Media: The Word on the Street

Article excerpt

WITH BRIAN MacARTHUR, The Times's veteran commentator, cutting down to three days a week from the end of the year, the question of who will take over his weekly Paper Round slot is still to be settled. Philippa Kennedy, editor of Press Gazette, and Jane Reed, a former women's magazine editor, have both filled the slot so far, and others are likely to be tried. But MacArthur will not be giving up his observations of media life completely - he'll be writing once a month; and the free time will enable progress on a book about prisoners of war in the Far East, for which he won a rumoured pounds 200,000 advance.

BRONWEN MADDOX, foreign editor at The Times, was scathing in her war- briefing column about the idea that Osama bin Laden may be trying to make nuclear weapons. It was "a James Bond scriptwriter's dream", she mocked. Pointing out that drawings of the type of bomb mentioned "take seconds to find on the internet", she continued wearily: "It is not news that he was interested." One paper clearly did think it was news and splashed on it the day before Ms Maddox's dismissive remarks. …