Back Issues 21.01.05

BY JON SLATTERY – JANUARY 1975

Industrial disputes rock nationals
 
Fleet Street was in a state of industrial crisis.

Action
by the NGA and Natsopa print unions had cost 800,000 copies of The Sun
and Daily Telegraph; and 1,300,000 copies at the Daily Mirror .

Press
Gazette said the disputes were about fear, not money – “the perceptive
and accurate fear, that Fleet Street jobs will evaporate like steam on
a cold window when the technological revolution bites into national
newspaper production”. The Daily Express commented: “What many people
may find bewildering is that any body of men – employers or employees –
should commit suicide simply because they are afraid of dying.”

 

Hijackers’ conversations broadcast

The
Home Office, police and airport authorities were considering what to do
after broadcasters carried conversations between a hijacked aircraft
and the Heathrow control tower. David Nicholas, then ITN deputy editor,
defended the broadcasts, stating that the hijacker was acting alone and
no-one could pass messages to him.

“Obviously we bore in mind
the danger of imperilling lives, but we were satisfied that there was
no danger of this,” said Nicholas. ITN claimed it had been deluged with
calls from people monitoring the conversations on their radios.

 

Jacobson bids farewell to Daily Mirror 

With
hands raised, IPC Newspapers editorial director Sydney Jacobson said
goodbye to the Daily Mirror newsroom on his retirement.

Jacobson was The Mirror’s political editor for 10 years before editing first the Daily Herald and then the pre- Murdoch Sun.

 

Peace News at war with Telegraph deputy

Peregrine
Worsthorne, deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph, shouted “absolutely
disgraceful” and stormed out of the Granada “What the Papers Say”

awards
lunch. The walk-out happened after three journalists from Peace News –
Duane Shelly, John Hyatt and Howard Clark – were presented with the
Scoop of the Year award by then Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe.

Shelly
made a speech stating that Peace News advocated the withdrawal of
British troops from Northern Ireland and a united Ireland. She said
Hyatt was facing charges for inciting troops to leave Northern Ireland.

 

Tavistock Gazette closes after more than a century

The
independent Devon weekly, the Tavistock Gazette , closed after
publishing for 117 years. The company blamed falling advertising
revenues and the disruption to production caused by the threeday week
earlier in the year for the closure.

 

Irish urged to shun British papers

Dublin’s tabloid Sunday World had launched a “Boycott British newspapers”

campaign.
In a front page message to readers it urged them, if they wanted a
second Sunday paper, to buy other Irish papers like the Sunday
Independent or the Sunday Press rather than imports from Britain.

 

Press Gazette puts its Foot in it

Michael
Foot, then the secretary of State for Employment, had written to Press
Gazette in response to a letter about new trade union legislation which
urged the Government to ban the closed shop (where employees had to be
members of a union).Foot responded that a law banning closed shops
would be unenforceable, lead to industrial unrest and cause individuals
to lose the co-operation of their workmates.

His letter ended
with a quote from Aristotle: “It is custom alone which gives law the
validity which secures obedience.” Foot added: “If I am on the side of
such angels, can I be wrong?”

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