How newspaper 'truce' kept owners out of headlines
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Viscount Rothermere, the proprietor of the Daily Mail, was yesterday accused of being a "hypocrite" after admitting that a deal had been struck with the publisher Richard Desmond to keep personal criticisms of the two rival media magnates out of their respective newspapers.
Lord Rothermere, chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, confirmed that, following a public spat between the two news organisations, Murdoch MacLennan, a former senior executive at DGMT, had held a meeting of reconciliation with Mr Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers.
Appearing before the Privacy and Injunctions Joint Committee, Lord Rothermere said: "I believe that Mr MacLennan, who was managing director of Associated Newspapers, had lunch with Mr Desmond and reported back to me that Mr Desmond and himself had agreed that it was not in the interests of the respective groups to use the pages of our newspapers for mudslinging."
Lord Myners described the agreement as "an extraordinary incursion into editorial independence," later asking: "Are you not a hypocrite Viscount Rothermere?" Lord Rothermere replied that the agreement had not mattered to him and had little lasting significance. "I appeared on the front page of the Sunday Express as "Lord Porn" a few years afterwards so it wasn't like a concrete agreement," he said.
Viscount Rothermere was questioned over why the Daily Mail was top of a league table of newspapers that had hired private investigators. He said that the paper had banned the use of such inquiry agents.
But the committee heard that Associated Newspapers traced people legally through two systems in its library which complied with data protection laws.
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