Runners & Riders Daily Mirror Political Editor

Guido hears the Daily Mirror are looking for a new political editor, with incumbent Andy Gregory set to join the Sunday Times as health editor Still the biggest selling left-of-centre paper in Britain, the paper has always been Corbyn sceptic. Could it really jump a generation and to the left with a new pol ed? As ever we bring you your runners and riders…

  • Ben Glaze: Tipped by insiders as the early favourite. Is he too well-liked by the Tories to run the red Mirror?
  • Keir Mudie: Sunday Mirror man, popular with Team Jezza, should be in with a strong shout.
  • Niall Sookoo: Former print and broadcast journalist, currently works in LOTO as an aide to Corbyn, rumoured to have been considering a jump back over the fence.
  • Jen Williams: Smashing it at the Manchester Evening News, move to the big time well overdue.
  • Kate Devlin: Top Lobby hack and Sunday Express de facto chief. Time for the Mirror to have a female pol-ed?
  • Steve Hawkes: Wants a pol ed job and is a former Mirror reporter.
  • Matt Chorley: How would he handle the vast increase in readership?
  • Steve from Skwawkbox: Surely time for Steve to sell out and join the MSM to exploit his direct line into Corbyn’s office?

Good luck…

Peak Media Boris B*llocks

The lefty / Remain papers do write some nonsense about their bogeyman Boris, but today’s Mirror splash has to be most tenuous BoJo attack story ever. They are having a pop at the former Foreign Secretary for not having yet moved out of his Carlton Gardens residence. The Mirror copy says their story “is bound to infuriate ­homeless charities” and hint that Jeremy Hunt is unhappy Boris is still there. Labour say it is “shocking” and “extraordinary”, “taxpayer-funded squatting” and “it’s high time the Government take back control of this property”.

Back in the real world, it has been just 10 days since Boris resigned, it is completely standard practice for an outgoing Foreign Secretary to take a few weeks to leave their official residence, he has permission from the government and Jeremy Hunt to stay there until the end of the month, and Boris is paying all his bills so there is no cost to the taxpayer. So all of the key points of the Mirror and Labour attacks completely fall apart. A front page so “shocking” and “extraordinary” that no one has yet followed it up…

Mirror, Mirror on the Fall

The latest ABCs make grim reading for the Mirror, whose daily and Sunday circulations are both down around 19.5% year-on-year. The decline is so steep in part because foreign and bulk sales were scrapped for both the daily and the Sunday. But are some lefty readers also being drawn away by the proliferation of new Corbynista sites? The old Labour Mirror cracking…

Why No Media Plurality Worries Over Mirror-Express Merger?

The usual suspects who raise a hue and cry about media plurality seem strangely silent about the Mirror – Express merger. Print sector media plurality is being dramatically reduced from four major media groups to 3 plus the also rans. The new group will have about a quarter market share of the UK dead tree press. As the print market withers it is turning oligopolistic…

Tom Watson is silent, the usual gobby ‘media plurality’ campaigners are also mute. The Guardian isn’t going on about the hackers at the Mirror not being fit and proper to take over the Express. There are genuine public interest concerns; plurality is being reduced and the distinctive political voice of the Express is being put at risk. Are plurality concerns only applicable to Rupert Murdoch?

Indy and Mirror Worst For Gender Byline Equality

Research by Women in Journalism has found that between 5 June and 22 July the Independent and the Mirror were the worst news organisations for gender byline equality. 91% of Indy front-page bylines during the period were male, just 9% of stories were written by women. The Mirror wasn’t much better, their gender byline ratio was 90% was 10%. The Mirror might be bro-cialists but the Indy spends its whole time lecturing on gender equality, so this is pretty damning for them. In the same period covered by the survey the Guy Newsroom was 25% female, a similar result to The Times…

H/T Press Gazette

Mirror Front Page Wrong

Theresa May certainly deserves criticism for the way she has handled the Grenfell fire. But this front page claiming she didn’t meet survivors is just plain wrong. May met survivors yesterday in two separate visits…

Mirror Pol Ed Runners & Riders

The Daily Mirror’s political editor Jack Blanchard is leaving print for Politico, a move which shows which way the wind is blowing. The future is niche. As ever, MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders to replace him…

  • Ben Glaze, Mirror:Mirror man who has risen up the ranks to deputy pol ed. Obviously well in with Labour and has even managed to convince the Tories to let him ask Theresa May sarky questions at election events. Will be an early favourite.
  • Keir Mudie, Sunday People: A Trinity Mirror veteran, Mudie is currently political correspondent at the Sunday People. Highly thought of in Canary Wharf…
  • Kevin Schofield, PoliticsHome: Well in with Labour, though pricey. Anti-Jez MPs would welcome the move…
  • Steve Hawkes, The SunThe Lindsay Hoyle to TND’s John Bercow, surely he is ready for a top job on a red top? Or is he a bit pro-business for the Mirror?
  • Owen Bennett, HuffPo: TV’s second favourite Owen might be a UKIP chronicler but he’s more red than purple. Had a stint on the Mirror Online desk at the last election. 
  • Joe Watts, Independent: The Indy’s election coverage has been even more slavishly partisan than the Mirror’s. It would be a relief not to work for a publication whose social media interns put “destroyed” in every headline. 
  • Paul Farrelly, Labour: What about a George Osborne-style return to journalism for the Observer’s former City editor? Defending a tiny majority and could well lose his seat…
  • Clive Lewis, Labour: Possibly won’t be doing much by September. The former chief political correspondent of BBC Look East had a more successful career in the media than politics.
  • Seumas Milne, Labour: Could be looking for a job in eight days time. Had a good grounding in writing for a working class audience while labour correspondent for the Guardian. A pol ed for the many, not the few?
  • Paul Waugh, HuffPo: He has all the contacts. Unfortunately there is no way the austerity hit Mirror could afford to match the money he is on at HuffPo. He is even better paid than Kevin Maguire…
  • Kerry-Anne Mendoza, Canary: She has successfully built an audience for the alt-Left online destination of choice for Cobynistas. Though she would signal the end of the fiercely patriarchal Mirror politics team. 
  • Steve Walker, Skwawkbox: If Corbyn clings on and the Mirror really want to help Labour get their message out, they can do no better than Steve from Skwawkbox. The Leader’s Office citizen journalist of choice.

Good luck…

Cult of Corbyn

Moustachioed Morning Star eccentric Peter Lazenby used his question at Labour’s manifesto launch to speak truth to power and really hold Jeremy Corbyn to account: “Can anything be done about the shockingly biased media?”. That’s the Morning Star, officially affiliated to the Communist Party…

Meanwhile, the Labour-supporting Mirror asked a real question about Corbyn’s unpopularity and were roundly booed. Corbyn implored his supporters to stop, telling them: “It’s not a cult of personality”. If you have to say it…

Maguire and Pierce: Spot the Difference

Turns out Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire’s comedy double-act extends well beyond their paper review appearances on Sky News. Those hectic media schedules mean they are now happy to share anecdotes for their columns. As you can compare and contrast above, Philip May is not the only thing that readers of the Mail (above left) and Mirror (right) will be doing a double take over. Seems Andy and Kev don’t disagree about everything…

Mirror in McCluskey’s Pocket

Daily Mirror readers could be forgiven for knowing little of the bitter battle for control of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite. The paper once had a proud history of covering union politics, yet the contest between Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne barely makes it into the paper – much to the annoyance of leftie hacks and union tankies alike. Unite’s £400,000 contribution towards McCluskey’s swanky London pad was for some reason not deemed newsworthy…

Canary Wharf insiders believe the problem lies with the management’s desire to keep on receiving oodles of Unite cash signed off by Red Len. One Mirror source said:  

“Unite probably hand over between £50,000 and £100,000 a year in term of various types of sponsorship, helping with the wage bill, advertising etc. It is any wonder they don’t write a bad word about McCluskey or the battle to get rid of him?  It’s a travesty and a betrayal of the readers.”

Ros Wynne-Jones’ weekly “Real Britain” column contains numerous plugs for causes and events championed by Unite. At the bottom of her page each week there is a message to say her musings are “in association with Unite the Union”. Hacks at the paper believe the Unite cash could be enough to fund Wynne-Jones’ salary. The Mirror is one of the few papers left with an industrial correspondent. Along with transport and education, Mark Ellis is supposed to cover the unions, though he seems strangely reticent to write about McCluskey at all – despite his strong Unite links. McCluskey’s union was coincidentally on hand to help fund free booze at the Mirror’s Labour conference knees-up…

The few stories about the Unite leadership battle between McCluskey and Coyne that have made it into the Mirror have included the following gems:

  • On Monday March 6th Kevin Maguire column’s column revealed: “Unite supremo “Red Len” McCluskey is hot favourite to be re-elected leader of the country’s largest trade union after winning huge support
  • On Thursday March 2nd Mirror readers were told: “Len has 82% Unite backing
  • On Tuesday March 7th the paper quoted McCluskey saying he would “work night and day” to fight for Vauxhall staff whose jobs were in danger

Mirror readers and the union members the paper claims to champion will have to look elsewhere if they want more than the odd pro-Len puff piece…

Team Corbyn Tweeting About Fake News Trump Style

Late last night this Mirror story triggered Seumas or someone else on the Labour leader’s media team. For the full Trump effect they really need to capitalise FAKE NEWS from the FAILING MIRROR. Guido gives ’em 5/10 for this effort…

“Tory Cuts Killed 30,000” Report Author is Big Corbynista

Today’s Mirror splashes on the OTT claim that “Tory cuts killed 30,000“, casually accusing the government of mass murder. The story is based on a report co-authored by Oxford geography professor Danny Dorling. What the Mirror doesn’t mention is that Dorling a big Corbyn cheerleader with ties to Jez. In a blog post last May, Dorling fawned over Corbyn, showering the Labour leader with a litany of praise:

“Corbyn appears prepared to listen to everyone’s point of view, however much he disagrees with much of what they do or say…

“(Corbyn) appears prepared to listen to a wide range of experts and opinion rather than giving the air that he was born to rule, is all-knowing himself, and will tell us what is best for us…

“If voters look him up on Wikipedia they will learn that “Corbyn was revealed to have submitted the smallest amount in expenses of any British MP. In 2010 he claimed the lowest sum of all 650 MPs.” He also over pays his taxes…

“Famously Jeremy Corbyn had to be persuaded to stand in the leadership election. His election may have ushered in a new era in British politics where parties no longer look so keenly on the candidates who so obviously want the job and who initially appear most electable…

“Jeremy Corbyn does not appear motived (sic) by money…

“Corbyn has shown that he can be critical of his own party and its past record, even of himself, when, in retrospect, his party or he himself was clearly misguided…

“Jeremy Corbyn can take on the zealots and bigots who use migration to stir up fear and hatred…

“What Corbyn really represents is a set of beliefs whose time has finally come.

Corbyn himself has even rewarded Dorling’s obvious affection with a supportive tweets:

John McDonnell meanwhile has said he spent the last summer reading Dorling’s book. Sure Dorling is a wholly impartial observer – you might think the Mirror would have mentioned all this in their report…

Maguire Demands £230,000 Salary From Mirror

The Mirror’s associate editor Kevin Maguire has backed Corbyn’s salary cap, writing: “the maximum wage is an idea whose time has come… I’ve advocated a maximum for years and personally favour a 10-to-1 limit within companies”. Well, last year Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox earned £2.3 million, so if the company was to implement the Maguire Doctrine it means the Mirror’s minimum wage would be £230,000. Kerching!

Now Mirror Joins Calls for Vaz to Go

vaz-drugs-probe

The Labour supporting Mirror is echoing Guido nowadays when it comes to Keith Vaz:

“While a police probe into his behaviour is ongoing, shamed Labour MP Keith Vaz should not be allowed to take his place on the Commons’ Justice Committee. Officers have confirmed they are investigating allegations he discussed the buying of cocaine with two prostitutes he hired. Parliament would be brought into disrepute and public contempt if Vaz sits on this important committee while the cloud of suspicion is hanging over him.”

Guido argued as far back as September that Vaz Broke “Intent to Supply” Law. How can an MP sit on the Justice Select Committee which has oversight of the Criminal Judicial system when he is under investigation by the police? This is simply not credible…

Another petty expense fiddle has also come to light this weekend, he claimed for UK travel expenses when he was overseas, just a run of the mill week for Keith Vaz. Guido understands there will be further moves to remove the crook from the Justice Select Committee next week. Law makers can not be law breakers…

Bankers Bonus for Kevin Maguire

Kevin Maguire is a banker-basher extraordinaire – scroll through his tweets and he’s never leaving those “nasty bankers” alone, his Mirror column forever bangs on about the Tories being “banker’s friends” who are “out of touch with the public”. Well this morning our Kev’ and the Mail’s Andrew Pierce are entertaining clients at a BNP Paribas “Capitalise International Investment Special” event in the City. His hosts and new friends are the bank’s global CEO Thierry Laroue-Pont and UK CEO John Slade, and the discussion is being chaired by UK Executive Director James Max. Better canapés than at Labour conference?

Dave Gets His Daily Dose

Another happy reader – Dave shares with the House the news, as revealed by Guido, that the BBC, Mirror Group, and Guardian have all been using offshore investment funds. Sign up to the Guidogram here to get your daily dose too… 

Look in the Mirror: Millions Held Offshore

“David Cameron has behaved like a chancer over offshore funds,” blasted the Mirror’s leader on Friday: “Voice of the Mirror says hard to believe the PM will end the use of offshore financial hideaways by the filthy rich when he is cut from the same cloth”. What the Mirror didn’t tell its readers is that their paper is also “cut from the same cloth”…

When Trinity Mirror tried to raise funds by issuing new shares to investors, it set up TM Finance (Jersey) Ltd, a “special purpose vehicle” to collect the proceeds offshore. Trinity Mirror’s annual report discloses the existence of “The Trinity Mirror Employee Benefit Trust”, a pension scheme whose beneficiaries could well include Mirror employees like chief offshore critic Kevin Maguire. Is it really Mirror Associate Editor our Kev’s trust? Appleby Global (Jersey) Ltd administer the Mirror’s offshore millions boasting: “Our fiduciary operation in Jersey has provided a broad range of offshore fiduciary and administration services… Our clients include high net worth private individuals and families along with an enviable array of global and UK businesses, such as… Trinity Mirror”. Please, tell us more about those “offshore financial hideaways”…

Then there is the Trinity International Restricted Share Plan, administered by Barclays Wealth Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd, another offshore trustee. Mirror, Mirror against the wall, who is the most hypocritical of them all?

UPDATE: Our Kev says “not me guv”.

Mirror Spikes Unite’s Zero Hours Contracts Story

mirror image oopsThe Mirror has long railed against zero hours contracts. No surprise then, that when Britain’s biggest union was being sued by a former employee after they kicked off over their own alleged zero hours contract, The Mirror was on the scene:

Google picked it up:

Unite_being_sued_for_£200,000_after_hiring_activist_on_zero_hours_contract_-_Google_Search_-_2016-01-27_12.12.07

Shortly after the story went to pixel, it mysteriously vanished. Surely that was nothing to do with Unite sponsoring a weekly column in the paper? Did Len McCluskey monster The Mirror, or are they just staying Unite-d?

UPDATE:

Alas SunNation, We Knew It Well

sunnation

Farewell SunNation, the Sun’s outside-the-paywall experiment with a blog format has now gone with the raison d’être of the paywall. This again brings into focus the future of tabloids now it has been established that in the age of social media paywalls for popular papers are counter-productive. As far as Guido knows no mass market tabloid in the world has successfully made the transition to a digital model.

Digital first sceptics point out that for all the traffic success of Mail Online and The Guardian, they don’t really make much profit. In the case of the digital Guardian they make no profit. That is because undifferentiated general traffic does not command a high premium from advertisers. Also free online versions inevitably cannibalise the print readers…

Digital first optimists argue that there is no choice other than to deliver content where people increasingly want it, to their phones and tablets. And deliver it fast and first if you want to succeed. 

How will we make any money ask the digital sceptics? If paid subscriptions don’t work for tabloids in the digital era will it be Buzzfeed style advertorial? Video ads? Product placement? The digital first optimists point out that tabloid print sales are collapsing and soon they won’t make money either…

TABLOIDS

The Mirror is contemplating a cut-price, slimmed down version of the paper along the lines of the i, The Independent’s successful cut-down version. The more successful print innovator is actually the London Evening Standard, London’s now free high-quality evening paper is brimming with advertising. Could a tabloid thrive on advertising revenue alone? Metro and City AM show that advertising-only supported papers can be viable. It is possible that a national could go free, double or triple circulation, and suck up more than enough advertising to make up for the lost cover-price revenue. Guido noticed that last weekend the Sun on Sunday was distributed free in some places in Ireland…

Mirror Apologise to “Sick Nazi Salute” Kipper

Back in 2013 the Mirror splashed on UKIP’s Alex Wood “giving a sick Nazi salute”.  Many others saw a bloke reaching to grab the camera-phone with his left-hand – which was exactly what he claimed. The story drove the lefty Twitterati wild with glee, confirming their prejudices about UKIP being a bunch of racists.[…] Read the rest

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