Two from Street of Shame in the new Eye, out today...
“Today’s newspapers aren’t necessarily about news,” announced Mirror editor Richard Wallace in an interview on February 1. “It's no secret that I have taken the Mirror down a more magazine-style road.”
That much was evident in the a story which was inexplicably placed in his paper’s news section the previous day: “Humiliated into losing 19 stone”, the harrowing tale of how Maureen Edwards had decided to go on a diet after becoming wedged in a garden chair. “Maureen slimmed down from an astonishing 28 stone to just nine with the help of a hypnotist’s weight loss CD and a sack load of determination,” reported impressed hack Brian Roberts. “Speaking of her BBQ chair ordeal, she said last night: ‘It was one of those white plastic outdoor ones and I just couldn’t get out…’”
Mrs Edwards also seems to possess impressive powers of memory, given that the seven paragraphs of quotes she gave to Roberts were word-for-word identical to the testimonial she penned for Paul McKenna’s book I Can Make You Thin, published in January 2005, the very year that the paper claimed the incident occurred. Her account also appeared in the Sun’s serialisation of the book that same month as well as on the hypnotist’s website paulmckenna.com.
Curiously, however, she appeared not to be able to remember Mr McKenna’s name, which did not appear anywhere in the Mirror article. Naturally, this has nothing to do with the fact that paper had to pay out libel damages to the hypnotist last summer after a nine-year legal battle over his qualifications.
HOW JOURNALISM WORKS
A guide by Sun hackette Emma Pryer.
1) Pen report on the Kylie Minogue’s visit to exhibition of her own costumes at V&A for Sun website, remembering to preface all mentions of singer with adjectives “brave” or “plucky”.
2) Insert quote from “Fan Annabel Roberts” who thinks “She looked so beautiful. She won’t find it hard bagging a new man. After all she’s been through, she deserves the fairytale.”
3) Email said Annabel Roberts and other friends, pointing out that “After Annabel’s boyfriend Dan scored a picture of him and Hugh Grant on a night out with me I couldn’t resist getting Annabel a plug in the paper…. Check out today’s coverage from last night’s Kylie event……. Ha!”
4) Watch as boss and “Showbiz Writer Of The Year” Victoria Newton plucks report from website and publishes it in paper underneath own byline.