For the record: 18/05/09

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The Independent Online

'Anybody can talk about snouts in troughs but for journalists to do so is almost beyond belief. I've never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances.' Stephen Fry dismisses the story of the moment

Pictures problems

Despite the efforts of Ross Kemp, the efforts of British soldiers in Afghanistan are going unrecognised because of a media "blue on blue". To the anger of our leading military magazine Combat & Survival, the Directorate of Intellectual Property Rights has begun charging for Ministry of Defence pictures, which means the title cannot afford shots of troops involved in the conflict. Therefore, soldiers who risk their lives taking pictures on the frontline might be wasting their time. C&S published a blistering outburst against the "bean-counters" and observed, cuttingly, that it still has stories to cover because "fortunately ... foreign governments are keener than our own to have their troops featured".

Tesco saves face

Tesco, O2 and Vodafone have been unwittingly advertising on the British National Party's Facebook group, despite the social networking site having promised it had introduced tools to prevent this. The lapse, exposed by the trade magazine New Media Age, outraged the supermarket group, which described the BNP as "extremely offensive".

Beeb's big payout

The BBC has paid out £203,542 in five years as a result of complaints, plus £745,000 in Ofcom fines, £331,245 in settlements and damages, £137,975 in external legal costs and £726,922 in "other sides costs". The BBC points out this is not much compared to the vast war chest of £3,495,584,363.01 collected from licences last year alone. It's also a fraction of Jonathan Ross's salary.

Dragons spawn

The dragons are multiplying. The BBC is to move its internet-based spin off Dragons' Den Online, which is based on bite-sized clips and offers up to £50,000 investment for entrepreneurs who email in their ideas, to the big screen. Online dragons American Julie Meyer and Scot Shaf Rasul will be taking their bow on BBC2 in a groundbreaking example of new media shaping the television environment.

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