Monday, 29 February 2016

Wanted: Trainee digital storytellers

 This year's recruitment of trainee journalists for the Daily Mail and MailOnline schemes is almost complete. We have interviewed many bright young journalists and some have already been offered positions. MailOnline and are now extending the scheme to trainees with a specific interest in video and social media. If you are interested here are the details:

Trainee digital storytellers: Have you got what it takes to work for the globe’s biggest newspaper website? 

For years MailOnline has recruited some of the brightest journalism trainees in the UK, America and Australia. We are now extending the scheme to include and we are seeking trainees with a hunger and aptitude for digital storytelling. We are looking for talented people who are good wordsmiths but who also understand, or are willing to learn, different ways of telling stories to a younger and interactive audience. You may already be vlogging, publishing pictures and video, using social media on various platforms, using vines and gifs and Snapchatting, Instagramming, Pinning and Tumblring. You will certainly be creative, imaginative and energetic with a passion for storytelling and big ideas on how new audiences will be best served now and in the future. If you have an understanding of data journalism, shooting and editing video, slideshows, pop-up captions, social media platforms, interactive graphics or coding we will develop your skills so that you can use them at a professional and international level. You’ll be on the best journalism course in the business and be paid a competitive salary while you train. To apply send the following to by Friday April 1:
• Your CV
• A link to three of your accounts from the following: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, your personal website, your blog, Soundcloud, AudioBoom, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, Flickr
• One piece of original content you think would be perfect for MailOnline or (this will not be published without agreement from you ... and payment)
• An email saying why this opportunity is for you and a preferred way for us to get in touch

Friday, 26 February 2016

Test your news knowledge with the quiz

Well done to Kieran Corcoran who was top scorer in last week's newsquiz with 16 points. The Batstone Collective were the top team scorers with a respectable 15. Here's this week's quiz. As usual, there are 25 questions to test your news knowledge. Let me know how you get on.
The Tory differences on Brexit continued to inspire the headline writers
(see Question 1)
1. David Cameron said voting in the referendum on the EU was more important than what? Bonus: Which prominent Tory said he believed Britain should vote to leave to 'shake Europe's leaders out of their complacency’? Bonus: Which company declined to sign a letter backing the ‘in' campaign, saying the impact of Britain leaving would be ‘relatively minor’?
2. Which Brit award did Adele receive from astronaut Tim Peake?
3. Who said: 'Death isn't scary - it's just like going to sleep. It doesn't bother me because when your time's up, your time's up'?
4. Eleven states will vote in the American primaries on March 1. What is the day commonly known as? 
Bonus: Jeb Bush pulled out of the Republican race, leaving Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and which other main candidate to battle it out?
5. Who named his fifth child Alfred Wulfric Leyson Pius?
6. Three tabloid newspapers carried the back page headline ‘Rash, bang wallop!’ this week. What story did they refer to?
7. Uber taxi driver Jason Dalton was arrested for shooting dead six people in which US city?
8. Which member of the Friends cast did not attend the televised tribute to James Burrows?
9. Why did the Queen wear a purple outfit on Tuesday?
10. Footballer Adam Johnson’s girlrfriend gave evidence in court and revealed she had split from the ex-Sunderland player. What is her name? Bonus: The prosecution said Johnson had denied charges so he could keep drawing his weekly salary of how much?
11. Why was Grace Taylor in the headlines?
12. The Flying Scotsman made a return to the tracks after a decade-long refit. How much did the work cost? Bonus: Who owns the train, buying it for £2.3million in 2004?
13. Which structure, designed by architect Frederick Gibberd, was opened in 1970 and closed in 2013?
14. Mars said it was recalling several of its chocolate bars in how many countries? 
15. Faced with 'a serious threat to motorists' on the A55 in Conwy, North Wales, what did police decide to do?
16. What reason did £32.5m Lottery winners Lisa and Gary Cannings give for waiting a week before claiming their fortune?
17. Five people fainted and 40 walked out in the first week of the National Theatre’s latest production. What is the play called? 
18. Tony Blackburn said he had been ‘hung out to dry’ by the BBC. How old is he?
19. A rare emergency caesarean was carried out on which animal at the Bristol Zoo Gardens?
20. Sticky Vicky (Leyton) retired at 72. Where has she performed for the last 35 years?

Answers here

Friday, 19 February 2016

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

Last week's newsquiz must have been a little trickier than usual with Damon Wake's 14 the highest score. Here's this week's quiz ... a little later than usual as I have been on the road all day. As usual there are 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on.
The EU summit dominated the front pages (Q1)
1. David Cameron says he was at the EU summit in Brussels until what time this (Friday) morning? Bonus: Tomas Prouza tweeted: 'As the time passes, I am more and more perplexed by the British approach of non-negotiation. Quite unorthodox, to say the least.’ Prouza is the Europe minister for which country?
2. Who said: 'No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith’? 
3. Where did Tim Newton and Rachel Slater go missing?
4. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush caused a Twitter furore by tweeting a handgun with his name engraved on it and a single word. What was the word?
5. Four members of the band Viola Beach and their manager were killed when their car plunged off a bridge near Stockholm? What town were the band from?
Bonus: After a campaign their single reached No 1 in the iTunes charts. What is it called?
6. Why was Rose Polge in the headlines?
7. Imam Jalal Uddin was killed on his way home from prayers at a mosque in which town?
8. Snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan refused to complete a 147 break at the Welsh Open because he thought the prize money was 'too cheap'. How much was it?

9. Housekeeper Penelope Walker was left £20,000 in whose will?
10. Which comedy sit-com is making a comeback for Sports Relief?
11. Why did a Virgin Atlantic flight to New York turn back to Heathrow?
12. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, died this week. How old was she?
13. Lady Gaga sang a medley of Bowie songs at the Grammy Awards. Which song did she end with? Bonus: Bowie’s son tweeted about the performance saying: 'Overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused.’ What is Bowie’s son called? Bonus: Oli Sykes, the lead singer of Bring Me the Horizon, trashed whose table at the NME awards in Brixton? Bonus: Stephen Fry quit Twitter after he was criticised after comparing costume designer Jenny Beavan to a 'bag lady' when she picked up her Bafta for which movie?
14. Boxer Manny Pacquiao joined Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorious in a list of athletes who have done what?
15. Peers indicated they might use archive paper to record Acts of Parliament, which would end the 1,000-year-old practice of using what other material?
16. Royal Mail is to raise the price of first and second class stamps by 1p from March 29. How much will each stamp then cost? Half point each. 
17. American warplanes killed at least 40 people in an Isis camp where foreign fighters had been engaged in advanced training. In which country?
18. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon flew out to where to issue a warning about Jeremy Corbyn?
19. Actress Emma Thompson described Britain as a '_____ ____, misery-laden, grey old island' What are the missing two words?
20. A fast-growing tumbleweed is clogging up homes in the Australian town of Wangaratta. What is its local nickname?
Answers here

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Who will win front page of the year?

I had a good couple of days catching up with old colleagues at the Press Awards judging days in London last week. The event itself is on March 22 ... a guaranteed great night out. The shortlists have been announced now and are listed here. As always it is nice to see so many people who I have helped train included on the shortlist - step forward Martha Kelner, Tom Rowley, Jaber Mohammed and Simon Neville.
One of my favourite awards is Front Page of the Year. Page 1 is such a critical and creative part of what newspapers do. Persuading people to pick up a newspaper by using a mix of words, images, type and colour on a piece of paper is a great art. Here are the shortlisted six in this year's awards. A tough task for the judges ... which would you go for?

NB: I wasn't a judge in any of the categories mentioned and have no idea who has won.

Indie shortlisted in Best of World designs

It is fitting that The Independent should be shortlisted in the top 13 designed newspapers of the year, according to the judges at this year's Society of News Design awards. It made the cut along with The GuardianAamulehti (Finland), Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), DeMorgen (Germany) , Die Zeit (Germany), The Globe and Mail (Canada), La Nacion (Argentina), The National Post (Canada), The New York Times (United States), Politiken (Denmark), The Washington Post (United States) and Welt am Sonntag (Germany). 

The judges said of the Indie: 'The covers stood out for us: bold, creative, courageous. The typography is stunning, and the grid is a strong foundation for all the work. It helps to keep the flow and sustain interest. The white channels on pages provide some relief but are also utilized to help punctuate stories — there’s room to breathe with purpose. The paper has a serious, authoritative tone but with a restrained elegance.' The Independent also won a silver medal in News Design for its Charlie Hebdo and  Aylan Kurdi front covers. Well done to all those at the Indie. It will certainly be missed. 

Here are a few more of its front page highlights.

Check out some of the best designs according to SND37 here

Friday, 12 February 2016

Here's the newsquiz. Give it a go

The top scorers in last week's newsquiz were Rod Ardehali and the Grey Cardigan with 16. Other double figure scores were Dave Bromage, 15, Alex Richman, 14, Dan Williams, 13, and Sam Blackledge and Chris Lennon both on 12. The best team score was by my drinking pals in the Plough last Friday night with a PB of 19. Here's this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions. Let me know how you get on. 

Storm Imogen and border controls (Questions 1 and 19)
1. David Cameron said border controls with France might be under threat if Britain left the EU. What is the name of the 2003 treaty that agreed the border arrangement? Bonus: What is the name of the anti-migrant organisation that marched in Birmingham, Dresden, Prague, Calais, Dublin and Amsterdam?
2. According to a Syrian Centre for Policy Research report, what percentage of the Syrian population has been killed or injured since hostilities started in March 2011? Bonus: Which country announced it was to stop airstrikes on Syria with its Prime Minister saying: 'The people terrorised by Isil every day don't need our vengeance, they need our help’?
3. Why were David Byrne and Eddie Hutch in the headlines?
4. What was revealed by fire brigades as Britain’s second-biggest cause of house fires?
5. Why did the crew filming the new Jackie Chan movie, The Foreigner, come under fire? 
6. Alexe Kotey, revealed as a member of an Islamic State execution gang, was said to have previously travelled to Gaza on an aid convoy led by who?
7. Who said, after the New Hampshire primary result in America, that: 'They are throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have a feeling that it is coming soon’? Bonus: What position did Republican candidate Ted Cruz come in the vote?
8. David Cameron announced 'reform prisons' are to be created in England and Wales to tackle violence and re-offending. How many reform prisons did he say there will be this year?
9. An inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James was told that she died from a single gunshot at which barracks?
10. Beyonce’s Black Panther routine at the Super Bowl was criticised after she performed a song making reference to police shootings of black people. What is the song called?
11. In what minute of the game between Liverpool and Sunderland did around 10,000 fans walkout in a protest over ticket prices? Bonus: Which former Liverpool footballer was among those who walked out saying 'it wasn't a nice experience'?
12. Who asked Professor Dame Sue Bailey to lead a review into how to improve morale?
13. A besotted fan was given a restraining order after sending vulgar tweets in a 17-month-long harassment campaign against who? Bonus: Gwyneth Paltrow told an LA court that her alleged stalker, Dante Soiu, sent statements saying he 'wanted to cleanse her of sin with a _______.' What’s the missing word?
14. Brendan Coyle, 53, was banned from driving for four years after being found guilty of being three times over the legal limit. He played John Bates in which TV programme?
15. The production company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being prosecuted after actor Harrison Ford was hit by a hydraulic metal door. What injury did Ford sustain?
16. David Cameron's mother signed a petition against plans by Conservative-run Oxfordshire County Council to close children's centres. What is Mrs Cameron’s first name?
17. London's Metropolitan Police are considering using what to grab drones from the sky? 
18. Where did the #fishballrevolution lead to 37 people appearing in court charged with rioting?
19. What was Mike Reid trying to do when he was washed into the sea by Storm Imogen near Penzance?
20. Who tweeted: 'Today is National Gorgeous Grandma Day! Here's a smile for all you crazy grandmas?' 

Answers here

Friday, 5 February 2016

Test your news knowledge with the quiz

The best score in last week’s quiz was a very impressive 18 by Alex Richman. Well done to him. Other good scores were 17 by the Grey Cardigan, 16.5 by both Fiona Roberts and Janet Boyle, 16 by Damon Wake, 14 by ‘The subeditor’ and Ben Jackson and 13 by Amalia Illgner. Here are this week’s questions. As usual there are 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on.

 Wogan and Europe dominated this week's news (Question 1 and 2)

1. The draft agreement on a new EU settlement was published by the president of the European Council. Name him. Bonus: Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Commons that David Cameron had just a fortnight to 'salvage his reputation as a __________’. What is the missing word?
2. In which Irish city was Terry Wogan born? Bonus: Wogan’s fan club are called the TOGs. What, exactly, does it stand for? Bonus: Who described Wogan as his ‘radio dad’?
3. Why was Roger Gower in the headlines?
4. Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo said: 'I have news and unfortunately it is not good.’ What was he talking about?
5. Nations meeting in London pledged to help Syrians affected by the five-year conflict. How much money did they agree by the end of the conference?
6. Whose family said goodbye to 'a wonderful father, loving grandfather and a damn fine actor’?
7. What did David Beckham buy for paramedic Catherine Maynard and her patient after he spotted them waiting for an ambulance?
8. What did Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington say was more painful than child birth?
9. Six precincts at the Iowa Caucus were dead heats between Democrat candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. How were the results decided?  Bonus:  Adele joined a long list of musicians, including Neil Young, REM and Aerosmith, in doing what?
10. What is former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc going to be doing from May?
11. The World Health Organisation advised countries not to accept what from people who had travelled to Zika-affected regions?
12. Four British servicemen, who became the first team of amputees to row across the Atlantic, were known as Team _____. What is the missing word?
13. British tourist Gareth Crowe was killed after being trampled and gored by an elephant in which country?
14. Which British football manager said: 'I won’t sleep well tonight’? Bonus: Where will Pep be taking over from Pell?
15. A death certificate on Lord Lucan was issued 42 years after he vanished when his children's nanny was bludgeoned to death in London. What was the name of the nanny?
16. Which company become the world’s most valuable after its global revenues rose 13 per cent to $75billion (£52billion)?
17. Tareena Shakil, who took her 14-month-old son to Syria to join IS, was jailed for how long?
18. Sir David Dalton wrote 45,000 letters in a direct personal appeal to who?
19. Why did three people win a paperweight and a copy of codebreaker Alan Turing's biography, as well as 'major bragging rights'?
20. A  government minister had to calm France’s nerves over proposed changes to, among other things, the onion. What was the suggested change to the onion?

Answers here

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Newspapers in 2016: The bright spots

It is no secret that newspapers are anticipating a tough time in 2016. There will be a continued squeeze on revenues and circulations, titles will close, dailies will go weekly and more mergers seem inevitable. Turning digital into a meaningful business, while maintaining profits and keeping print strong, is the challenge facing everyone. Most of the regional editors I speak to are showing no signs of discarding their hard-hats just yet. As Dominic Fitzpatrick, MD of the Irish News, says: 'Difficulty is the new norm'. But it isn't all doom and gloom. There is also growth and innovation. The quality frees, Metro and the Evening Standard, are thriving, MailOnline is a soaraway success, campaigning and investigative journalism is on the rise and some titles continue to prosper. At the end of last year I spoke to editors, MDs, academics and consultants about what they expected 2016 to bring. The resulting article is published in this month's InPublishing magazine. Read it here. I am not saying it will cheer you up ... but there are some bright spots. Honestly.