Ben Lowndes #viewsoncomms

A perspective on PR, development and life in the South West

Tag Archives: Daily Mail

Memo to Daily Mail staff sets high bar

This is a terrific memo from the former Daily Mail editor Mike Randall to his staff in the 1960s, setting out its standards and values. It is posted by the son of one of the reporters who worked at the paper at the time.

Don’t intrude into private lives, no forced interviews or pictures and uphold the highest standards. How times change…

Dysonology

In 1966-7 my Dad got a job as a young reporter for the Daily Mail’s Manchester office, just as it was made Newspaper of the Year. All staff received the memo below from editor Mike Randall.

When Dad sent it to me, he added: “Mike Randall left the paper soon afterwards. It became a tabloid and in ethical terms its downhill slide began. However, I think Randall’s statement still stands as the model of propriety to which all journalists working for all media should aspire.”

I couldn’t agree more – and it’s certainly how I’d hope people expect writers to behave. I’d add though that in the 15 years I’ve been writing, I haven’t noticed nearly as much awareness of the dangers of libel, sensationalism and indiscretion in young journos as was drilled into [my generation of] pre-internet trainees. I don’t think Twitter and the pressure of instant comment helps…

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Housing hits the headlines

The publication of the housing strategy has led to some interesting headlines over the weekend, which I thought I’d share below. Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues around housing in this country, it’s interesting to see how different media treat the same information. 

The Guardian played it straight on Friday with a piece setting out plans to use brownfield sites to deliver 450,000 new homes. It also highlighted a Government-backed mortgage scheme which would help first time buyers struggling to access finance get on the housing ladder.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, yesterday wrote of plans to double the right to buy discount offered to council house tenants, to up to 50% of the value of their home, with receipts being used to build replacements. 

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Daily Mail editor’s speech at media enquiry

The heavyweight appearances at the Leveson inquiry keep coming, with Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre giving a rare and fascinating personal insight this afternoon into the issues facing today’s media.

His defence of self regulation and the Press Complaints Commission may have come too late, but there were some notable concessions in his speech too, including a promise to have a corrections column in a prominent position in his papers. Who would have thought that would have happened a year ago? I will be following this development with some interest.

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Rubbish rant of the week goes to the Daily Mail

As someone who works with journalists, it’s important to keep across what they are writing about – even if I don’t agree with their views. That’s my main excuse for reading the Daily Mail, which rarely fails to amaze with its combination of fear and fury on behalf of Middle England (if there is such a thing). Fact is though, it’s a good read too and many journalists I know admire the way it chimes with its readers’ views even if they don’t like what it stands for.

None of that really accounts for one of the oddest few lines I’ve read in a newspaper column for a long time however, on a chance reading earlier this week.

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