Back Issues 07.10.04

NEWS TEAM OUT IN MINUTES

The Guildford bombing on 5 October took place only a few yards from the Surrey Daily Advertiser offices. A team of reporters , photographers and subs worked through the weekend to produce a special Monday dawn edition.

RISING SUCCESS OF THE SUN

There was no secret behind the spectacular success of The Sun – which had seen sales of the paper rise from 750,000 to three million aday in three years – according to promotionsmanger Colin Jones. He told a conference in Stockholm that “page for page” The Sun was a far better newspaper than any of its competitors. Jones also said the paper had led the way in increasing pagination. “Now 28-page tabloids are normal and 32 pages common,” he told the conference. The Sun now regularly runs to morethan 50 pages on a weekday and more than 70 ona Saturday.

A NEW LOOK IN FLEET STREET

Three Fleet Street newspapers had new editors. Michael Christiansen was the new editor of the Daily Mirror. He succeeded Tony Miles who had been made editorial director. Bill Deedes had taken over the chair at the Daily Telegraph from Maurice Green and Alastair Burnet had been appointed to the editorship of the Daily Express.

PM SNUBS WATCHDOG

Prime Minister Harold Wilson snubbed the Press Council, predecessor to the Press Complaints Commission, by spurning its invitation to provide it with evidence of an alleged anti-Labour “smear” campaign by the press. Wilson claimed the Royal Commission on the Press would be a better vehicle to investigate his allegations. Wilson did, however, have kind words for all the reporters who had followed his election campaign around the country. During a speech at a meeting in Northampton, Wilson said: “Whatever I say about the press, the chaps going round with me have a hell of a time going all over the place, and I think they have reported me fairly so far.” He quipped: “For God’s sake don’t print that or you will get sacked.”

BROADCASTERS ON THE PICKET LINE

Famous ITN broadcasters were pictured on the picket line in a pay dispute. Among the well known faces taking industrial action were Gordon Honeycombe (above left), Ivor Mills and Desmond Hamill. The strike ended in those inflationary days with a 19 per cent pay rise for the journalists. Also on the front, Press Gazette reprinted a Sunday Times graphic showing how newspapers divided their election coverage. It showed the massive pro-Labour stance of the Daily Mirror, while the Daily Mail, Express and Daily Telegraph gave far more space to Tory speeches.

EDITORS QUIT THE UNION

Some editors had resigned from the NUJ because of a change in the rules which meant they were no long exempt from taking industrial action. At one time editors were allowed to be “associate” members of the NUJ and were expected to bring out their papers, even if the journalists were in dispute. Under the rule change, editors were told that in the event of the strike they should do no more than their “usual duties”.

33 MILLION COPIES SOLD

Pravda, started in St. Petersburg at the suggestion of Lenin, was claiming the world’s biggest newspaper sale – a spectacular 33 million copies. But as Press Gazette pointed out, it probably had the smallest pagination of any mass market newspaper.

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