Enjoy this proper old fashioned bollocking memo emailed to the hacks on the news team at the Mail on Sunday by James Mellor, the news editor, in which he laments; the lack of actual news in the paper, hacks knocking off early, hacks spending time filing their expenses rather than producing news, lack of genuine scoops… well, read it for yourself:
From: James Mellor
Date: Monday, 19 October, 2020
The quality and quantity of stories provided by the News department this week was unacceptable and frankly embarrassing. By my count, there were just five self-generated exclusives from News in the entire paper. With a couple of exceptions, we let ourselves down. I have apologised to the Editor for our lack of contribution.
To fill the paper, we were reduced to effectively cutting and pasting stories from Mail Online. Despite the desperate need for new material, one of you found time yesterday to file an expenses claim. Others decided to head home before the gaps were filled. They might consider apologising to their colleagues who at least had the decency to stay and help fill the paper. The News department has been crucial in making The Mail on Sunday the biggest selling Sunday newspaper — but we failed this week and have not been firing on all cylinders for some time. This needs to change.
With immediate effect, everyone — without exception — is required to send an email detailing their stories and ideas for the week ahead to me, Ronan and Jane by 10am each Tuesday at the latest. If you have no ideas or stories to offer, you should send an email stating that — and be seriously asking yourself why. Expect to be chased by the desk if you haven’t sent a note or at least called and spoken to one of us. I also want at least one properly fleshed out idea for an investigation from each of you by Tuesday, October 20. I don’t want a nebulous concept, but a thoughtful, researched proposal. Again, send that to me, Ronan and Jane.
As well as genuine scoops, we need more light and shade on the News List -glamourous, quirky and consumer stories featuring famous people as well as gritty stories. Copy needs to be well-written, accurate and filed earlier to prevent a logjam on Saturday. If your stories aren’t making, it’s because the Editor doesn’t rate them, so you need to find ones that he does. We failed badly to meet our usual high standards this week. Let’s ensure that it does not happen again.
Sentiments which might be echoed by editors everywhere…