Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pint Taken at Editors' Conference

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pint Taken at Editors' Conference

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alastair Gilmour

The country's media chiefs descend on Newcastle this weekend and will be greeted by a special beer.

National, regional and local newspaper editors, along with their broadcasting equivalents ( including some of the biggest names in British journalism ( will attend the Society of Editors' conference at the Copthorne Hotel.

It is hosted by the organisation's national president, Neil Benson, editorial director of Trinity Mirror Regional Newspapers, and a former editor of the Evening Chronicle.

Beer and socialising have been journalists' after-hours soulmates since the world's first regular newspaper, Avisa Relation Oder Zeitung, was produced in Strasbourg in 1609. And, there are some who would argue that pubs are still the best source of news stories ( if only we could remember them.

"I am delighted to be bringing the conference to a dynamic city where I worked and lived during an exciting stage of my career," says Neil Benson. "We have invited North Tyneside-based Mordue Brewery to produce a commemorative ale, which, as it's brewed by one of the nation's best micro-breweries, should be an impressive welcome for all the delegates."

Editors' Ale (4.3pc alcohol by volume) is a pale amber-coloured, well-balanced bitter with a very hoppy, fruity aroma and a long, dry finish. It's a very good example of the fusion of Mordue's modern style and cask ale's traditionally-crafted heritage ( but there is something missing. Pedants, pragmatists and pedagogues will have taken note of the lack of an apostrophe in our photograph. In grammatical terms, this denotes the "plural possessive" and is one of the thrusts of the best-selling book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves (the zero tolerance approach to punctuation). Author, Lynne Truss, says it's a publication for people who get upset by the misuse of commas and semi colons and those who liken themselves to the boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, "except that we can see dead punctuation".

She is in regular contact with The Apostrophe Protection Society, inaugurated in 2001 with the specific aim of preserving the correct use of the much-abused punctuation mark. It reports on written material such as "banana's for sale; menu's printed", and "MOT's while you wait".

Its precision police will have no doubt surrounded the Copthorne.

Punctuation aside, beer's association with newspapers doesn't extend very far from the groundforce's liking for the stuff, but there are a few exceptions. The Norwich Evening News, for example, teamed up with its local Wolf Brewery to produce Newshound 2000 which, in a limited-edition bottling, celebrated the millennium, though it has since been retained as a real ale regular.

"We wanted something special to mark the occasion and Wolfe has produced a super beer," said News deputy editor, Roy Strowager. …

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