport from its coverage of tonight’s Scottish championship match between Raith Rovers and Rangers.

The former Liverpool and England striker revealed the decision on Twitter, saying it was “better to be right than bury my head”.

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Newspapers gnash their teeth in reporting England’s World Cup defeat

The picture on today’s front pages of The Times and The Independent of Luis Suarez consoling Steven Gerrard at the end of the World Cup match summed up the game’s emotional drama.

“Don’t cry, Kai. If Italy beat Costa Rica today… then Suarez & Co lose to Italy.. and Daddy scores a couple (or maybe more) against Costa Rica…”

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‘Super Mario’ Balotelli garners headlines after England’s World Cup defeat

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Ed Miliband apologises for endorsing the Sun’s World Cup issue

Labour party says leader ‘understands the anger that the people of Merseyside feel’ after criticism from councillors and MPs Continue reading…

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The Sun marks the World Cup by giving away 22m papers to English homes

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The Sun marks the World Cup by giving away 22m papers to English homes

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Trinity Mirror launches digital-first strategy as users flock to websites

Trinity Mirror is to launch the next phase of its digital-first strategy with a restructure of its operations in the north-east by taking a giant step into the future.

Under the slogan Newsroom 3.1, the company is introducing a new publishing process in its Newcastle and Teesside newsrooms.

In the coming months a similar digital-first working system will be rolled out to the publisher’s other regional centres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Huddersfield.

It comes against the background of a rapid increase in online audiences. Trinity Mirror recorded 119m page views on its regional sites in February alone, a year-on-year rise of 72%.

“There has been huge growth in the past year,” says the company’s regional chief, Neil Benson. Together, the regionals and the nationals (largely the Daily Mirror), are now drawing more than 60m uniques a month.

In a press release, Benson is quoted as saying: “Digitally, we have made great progress over several years but we now need to accelerate the growth and engagement level of our digital audiences.

“In an era when audiences want access to live-up-to-the-minute information across a variety of platforms, our working day will no longer be built around our print products.

“The new structure gives us the capability to produce more digital content all day and every day, while still producing brilliant newspapers.”

In practical terms, it means that the entire focus of newsrooms throughout the day will be on posting copy online. Previously, there was a tendency to favour digital in the mornings and then work on print after that.

Now content will be created in order to hit key digital audience spikes across the day, ensuring that users can find refreshed and new content each time they visit a website.

That online content will then be edited and packaged into the print versions of the north-east region’s newspapers – the Chronicle, Evening Gazette, Journal and Sunday Sun.

It amounts, in other words, to a change in the mind-set for the editors and journalists. Print comes second and with it, a change of editorial emphasis in the newspaper – “less megaphone, more discussion,” says Benson.

As for the effect on jobs, the overall size of the north-east’s editorial team will increase by 17. There will be 25 new roles but eight existing staff are at the risk of redundancy.

Among the new digital positions will be jobs specifically aimed at increasing audience engagement and driving traffic, such as social media editors, planning analysts and advance content writers.

In addition, two football roles will be created with a Newcastle United editor and a Middlesbrough FC editor.

Darren Thwaites, the publisher’s north-east editor-in-chief says: “The demand for local content is as great as ever and it’s our job to give the audience what they want, when they want it.”

Evidently, Newsroom 3.1 will make maximum use of content through SEO and social media as well as through digital analytics tools, such as Chartbeat and Omniture.

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Reading newspaper publisher apologises for Hillsborough tragedy insult

The publishers of a weekly newspaper have issued an unreserved apology for “appearing to link football hooliganism with the Hillsborough tragedy”.

The latest issue of the Reading Chronicle carries a front page story, headlined “The other face of football”, which says:

“Football hooliganism may be thought of as a relic from a previous age when gangs of denim-clad skinheads held the game to ransom and names like Hillsborough and Heysel were symbols of its ills.”

This statement was immediately condemned by the Hillsborough Family Support Group, which represents the relatives of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 disaster.

The article’s accompanying illustration – a mocked-up photograph of a man wearing a Reading FC shirt and brandishing a makeshift weapon – also prompted the Reading club to suspend its relationship with the paper.

Following widely-publicised criticism of the Chronicle – in the Daily Mirror (here), the Liverpool Echo (here) and across the Twittersphere – its publisher, the Berkshire Media Group, said it wished “to apologise unreservedly for appearing to link football hooliganism with the Hillsborough tragedy on our front page of this week’s issue.

“It was never our intention to do so and we fully accept that hooliganism played no part in the tragic events of 15th April 1989.”

It was signed by the managing director, Keith McIntyre. The Berkshire outfit is part of the Scottish-based Romanes Media Group.

Both the 1991 Taylor report and the 2012 Hillsborough independent panel report exonerated the fans by concluding that “hooliganism” played no part in the events that led to the tragedy.

Sheila Coleman, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said of the Chronicle article: “At a time when we are effectively being gagged from commenting on issues around Hillsborough and we’re closely following the coroner’s rules, it is appalling that an irresponsible press can choose to repeat the lies of Hillsborough that were put to bed a long time ago.”

The Chronicle’s editor, Maurice O’Brien, said: “We certainly in no way would wish to link Hillsborough with hooliganism. That certainly wasn’t our intention.”

But the Reading FC chairman, Sir John Madejski, said the article contained “a series of gross misrepresentations” which were “insults” to his club’s good name.

In a statement on the club’s website, he said: “In my opinion the nature of the article, and in particular the image manufactured for the front page, completely misrepresents the vast majority of our fans.”

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James Corden lands three exclusive interviews as the Sun’s guest editor

Comedian interviewed David Cameron and put topless men on Page 3 as he guest edited the newspaper for Sport Relief

The Sun was edited today by James Corden and landed three exclusive interviews. The first, which was splashed across page 1, was “an eye-opening interview” with prime minister David Cameron.

Political editor Tom Newton-Dunn describes the “high octane exchange” as “the toughest verbal grilling” Cameron has “ever had in No10.”

Among the “revelations” is Cameron’s belief that England was “lied to” over the 2018 world cup bid (which went to Russia) and that he wants London mayor Boris Johnson “back in parliament.” And that’s about it.

It was noticeable that Corden refused to run the usual picture of a topless woman on Page 3. He chose instead to carry a picture of himself and 11 male Sun staff in shorts. The caption said:

“There’s been a woman with her top off on Page 3 as long as I remember. I thought it was time the male workforce of The Sun gave a little back.

So here they are: The hottest hunks working on The Sun. You’re welcome, ladies.”

Corden also managed to get an interview with Tom Daley, the Olympic diving medallist, “speaking for the first time since coming out as gay.” And there was a third interview – with Real Madrid’s star turn, Gareth Bale. Corden also turned up in the Bizarre gossip column.

Corden’s guest editorship is part of this year’s Sport Relief fund-raising. According to the Sun’s leader, “the charity will get a penny from every sale of today’s paper”.

theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



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Paul Gascoigne paid damages by the Daily Express and Daily Star

Paul Gascoigne has accepted damages from the Daily Express and Daily Star in settlement of his legal action for defamation and intrusion into his privacy.

He made the claim against the newspapers after they published video footage on their websites showing him in an allegedly drunken and incoherent state.

They also ran stories making allegations about his private life and discussing his finances. At the time, Gascoigne, an alcoholic, had suffered a relapse.

The footage was shot without Gascoigne’s knowledge by a man called Shane Abbott in the former England footballer’s flat near Hastings in February last year.

The two newspapers agreed to pay damages and Gascoigne’s legal costs, thus avoiding a trial planned for July.

In papers filed with the court, Gascoigne’s lawyers said he had suffered a relapse in the months prior to February 2013 and needed extra treatment for alcoholism.

During this time “his life became chaotic and he mixed with drug addicts and alcoholics who would on occasion exploit him for asking him for money,” it was said.

“They would often use his home. He was also prey to people with neither affliction but who simply wanted to exploit him. One such person was Shane Abbott.”

Source: PA Media Lawyer Hat tip: Press Gazette

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Cricket writers alarmed at PA’s change to county matches coverage

The Cricket Writers’ Club (CWC) is up in arms about a decision by the Press Association to change the way it plans to cover county cricket from this summer.

A posting on the Sports Journalists’ Association website says the CWC has complained to the England and Wales Cricket Board over plans by its media contractors, PA Sport, to stop paying freelancers to report matches.

Ashley Broadley, PA’s sports editor, is quoted as saying: “When planning how to allocate our resources this year we took the decision to bring coverage of the county game in-house.”

In-house? That means PA will use its own staff to attend county grounds and when that isn’t possible, it will rely on officially generated data to provide score updates. It may also use Twitter feeds.

Supplying copy and scores to PA is a mainstay of many regional freelancers’ incomes. It is thought 20 reporters will suffer.

Mark Baldwin, The Times’s cricket writer and chairman-elect of the CWC, says his club is deeply concerned about the effect on county cricket coverage:

“It is conceivable that some county matches this summer will be played with no written media in the press box at certain times, as a lot of regional freelances see the PA contract as the basis for their commitment to attend every day of their county club’s home matches.”

The CWC is backed by the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA). Its secretary, Steven Downes, says: “This is the latest example of the erosion of the worth of proper journalistic values, and it undermines, yet again, the work of many of our members…

“The SJA calls on PA Sport to reconsider its position and ask them to make a decision that will uphold the integrity of its county cricket coverage.”

Back in 2001, PA did try to cover county cricket in-house but relented after protests from subscribers at both national and regional newspapers.

Sources: Sports Journalists’ Association/HoldTheFrontPage

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Scottish mainstream media ignores Rangers tax tribunal

I imagine that a big tax case involving a top English Premier League football club would be widely reported in the English-based national newspapers.

But things, as I’ve pointed out many times, are different in the Scottish media. So the latest set of hearings into the tax affairs of Rangers, at a tribunal in Edinburgh, have been all but ignored by the newspapers.

On the first day of the upper tier tribunal, the only mainstream media coverage I could find was a report on the STV website.

Given that the tax matter, which involves £36m, was a contributory factor in the financial collapse of the club, you might have thought it worth covering.

The STV article was a comprehensive outline of the case made against Rangers by HM Revenue and Customs following a previous (lower tier) tribunal which ruled against HMRC and in favour of the club over its use of employee benefit trusts. That decision was said by HMRC to be “deeply flawed.”

The article also pointed out that – unlike the first tribunal – this one is being held in public and is therefore reportable. Of course, it won’t be reported if there aren’t any reporters at the hearing.

At least the Scottish Sun has lighted on one important factor. The tribunal judge is, wait for it, a Celtic fan or, in Sun-speak, “a CELTIC fan.” He is Lord Doherty whose “real name” (love that touch) is “Joseph Raymond Doherty.”

In its “exclusive” page one report, The Sun quotes a spokeswoman for the judiciary of Scotland as saying: “This was all raised well in advance with both parties and no objection was taken.”

The hearing continues. Will the lack of reporting continue too?

Sources: STV/BBC/Scottish Sun

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