Neville Thurlbeck: Notes on Leveson and the Need for Tabloid Revolution
It is not just our public face which needs modernising. Many tabloid newspapers are antediluvian to their hidden cores and management styles are of another age.
I still cringe at the memory of one poor freelance who was on a shift and a little late with some copy. In full earshot of the office, the executive walked over to her desk and told her: “Put your coat on, go home, don’t come back.”
Another gimlet-eyed executive told a well respected staffer being sent on a big buy-up: “Your wife’s just had a baby, you have a big mortgage, don’t f*** up! You need this job.”
And I am unable to forgive News International for making one of our most respected and valued colleagues redundant when his young wife was battling cancer.
Staff brutality like this takes place on a regular basis. When I was news editor, I was asked to attend several News International seminars organised by HR where the chief theme was, “How to Sack Your Staff and Not Give Them a Pay-off”.
The irony of that, given my current position, is not lost on me!
I console myself with the memory of being called as a witness to one sacking and telling them, in front of their intended victim, exactly what I thought of their bogus ‘disciplinary’.
I expect Leveson to push all our problems to the surface and we ignore them at our peril.