Newspaper Watch

Erm, Telegraph?

Thames project expands size by 70pc to bolster bid for freeport status
Managers of the 1,700-acre area hope it will be one of 10 zones to benefit from zero-tariff exports in post-Brexit boost

What tariffs does Britain apply to exports?

Freeports benefit from zero tariffs on goods for export,


They enjoy zero tariffs on imports of goods that are then re-exported. Which is something rather different, no?


Rolling Stone magazine is offering “thought leaders” the chance to write for its website if they are willing to pay $2,000 to “shape the future of culture”.

As The Guardian says:

While many media companies – including the Guardian – feature clearly signposted branded content on their websites,

As do blogs as well……

It is to giggles

Google said on Friday it will disable its search function in Australia if the country’s government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook to pay local media companies for sharing their content.

Australia is on course to pass laws that would make the tech companies negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content. If they can’t strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide the price.

So, newspapers want to be paid for their content.


So a law is passed telling Google to pay if they use. As in Spain. Google says not thinks and closes Google News Spain. Newspapers pissed off at lost traffic.

Germany tries again and says if you use in the main search engine then you must pay unless publisher agrees not to charge. Google says to be included you must not charge. Newspaper agree traffic is worth more than payments, so all agree not to charge.

Oz tries again. You must pay for clips. Oh, and, also, you can’t not have clips. Google says we’ll not have a search engine in Oz then.

It’s this same old, old, delusion, that something is worth more than someone is willing to pay for it. Newspapers are really sure their output is worth money. Google ain’t so sure. And as it’s Google being asked to pay….

Does anyone ever edit this stuff?

Meanwhile, the racialized distribution of labor in the United States – the concentration of workers of color in both essential industries, where they are more likely to be exposed to the pandemic, and service and hospitality industries, where layoffs have been rampant

So blacks and the like are spread across essential and non-essential industries then? Ones that kept working during the pandemic and ones that didn’t?

They’re ‘avin’ a larff

America is broken, so we asked some of its greatest minds how they would fix it

OK, Krugman? Nordhaus? Freeman Dyson is gone of course. But OK, who are these great minds?

Rebecca Solnit, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Robert Reich, Darren Walker, Bill McKibben,


Owen Jones’ Mea Culpa

As smoke billowed out of Caracas, some of Maduro’s UK apologists – the appeasers, the opportunistic cheerleaders, even some true believers – suddenly discovered consciences. In Britain, leftwing commentators had even less reason to embrace the man who remains Venezuelan President: domestic support for him here has always been negligible. Cheerleading for Chavez in Britain has always been a conscious choice, and it is all the more striking because it comes without the excuse of external pressure or cynical self-interest: indeed, it carries the price of damaging the cheerleaders’ credibility even among many Labour voters.

Those who made that choice in Britain are now attempting to walk away whistling from the crime scene, but apologism for the figurehead of the international far left – including the self-confessed socialists who stormed the legislature – should come with accountability.

Good to see him finally owning up to it.

The Miles Kington school of column writing

Miles Kington, habitue of the Old Green Tree as he was, knew how to write his little feuilletons. His method being, as he once said, to come up with the last line and everything follows from that.

Bit like writing a joke, the punchline comes first. At which point Arwa Mahdari has been taking note. Sex toys- male chastity devices – are, these days internet enabled. Hackers thus arrive. So:

Be very careful about what kind of junk you connect to the internet.

The game being to fill the space the editor has allotted before that line…..

Misquoting is one of those journalistic sins Ms. Malik


As far back as August of last year, the World Health Organization warned that a vaccine alone would not end the pandemic, that “throughout history” the only way viruses have been vanquished is via “permanent adjustments” to economics and societies.

Hmm, the actual quote being lifted:

Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies, he said.

That’s not quite the same thing, is it? The Black Death led to money wages and free labour. That’s certainly a change, but it’s not quite true that the Black Death was vanquished by money wages now, is it?


Interesting number

Bodies are being stored at a temporary facility in Surrey after the county’s hospital mortuaries reached capacity amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Some 170 bodies are being kept in the temporary mortuary at Headley Court in Leatherhead, which first opened in April to alleviate pressure during the first wave of the pandemic.

More than half of those kept at the facility died from Covid-19, a Surrey Local Resilience Forum spokesman said.

The county’s hospital mortuaries have the capacity to store 600 bodies but are currently full, while the temporary facility has room for 800.

I think that’s with, not from. But still. The big question is why this number?

An increase in deaths, the rate of them? Could be, obviously. Or is it that funerals and cremations aren’t taking place?

It would be interesting to know, obviously. And a newspaper might tell us but in the absence of one of those any more…..

Telegraph subs!

This League Two side did not just surprise opponents ranked 62 places higher but dismantle them, wrapping up the victory so comfortably that they could afford to bring on reality TV’s Mark Wright, star of *The Only Way Is Essex*, as a gimmicky substitute in injury time.

The ” is a different key than the *. So too is the <em></em>.

Numeracy 2

Right now, Amazon is campaigning against the efforts of its employees in a Birmingham, Alabama, warehouse to win bargaining rights, notwithstanding the fact that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, whose current estimated wealth is roughly $180 billion, could personally buy the entire state of Alabama if he so desired.

GDP for Alabama is $220 billion a year. GDP is the annual value add. To buy something you have to pay the capitalised value of the annual income.

You don’t get to buy an annual $220 for $180.

Even if GDP isn’t quite the same as either gross margin or profit in a company it’s still true that you can’t buy Alabama for a mere $180 billion. Not unless you’re talking about the legislature but then we all know politicians are cheap.

Numeracy 1

There’s no way that, a year ago, you could script the scenario where the death of over 4,000 Americans in a day would not be the top news item.

Gonna make the news pretty boring. With some 2.8 million deaths a year in the US there’s near 8,000 every day. So, the top news item each and every day must be that near 8,000 people died yesterday, right?

Perhaps, not quite, le mot juste

Or les moteuax justes or however El Frogs do plurals:

While Michael Flanders loved a double entendre, the act that kept him and Donald Swann in shoe leather for a couple of decades

“Shoe leather” as a passing reference to someone confined to a wheelchair as a result of, I think, polio, might not be quite the right phrase.

Well, no, not really

UK Down’s syndrome births halve as parents opt for blood test to identify the condition

That doesn’t, in itself, change the number, does it?

Nine-in-ten women in the UK who know their child will have the condition have an abortion

That does though.

No, not an argument about abortion or not – just making that logical note about the headline.