Saturday, 22 February 2014

This week's news quiz: Chris's 18 to beat

The Mail trainees have had a testing second week in Howden. They were trained in shooting and editing video with Mark Batty, writing features with Fiona Webster and interviewing with the head of PA Training, Tony Johnston. The sports trainees had sessions with the Mail's deputy sports editor Alex Kay, MailOnline consultant sports editor Mark Alford and PA sports editor Ashley Broadley. They also covered live Europa League football at the PA operations centre. As always we rounded off the week with the news quiz. Congratulations (and a scratchcard) to Chris Waugh who scored a highly impressive 18 out of 23, just pipping Khaleda Rahman and Kieran Gill with 17. The scores were much better this week - so hopefully all will be getting 100 per cent by the end of the course. See if you can do any better than Chris's 18.

Actor Clive Mantle - question 7.
Picture courtesy of PA
1. Former policeman Eric Devouassoux was arrested in the investigation into the murder of the Al Hilli family. Near which French lake did the murders take place?
2. The High Court rejected an appeal by David Miranda that he was unlawfully held at Heathrow airport for 9 hours. Which newspaper was he working for at the time?
3. Kiev has been under siege. In which square did the main protests take place?
 Why was opposition leader Vitali Klitschko famous before he became a politician?
4. Name either of the two train companies jointly voted the worst for passenger satisfaction.
5. According to the Daily Mail, police have opened an investigation into an organisation that existed in the 1970s called PIE. What did PIE stand for? 

6. Who won the British Breakthrough Act at the Brits?
Bonus Who collected David Bowie’s award for British Male wearing an outfit  originally worn on a Ziggy Stardust show in 1972?
7. Former Casualty actor Clive Mantle had part of his ear bitten off while staying at a Travelodge hotel in which city?
8. Why was Wojciech Szczesny in the sports headlines?
9. Simon Cowell became father to a baby boy … who is the baby named after?
Bonus Who is the baby’s mother?
10. Vet Scott Miller said that no dog, whatever their breed, is ever safe to be left with a child. How do you spell the word that ‘vet’ is short for?

11. Pensioner James Swinstead died on a cruise ship when storms hit the English Channel. Name the cruise ship.
12. The Justice Secretary said the decision by British judges that life sentences were not unlawful was 'timely and welcome’. Who is the Justice Secretary?   
13. Inflation fell to its lowest level in four years last month. According to the National Office for Statistics what is the current rate of inflation?
14. The British curling men’s team won a silver medal in Sochi. Who is the team’s skip?
15. The singer Prince played two back-to-back concerts at which London venue?
16. Prince Charles took part in a sword dance to celebrate the Janadriyah Festival. In which city?
17. What did Facebook buy for £11.4 billion?
18. A High Court judge rejected an £85million damages claim against which chief executive?  
19. What won the best film at this year’s Baftas?
20. Who did former PM Tony Blair tell to ’tough up' and 'take sleeping pills'?

Answers here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Peter Chislett: Non-compromising editor

I was saddened to read of the death of my old colleague and friend Peter Chislett. I first met Peter when he was editor of the Hartlepool Mail back in the 80s. But it wasn’t until he turned up in Darlington, as editor of the free Advertiser series, that I got to know him well. Peter was a fine journalist who, I remember, would not compromise his craft just because he was editing free weeklies. When I was editor of The Northern Echo we used to spar over the strategy of having top quality frees that might damage my paid-for title. Peter was having none of it … his papers would be as good as they possibly could be. No question. 
Peter had been a rising star in Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers. He was news-editor of the Portsmouth News before being promoted to the editorship of the Hartlepool Mail in 1981. We lost touch when I moved South until he rang me out of the blue to say he was living in Midhurst in Sussex ... and revealed he had been diagnosed with MS. Peter had been married to author Philippa Gregory - although they were long separated when I met him - and has a daughter, Victoria. He died earlier this month, aged 71. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Guardian wins 'best in world' design award

Congratulations to The Guardian which has been named as one of the best designed newspapers in the year in the Society of Newspaper Design awards. According to the judges the best five designed newspaper in the world in 2013 were:

The Guardian, UK
Dagens Nyheter, Sweden
Die Zeit, Germany
The Grid, Canada
Welt am Sonntag, Germany

It's a rare accolade for British newspapers. The last time a UK paper won the top award was in 2007. It was The Guardian that triumphed then too.
All of the other four winners were included in last year's top five. The Guardian is the only newcomer, muscling out Denmark's Politiken. The judges say that is because 'the best have a way of rising to the top regardless of who is doing the tasting'. The Independent, Independent on Sunday and the FT made it into the last 29. The judges in the 35th annual The Best of News Design competition, which was held at Syracuse University in New York, were looking for:

• A timeless design
• A strong voice
• A bold approach
• An apparent hierarchy
• A design that serves the readers
• Visuals that excite
• Good ideas
• Consistency
• Courage

Take a look at a neat slideshow of the winners here.

Some of the most spectacular work, though, was in other sections. Here are a few designs that caught my eye. 

Excelsior of Mexico
Adolfo Arranz of the South China Morning Post (silver medal)
Infographics of Berlin, Germany (silver medal)
Khaleej Times, Dubai (award of excellence)
Gulf News, Dubai (silver medal)
The Grid, Canada (silver medal)
The New York Times (award of excellence)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The news quiz is back: Ollie's 15.5 to beat

I spent this week at PA's Howden headquarters with 13 Mail trainees. It was the first week of their training scheme that will ultimately see them working for MailOnline and MailPlus. As always, we finished with a news quiz to make sure they are reading the papers and monitoring the websites. Well done to Ollie Gillman who won the scratch card with 15.5 out of 24, just pipping Chris Waugh who scored 15. I expect higher scores in the coming weeks.
See if you can do better. There are 20 questions, with four bonuses, making a possible total of 24.

Shirley Temple: Q1
1 Shirley Temple died this week. How old was she? 
2 Why did Nguyen Ha Dong cause a flap?
How old is Winter Olympics bronze medal winner Jenny Jones, and which city does she come from? (Half point for each answer)
Bonus - What nationality do you have to be to get a free beer from vending machines at Sochi
4 At which zoo was a healthy giraffe put to sleep to avoid in-breeding?
Bonus - what was the name of the giraffe?
5 Chief executive Antony Jenkins announced plans for 12,000 redundancies, 7,000 of them in the UK. Name the company.
6 Thorfinn Stout filmed himself drinking a pint for his NekNominate challenge ... but where was he at the time?
7 Torville and Dean returned to Sarajevo to recreate their Olympic winning Bolero routine. Who wrote the Bolero that they perform to?
8 Suspect packages were sent to seven Army Careers offices and other military centres this week. Name three of the towns or cities where they were sent.
9 Davina McCall took part in a 500-mile challenge for Sports Relief. Which lake did she swim as part of the challenge?
10 Dave Lee Travis was found not guilty of 12 charges of indecent assault ... at which crown court
11 Which two rivers are Somerset farmers demanding be dredged?
First bonus - which engineer designed the railway line at Dawlish, recently destroyed by waves?
Second bonus - which motorway was closed due to a 15ft deep hole?
12 The immigration minister has resigned for employing an illegal immigrant as a cleaner. Name him.

13 Which European nation has voted to impose curbs on immigrants from the European Union?
14 The newspaper and magazine industry is establishing a new Press regulator to replace the PCC. What is it called?
15 Scotland's deputy first minister has accused the main UK parties of bullying tactics over independence. Who is Scotland's deputy first minister?
16 Which two teams are top of the Six Nations rugby table? 
(Half point for each answer)
17 In which city is David Beckham setting up a soccer team?

18 Why was Beth Whaanga in the headlines?
19 How did widow Violet Baker upset her family?
20 According to research in the British Medical Journal fewer than 20 per cent of English adults are now what?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Quality panel for journalism seminar

Sue Ryan
Fay Schlesinger
Good to see my colleague Sue Ryan and former Daily Mail trainee Fay Schlesinger are on a panel discussing the opportunities and obstacles facing young journalists. Both are well placed to offer really valuable advice. Sue, formerly managing editor at the Telegraph, now organises the Mail's journalism training schemes. Fay is a graduate of the reporting scheme who went through the ranks quickly at the Mail and is now home news-editor of The Times. Both will have cracking stories to tell. They are joined on the panel by Krissi Murison, Sunday Times Magazine associate editor and first female editor of the NME; Katie Hind, Sunday People showbiz editor who began her journalism career editing her university paper; Alice Vincent, founding member of Wannabe Hacks and arts and entertainment writer for the Telegraph and Jennifer Richardson, award-winning journalist who quickly rose through the ranks at Chemist + Druggist magazine to become the editor. The panel is chaired by long-serving newsreader Kay Burley. The seminar, So you want to be a journalist?, is organised by Women in Journalism and Wannabe Hacks and will be held at the Mirror's offices in Canary Wharf on the evening of February 20. It will be followed by a drinks reception. You can book here and follow @WIJ_UK and @wannabehacks for updates using hashtag #WannabeWIJ.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Some animal crackers from the regions

There are a few contenders for regional newspaper headline of the week so far - and all of them involve animals.

Here is tomorrow's Northern Echo - with a headline editor Peter Barron tweeted that he never thought he would write. 

It comes hot on the heels of the Bridgwater Mercury's splash about a dog eating an Aston Martin. Both headlines are in the first person, involve animals and build vivid images in the readers' minds. Good work.

And for real detail and an element of the bizarre they don't come much better than the Liverpool Echo's 'One-eyed ferret on the loose in St Helens.' Marvellous.

Must tongue Sally - headline of the week

Here is another cracking 'headline that sings' for the collection. Quite brilliant work from the Sun subs. More headlines from song titles can be found here.