Back Issues 04.02.05

By John Slattery
Williams goes West

A reshuffle of Northcliffe editors saw Barrie Williams move from the
Nottingham Evening Post to the Western Morning News in Plymouth, where
he replaced Colin Davison who went into Northcliffe management. Graham
Glen, editor of the Gloucester Citizen, was switched to Nottingham to
succeed Williams. Ten years on, both editors are still in situ and
Davison is a managing director of Northcliffe’s Gloucester Echo and

Media circus thwarted by abrupt end to Di court case

It was going to be the media trial of the year. Princess Diana was
to give evidence in a case against the Mirror Group and a gym owner for
taking and publishing sneak pictures of her working out. The Daily
Express had predicted that the courtroom battle would have “made the OJ
Simpson trial look like a sideshow”.

Much to the disappointment of the press, the case was settled at the
11th hour with apologies from the Mirror Group, gym owner Bryce Taylor
and the return of the pictures. There was speculation that a third
party had stepped in to pay £500,000 to settle the case.

IPC and NatMags settle copyright dispute

A costly court case between IPC and NatMags was avoided after IPC
agreed to change the look of its Home & Ideas monthly magazine.

NatMags claimed the IPC title infringed copyright of its House
Beautiful because it looked too similar. Ironically, last month IPC
lost a High Court claim that Highbury had infringed its copyright by
allegedly copying parts of Ideal Home in its magazine Home.

Sun wipes sponsors out of the frame

The Sun hit back after Premiership football club Aston Villa had
banned its photographers from the ground. It removed sponsorship logos
from Villa shirts in pictures carried in the paper. The Sun showed
striker Dwight Yorke, but used a computer to rub out the club’s
sponsor, yoghurt maker Muller. Sun photographers were banned in a row
over clubs trying to impose copyright restrictions on the press.

Dublin reporter shot after investigating underworld

Veronica Guerin had been shot in the thigh and was in hospital in
Dublin after her interview with a man, believed to be a gangland boss
behind a £2.8m bank raid, was published in the Sunday Independent .
Guerin recovered from the attack and continued her coverage of the
criminal world. She was murdered in what was believed to be a gangland
contract killing in 1996.

O’Keeffe contempt case collapses

Granada TV journalist Susan O’Keeffe had won a battle in the Irish
courts not to reveal her sources. O’ Keeffe was accused of being in
contempt of a tribunal after she refused to reveal a source for a World
in Action programme on malpractices in the Irish beef industry. The
judge directed that she should be found not guilty.

Messing with the Mafia

Scotsman editor Andrew Jaspan was heading south to become editor of
The Observer . His mission was to take on the “metropolitan Mafia” in
London. Jaspan told Press Gazette : “There is nothing worse than
journalists in London talking about parochialism in the regional press.
Some of them represent the worst excesses of parochialism.”

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