The feral beast: Auntie's oh so unfair trade

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The Independent Online

Much head-scratching over the BBC's arm-twisting of George Alagiah to resign as patron of the Fairtrade Foundation. There's a conflict of interest, it says. But what of other news men? Evan Davis is on the policy advisory board of the Social Market Foundation, a Blairite think tank, but the BBC says that's fine, as the SMF doesn't advocate any particular policies. Oh, right.

Hard times at 'The Guardian'

Why did The Guardian not publish a hard copy of its annual report on Friday, opting only to post it online? No explanation was given by chief executive Carolyn McCall, but perhaps eye-watering pre-tax losses of £90m helped her decision. Meanwhile, editor Alan Rusbridger has been overseeing a 2020 "vision experience", a series of events to forecast how the company will look 11 years hence. Suggestions posted included Rusbridger having a seat in the Lords and The Observer no longer existing, although the latter was removed after some jitters.

Sense of humour fails at 'Metro'

Has anyone told Metro's showbiz writer, Andrei Harmsworth, that the story about Kanye West styling himself the new "king of pop" was, er, a joke? Harmsworth earnestly wrote up the story after it appeared on Scrape TV, a satirical website, which should have set alarm bells ringing, not least as it included the line "it is believed the [Jackson] family is mourning the death of their loved one and have given little thought to the line of succession". At least Metro was not alone – the Mirror's 3am girls duly led on the story the next day.

It's just not your Style, milord

As a former Telegraph hackette, Catherine Wilson should have known better. When she gave an interview to The Sunday Times Style mag, it was to promote the Port Eliot Festival, which she runs. But the piece tartly remarked on Cathy's luck in bagging the Earl of St Germans and his 100-bedroom home, despite her being 39, and him 68 – with a lung condition. The Sunday Times was duly blacklisted by the festival. But happily, Tiffanie Darke made it in. As Style editor, she commissioned the piece.

Dacre's revolving doors

Just weeks after the sudden departure of Jim Gillespie from the Daily Mail features desk, I hear his absence is being felt. He had been summoned back two days into his holiday to be told his services were no longer required by editor Paul Dacre. Now much of the desk is off on holiday and, er, a stand-in has had to be found. Step up Guy Eaton, who recently left former stablemate the Evening Standard with a generous farewell package.

Jacquetta vs Jezebel? No contest

Vogue isn't known for humour, but its new blogs are a treat. We particularly like the efforts of Jacquetta Wheeler, who laughs about reversing her BMW into a pillar and the hell of being bumped out of business class into economy. Sister title GQ recently launched its anonymous blog Jezebel, but give us Jacquetta every time!

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