Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:


A couple of weeks ago we wrote about efforts at Rupert Murdoch’s London Times to slice its 4.3 million pound annual staff expenses bill by 10%. Now, according to this report in The Guardian, Murdoch’s other UK daily TheSun
is also tightening its belt and cutting down on some of the most
important accoutrements of tabloid journalism – bunches of flowers and
lavish entertainment.

Even more alarming for Sun hacks, the paper has
decided to crack down on “the age-old journalistic practice, known in
some quarters as a ‘blanko’, whereby reporters padded their expenses
claims by filling in blank restaurant receipts themselves.”

According to The Guardian, staff at The Sun who entertain contacts at restaurants must now supply two receipts when they claim expenses. “The Sun‘s
management decreed that a bill from the restaurant is no longer
sufficient, staff must also supply a credit or debit card receipt.”

The crackdown comes as many UK newspapers seek to reduce their budgets – “the Daily Mirror and the Mail on Sunday have announced redundancies, the Times is cutting expenses and some sources claim the Daily Mail is lopping 500,000 pounds off its editorial budget.”

As The Sun might report the news itself: Bean counters to hacks: Gotcha.

Peter Fray

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