Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Shame of Paula Murray

The above scans were sent to me by one of Paula Murray's fellow hacks who like the rest of us recognises her Dunblane story as "a new and depressing low."

Now I'm not going to go over the story again here. The original article has been pulled from the Express Website and the PCC are investigating at least one complaint about it.

However, if you do want to see just how depressingly and hypocritically low this sank, then you can read it in cache form here. 

I also have PDF copies of the front and inside pages if anyone out there needs them.

But before this story disappears into the small print of a PCC report, I'd just like to point Paula in the direction of her own words upon joining the Scottich Sunday Express last year.

According to

After six years at the Record, Murray says her biggest challenge is learning the 'Sunday way'.

"It's tough to hold on to a good story [for Sunday] because there's the risk someone else in another publication will also get their hands on it."

Don't worry Paula. I don't think anyone else is ever going to touch this one.

-Update- Justin has now hosted the PDFs here. Tim has got some reactions out of the Sunday Express here.


Anonymous said...

And in other news about newspapers:- it is worth reading Peter Wilby's article in the Guardian about newspaper cirulation figures. A particularly interesting titbit of information in the article is that 48% of the Evening Standard's circulation is "bulk sales", which are probably free copies that are handed out at hotels and on 'planes and first-class railway carriages. These pad out the circulation figures, and this brings in the advertisers and the restaurant reviews. The 50p cover price and the occasional news articles are of secondary importance to the business model.


AdamB said...

I'm still not entirely clear what the Standard's business model has been in recent years. Alienating half of London didn't do them too many favours last year and circulation is now at an all time low. Also I read in Private Eye recently that their sales fell by (20,000 I think) in the first few months of this year after they stopped distributing it at low circulation outlets. Ol' Geordie has a lot of work to do.

Anonymous said...

The latest Standard circulation booster appears to be a giveaway with M&S food shops at petrol stations - I bought a 45p chocolate bar at a petrol station just inside the M25 and was handed a 50p newspaper 'free'

It turned out not to be just any free newspaper - it was a Russian owned, tawdry, middle class paranoia riddled, more than just a little bit predictable 'free' newspaper!

When I got home my wife commented "Oh it's been a while since you've bought the Standard"

And I didn't buy it this time!

AdamB said...

I like the fact that you were on the M25 when you got it. You have to go a long way to find a Standard reader these days.

Tom said...

I just followed a car with Evening Standard stickers all over it's rear. In Slough.

Olly said...

I bought a magazine the other day and got told I could have £1 off a magazine if I bought the Standard, so a 50p saving.

I read about three pages of the Standard before leaving it on the tube behind me. The next week when I bought my magazine, I got offered the deal and I refused. 50p down the drain but at least I'm not wasting paper.

I wondered why the hell I had to buy a Standard to get my pound off, why not just give me a free Standard? Then I remembered of course that, as mentioned above, you have to say how many free copies you give away in any circulation figures.

Anyway I'll stop rambling but basically your 48% figure is wrong. Factor in the bribes and it's probably much higher, as my credit crunch saving purchase probably counted as a sale.

Mark Lee said...

Olly, the thing to do with such offers (WH Smith are particularly culpable of doing similar things with the Express / Daily Mail / Telegraph) is to 'buy' the paper and just leave it at the till. It'll get put back on the shelf for someone else to do exactly the same thing.

If it's still anything like the situation when I was a young nipper working there, 'unsold' copies are returned to the distributor at the end of the day - but the total of unsold copies is based on a physical count as opposed to POS data, so if you leave your copy behind, it's not going to result in the distributor thinking that the store's selling more copies, so they won't print and deliver more papers in future.