Monday, 29 September 2014

Do you phone hack or phone-hack?

On the Daily Mail editorial training course we have been discussing hyphens. It started with why two-year has to have a hyphen. That's easy, two is plural year is singular, so you can't have two-year without a hyphen. I was also always taught to use a hyphen to avoid ambiguity. Is a black cab driver someone who drives a black-cab, or some one who is black and drives a cab? A trickier question was whether phone-hacking should take a hyphen. A look through the papers and websites certainly shows inconsistency. The Guardian offers this guidance: Phone hacking - no hyphen for the noun, but hyphenated when used adjectivally, eg the PCC responded with its customary vigour to the phone-hacking scandal. 
That makes sense to me but will some readers just see it as inconsistency? The Mail's stylebook doesn't refer specifically to phone hacking but the preferred style is no hyphen at all. As a general rule if there is no ambiguity, then there is no need for a hyphen. But sometimes a noun (phone) and a verb (hacking) become such a familiar phrase that they become one word e.g. snowboarding. The discussion then led to the likes of fell-walking and road-running. Do they take hyphens, are they one word or do they have no hyphens at all? Has phone hacking become so common place that it has become a word in its own right? 
Anyway, hyphens are clearly important - and topical. They even led to this unlikely spat (thanks @subedited) between The Guardian and the Sunday Sport yesterday . 

I can't say bellend or bell-end is a word I have ever used in copy but, unusually, I am with the Sport on this one.

If you are interested in pursuing hyphens further, here's the advice from a selection of style books: 

You do not need to hyphenate adverbial compounds where the adverb ends in '‐ly’, such as 'The stylishly dressed man’. Use a hyphen only when the adverb does not end in '‐ly’, such as ‘the well‐dressed man.’
When the same form of words appears after the noun, hyphenate only if there is a chance that without a hyphen the meaning is not clear. Adjectivally – ‘multi-million‐pound house’, ‘make-up‐free star’, but ‘the star was make-up free’. 

The Guardian
Our style is to use one word wherever possible. Hyphens tend to clutter up text (particularly when the computer breaks already hyphenated words at the end of lines). This is a widespread trend in the language: "The transition from space to hyphen to close juxtaposition reflects the progressive institutionalisation of the compound," as Rodney Huddleston puts it, in his inimitable pithy style, in his Introduction to the Grammar of English.
Inventions, ideas and new concepts often begin life as two words, then become hyphenated, before finally becoming accepted as one word. Why wait? "Wire-less" and "down-stairs" were once hyphenated, and some old-fashioned souls still hyphenate e-mail.
Words such as chatroom, frontbench, gameplan, housebuyer and standup are all one word in our publications, as are thinktank (not a tank that thinks), longlist (not necessarily a long list) and shortlist (which need not be short).
There is no need to use hyphens with most compound adjectives, where the meaning is clear and unambiguous without: civil rights movement, financial services sector, work inspection powers, etc. Hyphens should, however, be used to form short compound adjectives, eg two-tonne vessel, three-year deal, 19th-century artist. Also use hyphens where not using one would be ambiguous, eg to distinguish "black-cab drivers come under attack" from "black cab-drivers come under attack". A missing hyphen in a review of Chekhov's Three Sisters led us to refer to "the servant abusing Natasha", rather than "the servant-abusing Natasha".
Do not use hyphens after adverbs ending in -ly, eg a hotly disputed penalty, a constantly evolving newspaper, genetically modified food, etc, but hyphens are needed with short and common adverbs, eg ever-forgiving family, much-loved character, well-established principle of style (note, however, that in the construction "the principles of style are well established" there is no need to hyphenate).

When an adverb can also be an adjective (eg hard), the hyphen is required to avoid ambiguity – it's not a hard, pressed person, but a hard-pressed one; an ill-prepared report, rather than an ill, prepared one.
Use a hyphen in verbs where necessary to stop this kind of thing happening:
told: don't
panic buy
(While not panicking may well have been advisable, they had actually been told not to panic-buy.)
Prefixes such as macro, mega, micro, mini, multi, over, super and under rarely need hyphens: examples are listed separately. Follow Collins when a word or phrase is not listed
The Mirror
Avoid in verbs whose prefix is re, unless the verb begins with e or when the hyphen indicates a difference of meaning. Re-open, re-tested, re-structure, re-pay should be reopen, retested, restructure, repay. Re-educate, re-emphasise etc need a hyphen.
Un-named, un-known should be unnamed, unknown.
Never use hyphens in headlines and subdecks. If you need punctuation, a comma or dots will usually do.

The Irish Independent 

Use hyphens to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words. Use for:
Fractions: two-thirds, four-fifths, etc.
Most words that begin with anti, non and neo.
Any number used as an adjective - 10-hour, four-year-old boy, 15-man team.
Some titles: director-general, secretary-general,but not Attorney General, general secretary.
Compass quarters – south-west, north-east, etc.
Where a prefix vowel is followed by an identical vowel – re-elect, pre-empt, co-operate.
Compound adjectives, ie, when two or more words are used to modify a noun – eg, right-wing groups, balance-of payments difficulties. But when the adjectives follow the noun they describe, no hyphens are  needed – the right wing of the party, the State’s balance of payments.
Email does not take a hyphen.
–ly adverbs do not take hyphens, eg, it was a commonly observed phenomenon.
Some words have their meaning altered if hyphens are used. For instance, “recreation” is leisure activity, while “re-creation” means making something anew; “recover” means to get better, while “re-cover” is what you do with an old sofa.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The news quiz: Michael's 20 points to beat

The Daily Mail trainees had a break from me this week. Instead, they were put through their paces by Howard Smith on Monday and Tuesday. Then the subs went with Mike Brough to sharpen up their InDesign and Photoshop skills while the onliners were taught video editing by Tom Mavro. Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph trainees did journalism with Paul Jones and law and ethics with David Banks.
The online trainees are out and about tomorrow, so we did the newsquiz today.
The highest scorer for the Mail was Michael Owens, with an impressive 20 points out of 25. James Restall with 18.5, Catherine Hardy, 18, Lydia Willgress, 17, and Christopher Brennan, 16, were other high scorers. The top score for the Telegraph trainees, who dominated last week's quiz, was 14.5 by Sophie Jamieson. There are 20 questions, with five bonus points. See if you can beat Michael's 25.   

Dave Lee Travis leaves Southwark Crown Court (See Question 12)
Picture courtesy of the Press Association
1. The chairman of Tesco found himself under pressure to resign this week. Who is he?
Bonus - Tesco brought forward the appointment of new finance chief, Alan Stewart, to sort out its woes. Which company did he come from?
2. What did Lura Pacheco do that landed her a £500 fine and 100 hours community service by Barkingside magistrates?
3. The captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team called in which sporting legend to motivate his players?
Bonus - Name the captain of the European Ryder cup team - and the captain of the American team (half point each)
4. How much money did Ed Miliband pledge to ‘save and transform the NHS’ by 2020?
Bonus - Rob Merrick, the political reporter who was injured by Ed Balls’s elbow in Labour’s conference football match, works for which regional newspaper?
Bonus - Ed Miliband’s barrister wife said she was ‘up for the fight’ in the run-in to the election to show she was 'more than a dress'. What is her first name?
5. A mother and her ten-year-old son were killed by a train at which railway station?
6. The US airstrikes on IS were backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and which other two Arabic countries? (half point each)
Bonus - French tourist Herve Gourdel was killed by Islamic fundamentalists in which country?
7. A new fashion boutique has opened at 36 Dover Street in Mayfair, London. What is it called?
8. Actress Emma Watson gave a speech at the UN on gender equality at the weekend. What is the name of the campaign she is supporting?  (Clue - it takes a hashtag)
9. The inquests into the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy are being held at a specially-built coroner’s court in which town?
10. In an overheard conversation with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who did David Cameron say he wanted to sue for giving him stomach ulcers?
11. Whose lifestyle tips included sprinkling salt at the front door to absorb negative energy and swilling coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes?
12. Dave Lee Travis was found guilty of indecent assault this week. How old is he?
13. Why is Arnis Zalkalns in the headlines?
14. Liverpool won a record-breaking penalty shoot-out in the Capital One cup by a score of 14-13. Who were the losing team?
15. What device was used to rescue Henry, a border terrier, from a rabbit hole?
16. How did a salute by Barack Obama breach military regulations?
17. The mechanism used by the Treasury to adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales is known as what formula?
18. Who said sorry and paid compensation to celebrities Shane Richie, Shobna Gulati, Lucy Benjamin and Alan Yentob?
19. The name of the spaceship that India sent to Mars means 'Mars Craft' in Hindi. What is its name?
20. Which singer is being sued for allegedly breaking a fan’s nose with a football in Las Vegas?

Answers here.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Inside typographer Alan Kitching's studio

Those of you enthused by typography should really enjoy this short film about Darlington-born Alan Kitching. It shows how he created five pieces of work to celebrate famous graphic designers on their centenary ...  Tom Eckersley, Paul Rand, FHK Henrion, Josef Müller-Brockmann and Abram Games. What is really good though is the look inside Kitching's amazing studio and the fact is he still has his County Durham accent. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

This week's newsquiz: James's 18 to beat

It has been a busy old week in Howden. Mike Watson and I have spent our time with the Daily Mail trainee subs and online journalists at PA's splendid training centre in the Manor. The online trainees enjoyed a good couple of days with Mail training manager Nick Enoch at the beginning of the week. By the end the group had created web and newspaper pages on the Scottish referendum result. 
Meanwhile The Daily Telegraph trainees learned about data journalism with Paul Bradshaw, investigative journalism with Philip Braund, interviewing with Tony Johnston and talks by Telegraph executives Richard Preston and Georgina Tremaine. Yesterday both groups got together to do the newsquiz. This week's winner was the Telegraph's James Rothwell with an excellent 18 out of 24. He narrowly beat colleagues Sophie Jamieson and Olivia Rudgard with 17. The top scoring Mail trainee was Michael Owens with 16.5. It was a high scoring week ... can you do any better?

Drinker: Gerard Depardieu (see Question 4)

1. To the nearest whole number, what was the percentage turnout in the Scottish Independent referendum.
BonusWho tweeted the following? 'Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this!’ (sic)
Bonus - Only four out of 32 areas voted Yes. Glasgow and Dundee were two, name the other two.
2. Who is Sheridan Smith portraying in a new ITV biopic? 
3. In which country did a woman commit suicide by jumping into a pond of crocodiles?
4. French actor Gerard Depardieu claims he can drink up to how many bottles of wine a day? 
5. Which golfing great nearly lost a hand while using a chainsaw? 
6. A new film has been inspired by Oxford's Bullingdon Club. Name it.
7. Why was David Barclay in the news this week? 
8. The latest British hostage to appear on an IS video, photographed Prince William and Prince Harry during what charity event in 2008?
Bonus - What is the hostage's name?
Bonus - How old is hostage Alan Henning?
9. What is Amal Alamudding scheduled to do next Saturday?
10. British/Iranian woman Ghoncheh Ghavami has been in jail in Iran for 80 days. What was her offence?
11. What is the name of the island where two British backpackers were murdered?
12. Which female icon was investigated after being accused of using the f-word?
13. Which troubled company was sold by its founder, John Caudwell, for £1.5 billion in 2006?
14. Seven British football teams were competing in Europe this week but only two won. Name them (half point each).
15. Grandmother Sonia Powell died in a queue of 15 ambulances outside the Morriston Hospital in which city?
16. Her real name was Marie Chilver, but what was her other name as released by the National Archives?
17.  What is allowing women to become members after 260 years?
18. What innovative idea has been introduced in Chongqing, China?
19. Which blockbuster author said his success had cost him a close relationship with his children ... who had 'done nothing to win his respect’. 
20. Why did the Colombia Ladies Cycling Team’s kit, cause a few raised eyebrows this week?

Answers here 

Friday, 19 September 2014

The 6am front pages: how the night unfolded

The chances are the newspaper you saw this morning didn't have the result of the referendum ... but the newsdesks were certainly working through the night to produce 6am editions. 

My favourite is the Edinburgh News. The image is not one of celebration ... just one that reflects the mood. The morning after the night before. This is how the night (and morning) unfolded in the newsrooms on both sides of the border.

The Scottish Daily Mail. Great picture of Alex Salmond. I was particularly pleased to see Rachel Watson's byline on this. Trainee in Kensington last week, front page in Glasgow this week. Well done to her. 

The Daily Record has enjoyed an excellent campaign with some memorable fronts. It doesn't disappoint this morning ... New Scotland ... new Britain is a nice headline.  

The Scottish Sun's holding front page is just silly ... but it goes for it big time this morning. The merging flags and Reunited Kingdom headline are simple but very effective.

The English Sun's morning page is a bit stronger though. Union back, adapted from the earlier edition, is a nice line.

The Daily Telegraph's picture across the top, with the white titlepiece embedded, is very strong. The second edition headline just about squeezes in above the fold. 

Nice picture on The Times too ... although the relationship with the picture is interesting. I guess the couple hugging aren't that happy about staying together.

The Guardian changed its picture midway through the night ... and then there was a wholesale change to capture a very hacked off Alex Salmond. 

 The Scotsman goes from clutter to simple clarity. 

No doubting the result in the Mirror

The Independent might have taken a gamble at 4.15am and dropped the question mark. Not sure the lady in the front of the picture will thank them for this shot.

Good changes at The Herald. The crop on Salmond in the car not as effective as the one on the Scottish Daily Mail. Why the front seat passenger and wing mirror? Not surprised it changed again. 

 From piper to partygoers, the i goes blue for the day. 

Not sure if the Express updated this one - a generic lead headline that would have stood whatever the result.  

The Press & Journal in Aberdeen uses Salmond as a shadow across the Union Flag. Poignant?   

The regionals were busy too. Here's the Manchester Evening News. 

The Courier - based in Dundee.

The Herald in Dublin.

A great job by the journalists ... now go get some sleep. 

North newspapers - better together

Here's a first ... rival newspapers The Northern Echo and the Newcastle Journal had the same front page today. And the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle ran the same thing on Page 6 too. The Teesside GazetteManchester Evening News and The Yorkshire Post also signed up to the campaign. The big question - with Scotland being offered all these sweeteners - is what happens to the neglected North? Great to see newspapers from different groups putting aside their rivalries to campaign. You can read more about it here

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Classic front pages on Scotland's 'Day of destiny'

Today we have some classic front pages. There is one story that you have to lead on ... but nothing new has happened. How do you deal with that? That's when the page designers must be at their most creative and, today, with one or two exceptions, they haven't disappointed. 

The MirrorTelegraph and Express all use similar images. The Mirror takes out the Saltire from the Union Flag and headlines with a slightly amended song title, made famous by Scottish band the Communards. A smart page for both England and Scotland.

With big picture stories, the broadsheet size comes into its own. And the Telegraph rarely misses an opportunity. No headline required, just a poignant quote from Rabbie Burns.

The Express uses a similar image in Scotland but in England reverts to a more traditional front. I guess it is so they could promote their historic newspaper pages. The blurb has looked the same every day this week though. I also have an issue with Free Inside in bright yellow - where else would it be? In the shop next door? I would have been tempted to have run the Scottish page in all editions.

The Daily Record has had a good campaign and today it delivers two excellent fronts. The top one - which also quotes Burns - is part of a wrap, the bottom one the front page inside the wrap. All to Pray for is a clever headline too. I wonder if Alistair Darling should have been replaced by Gordon Brown in the head to head.

The Times also goes with a wrap in both England and Scotland. Given the great wraparounds the Times has delivered, this is a little disappointing. It's just a poster of the Union Flag and a fairly routine D-Day headline. Scotland decides isn't the most creative headline of the day either. In Scotland it takes the unusual step of running its editorial - in leader page style - on Page 1. I am not sure about simply cutting the page in half and some readers may think it's an ad. It certainly looks different, though.

The Edinburgh News is yet another paper to go for a wraparound. Away from the flags and politicians, it brings the issue back to its nub. The headline and David Hume quote work well. A really nice page.

I really like the Daily Mail's Scottish front page and there might have been an argument in running it through all editions. The Thailand murder story is strong though. 

The Independent also goes for a dramatic Saltire and Union Flag picture, which looks very powerful on today's news-stands. The 307-year itch is nice too.

Its sister paper, the i, goes for the two flags - but doesn't quite have the same impact. 

I have been impressed with the recent changes to Metro. This is another strong front with yet another song lyric headline. 

I really liked the Scottish Page 1. It says 'we have no columnists, no editorials and favour no side. So today, instead of pontificating on the rights or wrongs of independence, we merely urge all of you to take part in one of the most significant moments in the long and illustrious history of our country.' Hope readers don't think the advert is a message too.

The Guardian wipes out the front with a satellite shot, showing what Scotland would look like as an independent country. Day of destiny is the most-used headline of the day. 

The Evening Times also uses Day of destiny on a montage of campaigns and flags.

The Sun, in its unique and innovative way, contrives to tie in Harry and Cressida getting back together with the Scottish issue. It is, as you may know, also a song title (Jack Johnson, anyone?).

The Scottish edition is interesting too. I am with journalism trainees today who feel the hands weren't needed. I am not sure The Sun would have been confident going with just a blank page though. The multi-cultural hands are writing the new beginning I guess. I might have subbed the cross reference to Pages 2 to 13.

The Herald has a powerful picture of Scotland at its archetypal best. The advert is interesting though - it has to be deliberate. 

At both ends of the spectrum, even City A.M. and the Morning Star go for Scotland.
The Racing Post is interesting too. Never mind the polls ... the bookies are offering odds of 2/9 on the No vote. And the bookies are rarely wrong.

Perhaps the most disappointing front is The Scotsman's. The Day of Destiny headline makes a reappearance ... but is this really the best picture? Pictures of buildings rarely make great display images for newspapers and this isn't even a nice building or a moody shot. It also looks as though the signs are being put away after it's all over.

Meanwhile ... south of the border it looks as though we will need to brace ourselves for a whole raft of claims for independence. Here's the Dorking Advertiser ...

Some thoughtful and creative pages today - newspapers at their best. With the result coming in after deadline, tomorrow's fronts will be even more of a challenge.

Thanks to the excellent  and @suttonnick