It's always good to know who's responsible for something, which is where the flannel panel comes in. It is, of course, merely the list of credits at the beginning of a magazine, but, like all jargon, given a stupid elevating name so people who work in a particular industry can feel superior to people who don't. From its humble beginnings listing the folk responsible for AMIGA POWER (the staff, basically) the flannel panel swelled* to include people we'd never heard of and had no idea what they did. Admin Assistants, for example, or Group Production Controllers. Chief Executives. Circulation Directors. Who the - ? What the - ?
(And what were the "Hello/Goodbye to" bits at the bottom of the column all about, citing industry figures only other industry figures would have recognised? And even then tending to use only their first names like they were close personal friends of ours or something? Hweech.)
But we didn't begrudge the mystery folk their credits. Undoubtedly they were vitally important to the behind-the-scenes running of AMIGA POWER (or if they weren't, were some kind of publishing company bigwig in an Executive Producer sort of way) and were polite to the elderly. We happily included their names, occasionally swapping them round or making them Consultancy Consultants, or leaving them out for a bit so we could put in a joke, secure in the knowledge that, as vitally important contributors to the behind-the-scenes running of AMIGA POWER they'd take everything in good spirits, or be too significant ever to read us.
These stealthy jiggings, in tandem with the recast bottom of the column, replacing Hello/Goodbye (and "special thanks" - ie, mostly contributors we'd rubbishly forgotten. We didn't stop forgetting people, but coughed about it in the normal contrib oblong instead) with the inconsistently-titled Moral Of The Story ("THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS: The media did it. Don't you get it? The media!"; "THIS MONTH WE LEARNED: The true meaning of the verb 'to burn'"; "IT TURNS OUT THAT: Pumpkin and Honey-Bunny don't leave empty-handed"; etc etc)* and the bit where the company's declaration of copyright had the important symbol randomly replaced with things like a squiggle and a heart (technically meaning you could take the mag from the shop without paying, in a technical sense of the word "technically") the flannel panel was rescued from the baffling self-indulgences of head office to take its place rightfully beside ours instead.
You're fired! I mean - hello!