Back Issues 18.12.03

NOT A FAIR COP

Guardian editor Alastair Hetherington was in hot water with Fleet Street crime correspondents after claiming that CID men had been given cars and free holidays by newspapers to cement good relations. Hetherington, in a lecture, referred to police-press relations having been “a close preserve, above all, of a small ring of Fleet Street crime correspondents”. He said a Royal Commission, 12 years earlier, had heard private evidence of the way relationships were fostered with free cars and holidays for “for favoured CID men”.
But Robert Traini, chairman of the Crime Reporters’ Association, said he had never heard of a newspaper allowing such expenditure and challenged Hetherington to make any evidence supporting his claims public.

HARSH, BUT FAIR? THE JURY ‘S OUT

Author Norman Mailer gave the following description of reporters in a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania. “Reporters are people who aren’t bright enough to be lawyers, strong enough to be actors and don’t have hands steady enough to be surgeons.”

THE STARS RETURN TO SHEFIELD

The sub-editors had returned at the Sheffield Star and the Sheffield Morning Telegraph after an industrial dispute. To prove it, Press Gazette published a picture of the fully staffed subs’ desk. Younger readers must wonder where all the computer terminals are.

AN EARLY MILLER’S TALE

Two of the men responsible for making Emap a major player in the mag-azine world had just been promoted.Robin Miller, right, at 32 had beenmade general managerof Emap’s periodicals division. Appointed as assistant general manager was a 27-year-old David Arculus, left. Miller rose to be chief executive of Emap and Arculus managing director.

CAIRNS QUALITY

David Cairns of the Daily Express was named British Press Photographer of the Year and Press Gazette ran one of his award-winning pictures at the top of the front page. It showed Northern Ireland secretary Willie Whitelaw yawning as he sifted through documents while on a plane. It was captioned “A man with the problems of Ireland on his shoulders”. The other award-winning pictures were taken by Mark Seymour (PA), Barry Batchelor (Reading Evening Post), and Ron Hammond (Racing Information Bureau).

TILT OF THE CAPP

This is how Andy Capp creator Reg Smythe marked the imminentdeparture of Sir Hugh Cudlipp, the man credited with transforming the Daily Mirror into the most successful popular newspaper in the world. Cudlipp was standing down as chairman of IPC at the end of the year. A nice touch in the cartoon were two Cudlipp trademarks – a cigar and champagne glass. In those pre-politically correct days, Andy Capp always had a fag in his mouth. It was later removed so as not to encourage smoking.

BENN’S KILLER PUNCH

An attack on the Sunday Express for publishing “lies” was launched in the House of Commons by Shadow Trade Secretary Tony Benn. He was asked during a debate on the fuel crisis whether he believed what a National Union of Mineworkers official was reported to have said in the Sunday Express. Benn retorted: “I do not believe the Sunday Express because I have read so many lies in it.”

 

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