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News in brief

TV personality Fiona Armstrong turned down an exclusive deal with Hello! magazine and instead invited the News & Star to cover her wedding, the Carlisle paper reports.
She tied the knot with Major Sir Malcolm MacGregor and said she would prefer the Star and sister paper The Cumberland News to attend instead of the national press corps.

The Northern Echo has introduced an online discussion forum for readers to debate local news and other topics.
The forum is designed to encourage discussion from readers at home and abroad, with topics including sport, news, politics, family history and health.

The World Association of Newspapers today changed its membership rules to allow newspaper companies to directly join the organisation for the first time in its history.
WAN, a federation of national newspaper associations, has up until now represented newspaper companies through their membership in national associations. Membership of individual newspaper executives has been possible since 1994, but not that of companies.

Bill Bryson, the journalist and author, will deliver the annual James Cameron Memorial Lecture at City University on Tuesday evening. The lecture will be entitled ‘Notes from all over’.
The James Cameron Memorial Award for 2005 will be awarded the same night, to Lindsey Hilsum, the International Editor for Channel 4 News. The award is in recognition of her outstanding work as a journalist over many years and, in particular, for her coverage of the Iraq war and its aftermath, which has been in the highest tradition of British journalism.

The Leicester Mercury has thousands of loyal readers – and almost 500 avid listeners, thanks charity Vista, which sets the news stories onto tape for the visually impaired.
Volunteers choose stories, features and letters from three editions of the Mercury twice a week, put the edited highlights on tape and send them out to the homes of nearly 500 blind and visually impaired people in Leicester and Rutland.