Friday, 29 April 2016

The newsquiz is back: Give it a go

There was no newsquiz for the last two weeks as I was in the US where the news was dominated by Trump, Clinton, Sanders and Cruz. It was good to catch up with colleagues at in New York and to meet some of those trainees who are looking to join the website later in the year. I got back to the UK this week just in time to say farewell to some of the Mail's Australian trainees before they flew back to Sydney. 

Saying farewell to the Australian trainees in London
They have been in the UK on placement at regional newspapers and at the Mail's Kensington offices since the New Year. Good luck to them when they start their real jobs on Monday.
Anyway, the good news is that the quiz is back this week. The top individual scorer in the last quiz I posted was Janet Boyle with 17, the same score as the Batstone Collective. Well done to them. Here are this week's questions. As usual there are 25 points to be won. Let me know how you get on.

Metro reports on the Hillsborough verdict by replicating The Sun's notorious front page (Question 1)
1. What verdict did the Hillsborough inquest jury return in respect of all 96 victims? 
Bonus: South Yorkshire's chief constable was suspended because of the approach the force took to the inquest The acting chief constable who replaced him, then stepped down a day later. Name them both. Half a point for each.
Bonus: Which newspaper did not put the inquest verdict on its front page on the first edition but added it later, tweeting: 'We made a mistake with the front page of our first edition, and we fixed it for our second edition'?
2. Sir Philip Green sold troubled BHS last year for £1 to a consortium led by Dominic Chappell. What is the consortium’s name?
Bonus: Labour MP John Mann said Green must repay how much in dividends or give up his knighthood?
3. Boris Johnson was widely criticised after saying that 'part-Kenyan' president Barack Obama had intentionally removed whose bust from the Oval Office?
4. Paisley Park, the home of Prince who died last week, may become a tribute museum, his family said. Paisley Park is in a suburb of which US city?
Bonus: What was Prince’s full name? 
5. What, according to negative Twitter users, had a Charlie’s Angels silhouette at the front, a daft squiggle and looked like a knock-off from Asda?
6. Labour MP Naz Shah was suspended after it emerged she had once suggested that Israel should be moved to the United States. What is her constituency?
Bonus: In a televised shouting match, which book did Labour MP John Mann say Ken Livingstone obviously hadn’t read?
7. To which position was Malia Bouattia controversially elected?
8. Barry Howard, who died aged 78, was best known for playing Barry Stuart-Hargreaves in which sitcom?
9. The United Nations described the situation in which Syrian city as catastrophic, after dozens of people were killed in attacks on targets including a hospital?
10. A construction worker was killed on the Queensferry Crossing, the new £1.4 billion bridge being built across which river?
11. Which celebrity was sprayed with manure by a farmer driving a muck spreader during an anti-fracking demonstration near Blackpool?
12. Shane Sutton resigned which position amid claims of sexism and discrimination?
13. US presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was called '_________ in the flesh' by fellow Republican and former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner. What is the missing word?
14. Lord Alfred Dubs described what as ‘shameful' and a 'sad moment for British politics’?
15. Which 26-year-old French-Algerian was described by his boss as ‘a genius’ and 'our light’?
16. Why did Jessica Coakley Martinez say she felt humiliated at Heathrow?
17. Jerome Chauris, a 41-year-old Frenchman, was found not guilty of possessing an air rifle and a knife which caused a security alert where?
18. Whose London Marathon time has been ‘wiped’ while there is an investigation into cheating?
19. Which company is being sued over a filter on its app that allows drivers to monitor their speed?
20. Which hashtag, celebrating a politician’s mistake five years ago, was the top trend in the UK this week, used over 26,000 times?

Answers here

Friday, 8 April 2016

Test your news knowledge with this week's quiz

Well done to Wherryman's Web who scored 15 in last week's newsquiz. The top team score was by the Batstone Collective with an impressive 18 and a special mention goes to my mates in the Plough with 17. Here's this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Let me know how you get on. 

The Panama papers dominated this week's newspapers (See Question1)
1. The leak of 11.5 million files from which Panama-based law firm created upheaval around the world?
Bonus: The documents were originally leaked to which newspaper?
Bonus: What was the name of the offshore fund, run by David Cameron’s late father, which avoided paying tax in Britain?
Bonus: David Cameron said he and his wife owned shares in the trust before selling them in 2010 for how much?
Bonus: The Prime Minister of which country issued a statement saying he was not resigning but handing over the office for an unspecified time to the agriculture and fisheries minister?
2. The Government signed off plans to spend £9.2million on what?
3. Why was Sharon Cutts in the headlines? 
4. Andy Newman, who died aged 73 this week, had a no 1 hit with his band in 1969? What was the song called?
5. Who said: 'It took me so long to get back on my feet. I didn’t want to get back up. It was like the whole world had come down on me. There weren’t any good things going through my mind. It was just complete devastation.’
6. In an interview aired on RTE, who claimed to have fled Northern Ireland for Ibiza because of sectarian threats?
7. Which politician is facing high court legal action over claims he broke the law and acted ‘irrationally’?
8. Who quit a high profile role saying: 'I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again’?
9. People posted pictures of themselves dressed in blue using the hashtag #blueforbonnie in a tribute to whom?
10. Steve Rowe began his first week as chief executive of which company?
Bonus: The head of which company asked for a 60 per cent cut to his total pay package because the job has become easier? 
11. Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte won five league titles as a player and three as a manager with the same club. Name the club.
12. Why was the trial of Auschwitz guard Ernst Tremmel, accused of being an accessory to the murder of more than 1,000 people, cancelled?
13. The Rolling Stones launched a memorabilia exhibition at which London gallery?
14. Why was Helen Titchener taken into custody?
15. What item, once owned by JK Rowling, sold for £278,000 at a New York auction?
16. Sanjeev Gupta emerged as a potential buyer for the Port Talbot steelworks. What is the name of his company?
17. Who named her first child Jonathan Rosebanks?
18. The biggest jackpot in the Lotto's history was claimed by a single ticket. How much was it worth?
19. What is to be refurbished at a cost of £27million including a new cafe?
20. David Cameron told students in Exeter that he liked to do what ‘in front of a warm fire’?

Answers here

Friday, 1 April 2016

The newsquiz - 25 questions about the week

Well done to Ben Jackson who was last week's newsquiz top scorer with 16 points, narrowly beating Janet Boyle with 15. Others in double figures were Lydia Willgress 14, David Banks 13, Jessica McKay 11.5 and Chris Lennon 11. My mates in the Soleou cafe bar in Port Camargue scored an impressive team total of 17 while the Batstone Collective scored a 'un-Vardy like' 11. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points to be won. Let me know how you get on. 

The Steel industry in crisis (Question 1)
1. Tata Steel announced it is to sell its UK business putting 40,000 jobs at risk. In which city is Tata’s parent company based?
Bonus: The Labour MP for Aberavon, which includes the threatened steel town of Port Talbot, said he was 'flabbergasted by the incompetence' shown by the Government over the crisis. Who is he?
Bonus: What is the name of the union led by Roy Rickhuss that is urging the Government to intervene in the steel crisis?
2. Ronnie Corbett, who died this week, was born in which year?
Bonus: Corbett supported two football teams, one English and one Scottish. Name them. Half a point for each.
Bonus: What did drinkers in Corbett’s local, The Golf Inn in East Lothian, do to pay tribute?
3. An Easter Sunday bombing killed at least 72 people in which Pakistani city? 
4. Why was Ben Innes called stupid by his mother? 
5. Architect Dame Zaha Hadid, who died aged 65, designed which building for the 2012 Olympics?
6. Whose performance at the O2 went wrong because of a phone network problem?
7. In which Indian city did a partially built flyover collapse, killing more than 20 people?
8. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he favoured ‘some form of punishment’ for women who did what?
9. Which company pulled its April Fool gag after users complained it had 'got them in trouble' and 'cost them a job’?
10. The new £1 coin, due to come into circulation next year, will have how many sides?
11. Who will England meet in cricket’s T20 World Cup final on Sunday?
12. Which television programme has been nominated four times in this year’s Bafta television awards?
13. Former Page Three girl Rhian Sugden, at the centre of a sexting scandal with TV presenter Vernon Kay, tweeted a picture of which fictional character?
14. Kayaker Grant Broster went missing during Storm Katie while paddling on which river?
Bonus: At least nine people were injured when a series of tornadoes tore through which US state?
15. Which football manager was sacked after winning just three of his 16 league games? 
16. The new mandatory National Living Wage came into force, requiring employers to pay workers aged 25 and over at least how much an hour?
17. Who raised eyebrows by leaving his wife and children over the Easter weekend to attend the wedding of his childhood friend, Jessica 'Jecca' Craig, in Kenya?
18. Which company won a four-month battle to buy Argos after its owner agreed to a £1.4bn takeover?
19. She was born in Sunderland as Margaret Broderick, was awarded the MBE and has been a TV regular since 1985. Who is she?
20. A baby gorilla born in a rare emergency caesarean section at Bristol Zoo has been named following a public vote. What is her name?

Answers here 

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.