Great Metro newspaper headline for Cardiff City vs Crystal Palace match report

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Metro match report headlines

Metro might not be the most hard-hitting, investigative newspaper in the country, but for all the criticism some people give it, I for one think it’s very effective at what it does.

It shifts hundreds of thousands of units each day, something all papers are finding it more tricky than ever to do now, and has got its style just right for what it aims to do. In particular, I think the above headline, from today’s report about the match between Crystal Palace and Cardiff City, is great.

Concise

Eight words long, concise, with clever (but yes, pretty clichéd) wordplay, containing the names of both teams involved. As a sub-editor I admire that. I think most subs would.

It just struck me as doing everything a headline needs to do. Ok, it’s not The Sun’s iconic “Gotcha”, but how many headlines ever match that? Not a lot. This one is better than most.

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Sorry ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish again

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So Kelvin, as you say in today’s Independent, you’d shut all the journalism colleges down eh?

He proclaims “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.”

That, for a start, is completely wrong.

If you’re to become a complete journalist and learn the real necessary skills needed, you need some kind of training.

Learning the skills

 How else will you learn about subbing, design, layout, interviewing, headline writing, use of pictures and how to structure a story to make it interesting, all at the same time?

If you took “the old-school route” as he puts it, you would be thrust into the job without having a clue how to juggle these requirements.

Yes, you would learn some basic stuff, but not very well or in any great depth.

No time to fail

On papers you don’t have time to fail, because of the pressure on you and the hundreds of people waiting to take your job.

You need time to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn about how a newsroom works before being thrown into one.

Best in the business

 There’s a reason I’m studying journalism at UCLan. And that’s so I can learn from some of the best former, or practicing, journalists out there.

The skills I now have can be applied to a vast plethora of jobs, not least PR, advertising, marketing, copywriting…the list goes on, and it’s a long one.

MacKenzie is living in a dream world if he thinks it’s that easy to “go straight from school and join the local press.”

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Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Thursday’s papers: Sun and Mirror get Wayne Rooney fever, and Blackpool exploitation revealed

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Well I didn’t see that one coming. The Daily Mirror and The Sun have both gone with ‘the Wayne Rooney’ saga as their front-page splash.

Obviously I understand that the antics of the Manchester United striker are what people really want to read about.

It’s just odd to see the two most famous redtops, who are therefore in direct competition, go with a virtually identical front-page.

Clever

To be fair, there are a couple of clever headlines explaining the story, which is about Rooney being dropped as the ‘face’ of Coca-Cola.

The Mirror have gone with “Hero To Coke Zero” which I quite like. But I think those clever chaps from The Sun have done it again, with theirs being “Coke Can Rooney”.

(Following on from yesterday’s Sun there’s also another ‘exclusive’ from James Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus. It’s sad to think that the paper is just exploiting her sadness just to sell newspapers. Oh well, such is life…)

Patients neglected

Switching to the ‘upmarket’ papers, The Daily Telegraph leads with a strong story about Britain’s “sickest patients” being neglected.

The story, by Stephen Adams, is based on claims from “leading emergency doctors” that the most ill patients are suffering from the need to hit waiting lists targets.

While this is clearly worrying, I can’t help feel it’s one of those things which most of us already knew was the case.

With money being cut, resources getting squeezed and the population increasing, patient care across the board is being affected. However, I’d still rather have the NHS than any of the alternatives.

Seedy Blackpool

The Times runs with a quite worrying main story, about the seedy side of seaside town Blackpool. It says there is an “endemic scale and nature” of sexual exploitation in the area.

It also claims the problem stems from “takeaway food outlets” where the abusers work. It’s sad to think that such a web of abuse exists under our noses, yet there’s little we can do to stop it.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

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Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Today’s paper roundup: Mirror and Express hammer ‘hypocritical’ Nick Clegg and Sun leads witch hunt

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Newspapers just can’t get enough when it comes to reporting about James Bulger’s murderers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

Today’s copy of The Sun goes with a staggeringly large headline, saying “Bulger killer No2 Goes Abroad On Lads’ Holiday”.

Don’t get me wrong, those two criminals got what they deserved for their terrible actions. But, as far as we are aware, Robert Thompson has not reoffended since being given his new identity.

This means that now he is technically a ‘normal’ person, who you wouldn’t even notice if you walked past him on the street.

Witch hunt

So, does a story about him going on holiday warrant such coverage? I don’t really think so. But the media does love a witch hunt.

It seems the other ‘big’ story today is about Nick Clegg’s hypocritical stance on, as the Daily Mirror puts it, “internships for the rich”.

Flagging credibility

Arguably yes it is hypocritical. But then what did we expect? Regardless of what Clegg says it will continue.

At least he had the balls to suggest it was wrong, and something should be done about it.

But then again, is this just Clegg saying something which he hopes will boost his flagging credibility? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time…

What makes this story quite hilarious is the way it’s been covered though.

 The Mirror has gone with a lovely smug shot for their front-page, and then the obligatory toff picture for their page six story.

 The Daily Express has, amazingly, used the exact same pictures. It’s certainly odd to see two different papers, with totally opposite allegiances, use the same images.

It would be interesting to see how they’d cover it if it was Cameron, that’s for sure.

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Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

Ruper Murdoch’s media monopoly: Fair or undemocratic?

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Debates have raged for a long time about how much power News Corporation’s owner Rupert Murdoch really has.

Some argue he doesn’t exert large amounts of control over the many parts of his media empire.

Then there are others who say his influence is profound. One such person, Brian MacArthur, worked under Murdoch for several years as an editor of The Times newspaper.

He said, in a recent guest lecture at the University of Central Lancashire, ‘The Sun Says’ section of The Sun is clearly “what Murdoch thinks.”

Opinion

It’s one thing to hear it from someone who has worked for the media tycoon. It’s quite another to hear it from the man himself.

In the above clip, Rupert Murdoch admits trying to “shape the agenda” of his news broadcasters.

Having said it himself, for whatever reason, it shows he’s willing to use his organisations for his own means.

This would probably shock many people. But should it?

After all, he is a businessman, first and foremost. He expects some kind of return on his investment.

As news providers (on the whole) don’t actually make lots of money, owners use them in other ways.

Of course, arguments against him using his own media monopoly to peddle personal views have validity.

Plurality

Someone who only watches Sky News or reads The Sun or The Times will get Murdoch’s own opinions shoved in their face.

However, we live in a country of media plurality, meaning it’s unlikely people will see news from just one source.

As long as the means is there to get a wide range of political views (which it is thanks to the range of newspapers and broadcasters) it means democracy functions effectively.

As bias is unavoidable (and objectivity can never be achieved), our media plurality is the next best thing.

Murdoch may control large swathes of the news industry. But as long we have access to a range of opinions across the spectrum, it doesn’t really matter.

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