Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo are among the games top journalists will be allowed to play when fresh news is in short supply, according to new guidelines published today. Journalists and editors hate slow news days, when boredom can set in and journalists often succumb to the temptation of artificially refreshing old stories by phoning Francis Maude for a quote, in the hope that he’ll keep them alight. Under new regulations agreed with the NUJ and media owners and controllers, board games will be permitted, under strict supervision, to ease slow news day tensions.
"We at the Guardian already have a board game policy in place,” said production editor Mike Samuels. “It’s heavily weighted towards the old favourites, including Ludo, Snakes and Ladders and Pictionary and of course drafts and chess for the posh columnists. Over in the Girls’ (G2) section they like playing celeb related X Factor type games, but overall we have a strict policy that if it uses a battery or a screen, it’s not allowed. No video games, and certainly no hand helds.”
Similar policies are in place at the other broadsheets, although games of skill like Buckaroo are in contention at the Telegraph, and industrial action was threatened over a disputed referee’s decision related to a Twister semi-final at the Independent.
But journalists across the industry welcome the idea. “You really want a game that’s easy to leave and come back to” said Matt Jenkins, Deputy Editor of the Sun. “You never know when news might break of a lady with extremely big bosoms going to bed with some very famous football players. When that happens, you don’t want your top wordsmiths still wondering whether you can have “X-Ray” in Scrabble or whether Colonel Mustard could have done it with the candlestick.”
The industry has saluted the guidelines as a move in the right direction. “This is a victory for press self-regulation,” said Times Editor James Harding. “It shows the industry is putting its house in order and here at the Times, Jenga standards have never been higher”