Back Issues 15.07.05

JULY 1990

By Jon Slattery

Sun editor punishes ‘traitor’

Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie got his own back on the hacks at the
Scottish Sun who had supported West Germany in their crucial World Cup
clash with England. He got Scottish editor Steve Sampson to present The
Sun World Cup and 22 medals to the England squad – cruelly knocked out
on penalties – when they landed at Luton Airport. Word had reached
MacKenzie that the “traitors” at the Scottish Sun had donned West
German football kit, helmets, Hitler Youth armbands and hung an Iron
Cross on the newsroom wall when England took to the field. Sampson was
described “as too distraught by the experience to come to the phone”
when Press Gazette enquired about his meeting with the England team.

Reporters rescued after football hooligans attack their car

Disappointed England fans went on the rampage after England’s World
Cup defeat and took out their frustration on the press. In Brighton,
Argus reporter Nicola Joules and photographer Tony Tree were trapped in
their car after they tried to take pictures and report on a gang of 300
soccer hooligans rioting in the city centre. The pair were rescued by
police after the yobs tried to smash the windows of their car.

Turner, Platell and Moore join Montgomery’s Today team

Today editor David Montgomery had shaken up his editorial team. In
came Lloyd Turner, former editor of The Star, as assistant editor
(news). Two women journalists were on the rise. Amanda Platell had been
appointed to the new post of deputy editor and Jane Moore, previously
Royal reporter, had become features editor.

Press Council to be replaced by Press Complaints Commission

The Press Council looked finished after regional editors accepted it
would have to be replaced by the Press Complaints Commission, as
recommended by the Calcutt Committee. Ian Beales, chairman of the Guild
of British Newspaper Editors’ parliamentary and legal committee,
said: “We have accepted with some sadness that it is inevitable that
the Press Council is doomed. The public and parliamentary pressure is
probably irresistable and we have to make Calcutt work.” The editors,
however, were committed to resisting other Calcutt recommendations.

These included proposals that journalists should not persist in
telephoning or questioning individuals if asked to desist; and making
enquiries about the personal lives of individuals without their consent
should be seen as “not generally acceptable”.

New NUJ general secretary hails ‘victory for moderates’

Steve Turner had shocked activists in the NUJ by being elected general secretary.

The
Daily Mirror journalist had stood on a platform opposing proposals for
one media union – covering print and broadcasting – and said his
election was a victory for moderate journalists. The activists got
their revenge by ousting Turner at an annual delegates meeting. He used
his pay-off to start the British Association of Journalists, an
alternative union to the NUJ.

Journalist prosecuted for carrying gun through Heathrow

People editor Richard Stott had described as “ludicrous” the
prosecution of his reporter Roger Insall for taking an imitation gun
through Heathrow Airport.

Insall was cleared by a jury at Isleworth Crown Court after he had
denied he had the gun to test security. He said he had bought it in
connection with a story a year earlier and put it in his camera bag so
his children would not see it.

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