Friday, 21 April 2017

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

Janet Boyle was the top scorer in last week's newsquiz with 18 points. Others in double figures included Simon O’Neill on 16, Liz Gerard 15, Gavin Devine 14 and Steve Silk 13. The Penman Partnership were the top team with 14.5, narrowly beating the Batstone Collective on 14. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events (dominated inevitably by the election). Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

The snap General Election dominated the week's newspapers
1. How many MPs voted in the Commons against holding a General Election on June 8?
2. Theresa May said she made the decision to call an election when she was walking with her husband in what country?

3. What did BBC presenter David Dimbleby say was a ‘perilous’ risk for Theresa May?
4. Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour's election campaign in London saying: 'It is the ______ versus the people and it is our historic duty to make sure that the people prevail.’ What is the missing word?
5. Downing Street chief of staff Fiona Hill texted a message to Sky News saying: 'You might want to tell Bunter that he should watch what he is saying about my boss's health, utterly unfounded and untrue.’ Who is the ‘Bunter’ that she is referring to?
6. Who went viral after learning about the election and declaring: 'You're joking! Not another one? Oh, for God's sake, I can't, honestly, I can't stand this. There's too much politics going on at the moment. Why does she need to do it?’
7. A crowdfunding page raised the deposit for a candidate who wants to stand against Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to 'knock him off his perch and put him in his plaice’. Name the candidate
8. What do Gisela Stuart, Tom Blenkinsop, Iain Wright and Pat Glass have in common?
9. What led to French presidential election candidates Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon cancelling their final campaign events? 
10. There were conflicting reports over whether the US was sending an aircraft carrier to North Korea. What was the carrier called?
11. Who did Prince William speak to on FaceTime as part of a campaign to raise awareness about mental health?

12. Prince William warned British men that keeping a ___ ___ ___  was detrimental to mental health. What are the three missing words?
13. Who took over a new job in football and admitted he hadn’t seen his new team play and that he didn’t have 'a magic wand’?
14. Two EasyJet passengers were removed from an overbooked flight at Luton Airport. Where were they flying to?

15. Who said: 'We’ve got a lot to do, we are on this path but it’s time to change gears and go faster … we are carrying out the most important reform in the history of our nation’?
16. Who tweeted a picture of four Yeoman Warders along with the message: 'Just your average Wednesday. What a fantastic day!’?
17. Whose labour, which was watched by more than 1.2million people over the last three months, finally resulted in a birth at the weekend?
18. Afghanistan veteran Duncan Slater became the first double-leg amputee to complete the Marathon des Sables - the 'toughest race on Earth’. Where does the race take place?
19. Serena Williams revealed she is 20-weeks pregnant with her first child by sharing a close up of her bump on which app?
20. 
What is the nickname of the football team whose promotion to the Premier League was confirmed on Easter Monday?
21. What is the name of the East London nightclub where people were injured after acid was thrown in the early hours of Easter Monday?
22. One high street company announced plans to close six stores (and open another 36) and another is evaluating whether to close up to ten after shares fell more than five per cent. Name the two stores. Half point for each.
23. Why was Kathrine Switzer in the headlines?
24. Five people were killed in Portugal after a plane crashed on a lorry unloading outside which supermarket?
25. What were the last words Teresa Elliott said to her dying ex-husband Michael to comfort him?

Answers here


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

How the papers covered the election shocker

The chaos that David Cameron started continues. Here are today’s front pages on Theresa May’s announcement that she is pushing for a June election. 
The split across the front pages reflects the split in Westminster and the split across the country. The majority of the papers reckon it's a 'brave' political decision ... but not all. And in Scotland there is another view altogether. Here you go ... 


The Daily Mail, of course, is on May's side. It uses a smiling, if slightly sinister, pic of the PM and reckons she has called the bluff of the 'game-playing' remoaners. It's an unequivocal message - a rallying call once used by Lenin - which caused a bit of a Twitter stir. 


The Scottish Daily Mail isn't quite as bullish ... but the message is still clear. Is it just me or do the colours and design of the page look vaguely like the French flag.

At the other end of the scale The National actively tells its readers to vote against Brexit ... and for a Tory-free Scotland.



Back to the Brexiteers ... and the Daily Express paraphrases the Prime Minister's message. 

Meanwhile the Morning Star pulls no punches for the other side. It calls the Prime Minister 'cowardly' and instead of a live picture uses one with her wearing an absurd red 'Paddington' hat.


The Guardian also paraphrases the PM's message and uses a John Crace sketch on the front. Is the big shadow to Mrs May's left a cryptic message? 


The Daily Mirror terrorises its readers with a haunting memory of Margaret Thatcher. 'Yesterday she put herself and the Tories first,' it says.


The Mirror's sister paper in Scotland, the Daily Record, goes for a more dishevelled picture and also opts for the line that it is all in the PM's self-interest. Good headline.


The Courier in Dundee also picks up on the lady is for turning angle.


Blue murder says The Sun ... which really means an 'extravagantly loud outcry'. About right I guess. The paper is confident that the PM will kill off Labour and smash the rebel Tories.


The Scottish Sun has the pick of the tabloid headlines ... reflecting the poll-weariness of the Scots (and maybe the rest of us too). 


The Scotsman reckons the Scots have got their referendum after all. 


Elsewhere in Scotland, The Herald sees the decision as a gamble ... albeit with the dice heavily weighted. 
The Daily Telegraph goes for strong display ... overlaying the masthead on the photo and declaring 'May's bolt from the blue'.


Its columnists are all definitely on the May side ... 'an astonishing act of political courage,' says Philip Johnston. 


Meanwhile Matt, as always, hits the nail on the head.  

The Times reckons it will be a landslide. Its polling info is that there will be a Tory majority of more than 100 as Labour's pro-Brexit supporters will desert.


The FT goes with its usual 'matter of fact' headline ... but the graphic is good. The yellow line shows what happened on the FTSE, the blue line what happened to sterling. Little wonder we are confused. 


Metro has no axe to grind ... so plays it down the middle. Good page, the X in the headline is a nice touch.




Theuses a windswept picture of Mrs May and plays the headline as straight as can be. 




50 days, say City A.M. It brings it home that we haven't got long ... and that any opposition is going to struggle to put forward a meaningful campaign. The blurb that caught my eye, though, was this:



How could you resist?


The Daily Star opts for a Rice Krispies' theme. Well, what else can you do with the word 'snap'?


The regional papers needed a local angle and The Gazette in Teesside uses a quote from Redcar MP Anna Turley that it was time to 'buckle up'. 


The Northern Echo reports on an early casuality ...  Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, who announced he will not be standing because of  'irreconcilable differences' with Jeremy Corbyn. The blurb isn't about that though - it's about an ostrich that legged it in Newton Aycliffe.



Elsewhere, the EDP is clearly suffering - maybe like the rest of us - from election fatigue. But there will be some good stories emerging throughout the country in the next 50 days. It is a real opportunity for regional papers to shine.

Thanks as always to Tomorrow's Papers Today.


Friday, 14 April 2017

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

There were some healthy scores in last week’s quiz. The top solo players were Damon Wake and Liz Gerard with 19, Janet Boyle and Gavin Devine on 18 and Steven Silk on 17. The top team efforts were by the Batstone Collective with 17 narrowly beating the Penman Partnership on 16. Here is this week's quiz - as usual 25 questions about the week. Let me know how you get on.
World at war: Russia, Iran, America on the brink - and terror attacks in Sweden and London on the front page of Metro (Questions 1-7)
1. America dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon on ISIS caves in Afghanistan. The bomb is know as the MOAB, Massive Ordnance Air Burst, but the initials also stand for what nickname?
2. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was criticised for saying: 'We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using _____ _____.’ What are the two missing words?
3. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson failed to gain support for sanctions against Russia at the G7 summit in which city?
4. Who, according to a tweet by US president Donald Trump, is ‘looking for trouble’?
5. Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was attacked on its way to a Champion League quarter final game against which team?
6. What was the name of the 41-year-old father of two who was among the victims of the Stockholm terror attack?
7. Red and white floral tributes on murdered PC Keith Palmer’s hearse spelled out ‘husband' ‘son' ‘brother' ‘uncle' ‘Keith’ and which other message?

8. Dr David Dao was forcibly removed from an 'overbooked' United Airlines flight at which airport?
9. Which theatre production picked up a record nine awards at the Olivier awards?
10. Why has Edward Enninful been in the headlines?
11. What was the name of the horse which won the Grand National?
12. Cedric Anderson shot dead his estranged wife and an eight-year-old boy at a school in which American city?
13. Whose computer did Chris Hutcheson admit hacking?
14. For which American supermarket chain has Victoria Beckham designed a range of clothing?
15. Golfer Sergio GarcĂ­a won the US Masters after a sudden-death victory over who?
16. What is the name of the film, depicting a real life crime and starring Larry Lamb, Joely Richardson and Phil Daniels, that is released today?
17. Which company reported a £1.28 billion annual profit and recorded its first full year of growth since 2009/2010?
18. Ed Sheeran settled a $20million (£13.8m) copyright infringement claim after copying ‘note for note’ a song, which was a hit for X Factor’s Matt Cardle. Name the two songs. Half a point for each.
19. At the High Court Mr Justice Francis ruled that 'with the heaviest of hearts' he would allow doctors to let a boy die with dignity’? Name him.
20. Teenager Manus Deery, shot dead by a British soldier 45 years ago, was 'totally innocent' and did not pose a threat to anyone, a coroner recorded this week. In which city was the boy shot?
21. Which company, that dressed Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe in its heyday, collapsed into administration, putting almost 700 jobs at risk?
22. What did Saffiyah Khan do that led to her picture going viral?
23. Hundreds of refugees and migrants went missing after a large fire ripped through a camp in which town?
24. Why was Querelle sacked?
25. What was the name of the elephant that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh fed at Whipsnade Zoo?

Answers here

Friday, 7 April 2017

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

There were some high scores in last week's newsquiz. It is either getting easier or you are all getting sharper. Team Jamieson scored an incredible 23 - 'the best ever' - and Sophie Jamieson scored 20 on her own! The Penman Partnership scored 21 - which would have won easily on most other weeks. Other high scorers were Janet Boyle with an impressive 18 and Damon Wake on 17. Here is this week's quiz - 25 questions about events in the last seven days. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

The Times front page on the nerve gas attack on children in Syria  - which led to US missile strikes (Questions 1-3)
1. How many Tomahawk cruise missiles did the US launch from destroyers USS Ross and Porter in an attack on the Syrian airfield at al-Shayrat near Homs?
2. In which state was US president Donald Trump when the missiles were launched? 
3. The US missile attack on Syria was a result of president Bashar al-Assad apparently killing more than 75 civilians in Idlib province with a banned toxic nerve gas. What is the name of the gas?
4. Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo accused European Council President Donald Tusk of behaving like a '_____ _____ who is taking it out on the children' for including the territory in negotiating guidelines. What are the missing two words?
5. What is the name of Spanish warship that was asked by a Royal Navy unit to leave Gibraltar’s disputed territorial waters?
6. Within days of Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 a tender was sent out by the Home Office for the redesign and production of a new passport. How much did the tender say was the estimated value of the contract?
7. What happened between the Institute of Technology and Sennaya Ploshchad?
8. What is the name of the BBC journalist who Sunderland manager David Moyes apologised to after warning her: 'You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman’?
9. In what way did Prime Minister Theresa May ignore Foreign Office advice when she met the Muhammad bin Nayef, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia?
10. He was born Stephen Stansbury in Hollywood, is a film producer and director and his many run-ins with the police include killing a mallard with a brick. Who is he?
11. According to the NHS Choices website, news reports that eating what product prevents dementia are 'laying it on a bit thick’?
12. Who said his experience at a disciplinary hearing 'was like sitting through a court in North Korea’?
13. Which company said it 'was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise’?
14. The BBC prematurely announced the death of which veteran broadcaster?
15. Theresa May said she was 'very conscious' of and ‘would take into account’ the fact that governments had encouraged people to buy what?
16. Which company insists its 'riders' are called ‘independent suppliers’ who do not 'clock on', but 'log in' and receive ‘invoices' rather than 'payslips'?
17. Who is still hoping to ride Wonderful Charm in the Grand National despite injuring an arm in a fall on Thursday at Aintree?
18. Nigel Farage accused the EU of behaving like the Mafia but, after being chastised by the chairman of the European Parliament, changed the word Mafia to what?
19. Why was Andreea Cristea in the headlines?
20. Which two organisations did the Church of England accuse of 'airbrushing faith' from Easter egg hunts? Half a point for each
21. Name the former Tory MP, who defected to UKIP, but has now quit to support the Conservative group in the Welsh assembly?
22. What did Jon Platt, a businessman from the Isle of Wight, describe as  ‘outrageous’ and ‘shocking’? 
23. The Labour Party announced a policy to impose VAT on private education fees to raise £1 billion to pay for what?
24. Why did staff call police to the Travelodge at Chertsey?
25. Who surprised nobody by announcing, at the age of 73, he was gay?

Answers here

Friday, 31 March 2017

Time to tackle this week's newsquiz

The runaway top scorer in last week's newsquiz was Faye White with a massively impressive 22. The top team score was 18 by the Penman Partnership, narrowly ahead of Adam Batstone and his Amsterdam gang  Other good scores were 17 by Janet Boyle and 14 by Steven Silk and Len Copland. A special mention goes to Ian McCulloch who does the quiz each week and delivered a personal best of 11.5. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 
Adieu: Metro says goodbye to Europe (Questions 1-5)
1. Theresa May’s letter triggering Article 50 was handed to EU president Donald Trusk by Britain’s permanent representative to the European Union. What is his name?
2. Guy Verhofstadt, chief negotiator for the EU, said of the Brexit letter: ‘I tried to be a gentleman towards a lady so I didn’t even use or think about the use of the word _______’. What is the missing word?
3. Which company announced that it is to establish a new European subsidiary in Brussels to avoid losing business when the UK leaves the EU?
4. How many members of the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of seeking permission to hold a second referendum on independence?
5. What was Theresa May referring to when she said: ‘If people want to have a bit of fun … then so be it’?
6. Westminster Bridge killer Khalid Masood sent a message to a mystery contact on which messaging service, prompting police and politicians to criticise internet companies over their encryption policies?
7. At which university have five students apparently committed suicide since the beginning of the academic year?
8. Claire Blackman, who campaigned against the conviction of her soldier husband for murder, was described by his QC as 'the______ who inspired us throughout’.  What is the missing word? 
9. Why was Rohey Hydara in the headlines?
10. According to the former managing director of Waitrose, Lord Price, how much do you have to pay for a bottle of wine to ‘hit the sweet spot of quality against cost’?
11. Professor Brian Cox has landed a part in which children's television programme?
12. What were confiscated by police from two young sisters in Nottingham as they were on their way to visit their grandmother on Mothering Sunday?
13. Who was charged in France with complicity in the abuse of public funds - a charge that could see her jailed?
14. Where, according to a United Nations study, have at least 307 civilians been killed since February 17?
15. Five-year-old Bradley Lowery, who led England out on to the pitch for their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, supports which football team?
16. Andrew Ridgeley and select family and friends attended the funeral of George Michael at which cemetery?
17. How was drug addict Mario Perivoitos killed during the filming of a BBC documentary?
18. A Twin Squirrel helicopter crashed on its way to Dublin killing all five people on board. Where did it set off from?
19. Which airport - complete with a controversial bronze bust - was named after footballer Ronaldo?
20. Which fashion designer was declared bankrupt over unpaid tax of £6million?
21. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week and said: 'My administration is putting an end to the war on _____’. What is the missing word?
22. Footballer Rio Ferdinand appeared in a moving BBC documentary about losing his wife Rebecca at the age of 34. What was the programme called?
23. Who was pictured with grisly scars and yellow teeth for a cameo appearance in the film 
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword?

24. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry released ten specially-commissioned films as part of which campaign?
25. David Pearce, who won a competition at the age of 15, is the designer of what?

Answers here

Friday, 24 March 2017

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

Last week's newsquiz was clearly a challenging one. The top individual submitted score was a modest 14.5 by Gavin Devine, narrowly ahead of Liz Gerard on 14 and Simon O'Neill on 13. The lowest submitted (I won't name names) was 5.5. The highest team score was by the Penman Partnership with 15, narrowly beating their rivals the Batstone Collective on 14. This week has been a grim one with the news dominated by terrorism striking close to home. How closely have you been following these and other events? Here's the quiz ... as usual 25 questions about the week. Test your knowledge and let me know how you get on. 

Terror in Westminster (questions 1-5)
1. Who told a vigil in Trafalgar Square, paying tribute to the victims of the Westminster terror attack, that: 'Evil and twisted individuals who tried to destroy our shared way of life will never succeed’?
2. What is the parliamentary constituency of junior foreign minister Tobias Ellwood who gave to CPR to police officer Keith Palmer at Westminster? 
3. Police searched a hotel in which city where they believed Khalid Masood had stayed hours before carrying out the attack on Westminster Bridge?
4. Which football club left a scarf on the seat of PC Keith Palmer and will hold a tribute to him at its next home game?
5. Tony Davis, who jumped over a fence to help PC Keith Palmer, is a Team GB coach in which sport?
6. A man armed with a rifle and knives was arrested after driving a car at high-speed at crowds in which other European city?
7. In his last public appearance before his death, former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness said: 'My heart lies in the _____ and with the people of _____.’ What are the two missing locations? Half a point for each.
8. Who said of Martin McGuinness: 'I’m just pleased that the world is a sweeter and cleaner place now. He was not only a multi-murderer, he was a coward’?
9. On being told that Britain would trigger article 50 on March 29, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: 'Half memberships and _________ aren't possible. In Europe you eat what's on the table or you don't sit at the table.’ What is the missing (hyphenated) word?
10. Whose decision to stand as a candidate in the Manchester Gorton by-election was described by Labour as 'entirely self-serving and offers nothing to the local community'?
11. Theresa May posed for a fashion shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz for which magazine?
12. Rock ’n’ roller Chuck Berry, who died at 90, had only one No 1 hit in the UK. What was it called?
13. A wing of the National Gallery was evacuated after a man with a screwdriver attacked a painting by which artist?
14. Where was a 350ft image of Dame Vera Lynn projected to celebrate her 100th birthday?
15. He was born in Stamford, was the son of a taxi driver, studied classics at Cambridge, was awarded the OBE and, despite gaining fame in another field, claimed that he was a born teacher. Who is he?
16. The cost of NHS prescriptions in England is going up by 2.4 per cent from next month – pushing a single prescription up to what price?
17. Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond was knocked out after falling from his bike and hitting his head in an accident in which country?
18. Which company promised an overhaul of its advertising policies in response to a boycott from leading brands including Marks & Spencer and McDonald’s?
19. What, according to Lord Sugar on Twitter, was 'the best birthday present I could have asked for on my 70th'?
20. Who said goodbye to international football after 130 appearances by scoring his 49th goal for his country?
21. Britain announced that it is to ban laptops in cabins of flights arriving in the UK from six countries. Name four of them. Half a point for three, a full point for four.
22. According to a United Nations Agency report which country is the happiest in the world?
23. Research by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health found that what drink was as salty as sea water and contained more salt than a packet of ready-salted crisps? 
24. Matt Tebbutt was named as the new permanent host of which TV programme?
25. For the first time in a decade, Sesame Street is to introduce a new puppet. Her name is Julia and she has which disability?
Answers here

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Terror in Westminster: The front pages

Like thousands of others I followed the evolving terror attack in Westminster glued to Twitter and flicking between Sky News and the BBC. It is on days like this when I still miss being in the newsroom. But despite the digital and broadcast saturation, there is still an crucial role for the newspapers. They may no longer break the news but the analysis, the comment, the perspective and the in-depth writing is to be found in print. There are also, inevitably, some compelling front pages. 



There are also some very powerful photographs and it must have been a tough call in the newsroom choosing which to use. It is close but the defining image for me is the picture of a bloodied Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood giving CPR to a policeman. It is a stunning image. 




The Guardian certainly thinks so too and uses one of the Ellwood images on its front under the headline Terror in Westminster.





The Sun is particularly powerful. It chooses the image of the dead or dying terrorist on a stretcher on Page 1 but uses the Ellwood picture on the back. The paper focuses on the individuals - the attacker and the policeman. Both images are used as full page wipe-outs. Coverage worthy of the story.



The Daily Mail also goes for the terrorist and has the strongest crop. The power of coming tight in on the image is evident. It also uses the picture at the top and the headline at the bottom ... the right way round. 

The other compelling image is that of the terrorist on the ground, a policeman holding a gun to him and two knives on the pavement. This is favoured by Metro which adds the 'We are not afraid' slogan to its titlepiece.


The Times takes the opposite approach. It is the same picture used by Metro but instead of zooming in on the policeman and attacker, it sets the scene.  Look at the policeman running. The photograph captures a sense of perspective ... and chaos. There may be a lot of cobbles but it works. 


The Eastern Daily Press makes a late change once the dead policeman, Keith Palmer, was named. A very sad and strong front.  


The Press and Journal uses a different crop on the picture used by The Times and Metro and updates the number of people who were killed.  


The regional newspapers also see the power of the Ellwood image. The Daily Echo in Bournemouth and the Yorkshire Evening Post are among those who go with it. Strong headline in the YEP too.



In the heat of the moment the i newspaper used a graphic picture of blood trickling from a man's boot. It was a brutal image which I won't show here. The paper soon changed its mind though and produced an 'improved' front page with the Ellwood image. Good call.



The digital Independent goes for a similar approach to Metro - the image, headline and bullets look familiar.


The Daily Express also goes for the same image, muzzing the faces. It might have cropped a bit tighter and sky-ed the picture ... but a strong image nonetheless. 


The Daily Mirror also has the image used by the Sun - the attacker dead or dying on a stretcher in the street - and a powerful headline too. 


The Mirror's sister Paper the Daily Record uses the same image but crops it tighter and goes for a different headline approach.




The Daily Telegraph also goes with the stretcher picture - full width of a broadsheet - but it is driven under the fold by the headline and the bullets. It might have pushed it up the page.


The Daily Star uses the image at the top and, like Metro, adopts the 'We are not afraid' slogan.

My old paper, The Northern Echo, takes a similar approach to The Times but crops a little tighter. 


The Cambridge News goes for an interesting angle ... solidarity with the capital. Not sure why they have done it in black and white though ... especially as the advert is in colour. 


The Birmingham Mail goes for a strong local angle. 


The Evening Standard rightly ran a late edition, showing the crashed car on Westminster Bridge. Had it happened in two months time I guess the editor would have been locked down in the House of Commons rather than in the newsroom. It doesn't matter though - his team know what they are doing.
  

Metro also put together an afternoon online newspaper - free to download. Quick-thinking and a nice job.




The story stretches across Europe too - although the papers don't quite capture the drama in the same way.

It has been a terrible day of tragedy, stoicism and heroism. Well done to the emergency services, to Tobias Ellwood, to the doctors and nurses St Thomas' Hospital and to those who kept us informed. 

Thanks, as always, to Tomorrow's Paper's Today.