During the Leveson Inquiry a lot of questions were asked about people's right to privacy and whether the newspapers were able to discern the difference between a story that was in the public interest versus a story that simply would interest the public.
This week both of those issues are being put to the test by the tabloid coverage around the news that former nanny Louise Woodward is expecting her first child, 16 years after she served nine months in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of a child in her care.
But 16 years on it should be asked whether it is really in the public interest that we are told where Woodward now lives, what her married name is, what she does in her spare time, where she attends dance classes? Furthermore, 16 years on from serving her time for involuntary manslaughter is it right that she is branded a "BABY KILLER" across the pages of national newspapers?
Newsnight continues to strive for new and interesting ways to close the show - to varying degrees of success. On Monday night it hit upon the idea of having the newly-crowned World Memory Champion memorise the programme's credits and deliver them at the end of the show.
It's probably safe to say it didn't go quite as planned. Appearing on live television seemed to take its toll on the Champ, even causing him to forget the name of the (increasingly impatient) presenter sat opposite him, while the words "World Memory Champion" appeared on screen with impeccable timing...
The tragedy in Glasgow where at least eight people have been killed after a helicopter crashed into a popular nightspot is an awful story which surely needed no embellishment.
Yet some of those involved in the rescue operation have had to dedicate precious time over the past 36 hours to addressing misleading media reports about the crash.
The Daily Mail was initially quick to report in its headline online that "There was an almighty explosion and then a huge fireball". Tellingly, that claim was attributed to an anonymous 'witness'. But Reverend Gordon Armstrong, a church of Scotland chaplain working with the fire and rescue service at the scene, told media this was not true:
"The devastation was confined to the pub probably because in his last few seconds the pilot managed to switch off the engines and the fuel supply. There was no explosion, no fireball, no devastation in the street."
The Daily Mail has since changed its story.
It's not the first time the Daily Mail has reported 'eye-witness' accounts of events which were quickly revealed to be fabricated. In 2011, the Mail blundered badly when it infamously claimed Amanda Knox had failed in her appeal hearing in Italy.
The Mail included reports of Knox's reaction to the news and had quotes attributed to people who had been in court and following the case. The only problem for the Mail was that Knox had actually won her appeal and the paper had run a fictitious pre-prepared story in error, complete with made-up quotes. It was a mistake the Mail Online's editor attributed to "human error and over-zealousness" when answering questions about it at the Leveson Inquiry.
The Express and the Daily Star today lead with the revelation that winter, which normally lasts three months and is often cold, may this year last three months and be cold...
The Express story even adds "the northern half of the UK will become a lot colder for a time with the risk of snow". Who knew.
The public have certainly reacted with shock to this news.
Twitter user Rob Jones asked: "How will the other seasons feel about this? Soon they'll all want to last three months."
His concerns were echoed by Ian Yeomans who tweeted: "Three months, that's a quarter of a year... what about the other 3 seasons, will there be room for them too?"
Only time will tell. Or a calendar and a basic grasp of the seasons.
It seems Australia's famously stringent border controls have been unable to prevent the Daily Mail entering their country:
In a press release posted as a news story on the Mail's website, Martin Clarke, publisher of the MailOnline is quoted as saying: "The Daily Mail has been one of the world's most influential and trusted news brands [stop giggling at the back] since its launch in the United Kingdom more than a century ago. I'm excited that we can now offer Australians a local version with a strong focus on editorial integrity and campaigning journalism."
Journalists covering the 'things that look (a bit) like genitals' beat have been kept busy this week. First The Mirror brought news of the Qatar World Cup stadium that looks (a bit) like a VAGINA - and not just any vagina but an upper case VAGINA:
And then The Telegraph got hold of the housing estate which looks (a bit) like a penis, though they lost points for not cracking a single gag about semis:
David Montgomery, boss of the Local World Group which producers newspapers such as the Cambridge News, Derby Telegraph, Leicester Mercury and Nottingham Post, has outlined a grim vision of the future of the media. In a 2,000 word email to staff, obtained by Press Gazette, Montgomery paints a bleak picture of how organisations such as his own may one day work, with deskbound recent graduates skim-reading, harvesting and repurposing content from the internet and cutting and pasting press releases without any interference from news editors, editors or sub editors.
Montgomery's top 10 suggestions are as follows:
1. "The role and the scope of the journalist needs to be redefined... He will singly be responsible for sourcing this content, collecting it and publishing it across all platforms." [That's right ladies, the journalist of the future is a "he".]
2. "The journalist will embody all the traditional skills of reporter, sub-editor, editor-in-chief". [Though presumably never on an editor-in-chief's salary.]
3. "The majority of this content will be produced by third party contributors... The task of harvesting content from the various sources [will mean the] publisher acts as the main conduit for police information of every type... This same model can be applied to all content segments: hospitals and general health and care, education and every school, businesses large and small, sport at all levels, entertainment and culture."
4. "In the smaller operations there will only be one Content Manager. For the time being this remains a journalistic role but with audience data increasingly driving content exploitation it could in future mean that the content manager comes from a publishing background without having performed as a line journalist."
5. "Areas of taste, legalities, and newspaper style should be absorbed by the rank and file senior journalists as part of their responsibilities rather than being presided over grandly by the man in the glass office." [What could possibly go wrong, part 1.]
6. "It will be expected that every Content Director and Content Manager has the skills to single handedly assemble all content within a newspaper format which will be highly templated". [What could possibly go wrong, part 2.]
7. "The... Content Manager will skim largely online published content to create the newspaper in a single session... rather than a number of staff following a laborious and time-consuming schedule."
8. "Senior journalists will episodically visit offices with free seating to discuss strategic or quality issues rather than to sit and wait for a story briefing. News and content lists will be compiled by the senior journalists online rather than by the traditional processes of news and features editors."
9. "A loose graduate only recruitment programme is suggested and certainly not necessarily from media studies departments. The key attributes are a high degree of literacy, inquisitive and presentational skills, strong but not necessarily confident personality and a broad general knowledge manifested in part through educational attainment... Enabled with a broad and deep general knowledge, particularly in current affairs, this will allow the recruit to fly solo at an early stage." [What could possibly go wrong, part 3.]
10. "Training should be predicated with short print and online writing techniques courses but with no attempt to standardise reporting as has been the practice for decades. Instead there will be a tolerance to individual styles." [What could possibly go wrong, part 4.]
Australian newspaper The Courier Mail has been trying its best to whip up animosity towards England cricketer Stuart Broad ahead of the first Ashes test in Brisbane. Broad's response? Five wickets and counting.
However, the Courier Mail is holding true to its promise of not mentioning Broad following the instigation of its "Broad Ban". The paper has circumvented the issue of Broad's performance being the match's major talking point by Photoshopping him out of Friday's match reports:
Q1. The Mail Online has reported that a "topless Kim Kardashian" has made a "shockingly gratuitous" music video including a "nip slip". How many pictures of this "shockingly gratuitous" video do you think they have included in their article?
A. None of course! Because it's "shockingly gratuitous".
B. One, begrudgingly, in order to give readers some necessary context.
C. 25 screengrabs and two video clips
Q2. For a bonus point. Do you think they included the aforementioned "nip slip"?
A. No, of course not.
B. You betcha!
Correct answers: C and B
You would think the UK media had been starved of royal news this year given the way they feasted upon scraps on Tuesday. The Mirror set the tone early on, reporting that "Prince William and wife Kate will leave Prince George with babysitters today".
Sky News meanwhile lead with the news that babies grow, which will no doubt interest anybody who has ever wondered where adults come from:
And that just left the Evening Standard to inform us on its front page that Kate wore a dress:
Kate Middleton and the tabloid baby guessing game
Why is the Mail so outraged by new bikini pics of Kate?
Newspapers light ironic fire under Mantel
Telegraph gets to the bottom of the Middletons
It seems winter is on its way and due to arrive in the next month or so. This may well mean it gets a bit colder over the next few months and some places may also see some snow.
...but you knew that already. Though the Express is trying it's best to make this into something a little more newsworthy.
The Express's 'Frozen Planet' moment
Daily Express gets weather story RIGHT
Met Office puts the boot in to the Express
Haven't ice seen you somewhere before?
Weather forecasting: Express style
So... was it the 'coldest winter in 100 years'?
The Daily Mail today published the following correction online and in the newspaper:
"An article on Monday said that in the past three and a half years Gordon Brown had claimed more than £316,000 in salary and 'personal expenses' such as water bills, airfares and petrol. This is not correct nor was the statement that he never forgets to claim his expenses. We accept that Mr Brown does not claim any 'personal expenses', neither for accommodation, utilities, personal travel, nor living expenses of any kind."
As corrections go it's quite a biggie... but not as big as the original article, as this graphic illustrates.
And here is how they looked on the page, the original article (below left, from the Daily Mail, 4 November) and the correction (below right, from the Daily Mail, 7 November):
The Daily Mail has been waging war on online porn but it seems that doesn't stop them promoting hardcore pornography if they'll get a few clicks out of it online. So today the Mail ran an article about a US writer who filmed sex scenes with a porn star:
Naturally, the Mail included a censored screenshot from the video:
And if all that makes you wonder where you can watch this for yourself, the Mail gladly informs us "an edited one-minute-six-second-long version of their sex tape was uploaded to jamesdeen.com last Friday".
And in case you were wondering what sort of website the Daily Mail is promoting, the description on the site says:
"Jamesdeen.com is packed with hardcore oral, pussy and anal action. From sweet, teen amateurs to top porn stars."
So there you go. The Daily Mail: tough on porn, but willing to make an exception for hardcore oral, pussy and anal action if it's good for web traffic.
On Saturday the Daily Express issued this promoted tweet:
Judging by the replies it's probably safe to say it didn't go down well...
Which then gave rise to a flurry of replies designed to burn through the Express's promotional budget, including one tweeter who started writing out Plato's Republic for them, one tweet at a time, and an inevitable conclusion:
Earlier this month The Sun reported that the UK is home to "600,000 benefit tourists". It also put the boot in to the BBC for running a report which suggested the claims may be "exaggerated".
Wind the clock forward 10 days and The Sun has published a correction admitting the claims in its story were indeed exaggerated. In fact, it has admitted its claim had no basis in fact whatsoever.
The fact the story wasn't true didn't stop others repeating the claims or repeating the criticism of the BBC for refusing to join in the hysteria. Just last weekend, Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps cited the BBC's cynicism over the number of so-called benefit tourists in the UK as proof of imbalance and a lack of credibility in the Corporation's reporting.
The Express today is also doing its bit to whip up anti-immigration hysteria with a front page claim that appears to suggest 98 per cent of people in the UK are demanding a ban on immigration.
However, it should be pointed out that figure refers to 98 per cent of an undisclosed number of Express readers who feel strongly enough about immigration to have voted in a phone poll run by the newspaper.
Given the Express makes no secret of its strong anti-immigration agenda and surely only appeals to those who share the same entrenched views, it's surprising the result of this skewed poll wasn't even higher. Presumably a few Express readers dialled the wrong number by accident.
The big non-news story today sees Brussels trying to banish "the traditional British breakfast" by meddling with our jam. The EU is hell-bent on allowing fruit spreads which contain just 50 per cent sugar - as opposed to the 60 per cent used in traditional jam recipes - to be marketed as "jam".
It's worth being clear that jam as we know it will in no way be affected, yet the media are still trying hard to look like they give a toss. The Express, Telegraph, Mirror and Sky News are all running the story.
"EU rules cutting the amount of sugar in jam could bring an end to the traditional British breakfast…"
No hyperbole there then.
"Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt … told MPs that consumers would be left confused if producers were able to sell products labelled as jam when they were only 50 per cent sugar as their consistency would be similar to inferior European fruit spreads that often "tasted like mud", MPs heard."
Those inferior European spreads, coming over here, stealing our breakfast.
Rarely do the right wing press get to combine two of their biggest dislikes - immigration and the BBC - in one story.
But the Telegraph has managed it this morning. Under the headline: "BBC criticised over rare migrant birds featured in 'Tweet of the Day'" the Telegraph reports:
"Radio 4 listeners have woken to the melodious sound of birdsong since the station began its early morning Tweet of the Day slot earlier this year to educate the nation about the calls of British species. However, some wildlife lovers have been left annoyed that the producers have chosen to include rare migrant birds that only stop in the UK for a few weeks of the year."
"One frustrated listener, wrote: "I don't class these birds as British, so why are we listening to them?"
I don't know, these foreign birds, coming over here, eating our worms, happy to take our nuts and berries, yet they refuse to learn how to sing in English... etc.