IT’S JANUARY and, if you believe the advertising industry, the thoughts of millions of us turn to holidays in exotic destinations… like Swansea. Well at least that’s what the readers of the Plymouth Herald were force-fed last week – a glowing review of a luxury holiday home in South Wales.
Yes, like you I find it a little odd that people who live in one of the most attractive regions in the country might want to undertake the arduous 190-mile, three-and-a-half hour journey to the Mumbles, even if the awaiting accommodation boasted stunning views of the Gower coast and was “architect-designed” (what building isn’t?).
So what could explain this gushing 1,000-word piece illustrated with five pictures on the Herald website? Well it might have something to do with the fact that the property, available to rent for up to £1,690 a week, is owned by Local World group commercial director Blanche Sainsbury and her husband Mark, managing director of Local World’s Devon and Cornwall division. And the article was written by the Herald’s deputy head of news Helen Pearse, fiancee of Nick Copson, Local World’s marketing and communications director for the South West.
Not that there’s anything wrong with any of this of course, but it might have been nice if the readers had been told of these friendly connections before taking on board such an enthusiastic testimonial.
EDIT: The article in question was removed from the Herald website this morning.
SOME USEFUL digging by industry tweeter @tabloidtroll into the accounts of the Media Standards Trust has revealed that the National Union of Journalists spent £4,000 helping to fund a series of fringe events organised by the Hacked Off organisation at the three political party conferences in 2012.
To put that figure in context, it equates to the annual subs of 24 poorly-paid regional newspaper journalists. So were these union members asked if they wanted their money spent supporting an anti-press freedom pressure group run by left-wing activists, bitter academics and failed hacks? Of course not. Don’t be silly.
The NUJ has long since abandoned representing its rank and file membership in favour of political posturing and point-scoring. Now we find the union that is meant to protect journalists actively colluding with the enemies of journalism. You really could not make this up.
The Grey Cardigan has been in newspapers since the days of hot metal and expense accounts. After a lengthy career as chief sub on several regional newspapers, plus a multitude of shifts on the nationals, he was appointed editor of the Evening Beast in 2009 before being ignominiously 'rationalised' last year. He is currently collecting gas in jam jars in case the Russians cut us off. @thegreycardigan