Hold that breaking news about kidnappings in the Gaza Strip – Sky News has more to tell you about News International newspapers. Following its reporting yesterday on News of the World, Sky found time to break away from the violence in the West Bank and Gaza to send ace presenter Kay Burley on assignment all the way to Times House, Wapping. OK, we know Sky is doing a series on all the finalists for newspaper of the year at the British Press Awards, but isn’t it funny that for the two days the News International executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is in town, Sky News happens to broadcast features on the two finalists he owns. What a pity Uncle Rupe will have left town before the profiles of the other finalists – the Guardian, the Independent and the Observer – are shown. Monkey loved the Times newsroom footage that showed its avuncular editor, Robert Thomson, putting an affectionate arm around deputy editor Ben Preston, who if he felt alarmed certainly didn’t show it. Sky then cut to the day’s other “news”: Egypt was closing the Rafah border.”
Sky rolls out blue carpet
In olden days, when Rupert Murdoch was arriving at his Sydney headquarters to inevitably lay down the law, staff were alerted to his imminent arrival by the fact that a square of fancy dark blue carpet would be placed in the lifts to cover up the shabby chocolate-covered square that everyone had to make do with the rest of the time. Today, to welcome the executive chairman to London, Sky News came up with its own fancy square of blue carpet – star presenter Kay Burley, with all the ferocity of a poodle on mogadon, interviewing News of the World editor Andy Coulson and asking him to tell us … well, why his newspaper is so great, basically. “You can’t pigeon hole News of the World readers as working class anymore, can you, Andy?” Kay sweetly queried. And she was reassured that, no, indeed, you could not. But how unfortunate that Sky chose to follow up the lovingly-crafted report with an interview with former Screws editor Phil Hall – who was booted from the job in 2000 and has been in Rupert’s bad books ever since!
Sky’s round up of the British Press Awards finalists continued today with the Independent. Kay Burley told viewers that the Independent had “pioneered the eyecatching cover” on a single topic or story. But then she, shockingly, asked deputy editor Ian Birrell if Independent readers were perhaps not the most fun at a party.
If it’s Thursday, it must be the Guardian. Monkey has been avidly watching the Sky News series on the finalists for the newspaper of the year at the British Press Awards. Today Kay Burley’s asserted that Guardian readers were the “first to embrace world music” and the shopping basket of organic muesli and fair trade coffee. And well done La Burley for coaxing out of editor Alan Rusbridger (Monkey’s boss) the admission “when I retire in 10 or 15 years time”.