Old Bailey jury finds former Sun head of news not guilty of police corruption; NYTimes.com looks at sports betting in the US
Morning Brief: The Washington Post updates once again its ‘Classic’ app, but this time includes improved app crash reporting to get to the cause of reader complaints
The wheels of justice turn… OK, sometimes they don’t turn at all. Today, The Sun’s former head of news, Chris Pharo, was found not guilty of corrupting a police officer by an Old Bailey jury. That same police officer, however, had previously pleaded guilty and is serving an 18 month sentence, something the jury that let Pharo off the hook was not told.
During the trial, the jury heard that between 2002 and 2011, the officer involved in the case received around £10,000 from the Murdoch owned tabloid. Pharo, as head of news, would have been the one, prosecutors allege, who authorized the payouts. Those payouts were requested, the prosecution allege, by reporter Jamie Pyatt, who denies requesting money to bribe police officers for tips.
“In short, he became the Sun’s secret paid informant within Surrey police,” the prosecutor told the court.
This ends the prosecution of Murdoch journalists in the UK, leaving things pretty much as they were before this whole, ugly scandal began. Even Rebekah Brooks is back, now head of News International.
The prosecutions of journalists and police was conducted under Operation Elveden, a probe into cash for stories. Out of 29 investigations into journalist misconduct, only one conviction ever was achieved, while 26 police officers were found or plead guilty. Juries, it seems, find those that take the money guilty, while those doing the bribes are let go. As the Jaguar commercial says, it’s good to be bad.
This morning the NYT is dedicating a major portion of its home page over to an expose concerning sports gambling, and this morning’s front page features a story on an FBI investigation into Draft Kings after one of its employees won $350,000 on a rival site.
The employee of Draft Kings denies having an advantage, though the sports fantasy company has now banned its employees from gambling on sports on rival websites.
The NYT web feature today is not so much about fantasy sports companies, as the illegal betting parlors that exist to allow betting on sports in the US.
“Today, young men, the most susceptible to becoming problem gamblers, are using the Internet to risk thousands of dollars daily on sports without the legally mandated safeguards that casinos and regulated sports books must follow. In that regulatory vacuum, fantasy sports now finds itself enmeshed in a scandal over whether employees at leading sites used inside information to gain an unfair players’ advantage,” the NYT report says.
The feature was authored by Times journalists Walt Bogdanich, James Glanz and Agustin Armendariz.
The report reviews the laws passed to stop online sports gambling, which the Times reporters conclude, “(b)y almost any measure, the law has been a spectacular failure.”
Earlier this year The Washington Post released a new iOS version of its news app, one originally launched for the Kindle. The old app, which was really two apps in one – one part the web, one part a replica edition – became the ‘Classic’.
But since the release of iOS 9, the Post development team has struggled to work out the bugs on the app. The first iOS 9 related update came out on September 22, follow by another two days later designed to fix crashes with the replica edition portion. Additional updates came out on October 8, and another yesterday.
This latest app update may not fix the problem, but it might lead to the ultimate fix as the app description says that in addition to “crash fixes” the update also contains “improved crash reporting.”
The problem has been that while readers are writing reviews saying the app is crashing on their device, their complaints lack much usable information. Reviewers rarely say what model iPad they were using, what version of iOS is installed, etc. Is the problem caused by a lack of memory in older models? incompatibility with older operating systems? Who knows, which is why better crash reporting could help.