Back Issues 21.08.03

COURAGE UNDER FIRE

British freelance photographer Tim Page had been wounded for the third time while covering the war in Vietnam. Page, just 22, who had won a reputation for his courage under fire, suffered serious injuries when two US Phantoms mistakenly fired at an American Coast Guard cutter. Time staffman Peter Forbath told Press Gazette: “His biggest asset is his immense courage. He is a young daredevil with an enormous sense of adventure.” According to the Press Gazette article, Page had persuaded UPI to take him on as a photographer in Laos after travelling from Amsterdam by minibus. On the way he survived a bushwhacking by Burmese bandits, sold ice cream in Bombay, taught English in Bangkok and went broke seven times. Page survived the war and gained legendary status. He featured in Michael Herr’s best selling book Dispatches about journalists covering the conflict in Vietnam.

MIRROR SMASH FIVE MILLION

Sales of the Daily Mirror in the previous month were at an all time record. The paper averaged sales of 5,214,000 in July 1966 – 172,000 up on the same month in 1965.

WEEKLIES GOING STRONG

Newspaper revenuefrom sales and advertising rose by 6 per cent to £74.3m in the first quarter of 1966, compared with the previous year, according to the Board of Trade. But the number of papers sold had dropped from 2.51 to 2.49 billion. Star performers were the weekly papers – up nearly four million to 121,383,000.

CAN’T GET NO R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Journalists, neither by training or conviction, were not fit to claim the status of priests and doctors in refusing to disclose sources of information, former Sunday Telegraph editor Donald McLachlan told the Royal Commission of Inquiry. McLachlan said he did not believe that the public had the same respect for newspaper men that it had for men of medicine or the church. Protection of sources was a
working rule, he said, but only when the journalist had tacitly or explicitly promised not to, could he say unconditionally that he ought not to reveal his sources. McLachlan suggested that the phrase “off the record” should be banned to all those handling official information because it was misleading and mischievous.

PELE PICTURE LEADS THE WAY

This picture, by Eric Shaw, of Brazilian soccer legend Pelé looking over his shoulder as he limped off the pitch injured after the World Cup match against Portugal was the most published shot taken by the Press Association during the 1966 World Cup.

APPRECIATION OF THE PRESS

Fifa president Sir Stanley Rous had thanked the Sports Writer’s Association for providing a daily commentary on the World Cup to the East German media. East German writers were barred from Britain during the World Cup under a Nato agreement, in spite of protests from press organisations.

VENICE VICTORY

The BBC had won the special jury prize in the Venice documentary film festival with Peter Watkins’ The War Game which depicted the aftermath of a nuclear bomb attack – and was banned from British television screens as too horrifying.

AGONY AUNT ON TELEVISION

Marjorie Proops of the Daily Mirror had been asked to present British television’s first agony column in a weekly series of 25 minute programmes called “Ask Proops” for Southern Television.

 

Jon Slattery

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