Media: The Word on the Street

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The Independent Culture
THE LIBERAL intentions of The Guardian Media Group have rather blown up in the face of those employees using its creche. Because the newspaper group failed to set up the facilities as a tax covenant, anyone who used it has been hit with a massive back-dated tax bill. According to insiders, a few staff have worked out that it will be cheaper to quit than carry on bringing their children to work.

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PERHAPS IT was worry over the future of the creche that was playing on staff minds at The Guardian when they put the weekend section to bed. Last Saturday's weekend magazine had a feature on The Chemical Brothers which they liked so much they repeated it. To make up for it perhaps, another feature was cut in half. This is not that unusual in journalism, but it is rarer for newspapers to cut the top half of a feature; along with the headline, by-line or indeed any kind of notice that it was a new article.

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IT MAY have given politics a lower priority under the editorship of John Witherow, but The Sunday Times's Style section last Sunday took this to extremes with a piece about politicians who break with the traditional loyalties of their families. Hilary Benn, son of Tony, is described as a Blairite, which is fair comment. Rather less accurate is the claim that he will be standing for election in Leeds Central next month. He was elected to the seat last week.

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WE HATE to rain on the parade of newly honoured Trevor McDonald. But what the heck. Granada is boasting in the TV listings that this Thursday's Tonight programme will carry an "exclusive" interview at 10pm with the brother of the disc jockey rapist Richard Baker. This "exclusive" ignores Channel 4's interview with the self-same brother at 9.30 the same night, entitled The Real Story of the DJ Rapist. Channel 4 boss Michael Jackson said last week that Channel 4 is no longer a minority channel, but "ahead of the mainstream". What he didn't make plain was that it's only just ahead - 30 minutes to be exact.

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