Media: The Word On The Street

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The Independent Culture
DESPITE ITS egalitarian pretensions, The Guardian seems to take the same attitude to small competitors as the Murdoch empire.

Both The Guardian's education section and the Times Educational Supplement have refused to run an advert from Teaching Today, a new website carrying daily education news.

The TES had to run a filler last Friday when the ad was pulled at the last minute, while The Guardian's sales team confessed the decision to refuse Teaching Today's ad had come from the very top of the paper.

Teaching Today has written to the Office of Fair Trading and we're sure this David and Goliath battle will get the coverage it deserves.

DAVID MONTGOMERY'S departure from Mirror Group may have come too late to save the career of one of his great rivals. German business magazines were forecasting last week that Gus Fischer would have to step down as chairman of Axel Springer Verlag because of his failure to take-over Mirror Group last year. It seems a harsh punishment for the ex-News International boss.

If every executive who had failed to take out Monty was given his cards there would only be Victor Blank left in the business.

JOURNALIST ANDREW Jennings should be feeling pretty good this week. Mr Jennings was the author of a 1992 book, The Lords of the Rings: Power, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics, which made all the allegations that the IOC "discovered" last week when it expelled six members for corruption. The IOC has even said it will at last give Mr Jennings accreditation to Olympic events and press conferences.

Out of pique it has refused to do so for years. Not only that but Olympic president Juan Samaranch sued him for libel in 1992 and Mr Jennings was sentenced to a five-day prison sentence in his absence by a court in Lausanne.

But an apology is the best Mr Jennings is likely to get. Under Swiss law the IOC is conveniently immune from legal actions so he cannot sue them back.

IT IS often lamented by the left-of-centre press that a left-of-centre government has done nothing for the circulation of a magazine like the New Statesman. Well sales may not be affected by changing governments, but advertising revenue certainly is. The current issue of the NS contains a mysterious-looking advert from a company called Wizard. Under the banner "Making joint military operations a success" is a picture that looks suspiciously like a reconnaissance picture of military targets. Hardly fitting for the NS's lefty readership you might have thought. But you would be wrong. Wizard is a radar system backed by defence contractors British Aerospace and Northrop, among others, and it is pitching for a juicy new government contract. If only one backbench Labour MP spots the ad and mentions it to a defence procurement minister it will be money well spent.

THE SUNDAY Telegraph leader this Sunday lamented that newspapers had allowed themselves to be dominated by the musings of Glenn Hoddle on reincarnation. His views, pontificated the paper, were "not as preposterous and offensive as the spectacle of people treating them as being of great importance".

Can this be the same Sunday Telegraph which carried a front-page story on Hoddle, a p21 full-page news focus on the England coach's strange beliefs and a sports-page editorial accusing him of having lost the last shred of credibility? How preposterous and offensive of it.