Friday, 20 April 2018

Can you handle the heat of the newsquiz?

Last week's newsquiz was seen as a tough one by most online players. That didn't stop Liz Gerard scoring a very healthy 19 though. The top team, led by Heather Clifton, scored 17. Here's this week's quiz. As usual 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.


1. Former head of the civil service Lord Kerslake called for an investigation into who authorised the destruction of thousands of what?
2. Theresa May apologised to the Windrush immigrants threatened with deportation. Why are they called Windrush immigrants?
3. According to senior EU diplomatic sources what was subjected to a 'systematic and forensic annihilation' this week?
4. The Pentagon said that US-led coalition unleashed how many cruise missiles on three Syrian chemical weapons centres?
5. In a special House of Commons debate which Labour MP said she had been told: 'Hang yourself you vile treacherous Zionist Tory filth'?
6. Former FBI director James Comey said of US president Donald Trump: 'I don't think he's medically unfit to be President. I think he's ____ unfit to be President.' What is the missing word?
7. Prime Minister Theresa May, in a continuing purge on plastics, said she had put forward ambitious plans to further reduce waste from plastic straws, stirrers and what other item?
8. The Queen opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace after which singer sang the National Anthem?
9. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is investigating Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's failure to declare his stake in a firm which bought seven luxury flats in which town?
10. Arsène Wenger announced he is leaving Arsenal, ending his reign as the Premier League’s longest-serving manager. What year did he join the club?
11. Why was Tammie Jo Shults in the headlines?
12. Her maiden name was Pierce, her codename was Tranquility and her family called her The Enforcer. Who was she?
13. How much was television presenter Ant McPartlin fined at Wimbledon Magistrates Court after admitting drink-driving?
14. Which football team, that carries the slogan The Club That Wouldn’t Die, celebrated promotion and the highest position in its history?
15. Dale Winton, who died aged 62, was mainly known as a television and radio presenter but he also played a game show host in which film in the 90s?
16. The pound fell against the euro and dollar on Thursday after the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, indicated that what might not happen in May?
17. What is the name of the BBC reporter who, when asked if he wanted to make a personal apology to Sir Cliff Richard, told the High Court he was sorry the star 'went through such a difficult time’?
18. King Mswati III of Swaziland announced that he was renaming the country and it is now called the Kingdom of what?
19. Which company has shut down all its social media - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - because it had 'become a waste of time’?
20. Australia topped the Commonwealth Games with 198 medals, England were second with 136 and which country came third with 66?
21. Who announced that his wife Natasha Shishmanian is expecting twins?
22. What was the name of the Queen's 14-year-old corgi who was put to sleep this week?
23. How did Helen Housby achieve glory?
24
Temperatures soared to 84.4F (29.1C) in St James’s Park, London, on Thursday making it officially the hottest UK April day since what year?
25. Asda apologised to Nottingham shopper Bobbie Gordon after charging her £930.11 for what?

Answers here

Friday, 13 April 2018

Here's this week's newsquiz ...

The top scorer in last week's newsquiz was Janet Boyle with 18. Liz Gerard scored 17, as did the Penmans, aided by daughter Daisy back from uni for Easter. Here's this week's quiz. As usual, there are 25 questions about the week's events. Let me know how you get on. 

Getting ready for war: Syria dominates the front pages (questions 1-3)

1. A toxic gas attack on which Syrian city killed around 75 people?
2. Donald Trump tweeted a warning to Russia saying: 'You shouldn’t be partners with a ___ ___ ___ who kills his people and enjoys it!’ What are the three missing words?
3. Who said: 'We have proof that last week chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad’? 
4. The Russian Embassy in the UK said the secret resettlement of poison victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal would be seen as what?
5. At the US Senate Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was asked by Senator Orinn Hatch: 'So, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?’ How did Zuckerberg respond?
6. Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner was recorded using what word to express doubts over Labour's pledge to ensure that the UK will have the same benefits post-Brexit that it has in the single market?
7. The BBC came under fire over plans to air a full recitation of a speech given 50 years ago by which politician?
8. Why was South Park Crescent in the headlines?
9. Online retailer Shop Direct announced it is to close three warehouses in Manchester, putting nearly 2,000 jobs at risk. Name one of its brands.
10. Thomas Chipperfield lost his appeal against a Defra ruling which means he is no longer allowed to continue his job as what?
11. What connects 12-year-old Manchester Arena bombing victim Amelia Thompson, former soldier Philip Gillespie and Rosie Ginday, the founder of Miss Macaroon?
12. Andrew Burke, who was sentenced to a minimum 26 years for killing his ex-girlfriend in a Tui travel agent in Southport, boasted about the tattoo on his hands. What did the tattoo say?
13. Police investigated car parking company Absolutely Secure after it was accused of dumping holidaymakers' cars in muddy fields at which airport?
14. Hundreds of people staged a protest outside which hospital after judges set a date for terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans's life support to be withdrawn?
15. After a South London inquest recorded that six-year-old Ellie Butler was unlawfully killed, her grandfather said: 'I believe the agencies involved with Ellie’s care have ___ ___ ___ ___’. What are the missing four words?
16. Welsh table tennis prodigy Anna Hursey took 17 minutes to record her first victory in the Commonwealth Games singles competition. How old is she?
17. How was 67-year-old art dealer Todd Brassner killed?
18. Organisers of the Olivier Awards apologised for omitting who from a tribute segment shown during the ceremony?
19. Englishman Michael Oliver was accused by the Italian Press of 'the robbery of the century'. What did he do?
20. Iceland is to be the first major UK supermarket to ban which ingredient in its own-brand products?
21. Who is seeking damages for lost earnings from his autobiography My Life, My Way which he claimed was 'no longer viable’?
22. Bandmates paid tribute to 'our dear friend and brother’ Tim Matley who died age 36. What is the name of the band?
23. What is the name of the lingerie brand set up by Conservative peer Michelle Mone which announced it will cease trading in the UK?
24. The controversial name of a street in Rowley Regis in the West Midlands will not be changed after an online petition was supported by 4,800 people. What is the street called?
25. UK consumers will next week be able to buy a new KitKat, with 'naturally coloured’ chocolate made from cocoa beans grown in the Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Brazil. What colour will it be?

Answers here

Friday, 6 April 2018

Splendid tabloid look for the Inverness Courier

The new Inverness Courier
The old broadsheet Courier
Congratulations to the team at Scottish Provincial Press who this week saw the relaunch of three of their titles - The Inverness Courier, Northern Scot and Ross-shire Journal - as tabloids. The Courier has also launched a new lifestyle magazine Seven Days, which looks stunning. 
The cover of the new lifestyle magazine
Next month the group’s other broadsheets, the Northern Times, Caithness Courier and John O’Groat Journal will also change size while the existing tabloids will switch to a new design. My colleague Mike Brough and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the SPP team. It was a mammoth task executed brilliantly by John Davidson and Amanda Patterson. Editorial director David Bourn is rightly proud of the results. We have managed to keep the essence of these wonderful newspapers while presenting them in a vibrant new format which will please existing readers, tempt lapsed readers back into the fold and, hopefully, attract some new ones,  he said. They all deserve a large one at the excellent Malt Room tonight. Mike and I wish we were there to raise a glass with them. 

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

The top scorer in last week’s newsquiz was Liz Gerard with an impressive 20 points. Jamie Johnson’s household was the top team with 19. Janet Boyle scored 18 as did Steven Silk. Graham Dudman and Charlie Coe also reported healthy scores with 17 each, the same as Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe. Here is this week’s quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Today's front pages

1. A Russian proposal for a joint investigation into the Salisbury poisonings was outvoted at a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in which city?
2. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reacted to claims he had misled people over the poisonings by saying: '28 other countries have been so convinced by the UK case they have expelled Russians. In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn chooses to side with the Russian ___ ___.’ What are the two missing words?
3. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had no regrets about attending a dinner organised by which left-wing Jewish group?
4. Alison Saunders announced she is to step down from which position at the end of her contract in October?
5. UK companies with more than how many staff had to submit their gender pay figures by midnight on Wednesday?
6. After a teenager was stabbed to death in Hackney, the Metropolitan police confirmed it is investigating how many suspected murders since the start of the year?
7. Tory MP Jacob Rees Mogg was sent a 'cease and desist' letter accusing him of ‘masquerading’ as which character?
8. Vauxhall's French parent company PSA announced that a new model of which van would be built at its Luton plant?
9. Nasim Aghdam, 39, shot three people and then killed herself at the YouTube offices in which Californian town?
10. When he stood in the 1984 Chesterfield by-election against Tony Benn, he was asked if voters could take seriously a man who played Selwyn Froggitt. Who was he? 
11. Former students in England and Wales, who took out loans from September 2012 onwards, will now start repayments when they earn how much per year?
12. Why was Richard Osborn-Brooks in the headlines?
13. Sergeant Matt Tonroe from Manchester became the first British serving officer to be killed doing what?
14. AC Milan legend Franco Baresi held up a shirt with whose name on it before the derby with Inter Milan on Wednesday?
15. In 1969 prisoner number 1323/69 was jailed for 18 months and kept a diary which was published as a book called 491 Days. Who was the prisoner?
16. Four members of a Bristol family were killed in a car crash in Florida while returning to their rented home after visiting what attraction?
17. What did Jazz Carlin, Eilidh Doyle, Alistair Brownlee and Caroline O'Hanlon all carry this week?
18. Former consultant Martin Watt was jailed for 12 years after being caught with guns and a list of colleagues he blamed for his dismissal from Monklands Hospital in Airdrie. What title did he give the list?
19. Who was 'in good spirits’ at King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone?
20. Who received a 'heartfelt congratulations’ on its 100th anniversary from the Queen who ended her message with the organisation’s own motto Per Ardua ad Astra?
21. Why did Liverpool FC apologise ‘unreservedly’ to Manchester City?
22. The Echo Arena in Liverpool burst into a rendition of 'there's only one ____ ____’ on Thursday night. What are the missing two words?
23. What measure, introduced today (Friday), does the Treasury estimate will raise £240million a year?
24. The Prime Minister of which country joined a social media protest over MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace after they said that chicken rendang needed ‘crispy’ skin?
25. What did MP Nadine Dorries says was 'too vicious’ and ‘too abrasive’ for women?

Answers here

Friday, 30 March 2018

Bhvishya wins the newsquiz champagne

Trainees Charlie Coe, Sophie Law, Claire Anderson, Bhvishya Patel (with the champagne), Leigh McManus, Bryony Jewell and Faith Ridler
I said goodbye to the MailOnline trainees in Kensington yesterday. They had another good week with sessions by deputy managing editor Natalie Glanvill, ex-global editor Amy Marley and head of social media Chris Lawrence. One of last year’s trainees, Dianne Apen-Sadler, also talked through what the next 12 months are likely to bring. Well done to Leigh McManus and Claire Anderson who both wrote banners on the travel page. Leigh’s was an account of his visit to China’s deserted replica of Paris. You can read it here.


Claire wrote about a 20-year-old woman who snuck on to Concorde disguised as an engineer after its maiden voyage in 1976.  You can read it here


The trainees also pitched stories to Femail so there should be more bylines soon. We had drinks with former trainees and senior staff in the Greyhound last night. They finished the week - and the course - with the newsquiz. This week’s winners was Charlie Coe and with 17 points, narrowly ahead of Bhvishya Patel and Bryony Jewell who scored 16.5. Congratulations to Bhvishya who won the champagne for the best quiz score over the four weeks. Bryony, only two points behind, was a commendable runner-up. The trainees are now off to their placements at regional newspapers and agencies. They are a bright, likeable, talented bunch and I enjoyed their company. I wish them well. Here’s this week’s newsquiz. Give it a go and see if you can beat Charlie’s 17. 

1. Theresa May said after Brexit the UK will no longer send vast sums to Europe 'so there will be money available here in the UK to spend on our priorities’. Which two things did she identify as priorities? Half a point for each
2. Boris Johnson apologised in the Commons after referring to the shadow foreign secretary as Baroness Nugee? What is her real name?
3. Owen Smith was sacked from the shadow cabinet. What position did he hold?
4. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said this week: 'I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of ___-___ that exists in and around our movement’. What is the missing hyphenated word? 
5. The Government announced that more than 3,500 places on training courses are to be created over the next four years in England? What will the courses be in?
6. Whose decision not to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into fake news, was described as astonishing by its chairman Damian Collins?
7. President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of how many Russian diplomats which he said the US identified as intelligence agents?
8. The niece of poisoned Russian Sergei Skripal said this week that her uncle and his daughter had what per cent chance of survival?
9. Magician Dynamo released a video to explain that his recent change of appearance is due to medication he is taking for which disease? 
10. Two women, known only as DSD and NBV, achieved a landmark legal victory when three High Court judges made a ruling on Wednesday. What was the judges’ ruling?
11. Why was Arnaud Beltrame in the headlines? 
12. Who said: 'I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I'm absolutely gutted. I hope in time I can earn back that respect and forgiveness’?
13. Thousands of people, including Paul McCartney and George Clooney, joined a mass protest against guns across America. What was the name of the protest?
14. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was detained after crossing the border between which two countries? 
15. To the nearest hour how long did Qantas QF9 take when it became the first non-stop scheduled flight from Australia to the UK?
16. Playboy, Mozilla and Sonos were among several brands that withdrew their advertising from where?
17. Who said in an interview that she was approached in a car park by a man who told her: 'That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom’?
18. A report into the Manchester Arena bomb attack criticised fire chiefs, Vodafone and the media. Who wrote it?  
19. A fire at a shopping centre in which Siberian city left at least 64 people dead?
20. Jamie Vardy scored for England against Italy but an equaliser was down to VAR. What does VAR stand for?
21. England is considering introducing what scheme which already exists in 40 countries - including Germany, Sweden and Israel - and 21 US states?
22. Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology researchers found that what household item is often teeming with bacteria, including Legionella?
23. The owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack has announced plans to file for administration within two weeks. What is the company called?
24. TV presenter Richard Madeley was criticised for suggesting weather girl Lucy Verasamy should 'pop outside and test' what?
25. What appeared on the balcony of Liverpool Town Hall and also decorated statues of The Beatles, Billy Fury, the Moores’ brothers, John Lennon and Cilla Black?

Answers here

Friday, 23 March 2018

Can you beat Bhvishya's newsquiz score?

The MailOnline trainees had another busy week. They recreated the newsroom with former global editor Amy Marley, pitched stories to travel editor Ted Thornhill and had a session with former trainee Rod Ardehali. Editor Emeritus Peter Wright also talked through IPSO and the editors’ code. They covered a breaking news story, learned about Femail and Leigh McManus won a scratchcard for the best picture headline. There was a special 'well done' to Bryony Jewell whose story about dogs on the Tube was published on the site. Read it here.



As usual we finished the week with the newsquiz and the winner with 15.5 was  Bhvishya Patel. Last week’s newsquiz saw some high scores online. The pick of the bunch was Ellie Rewcastle with 19, narrowly ahead of Janet Boyle on 18. The top team was the Penman Partnership with 18.5. Gavin Devine and the Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe partnership all scored 17.5, the same as top trainees Bryony and Leigh. Here’s this week’s quiz, as usual 25 questions about the week. Give it a go and see if you can beat Bhvishya’s score.



1. TV personality Ant McPartlin was charged with drink driving at which London police station?
2. What two makes of car did Ant McPartlin’s car hit in the accident which led to his drink-drive arrest? Half a point for each
3. Ant McPartlin’s mother was his passenger when he crashed his car in London. What is her name?
4. The Russian ambassador in London Alexander Yakovenko reacted to Boris Johnson’s Hitler jibe by saying: ‘Nobody has the right to insult the Russian people, who defeated Nazism and lost more than ___  people, by comparing our country to Nazi Germany.’ What is the missing number?

5. A gunman was killed after taking hostages at a supermarket in which French town?
6. Nigel Farage joined fishermen to protest at the EU transition deal by dumping two crates of what type of fish in the Thames in front of Parliament?
7. Alexander Nix was suspended as CEO of which company?
8. The co-founder of WhatsApp Brian Acton posted to Twitter: 'It is time’ and added which hashtag?
9. How did 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg die?
10. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed an increase in NHS salaries of between 6.5 per cent and ___ per cent over three years? What is the missing figure?
11. The pilot whose plane crashed in the Shoreham airshow disaster, killing 11 men, will be charged with the endangerment of an aircraft and which other offence?
12. Ireland beat England at Twickenham to remain undefeated in the rugby Six Nations to top the table with 26 points but which country was second with 15?
13. An engineer died after a Red Arrows jet crashed at RAF Valley on which island?
14. What is the name of the Franco–Dutch firm that has won the contract to print Britain’s post-Brexit blue passports?
15. Which country will the Pope visit on August 25 and 26 to attend the World Meeting of Families?
16. Vladimir Putin extended his rule of Russia for another six years winning what per cent of the vote, his highest ever?
17. England cricketers were skittled out in the first innings for their lowest ever score against New Zealand. What was the score?
18. Which Parliament is to debate proposals in May to change the law which would allow terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to choose assisted dying?
19. What has Californian Claire Ptak been commissioned to make?
20. 26-year-old British woman Anna Campbell died in which country?

21. Who said this week: 'I was really pleased to accept this. I'll be wearing it at breakfast'? 
22. 39-year-old mother Andria Zafirakou from London won £700,000 ($1million) after being voted the best what in the world?
23. Which High Street chain announced it will shut 60 stores and cut 980 jobs as part of a restructuring plan?
24. Sudan, a 45-year-old animal that was put down in a Kenyan wildlife reserve, was the last male of what subspecies in the world?
25. Why were husband and wife John and Sarah Lund in the headlines?


Answers here

Friday, 16 March 2018

Bryony and Leigh win the newsquiz

The MailOnline trainees had a full week in the Kensington HQ. They enjoyed a day with the Mail lawyers and a session by editorial compliance manager Paul Hutchinson, went through the stylebook with Mike Watson, presented exclusive story ideas to assistant editor Ian Walker, had a walk through the travel page with Ted Thornhill and received a good overview of video from Lisa Snell. Sophie Law won a scratchcard for the best video headline. And well done too to Claire Anderson who was the first trainee on the course to be published with a story she brought in. Read it here



Hopefully, we will see many more bylines over the next couple of weeks.
We finished as always with the newsquiz. This week’s joint winner with scores of 17.5 were Bryony Jewell and Leigh McManus, who were narrowly ahead of Bhvishya Patel with 17. Bhvishya’s score of 16 last week was, unusually, not beaten by anyone online. Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe did manage a joint 16 though. Here is this week’s quiz. As usual, it is 25 questions about the week. See if you can beat Bryony and Leigh's score.


Russia's front page domination

1. How many Russian diplomats did Theresa May say would be expelled from Britain?
2. According to Theresa May the nerve agents used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia belong to a group known as what?
3. Who was accused by Russia's Major-General Igor Konashenkov of talking like a 'market wench' which reflected his 'extreme intellectual impotency’?
4. Which three countries joined with the UK to say, in a joint statement, that Russian involvement was 'the only plausible explanation’ for the Salisbury poisonings?
5. Jeremy Corbyn defended his position on the Russian poisoning affair by saying we should not resign ourselves to a ‘new cold war of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a ______ intolerance of dissent’? What is the missing word? 
6. How did Theresa May greet a tattooed woman as she went on a walkabout in Salisbury following the poisonings?
7. Sir Ken Dodd died at the house where he was born in 1927 in which area of Liverpool?
8. Ken Dodd had one Number 1 hit in the UK with a song that was the biggest-selling single of 1965 and the third-biggest selling single of the 1960s. What was it called?
9. Unilever has chosen which city as its new headquarters for its food and refreshment division?
10. Who said he wasn’t told he had lost his job until three hours after it was tweeted?
11. At least six people were killed after a footbridge collapsed near which university (full name please)?
12. How old was Stephen Hawking, who died this week age 76, when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease?
13. Labour MP Debbie Abrahams claimed she had been the victim of a ‘bullying culture’ after she stepped aside from what role in the shadow cabinet? 
14. An inquiry was called for after it was revealed that girls in which town were drugged, beaten and raped at the hands of a grooming gang active since the 1980s? 
15. Tens of thousands of students across America walked out of their classrooms for how many minutes on Wednesday in a protest about gun laws?
16. Peter Williams was born in Cheshire, appeared on Last of the Summer Wine, advertised Tetley beer and became a household name by presenting a TV progamme for 14 years. How is he better known?
17. Egyptian engineering student Mariam Moustafa, 18, died after being attacked by a gang of girls in which city?
18. Who missed the last two days of the Cheltenham Festival after damaging his leg when he fell from Al Boum Photo?
19. Which retailer withdrew a red shirt with 96 on the back that some believe referred to the Hillsborough disaster?
20. In his spring statement Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a consultation which could lead to the end of what three monetary denominations?
21. Who was suspended after apologising for a ‘moment of madness’?
22. Which city was  named the most attractive place to work and live in the UK based on nine qualities of life, in a survey commissioned by Royal Mail? 
23. Which newspaper was voted Newspaper of the Year in this week’s Press Awards?
24. Protesters stormed the arena at Crufts as the winner was presented with Best in Show. What was the name of the winning dog?
25. Walkers Crisps is marking its 70th anniversary by releasing six  flavours to celebrate the nation's favourite dishes - one for each decade. Coronation chicken represents the 1950s and roast lamb and mint the 1960s. Name any two other flavours. Half point for each.

Answers here

Monday, 12 March 2018

Mail looking for news and sports trainees

Last year's MailOnline trainees 
The Daily Mail and MailOnline are looking for trainee journalists. Applications are now invited for the MailOnline reporters' training scheme and for the sports journalists' scheme, both of which will begin in September. Trainees will take part in a year-long programme that involves intense training, assessment and on-the-job experience at regional daily newspapers and agencies.The successful applicants will probably have a degree and will have shown a commitment to journalism by writing for their student newspaper/website and gained work experience in newsrooms.
The online scheme details are here and the sports scheme here.