Friday, 25 March 2016

Test yourself with this week's newsquiz

Well done to Wherryman's Web who was top scorer in last week's newsquiz with an impressive 17. Others worth a mention include Tom Witherow with 15.5, Rod Ardehali and The Subeditor with 15 and the Batstone Collective who also scored 15. Here are this week's questions. Let me know how you get on. 

Terror in Brussels (Question 1)
1. What is the name of the Metro station in Belgium where 20 people were killed? Bonus: An overweight middle-aged man named Khalid Zerkani has been unmasked as a major Isis recruiter in Belgium. How is he otherwise known? Bonus: 11 Belgian workers had their passes revoked amid fears that they had been compromised. Where did they work? Bonus: What was the name of the IT programmer, originally from Hartlepool, who texted to say he was safe after the airport explosion but was later killed on the Metro?
2. After an exacting interview on the BBC Today programme Burmese politician Suu Kyi was heard to mutter angrily off-air: ‘No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a ______.’ What is the missing word?
3. Why was Matthew Doyle from South Croydon due to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court?
4. Barack Obama became the first US president to officially visit Cuba in how many years? Bonus: Who also visited Cuba for the first time to play a free concert at the Ciudad Deportivo stadium?
5. Emma Thompson, Mark Rylance, Johdi May and Judi Dench all posed naked with what?
6. Adam Johnson’s barrister said in court that the footballer would be stripped of his England caps. How many has he got? Bonus: Apart from a six-year jail sentence Adam Johnson was ordered to pay costs of how much?
7. Why did James Hand, a former BBC Radio Jersey presenter, apologise?
8. Who celebrated its tenth anniversary with a message saying: 'Thank you for making history, driving change, lifting each other up and laughing together every day’?
9. Raymond Moore resigned after being widely condemned for his comments about what? 
10. Prince Harry gave a speech in Nepal in which he supported the fight to end what?
11. Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days in which country?
12. Who succeeded Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary?
13. Who had a rare dinner-date at Bellamy’s in Mayfair to celebrate the 90th birthday of Lady Penn?
14. Who revealed that her father had a ‘beautiful’ romance with Princess Margaret?
15. Which company saw its shares fall more than ten per cent after its owner said: 'We are in trouble, we are not trading very well’?
16. Which book did an Oxfam charity shop in Swansea asked people not to donate? 
17. In a tribute to Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff, who died this week, the Holland v France international will be halted in which minute?
18. Which newspaper won Newspaper of the Year at the British Press Awards this week?
19. Five members of the same family were killed when their car nosedived into which harbour?
20. Artist Tracey Emin announced she had recently got married wearing her father's white funeral shroud. What did she marry?

Answers here

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Press Awards - a night to remember

The winners on stage
It was the Press Awards last night. And while most hacks were beavering away putting together the editions that covered another terrible day of terrorism in Europe, some of the great and the good were allowed out at London’s Hilton on Park Lane. It was a nice evening. The Mail on Sunday took the Newspaper of the Year award - well deserved given the range of exclusives it broke during the year.  As always, the night was a real celebration of the best newspapers in the world and an opportunity to catch up with old faces. Here are my musings on the night.

i) DMGT were the clear winners. Mail on Sunday collected six winners’ awards - including Newspaper of the Year. The Daily Mail won two awards and Mail Sport (which crosses all titles) also won Sports Team of the Year. There were also highly commended awards for both the Daily and the Sunday. The Times and Sunday Times also had a good night. The Times collected four winners awards and the ST, three. The Sunday also had an amazing five commendations and daily, fourThe Guardian also scored well - five wins and two highly commended. 

ii) The full breakdown of last night's award winners is: Mail on Sunday 6, The Guardian 5, The Times 4, The Sunday Times 3, The Sun 2, Daily Mail 2, Financial Times 2Daily Telegraph 1, Daily Mirror 1, Mail Sport 1, The Independent papers 1, Freelance 1. Well done to all. As I mentioned last year, in the last 16 years the only red-tops to win Newspaper of the Year have been the News of the World (2005) and the Mirror (2002). The judges traditionally gravitate towards the heavier papers. It is, of course, difficult comparing red-top story-getters with the writers of the qualities. The Society of Editors has recognised this, separating some categories for the quality and popular papers. A good move. Maybe the sports journalist award should also be among those separated. All of the nominees (except for PA’s Martyn Ziegler) were from the heavies. There are some first-rate story-breakers and writers on the tabloids and it’s hard to believe none were worthy of a shout. 

iii) The distinction between popular and broadsheet isn’t an exact science. The Daily Mail feature writers were in the popular category while the Mail on Sunday was classed as broadsheet. Remarkably the Mail had five of the six nominees in the popular caretgory - which speaks volumes about the quality of the paper’s writers.

iv) There had been some rumblings about the shortage of women in the nominations. Of the 114 nominations only 20 were female, the fewest in six years. in some awards - feature writer (both pop and broadsheet), photographer, cartoonist, sport and business - there were no women nominees. The criticism prompted chairman of the judges and SoE director Bob Satchwell to say: ’We work very hard to make sure the judging panels take account of gender and other diversity issues. Last year we included the Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Award for Innovation, which only women can enter. The real issue is that too few women journalists enter for the awards which is a matter for them and perhaps the papers they work for.’  For the record there were 20 individual awards and six were won by women - including Amie Feris-Rotman who won the Georgina Henry prize. All credit to the SoE that it has asked Sue Ryan to look at the whole issue. Then, as with the Oscars, there is the number of journalists with an ethnic background 

Camilla Long celebrates
v)  The women more than held their own in the acceptance speeches though. Camiila Long’s speech was one of the highlights of the night - spoken from the heart. Watch it here under Interviewer of the Year (broadsheet).

The Indie editors receive the Chairman's Award
vi) The Chairman’s Award went to The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and the i for pioneering work over the last 26 years. Basically, Bob Satchwell congratulated all who served in them and wished them well online and, in the case of the i, under new Johnston Press ownership. It has been an amazing adventure which, hopefully, is far from over. Indie editor Amol Rajan began his acceptance speech with: ‘So, this is the only award we get all night and it’s for shutting a newspaper.’ He too spoke from the heart and dedicated the award ’to the subs’.  Sunday editor Lisa Markwell said the core staff of the paper was 12 … and they were all up for hire. Olly Duff, editor of the i, thanked both his old owners and his new ones. These were the important and emotional speeches. Watch them here.   

Young journalist of the year Tom Rowley
vii) One of the most enjoyable things for me is watching how the careers of those that I have helped train have flourished. These days they include executives who started out 23 years ago, which makes me feel old. Last night the Telegraph’s Tom Rowley won Young Journalist of the Year and Martha Kelner (the Mail and MoS) and Jaber Mohamed (MoS) were nominated. The Standard’s Simon Neville was also nominated in the Business and Finance award. I was particularly pleased to see the investigative unit of the Mail - Katherine Faulkner, Paul Bentley and Lucy Osborne who are all former trainees of the Mail’s scheme - win the Cudlipp Award for the charity cold calling campaign. The judges described it as investigative journalism at its best. Katherine paid tribute to the scheme and thanked the Mail for ‘putting its trust in young journalists’. Nice touch.       

viii) The whipround on each table for the Journalists' Charity raised £2,000. The Guardian’s table won the Champagne for stuffing their donation box with the most notes … prompting Nick Ferrari to say ‘you never know when you might need it’. Ouch. That said, the charity is something all journalists need to support. The details are here

Anyway, well done Bob Satchwell, the Society of Editors' executive director, and his team, including MagStar, and presenter Nick Ferrari. It went off brilliantly. Well done too, to all of those who were nominated. Now we have to do it all again at the regional awards. Ill see you for more celebrations on May 20. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

Well done to Damon Wake and Rod Ardehali who both scored 15 in last week's newsquiz. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's news. Let me know how you get on.

The Northern Echo's view of George Osborne's Budget (Q1)

1. In his Budget speech, how much did George Osborne’s say the new sugar tax would raise a year? Bonus: What did Osborne say would rise from £15,240 to £20,000?

2. Who accused Barack Obama of 'outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy'?
3. Joan Bakewell apologised after an ‘off the cuff remark’ that anorexia might be caused by doing what too often? Bonus: Who apologised unreservedly for images which were ‘totally disrespectful’? Bonus: England prop Joe Marler apologised for calling Welsh player Samson Lee what during the Six Nations rugby match?
4. Sylvia Anderson, who died this week, was the voice of which TV puppet?
5. How was the father of international footballer Umut Bulut killed?
6. Former Labour MP Oona King said the position of BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker was due to ‘low-level sexism’. Which position was she talking about?
7. Who gave a Nazi salute when he appeared in court accusing the government of violating his human rights?
8. Frauke Petry, who said police should 'if necessary' shoot migrants entering Germany illegally, led her party to unprecedented gains in the state elections. What is the name of her party?
9. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in the Commons that praising Vladimir Putin for withdrawing from Syria was like praising a man who had stopped what?
10. How many police officers were wounded in a shoot-out with terrorists in Brussels?
11. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio quit after losing his home state to Donald Trump but John Kasich stayed after winning his. Name the two states. Half point for each
12. Who clocked up his 50th career Cheltenham Festival win on Thursday on Black Hercules? Bonus: Footballers Samir Carruthers and James Collins apologised after being pictured urinating into a glass on a packed balcony at the Cheltenham Festival. Name their clubs. Half point for each.
13. Anita Brookner, who died aged 87, won the Booker Prize in 1984 with a novel that became a BBC drama series. What was the book called?
14. Why did the RSPCA say it was ‘shocked and appalled’ to see German Shepherd Cruaghaire Catoria win Best of Breed at Crufts? Bonus: Which breed won the Best in Show for the first time in 26 years? 
15. Who hit 11 sixes to lead his team to victory against England in their first game of cricket’s T-20 world cup?
16. Who was reported to police for allegedly ramming the gates of Windsor Great Park with a Range Rover?
17. Whose son tweeted a picture of a rabbit, with a tear in its eye, in a top hat?
18. Thousands of staff at which firm are to receive a £1,000 bonus as a thank you from boss Henry Engelhardt before he retires in May?
19. Archaeologists using infrared thermography tests believe they have found the tomb of which queen?
20. Professor Nicholas Goddard, 61, resigned after his secret life as a porn star called 'Old Nick' was uncovered. At which university was he a lecturer?

Answers here

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sugary budget leads to some spicy front pages

George Osborne's sugar tax is certainly a gift for the headline writers. The Daily Mirror - Sugar and spite - and The Sun - Fizzy Rascal - lead the way for the tabloids. At the top end The Times and Telegraph have identical headlines - Osborne sugars the pill - with the i having a variation on the theme. The FT also goes for a sweetening headline with a clever illustration of the chancellor (or someone who looks vaguely like him) balancing a pound sign made of sugar cubes. I quite like City AM too - a simple idea of Osborne kicking a can down the road. The Independent and my old paper, The Northern Echo, go for a spoonful of sugar angle while Metro opts for a sweet and sour budget. Some nice headlines ... but for me it was the caricaturists that won it. Hat tip to Dave Brown of the Indie and David Wright of the Echo. Nice work. Here are tomorrow's fronts. 


Friday, 11 March 2016

Mail looking for trainee journalists in New York

Last year's trainees in the Mail's New York newsroom
How's this for a great opportunity? The world's biggest newspaper website is looking for trainee digital journalists to work in its New York office. 

For 13 years I have been helping train journalists for the Mail's graduate scheme. This includes trainees for the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnlineMany of those who have passed through the scheme are now senior journalists and executives. Many have won top national awards. Two years ago we began recruiting trainees for the American operation. Ten trainees have so far taken part in the global exchange programme and they work for in New York.

We are now looking for this year’s intake - bright, sharp, intelligent journalists with the passion and hunger to break global stories. If you are a good wordsmith who also enjoys storytelling in other digital formats including video, social media, data, live blogging and interactive graphics, we would love to hear from you. 
The training will start in the summer. 
Some of it will be in London and there will be placements in newsrooms across the UK. The trainees will return to New York or LA at the beginning of 2017 and there may then be opportunities to work at the Mail's offices across the world.
All trainees are paid a competitive salary while they train.
To be a successful applicant you will need to be an American citizen. You will probably have completed journalism training at university, have experience of working in a newsroom and had articles published.
If you fancy it, send a covering letter, a CV and links to three examples of your work to Interviews will be held in New York on March 29-April 1 and on April 4 ... so get your applications in asap.

Test yourself with this week's newsquiz

Last week's top scorer in the newsquiz was Kieran Corcoran with an impressive 18 - a PB. Best team effort was the Batstone Collective, back on form with 16.5. Here's this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions. Let me know how you get on. 
The Sun's exclusive didn't amuse Buckingham Palace (Question 1)
1. Who described the prospect of a British exit from the EU as the 'biggest domestic financial stability risk' facing the UK? Bonus: Buckingham Palace complained to the press watchdog over a Sun article claiming the Queen backed Brexit. What is the full name of the press watchdog?
2. In which French resort did the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge go skiing with their two children? Bonus: They were accompanied by a photographer from which organisation?
3. A Government plan was defeated by 31 votes when Conservative rebels lined up with Labour and the SNP. What was the plan?
4. What is the name of the banned drug that tennis player Maria Sharapova admitted taking?
5. Who returned to work after saying: 'I am home and I’m happy and I can’t stop crying, which is mad’?
6. Who messed up Mothering Sunday and issued a statement saying: 'We know how important Mother’s Day is and we have apologised to and compensated all customers who have experienced a delay’?
7. A former Hollywood actress who was born Anne Frances Robbins died this week. How was she better known?
8. The Turkish government seized control of the country’s largest newspaper. What is it called? Bonus: Which organisation said that the mass expulsion of migrants from Greece to Turkey under a draft EU-Ankara deal would be illegal? Bonus: Barack Obama criticised Britain and France for allowing Libya to become a lawless 'mess'. The president was talking to which magazine?
9. Who quit a £663,000-a-year job after admitting to a ‘serious mistake’?
10. What two words did Hatton Garden raiders John Collins and Daniel Jones say to the judge at Woolwich Crown Court when he sentenced them to seven years in jail. Bonus: A copy of a book called _________ for Dummies was found at Jones’s home. What is the missing word?
11. Who announced she is taking a break from music after splitting with her boyfriend?
12. Premier League football clubs agreed to cap away tickets for the next three seasons at what price?
13. Ray Tomlinson, who died aged 74 this week, is famous for popularising which symbol?
14. He was born in Holloway, was an accomplished pianist, ran his his own dance band at 16 and was a sub-lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm. Who is he?
15. Why was NHS consultant Dr Vladislav Rogozov suspended by Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital?
16. Bernie Sanders pulled off his biggest win of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, defeating Hillary Clinton in which state?
17. Which suitcase brand lost a Supreme Court ruling which said a rival product did not infringe its registered design rights?
18. Npower announced plans to cut a fifth of its workforce. How many jobs did it say would be lost?
19. A 16-year-old schoolboy at Cults Academy in Aberdeen was found guilty of killing another pupil with a knife he bought where?
20. Air France said that a woman flew from Istanbul to Paris with what hidden inside her hand luggage?

Answers here

Friday, 4 March 2016

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

It was definitely a tougher newsquiz last week with only two people - Sophie Jamieson (12) and Jess McKay (11.5) submitting scores into double figures. The Batstone Collective, who usual pitch in with an average of 15, only managed eight, the same score as Ian ‘I'm too busy to read the news’ McCulloch. Team Jamieson did well though with 17. Here’s this week’s quiz - as usual 25 questions about the week’s events. Hopefully you will send me better scores than last week. 
Jungle warfare (Question 1)
1. According to General Philip Breedlove, NATO's top commander in Europe, who is deliberately 'weaponizing' the refugee crisis in order to overwhelm and destabilise the continent? Bonus: The Prefect of Calais Fabienne Buccio said they 'are young people who are driven by an anarchist ideology of hatred of all laws and frontiers. They have no real concern for the suffering of the migrants.’ What is the name of the group he was referring to? 
2. Spotlight, which won Best Film at the Oscars, is about child abuse investigations carried out by which newspaper? Bonus: Who said: 'It's the 88th Academy Awards which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times.' Bonus: What incorrect claim in his Oscars acceptance speech led to Sam Smith ’taking a break’ from Twitter? Bonus: Actor George Kennedy, who died aged 91 this week, won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1968 for which movie?
3. How many states did Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton win on Super Tuesday? Bonus: Name any two of the four states not won by Republican Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. Half point each.
4. A colour picture of Peter Rabbit is to appear on a special collector's edition of which coin?
5. Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton rode 5-4 favourite Pacha Du Polder to a 29-length victory at which racecourse?
6. A stag party brawl forced a London to Bratislava flight to make an unscheduled landing in which city?
7. The Irish General Election was the closest for decades. Which party came third with 23 seats?
8. President Robert Mugabe was widely criticised for celebrating his birthday with a lavish party in a drought-stricken area of Zimbabwe. Which birthday was he celebrating?
9. Which company’s shares plunged by more than ten per cent, and were briefly suspended, after it reported a fall in annual profits and warned of lower dividends over the next couple of years?
10. How old was Tony Warren, who died this week, when he created Coronation Street?
11. After an incident in California, Google admitted that ‘in this case, we clearly bear some responsibility’. What incident was the company referring to?
12. Charges against bricklayer Seamus Daly were dropped due to insufficient evidence in what was described by some as a dark day for justice. What had Daly been accused of?
13. Which supermarket announced a deal to supply groceries to Amazon customers?
14. Who told a Press conference: ‘We have no sympathy for him. All our sympathies lie with the victim and her family. He has to take whatever sentence he gets on the chin and we have to move on’?
15. Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov arrived in Kazakhstan from where?
16. Why was 38-year-old Gyulchekhra Bobokulova in the headlines?
17. More than 70 doctors and academics wrote an open letter to ministers calling for schools to ban what?
18. Actor Frank Kelly died exactly how many years after his Father Ted co-star Dermot Morgan?
19. Labour MP Dawn Butler claimed that an unnamed MP mistook her for what when she entered an MPs-only lift?
20. Blackpool FC apologised for ‘any unintentional offence caused by a song’ played at their game against Bradford City. What was the song?

Answers here