Media: The Word on the Street

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The Independent Culture
WHEN STAFF at The Sunday Telegraph next negotiate how much annual leave they should have, there can be no better example for them to trumpet than their own dear editor, Dominic Lawson (below). Senior staff at the paper have become a little concerned at the line "Dominic Lawson is away", which is appearing with increasing regularity at the bottom of his column on the comment pages. A check over the past 12 months finds he has been away no fewer than 14 times.

THE GUARDIAN is considerably more circumspect than most of the media in its coverage of the latest round of spy allegations. "Hold the front page" its editorial scoffs over the claim concerning Vic Allen, a former lecturer at Leeds University and prominent CND member. Yesterday's edition also contained a dismissive column by Ian Aitken and a cynical news story. What The Guardian neglects to mention is that Professor Allen has been a contributor to its own pages. The paper's former literary editor Richard Gott, you will recall, resigned after admitting that the KGB had paid his travel expenses. Best to scoff than to reflect that for a newspaper to have one writer accused of being a spy is unfortunate. Two could reek of editorial carelessness.

NO SUCH worries over 12 young designers at London Fashion Week. They are perfectly safe to profile. So The Guardian can project them with panache. As indeed it does - running the profiles as the lead piece on page 2 of its second section yesterday; and just for good measure it runs it again on page 16. Not confused enough yet? Then look at the bottom of page 16 where it helpfully advises that the piece is continued on page 16.

THE BBC gave a small band of journalists an intriguing insight into its digital plans last week, with a preview of some of the new technology shortly to come on the market. The climax, a talk by the corporation's digital guru David Docherty, was preceded by a multi-speaker digital rendering of a familiar chanteuse singing "You've Got A Friend". As Mr Docherty rather sheepishly said as he stood up: "So there you are. Thirty years of cutting edge technology to bring us a Carole King concert."

THE BBC announced perkily in its annual report in the summer that BBC World, its global 24-hour news channel, had cut its losses by 36 per cent in the last financial year and that it "performed on plan". That plan must have meant losing pounds 15m last year and announcing yesterday it would lose 50 journalistic and production jobs this autumn to try to stem the losses even further. The channel, which sells advertising to get by, is available in 150 million homes in 200 countries, but has been losing money ever since it was launched.

WE ARE all wary of literals. But one has to hope that a new angling magazine Total Carp will be even warier than the rest of us.