For the record: 22/02/2010

"Robust opinion sparks vigorous debate; it can anger and upset" – the Press Complaints Commission rejects a complaint over Daily Mail coverage of the death of Stephen Gately
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The Independent Online

Testing Times

There is great discontent in the engine room of The Times, which is bracing itself for upwards of 50 redundancies, as an imminent redesign of the paper reduces news reporters to poor relations.

Editor James Harding, who is primarily interested in business and foreign coverage, wants the core news output of the former "paper of record" to be contained in the first eight pages, bringing forward pictorial features to attract advertising. In order to cut pagination and save money, the T2 supplement is being replaced by a single daily pull-out, including new food and health specials, provisionally titled The Table and The Body. This downgrading of news is not obviously aligned to the spring introduction of an online paywall – that looks like being delayed until after the World Cup, in order not to jeopardise the windfall in ads expected from South Africa 2010.

Elderly Statesman

I'm a bit disappointed by the media section on the New Statesman website, first because a Google search takes me to a page featuring former columnist Brian Cathcart and his 2008 article on newspapers being too heavy, and then because most of the stories on the "all-new" section are either lifts, press releases or borrows from the sister title Press Gazette, with which the Staggers shares its building.

Leading question

Dame Liz Forgan, the chair of the Scott Trust, which runs The Guardian, has told media business Editorial Intelligence's annual symposium, which takes place this weekend in Portmeirion, that she thinks newspaper leader columns should start carrying the names of their authors. "It is a very curious convention that they are unsigned. If they were all written by the editor, that would be understandable but they are not. They are written by a group of people who are professional leader writers. They do represent the line of the paper but I would really like to know who they were." I look forward to seeing Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger breaking with the tradition of leader anonymity very soon.

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