The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
It's not my byline, no.
-- but it's John Coles' story, so he would have handled it. He might have rung me and asked me for a number for an agent to put the story to at some point, as is often the case at the paper.
Not that I recall, no, I don't think I did. I might have been involved at some point speaking to the agent if that was 2007 --
I didn't observe that, no.
I worked there for three months, yes. I was a very junior member of staff at that point.
I have no knowledge of phone hacking at the Sun.
To the best of my knowledge, no.
It is bizarre. That's the name of the column.
We don't know. Maybe I'll give Mr Richie a ring afterwards and ask what precisely --
You could argue that, yes.
We wouldn't lob it in. We place our stories, Mr Jay.
No, I don't, and we take it seriously. We called the PR, we checked it out, and he said he had no issue with the story. He didn't want to ring the person, Sarah, directly about it because he said it sounds like her. He said, "It wouldn ...
I share your frustrations and I find it incredible that we're discussing this, you know.
It's such an insignificant part of the story. It was one paragraph at the bottom. Who knows? I think Mr McKenzie pointed out that there will be some issues in these stories. It's a trivial story. He injured himself in a restaurant when he was drunk.
Well, I would disagree that they weren't true. To put it in context to start off with, we do receive a lot of crank calls. At that time in particular, Scott Mills on Radio One was ringing up regularly trying to broadcast spoof calls. Every time he did that ...
I see the argument, yes, I do, and on the scale of health stories, you know, it is a very small issue, but I think because he's such a famous person in the country, we have a duty to report news to our readers.
I understand that argument, but he is one of the most famous actors in the country and he had turned up in a public place in front of other members of the public and I think it was our duty to investigate that story because it might have been for ...
I don't want it to seem like I'm passing the buck. I've dealt with my member of staff about it and I've discussed the public interest issue there, in that case, because I realised it was sensitive, because I know Hugh Grant doesn't particularly like ...
It's the balancing act we've talked about already. We were given the tip-off from a reliable source and we put the call in to Hugh Grant's agent. He came back -- I think, from my memory, it was about two days later. They confirmed the story although they ...
I was involved in that story, yes. It was a member of my staff who received the call about that story from an agency.
Yeah, that's fair to say. You have to remember my position. I'm a reporter and an editor so -- last week, for example, I wrote two front page stories, a feature, which is 1,200 words in the paper, as well as six double page spreads in the week ...
It's quite difficult to put a percentage on it. If you look at the column, on average I'll write ten stories a day, so over a week 60 stories, 3,000 stories a year. There's a lot of material that goes through. The lead on Bizarre, for ...
Seek corroboration, check with the PR, and often -- and in a lot of the cases now, I'll speak directly to the person involved. That's one thing I really want to point out, is that I do have a close relationship, and my staff do, with a lot of ...
We always ask the questions to make sure we're comfortable with that. Ask rigorous questions.
That's right. Almost all of my contacts are paid directly into the bank, yes.
That's correct. On page 2 and at the top of the Bizarre column and we have our email address at the bottom of all the stories we write on news and the Twitter address appears at the top of my page as well.
I still hear it mentioned, yes. Although I'm a Hibernian FC fan, and we're not quite as good.
I think that's true, yeah. There's a huge pressure on me to deliver. There's an old analogy in the Sun newsroom about working for the Sun is like playing centre forward for Manchester United. If you don't score, then you get the hairdryer treatment and get ...
I absolutely do, yes.
You can't help not monitoring. Yes, I do, yeah. I take some of it with a pinch of salt.
We do have time. It's a combination of those things. The way we are in newspapers at the moment, those are big considerations for us now, to consider social networking, social media. We do have pressure with deadlines -- there's no escaping that -- but we do take time to ...
As I explained, it was a balancing act and I weighed it up and I spent a lot of time thinking about it because I was very sensitive to that issue and I think I was -- I made the right decision on that one. I really believe that.
It wasn't, no, not before publication. At the time the family happened to be in LA. These stories move very quickly as well. If I hadn't got it in the paper that night, then it would have appeared on Twitter and we would have lost the exclusive.
We did put the story to them beforehand, yes, and I spoke to the PR involved and through mutual friends of the band as well, I let them know that this story would be running.
Yeah, I understand that argument wholeheartedly, and it's something I pained over at the time. Intrusion into grief is something I take very seriously indeed, you know, and I weighed that one up. The picture was taken at the wake, it was taken by a barman in the pub ...
Yes. I think it probably is, yes.
Free speech weighs heavily in the balance for me, yes. I think we do take it very responsibly and we act ethically and we act responsibly at all times, yes?
Some of it is trivial, but at the same time, in my career at the Sun I've interviewed an alleged rape victim who bravely waived her right to anonymity. Last week I did an interview with a victim of domestic violence, so sometimes I write about trivial issues, sometimes ...
I would say that, yes.
It's the nature of celebrity, I think, that we will write stories about people in the public eye, yes.
That's often the case, yes.
Sorry, I don't really understand the question you're asking.
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