IT’S always good to see the journalism movie, All the President’s Men, get a namecheck by today’s hacks. At the very least, it’s tenuous proof that the spirit of investigative journalism is still alive and well.
And Tom English, in The Scotsman last week, quoted from the movie to give a measure of the gamble taken by the coach of rugby’s British and Irish Lions team, in dropping from the squad, the legendary Irish player, Brian O’Driscoll.
Begins English: “There’s a famous scene in All The President’s Men when Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post, chastises his reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, late at night outside his house, laying it on the line to the men who were chasing down the scandal of Watergate.
“‘You guys are probably pretty tired, right?’ Bradlee tells them. ‘Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up… 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We’re under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the Press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys f*** up again, I’m going to get mad. Goodnight.’
“Bradlee’s words could be tweaked a little and applied to [Lions coach] Warren Gatland and his squad as they prepare for the denouement [against Australia] in Sydney on Saturday…”
The Lions demolished Australia.
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IT’S Eddie Mair, followed by – in equal second-place – Bernard Ponsonby, Gordon Brewer and Kirsty Wark.
Following a report for the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust (which observed the ‘prize-fighting’ aspect to some interviewing techniques), Friday’s edition of The Scottish Sun had Niamh Anderson doling out the ‘Rottie ratings’ to six of the best Scots TV interviewers.
So, how did they rate?
Eddie Mair – five (Boris Johnson interview earlier this year, etc), Bernard Ponsonby – four (John Smeaton, etc), Glenn Campbell – three (Jim Wallace, etc), Peter Adam Smith – two (Charles Green, etc), Gordon Brewer – four (dig at fellow presenter, Kirsty Wark, etc) and Kirsty Wark – four (Margaret Thatcher, etc).
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CONNECTING with the readers. The Scotsman editor, Ian Stewart, was featured in the last edition of Media Broth, putting his hand up to an error within a correction to an error.
This time, he has been big enough to listen to reader feedback, in response to recent changes to the paper.
He wrote on Saturday: “We recently made a lot of changes to The Scotsman, particularly the Saturday magazine, and I asked for your comments and observations. I received a lot of feedback, and made some quick alterations as a result. Some of the feedback was positive, and as is to expected some was negative, and the overwhelming message has been a desire for the 7-day TV listings to return.
“So that is what I am going to do.”
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NEWSPAPERS rarely pass up the opportunity to remind their readers that it was they who broke a story.
But given how it’s been on the case since, er, February, on what became last week one of the biggest political tales of the year, it’s remarkable the relative modesty shown by the Sunday Herald at the weekend.
We’re talking the Labour Party selection story in Falkirk.
Sure, the heading read: ‘How a Sunday Herald investigation led to a battle for Labour’s soul’.
But it was hardly plastered across the page.
A shoo-in at next year’s Scottish Press Awards? Can’t see why not.
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