Britain had a privacy law all along. Who knew? Sixty thousand pounds may be the most ever paid in damages in a privacy action, but it is not as much as Max Mosley has been spending a year on his sadomasochism, and it is mere chickenfeed for the News of the World (though its costs are heavy). So no-one’s going to get very excited about the price of the damages. But Mr Justice Eady’s decision in Mosley’s favour is significant all the same, for it confirms that Britain, while hitherto resistant to the introduction of a privacy law, has actually had one all along: it is based on the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Britain subscribes. — Alexander Chancellor, The Guardian

Who’ll do the real journalism? The demolition of the professional journalism business model has led to a sharp decline, one I don’t see slowing anytime soon, in traditional media. Many people in the field have been asking an obvious question with a not-so-obvious answer: Who will do the serious journalism we need in the future? I have another question that will lead us to an answer. Not the answer, but one strong possibility — if we start thinking about, and helping, the “almost-journalists” among us to do actual journalism. — Centre for Citizen Media

Young journalists inspire. There’s been plenty written about the perilous future faced by the news media as it struggles through the digital revolution but I’m thrilled to be gazing into my crystal ball today and coming up full of optimism about the future of the industry. Last night, in Sydney, the Media Alliance and the Walkley Foundation hosted the inaugural Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards at which we celebrated the work of Australian journalists aged 26 and under. The overall winner of the Young Journo title, Sophie McNeill of SBS Dateline, is an outstanding young reporter who is fulfilling a lifelong dream as a foreign correspondent reporting from some of the most dangerous parts of the world. She took her first steps as a correspondent at the improbably young age of 15 when she travelled, alone, to East Timor to film a report about the health crisis there. She won last night’s award for her courageous and vivid reporting from the Gaza strip over the past year. Sophie is an example of the very best aspects of our craft: she has guts, determination and imagination. She was just one of nearly 150 young reporters and broadcasters who submitted entries for the awards — and the standard was gratifyingly high. Asher Moses of the Sydney Morning Herald was named Young Online Journalist of the Year for his scoop, “PM’s staff edited Wikipedia”, for which he used Wikiscanner to ascertain the IP address of people who were removing embarrassing sections from John Howard’s Wikipedia entry. What particularly enthuses me about Asher’s work is the way he is using the new online tools to get his stories. — Christopher Warren, Federal Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

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Young journalists disillusioned with papers. As the layoffs and buyouts pile up in US the newspaper industry, and Romenesko becomes a daily wake, there is one other troubling problem: Young journalists are less willing to stay at newspapers because the papers are so slow to change their culture. Newspapers have a history as top-down organizations where senior management huddles in conference rooms to decide what everyone else will do. Innovative ideas usually die on the vine or in bureaucratic red tape. And that’s frustrating for young folks who want to be change agents at newspapers and make a difference. — Mark Glaser, MediaShift

Junta officials censor political cartoons. Government officials removed four cartoons from a fund-raising exhibit earlier in the week of 21 July 2008 for allegedly violating government policies. The exhibit, entitled “Wake-up from Storm”, was for the benefit of victims of cyclone Nargis. Five officials of the Cartoon Exhibition Supervisory Committee, under the Ministry of Information, went to Lawkanat Gallery in Pansodan St., Rangoon, and inspected the cartoons on exhibit. Afterwards, they ordered the removal of four entries from a total of 146 cartoons drawn by 64 cartoonists. —  IFEX

Sandra loves Brad, Brad loves Sandra. There’s some curious stuff kicking around on YouTube. MediaMook stumbled across a collection of clips from user TensionSnB which claims to document the ongoing s-xual tension between Channel Ten’s late news presenters Sandra Sully and Brad McEwan. There’s 46 clips and counting to view. Have a look and judge for yourself whether it’s on for young and old. — Mediamook

Save our Sub-editors! Paper misspells its masthead. New Hampshire and Vermont’s Valley News could be a favorite for 2008’s Typo of the Year, thanks to it misspelling its own name on the front page on July 21. It published an editor’s note yesterday. Here’s what the paper looked like on the 21… — Regret The Error

Meanwhile, Times food columnist Giles Coren drops a line to the paper’s sub-editors: 

Chaps,

I am mightily p-ssed off. I have addressed this to Owen, Amanda and Ben because I don’t know who i am supposed to be p-ssed off with (i’m assuming owen, but i filed to amanda and ben so it’s only fair), and also to Tony, who wasn’t here – if he had been I’m guessing it wouldn’t have happened.

I don’t really like people tinkering with my copy for the sake of tinkering. I do not enjoy the suggestion that you have a better ear or eye for how I want my words to read than I do. Owen, we discussed your turning three of my long sentences into six short ones in a single piece, and how that wasn’t going to happen anymore, so I’m really hoping it wasn’t you that f-cked up my review on saturday.

It was the final sentence. Final sentences are very, very important. A piece builds to them, they are the little jingle that the reader takes with him into the weekend.

I wrote: “I can’t think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for a nosh.”

It appeared as: “I can’t think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for nosh.”

There is no length issue. This is someone thinking “I’ll just remove this indefinite article because Coren is an illiterate c-nt and i know best”.

Well, you f-cking don’t.

This was sh-t, sh-t sub-editing for three reasons.

1) ‘Nosh’, as I’m sure you fluent Yiddish speakers know, is a noun formed from a bastardisation of the German ‘naschen’. It is a verb, and can be construed into two distinct nouns. One, ‘nosh’, means simply ‘food’. You have decided that this is what i meant and removed the ‘a’. I am insulted enough that you think you have a better ear for English than me. But a better ear for Yiddish? I doubt it. Because the other noun, ‘nosh’ means “a session of eating” – in this sense you might think of its dual valency as being similar to that of ‘scoff’. you can go for a scoff. or you can buy some scoff. the sentence you left me with is shit, and is not what i meant. Why would you change a sentnece aso that it meant something i didn’t mean? I don’t know, but you risk doing it every time you change something. And the way you avoid this kind of f-ck up is by not changing a word of my copy without asking me, okay? it’s easy. Not. A. Word. Ever.

2) I will now explain why your error is even more sh-t than it looks. You see, i was making a joke. I do that sometimes. I have set up the street as “s-xually-charged”. I have described the shenanigans across the road at G.A.Y.. I have used the word ‘gaily’ as a gentle nudge. And “looking for a nosh” has a secondary meaning of looking for a blowjob. Not specifically gay, for this is soho, and there are plenty of girls there who take money for noshing boys. “looking for nosh” does not have that ambiguity. the joke is gone. I only wrote that sodding paragraph to make that joke. And you’ve f-cking stripped it out like a p-ssed Irish plasterer restoring a renaissance fresco and thinking jesus looks sh-t with a bear so plastering over it. You might as well have removed the whole paragraph. I mean, f-cking christ, don’t you read the copy?

3) And worst of all. Dumbest, deafest, sh-ttest of all, you have removed the unstressed ‘a’ so that the stress that should have fallen on “nosh” is lost, and my piece ends on an unstressed syllable. When you’re winding up a piece of prose, metre is crucial. Can’t you hear? Can’t you hear that it is wrong? It’s not f-cking rocket science. It’s f-cking pre-GCSE scansion. I have written 350 restaurant reviews for The Times and i have never ended on an unstressed syllable. F-ck. f-ck, f-ck, f-ck.

I am sorry if this looks petty (last time i mailed a Times sub about the change of a single word i got in all sorts of trouble) but i care deeply about my work and i hate to have it f-cked up by sh-t subbing. I have been away, you’ve been subbing joe and hugo and maybe they just file and f-ck off and think “hey ho, it’s tomorrow’s fish and chips” – well, not me. I woke up at three in the morning on sunday and f-cking lay there, furious, for two hours. weird, maybe. but that’s how it is.

It strips me of all confidence in writing for the magazine. No exaggeration. i’ve got a review to write this morning and i really don’t feel like doing it, for fear that some nuance is going to be removed from the final line, the pay-off, and i’m going to have another weekend ruined for me.

I’ve been writing for The Times for 15 years and i have never asked this before – i have never asked it of anyone i have written for – but I must insist, from now on, that i am sent a proof of every review i do, in pdf format, so i can check it for f-ck-ups. and i must be sent it in good time in case changes are needed. It is the only way i can carry on in the job.

And, just out of interest, I’d like whoever made that change to email me and tell me why. Tell me the exact reasoning which led you to remove that word from my copy.

Right,
Sorry to go on. Anger, real steaming f-cking anger can make a man verbose.
All the best
Giles

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