Back Issues 14.10.04

REUTERS MAN BREAKS FREE

Reuters correspondent Jonathan Wright had returned home to Britain after escaping from his captors in Lebanon. Wright was held hostage for 19 days by Lebanese gunmen. He escaped by using a spoon to prise off a plank covering a ventilation hole in the room in which he was held captive. He squeezed through the hole and made a dash for freedom. Wright was pictured on the front of Press Gazette after being reunited with his wife Madiha.

TIMES’ MEN KICKED OUT OF LEBANON

Times executive editor Charles Wilson and Times correspondent Robert Fisk were arrested and expelled from a Lebanon region occupied by the Israelis.Four Associated Newspapers journalists were also expelled.

ALL EYES ON BRUM AS DAILY LIFTS OFF

The regional paid-for newspaper industry was paying close attention to the launch in Birmingham of the Daily News, hailed as Europe’s first free daily. The regional newspaper establishment was nervous that the Daily News might have the same success as the rise of the free weeklies that had captured a big share of the advertising market. Editor David Scott predicted that others would follow the 300,000 distribution daily. He was right, but it took some time. Although the Daily News changed to a conventional weekly in 1991, the rise of the Metro has proved that a free daily can be a success – not only in the UK, but also in the rest of Europe and the US.

PHOTOGRAPHERS CAPTURE CARNAGE

Many journalists were on the spot when the IRA bomb ripped through the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party conference. BBC pictures of Norman Tebbit being dug out of the wreckage, and photographs showing the gaping hole in the Grand Hotel, were the enduring images of the blast. The BBC crew was asked into the hotel by the fire service so its lights could be used as Tebbit was brought to safety. Two Evening Standard photographers, Mike Moore and Mike Fresco, were walking out of the foyer of the Grand when the bomb went off. Express photographer John Downing was in the hotel bar and helped to evacuate people before taking pictures. The Argus, Brighton, devoted its entire front page to a shot of the bombed hotel, and editor David Williams and his journalists were praised for the paper’s in-depth coverage.

LAMB GETS CONFERENCE CHOP

Daily Express editor Sir Larry Lamb was expelled from the Labour Pa rty conference in Blackpool after his paper was the only national to carry a picture of miners’ leader Arthur Scargill being served with a writ. Delegates accused the Express of colluding with the detective and getting him into the conference to serve the writ on Scargill.

WHO NEEDS A NEW BODY?

This front page headline, about the setting up of the Association of British Editors, inspired a spate of humorous letters. Typical was this from Jim Worsdale, of the Evening Echo, Basildon. “A new editors’ body, eh? Is there a spare one around for me, please? The mind’s OK, I think, but getting out a paper every day is exceedingly tiring on an aged frame.”

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