Friday, 19 August 2016

Isolde wins this week's newsquiz

The online trainees at Northcliffe House 
I said goodbye to the MailOnline trainees in London this week. Most of them will spend next week with digital guru Adam Tinworth before heading off to their regional placements. Roisin Potter and Matt Lucas will miss Adam’s week though as they fly out to work at the Mail's New York office tomorrow. Good luck to them. The trainees had sessions on video with Tom Mavro-Michaelis, dealing with complaints with Tal Gottesman, science and technology with Ellie Zolfagharifard, Freedom of Information with Simon Murphy and grammar and geography with Mike Watson. Amy Marley also talked them through the global coverage. We had a few farewell drinks in the Greyhound in Kensington last night.

We finished the week, as always, with the newsquiz. This week’s winner was Isolde Walters with 11 points, narrowly beating Luke Barnes and Jess Walford who both scored 10.5.  Last week’s online top scorer was Lydia Willgress with 14.5, who was just ahead of Sian Brewis on 14. It must have been a tough week. Here’s this week quiz - as usual 25 questions. Let me know how you get on. 

Celebrating the cyclists (Questions 1, 2 and 7)  
1. How many cycling medals in total did Team GB win?
2. Who described Laura Trott as a ‘pain the  a***’? Name please
3. From which country has the first Olympic athlete been stripped of their bronze medal after a positive drugs test?
4. TV sports presenter Charlie Webster is seriously ill in a Brazilian hospital after cycling from London’s Olympic Stadium to Rio. For which charity was she fund raising?
5. Jade Jones retained her gold medal in taekwondo. What is her nickname?
6. Great Britain’s women’s hockey team meet the Netherlands in the Olympic final today. Who did Team GB beat 3-0 in the semi-final?
7. Laura Trott and Jason Kenny share a £500,000 three-bedroom cottage in picturesque Chelford. In which county is it?
8. Sellers and makers of which style of knife, which was used by killer Joanna Dennehy, could go to jail after the knives were banned by the UK government this week?
9. High street glasses chain Specsavers has applied to trademark which word in a bid to protect its advertising slogan?
10. Leigh-on-Sea has been named as the happiest town to live in the UK, which town did it knock off the top spot?
11. Estate agent George Low was stabbed to death in which resort?
12. Prosecuting solicitor John McDermott said: ‘They’d fancied themselves as Batman and Robin for years – but on the wrong side of the law’. Name the pair he was referring to. Half point each.
13. Who is taking over from the Met Office to supply the BBC weather service?
14. Why has five-year-old Omran Daqneesh been in the news?
15. Dalian Atkinson died after he was tasered by police outside his father’s home in Telford. Name any two of the English football teams he played for?
16. Successful PR guru Lynne Franks was criticised by her son for being an ‘absolutely awful’ mother who was ‘too selfish to raise children’. Franks was the inspiration for which TV character?
17. The newly-opened Adelphi pub in Dublin used what to decorate the back of its urinals?
18. What will be shown on all ITV channels between 9.30am and 10.30am on August 27 to promote I Am Team GB?
19. Why was Lorraine Chew in the news this week?
20. Who was charged under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, only the second time such a case has been brought?
21. Which supermarket blamed the falling price of food as it recorded a 7.5 per cent drop in sales … its eighth consecutive quarter of decline?
22. Where did Simon S die?
23. Who said he would open 21 pop up shops around the world, (with the locations announced 24 hours before) so fans can buy merchandise?
24. Victoria Derbyshire showed Jeremy Corbyn a photograph of which television presenters that he failed to recognised
25. In the Labour leadership debate Owen Smith said 'I’m very good at singing along at ________ at Karaoke.' What was the song?

Answers here

Friday, 12 August 2016

Phoebe and Rod win the newsquiz

The MailOnline trainees have been on the second week of their course in London. They have had video training with Tom Mavro-Michaelis and Lisa Snell, systems training with Nick Enoch and a session on social media with Tara Brady. The rest of the time they have been with me, finding stories and learning about headlines and style. Giulia Crouch had a story published on the website ... a heartbreaking interview with the parents of a nine-year-old boy, who appeared on Children in Need, and whose funeral was today. Read it here. 

As usual we finished the week with the newsquiz. This week's winners were Phoebe Weston and Rod Ardehali with 14.5 each, narrowly beating Isolde Walters and Jess Walford with 14. Last week's quiz was clearly a tough one with the best online score by Sophie Jamieson with 14.5 narrowly beating Janet Boyle with 14. Here's this week's quiz. As usual 25 questions about the week's events. Let me know how you get on.

Judge drops the QC-bomb (Questions 7 and 8)
1. The first gold medal of the Olympics went to 19-year-old Virginia Thrasher of the US in which sport?
2. Who gained a gold by beating his own World Record time of  57.13?
3. Joe Clarke won a medal in which sport?
4. American swimmer Michael Phelps collected his 26th Olympic medal by winning the 200 metres freestyle medley in Rio on Friday morning (BST). How many of those 26 medals are gold?
5. Michael Phelps celebrated one of his gold medals by kissing his baby son. What is his son's name?
6. Who tweeted about a front page of The Daily Telegraph, saying: ‘I am very surprised by this picture? Is it for real?’
7. What was the name of the judge who told defendant John Hennigan: ‘You’re a bit of a c*** yourself’.
8. At which court was the judge in Question 7 presiding?
9. Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died this week. How was he better known?
10. Tennis player Gabriella Taylor, who claims to have been poisoned at Wimbledon, was diagnosed as having Leptospirosis, a disease caused by bacterium that is transmitted via what?
11. A ten-year-old boy died on the world’s biggest waterslide in Kansas. What is the name of the slide?
12. Professor Alexis Jay is to be the new chairman for the inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales. Which high profile inquiry did she previously oversee?
13. Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: 'There are _____ that have come back to the party and they certainly don’t have the best interests of the Labour Party at heart.' What is the missing word?
14. What kind of people did Donald Trump suggest may be able to thwart Hillary Clinton?
15. Antonio Horta-Osario is the chief executive of which company?
16. Police were called to a family fun day in Orsett, Essex, after parents complained about attractions including a castle made of crisp boxes. What was the event called?
17. Nadiya Hussain and Allegra McEvedyare are to be the new judges of what?
18. Father Edward Daly, who died this week, became famous when he was photographed doing what during Bloody Sunday in 1972?
19. Manchester United paid a world record transfer fee of how much for Juventus footballer Paul Pogba?
20. Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, who lost his fight to remain in Broadmoor, now calls himself by which surname?
21. Name the resort town in Thailand where four bombs exploded killing two people.
22. Who was the first contestant to be announced for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing?
23. Three Foxtons estate agents have been sacked after fighting with Class War activists outside whose home?
24. Members of RMT and the TSSA will go on weekend strikes in August, planning to disrupt Eurostar services. What does RMT and TSSA stand for? Half point for each.
25. Jamie Oliver described the weight of his new born baby son as the same as 16 packs of what?

Answers here

Friday, 5 August 2016

Mary collects the quiz Champagne

MailOnline's US and UK trainees at Northcliffe House

I spent this week with 16 UK MailOnline trainees on their first week of training - and 14 trainees who were on their fifth week. They had sessions with managing editor Rhiannon Macdonald, trainer Mike Watson, page editor Ben Bailey, system trainer Nick Enoch, Femail editor Carol Driver, picture editor Paul Ashton and former trainee Ekin Karasin. They also had sessions with the legal team of Tim Ross, Julian Darrall, Kirsty Howarth, Lindsay Warwick and former Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright who talked about the Editor's Code. The US trainees are now off on their regional placements. Good luck to them. I look forward to seeing their names in lights. As always we finished with the newsquiz. The top American trainees this week were Ann Schmidt and Mary Kekatos. Mary  collected the Champagne for best overall score over the five weeks. Well done to her. The top UK trainees this week were Isolde Walters and Luke Barnes with 13 each.
Last week's top score online was Janet Boyle with 18. Here's this week's quiz. As usual, 25 questions about the week. Let me know how you get on. 

Dave on the beach (Questions 5 and 6)
1. The Bank of England cut interest rates to stave off the threat of a recession in the wake of Brexit. What is the new rate?
2. George Osborne was placed at the top of David Cameron's list with a rare and prestigious award, the Companion of Honour, which can be be held by only how many people?
3. What did oil tycoon Ian Taylor say he did not want ‘at this time’?
4. What was the name of the retired teacher, from Florida, who was stabbed to death in Russell Square, London?
5. Where was former Prime Minister David Cameron and his family photographed on holiday?
6. Cameron's swimming trunks, from Notting Hill design shop Orlebar Brown, cost how much?
7. Naked pictures emerged of Donald Trump’s wife from a two-day photo shoot in New York in 1995, when she was 25 and used the name Melania K. What did the K stand for?
8. How many minutes late were Steven Woolfe’s nomination papers received, due to a technical issue, which caused him to miss out on being eligible for the UKIP leadership race? 
9. become the first UK airline to do what?
10. Why was 53-year-old Sonia Davies in the headlines? 
11. The world's thinnest tall building has been opened in Brighton. What is it called?
12. Former Everton football manager Roberto Martinez is the new head coach of which team?
13. What has been been introduced on Fridays between 8.30pm - 9.30pm at a Luton venue?
14. Edward Tenniswood was jailed for 30 years for the murder and 12 years for the rape of India Chipchase at which court?
15. Faizah Shaheen was detained at which airport when returning from a break in Turkey after being spotted reading the book Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline on the outbound flight? 
16. How many people were killed when a hot air balloon crashed in Texas?
17. Nine children were injured in Swanage when what broke away from its mooring?
18. Actor Clint Eastwood, in an interview with Esquire magazine, said Donald Trump’s rise coincided with unease over free speech, adding ‘we’re really in a _______ generation’. What is the missing word?
19.  What is the name of Cara Delevingne’s character in the new film Suicide Squad? 
20. The Metropolitan Police’s new elite armed officers are called CTSFOs. What does the acronym stand for?
21. On being told that he was to be the flag bearer for Team GB at the Olympic games, Andy Murray said: 'I was just getting into bed at about 11.15 - I was in my _____’ . What is the missing word?
22. The Siddiqui family from the TV programme Gogglebox apologised for what?
23.  In which British city did four Black Lives Matter activists chain themselves together on a tram track?
24. Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria, who was arrested for kidnapping Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law, used to work for the F1 tycoon as what?
25. During which TV programme was the word ‘eleemosynary’ used?

Answers here

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Mary sprints ahead in US newsquiz

The trainees have had a good week with digital guru Adam Tinworth in New York. It was particularly good for trainee Matthew Wright who had his first story published on the Mail's website. He interviewed the family of the woman killed by the Atlanta Olympic bomb 20 years ago. It is a moving piece and definitely worth reading. You can read it here.

It was also a good week for trainee Mary Kekatos who once again won the newsquiz with 13.5 points. In the running total, she has now put a distance between herself and joint second Timothyna Duncan and Ann Schmidt. With one week to go, the Champagne is on ice. The 14 trainees head to London this weekend for more training, at the meet their London colleagues, at the Mail's London HQ in Kensington before they go off on their regional placements. 
Here's this week's American newsquiz. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.  

How many balloon? See Question 2

1. In her speech accepting the Democrat nomination, Hillary Clinton said of Donald Trump: 'A man you can bait with a Tweet is not a man we can trust with _____ _______’ What are the two missing words?
2. How many balloons were dropped at the end of the Democrat Convention?
3. Earlier in the week who was heckled and jeered after she announced she was standing down at the Democrat convention?
4. Who left the Democrats saying: 'We need a DNC which has as very different direction’?
5. What codename do the US Secret Service use for Melania Trump?
6. Donald Trump said: 'Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the ____ _____ that are missing.’ What are the two missing words?
7. Who riled Bernie Sanders supporters at the Democrat Convention by saying the 'Bernie or bust people' were 'being ridiculous’?
8. President Obama paraded around the stage with Hillary Clinton after his final Democrat Convention speech to the sound of his 2008 campaign song. What is the song?
9. In her speech to the convention Michelle Obama said ‘When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is ___________’ What was the seven-word motto?
10. According to Donald Trump why did Hillary Clinton get rid of her middle name?
11. What did Florida football player Cristian Garcia do that prompted him to say: 'God put me in the right place at the right time’?
12. What was the name of the French priest murdered in his church in Rouen?13. According to German police, Munich shooter Ali David Sonboly, 18, saw it as a 'special honour' that he shared a birthday with who?
14. Why was Gloria Darden in the headlines?
15. Why did Patti Davis say her heart was sickened?
16. What happened to Bernie Ecclestone’s 67-year-old mother-in-law Aparecida Schunk this week?
17. Former tennis star Chris Evert said what had contributed to the downfall of her marriage to Olympic skier Andy Mill?
18. Who posted two pictures of his stepdaughter on Twitter saying: ‘We were all with her, surrounding her with love, at the end’?
19. Two teenagers were shot dead outside a bar and grill in Fort Myers, Florida. What was the bar and grill’s name?
20. Bill O’Reilly said on his Fox News program that who were 'well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government’?
21. Brazilian doctor Daniel Becker warned of a health risk at the Rio games by saying: 'Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in _____ _____’. What are the two missing words?
22. Which company announced its quarterly profits had soared 186 per cent to $2billion?
23. Who was handcuffed after an argument with a motorist who blocked the driveway of his Malibu mansion?
24. One police officer died and another is fighting for his life after they were shot in an attack in the Southcrest area of which city?
25. What did Kanye West say was his favourite part of wife Kim Kardashian’s body?

Answers here

Friday, 29 July 2016

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

Last week’s runaway newsquiz winner was Lydia Willgress with a huge 21 points. She put it down to copytasting for the Telegraph and being sent to cover the events in Nice! It is still a very impressive score. Here’s this week’s quiz. As usual 25 questions about the week’s events. Let me know how you get on.   

The priest martyred by Isis (Q1)

1. What was the name of the French priest murdered in his church in Rouen?
Bonus: According to German police, Munich shooter Ali David Sonboly, 18, believed it to be a 'special honour' that he shared a birthday with who?

2. What was described by the GMB as 'bonkers' and by the Labour party as 'absolute chaos'? 
3. A High Court ruling dismissed a legal challenge against Jeremy Corbyn’s right to stand in the Labour leadership contest. Who brought the challenge?
Bonus: Labour leadership contender Owen Smith denied inciting violence against women insisting what he said was just 'a piece of rhetoric'. What had he said that prompted the 'apology'?

4. Who said of Sir Philip Green: 'Instead of writing a big cheque he is firing off lawyers' letters. He needs to stop messing around and write a big cheque’?
Bonus: After the damning report on the collapse of BHS, Sir Philip Green was pictured on his yacht in the Greek Islands. What is the yacht called?

5. The Democratic Convention which saw Hillary Clinton nominated as the first woman to stand for president was held in which US city?
Bonus:  In her speech accepting the Democrat nomination Hillary Clinton said of Donald Trump: 'A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with _____ _______’ What are the two missing words?
6. Which company announced its quarterly profits had soared 186 per cent to $2billion?
7. Why was 21-year-old Vicky Balch in the headlines?
8. Who was given a ten-week suspended prison sentence and was banned from driving for four years after being spotted drinking behind the wheel of his Mercedes?
9. Why did Patti Davis say her heart was sickened?
10. Who posted two pictures of his stepdaughter on Twitter saying: ‘We were all with her, surrounding her with love, at the end’?
11. What happened to Bernie Ecclestone’s 67-year-old mother-in-law Aparecida Schunk this week?
12. What did Jamaican rap artist Braintear Spookie and his girlfriend Summerlyn Farquharson organise?
13. Thirty five people from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt were arrested in raids by immigration officers on which restaurants in London?
14. A seven-year-old girl died after being hit by a stone thrown by an elephant from its enclosure at which zoo?
15. Brazilian doctor Daniel Becker warned of a health risk at the Rio games by saying: 'Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in _____ _____’. What are the two missing words?
16. According to Baby Center, a parental advisory service in America, an increasing number of newborns have been called Roselia, Ash, Eevee and Onyx? Why?
17. Former tennis star Chris Evert said what had contributed to the downfall of her marriage to Olympic skier Andy Mill?
18. Which company was criticised after it blamed Brexit 'uncertainty' for cutting 3,000 jobs and shutting 200 branches?
Bonus: Which company said it was to cut the 'capacity and frequency' of services, predicting that the result of Brexit will create a 'downward pressure’?
19. Prince Harry said he was what age before he opened up about how he felt about the death of his mother?
20. What are Noel and Sue Radford from Morecambe celebrating?
21. Christopher Biggins was the first person to turn up where?
22. Satoshi Uematsu turned himself in at a police station on the outskirts of Tokyo after killing how many people?
23. Why did model Natalie Harrison break off from her photoshoot at London's South Bank?
24. Ken Barrie, who died aged 83, was the voice of which popular children's TV character?
25. What did Kanye West say was his favourite part of wife Kim Kardashian’s body?

Answers here

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Colin Theakston: Photographer who left a mark

I first saw this photograph in Harold Evans's book Pictures on a Page which was given to me by my parents when I first started out in journalism. Sir Harry said of the picture: 'The photograph of a newly-launched destroyer on the Tyne is an example of aerial perspective and of scale and mood. The receding foggy background and the dark foreground figures are symbols of size and depth; but the stance of the men is suggestive, too, of North-East phlegm and centuries of ship-building. There has been a gala launching and the flag flies; but have you seen my matches Fred?'.
The picture was taken by Colin Theakston and a few years after seeing it I had the pleasure to work with him at The Northern Echo. He was one of a team of excellent photographers and, although the snappers had a reputation of being snappy, he was a nice a man as you could wish to meet. The photograph above is excellent - and it is now believed to hang on a wall in Sir Harry's Manhattan study - but it was just one of many in a stunning collection. Colin died this month and a service will be held at Darlington Crematorium tomorrow. He was one of the good guys from a golden age of Press photography, who certainly left his mark. RIP Colin. 

Tributes on Hold the Front Page here and on The Northern Echo here.

Monday, 25 July 2016

How the editor's job has changed forever

How has editing a regional newspaper changed in the last 30 years? When I took over the editor’s chair in 1989 I joined a band of demi-gods. They were men (yes, all men) who prowled the industry with colossal self-belief. Today, being an editor is very different. The change in economics, the reduced resources, the drive to digital, the need to maintain profits and uncertainty over the viability of print have had a deep impact. So, I asked seven regional editors who have had a foot in both periods about the changes. My article in InPublishing magazine gives their candid views. Read it here.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

This week's newsquiz: 25 points up for grabs

There were some high scores in last week's newsquiz. Ted Ditchburn, Alex Richman and Ben Jackson all scored 17.5, narrowly beating Alex Murphy on 17 and John Penman on 16.5. Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe were the top team with 18. Here's this week's quiz ... posted a little later as I was on an overnight flight back from New York. As usual, there are 25 points up for grabs, let me know how you get on. And if you really fancy a challenge, have a crack at the American newsquiz which can be found here

Terror in Munich (Question 3)
1. French newspaper Le Monde accused Theresa May of trying to exploit divisions between which two people?
2. Angela Eagle cancelled her constituency surgeries following threats and a brick being thrown through her office window. What is her constituency?
3. The gunman who killed nine people in Munich began his murder spree by shooting at diners outside which restaurant? 
Bonus: How many people were injured when an Afghan refugee attacked passengers on a train in Germany?
Bonus: How many people have been charged with terror offences relating to helping Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel prepare the Nice terror attack?
4. An off-duty serviceman fought off an attempted kidnap attempt outside which RAF base?

5. Introducing her father at the Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump said: ‘He is colorblind and ______ _________’. What are the missing two words?
Bonus: Donald Trump upset members of an old English rock band by finishing his speech with one of their songs. Name the band and the song.
6. Fans walked out of a festival in Brentwood after Bob Geldoff swore on stage and said they were all wearing which brand of clothes? 
7. Why did boys at Longhill High School, Brighton, wear skirts for school?
8. Who looks destined to become Lady Glenn Affric?
9. What word did Taylor Swift say she had not heard during a conversation with Kanye West?
Bonus: What is the name of the song at the centre of the row between Swift and West?
Bonus: Who said: 'Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates.’?
10. How old were the two females who were sentenced to be detained for three years and three months after being found guilty of kidnapping a toddler in Primark, Newcastle?

11. Russian track and field athletes failed to overturn a ban from the Olympics. What date do the Olympics start?
12. Who took over as chairman and acting chief executive of Fox News in America?
13. Michelle Obama sang with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke. Who joined them?
14. Four photographs have been released to celebrate Prince George’s third birthday. One is of him offering ice cream to the family’s dog. What is its name?
15. Who is to replace new England manager Sam Allardyce at his old club, Sunderland?
16. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused which US-based cleric of being behind the failed coup? 
17. Why was a man, who would only give his names as Franck, hailed as a hero?
18. Liz Truss became the first female in 800 years to hold which position?
19. In which English market town did a man shoot dead his wife and teenage daughter before killing himself? 
20. What did Maurice Hunter forget to take on holiday with him to Spain?

Answers here