Roy Greenslade: Lessons to draw from News of the World’s £800,000 payout | Media | guardian.co.uk
From thereon Driscoll was a marked man within the office. Anyone who has worked for any time on a tabloid knows what can happen in such circumstances. It’s all a matter of personality.
Once an editor takes against someone it is very difficulty – usually impossible – to turn things around. It’s a hierarchy in which the editor’s word is law.
I’ve known reporters make far worse mistakes than Driscoll’s and get away with it. On the other hand, I’ve known reporters suffer for lesser offences too. It’s all a matter of whether one’s face fits.
I recall an occasion at The Sun when a reporter, Kit Miller, had claimed to have obtained an interview with Julio Iglesias only to admit – once ordered by the features supremo, Wendy Henry, to write it – that he had not spoken to the singer after all.
He was summoned by the editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, who began to harangue Miller so loudly we could hear across the office.
“You’ve let your colleagues down, you’ve let Wendy down, you’ve let Roy down, you’ve let me down, you’ve let the paper down and, most of all, you’ve let yourself down.”
At this point, the now red-faced MacKenzie paused to take a breath and Miller saw his moment, saying: “You’re going to bollock me now, aren’t you?”
MacKenzie, amazed at Miller’s chutzpah, fell back laughing and moments later told him to get out and not to do it again.