Back Issues 22.04.05

APRIL 1975

BY JON SLATTERY

Mail rescues Vietnamese orphans

Daily Mail editor David English was pictured on the front of Press
Gazette holding one of the 100 Vietnamese orphans the paper was
airlifting to Britain.

“This was not a stunt,” he said in a PG interview. “It was a great
newspaper enterprise. We know – and this exercise proved – that a
newspaper can get things done faster than anyone else because it has a
team that is used to getting out a paper every 24 hours. With that team
behind you, you can do anything if you set your mind to it.”

Janet Street-Porter appointment prompts industrial action

Janet Street-Porter has never been far from controversy. Her
appointment as deputy editor of Time Out and editor of its consumer
guide, Sell Out, prompted an NUJ strike. The NUJ chapel objected to her
appointment to two jobs and to the fact that it had not been consulted
about her appointment.

Publisher-editor Tony Elliott said Street-Porter had been the
outstanding candidate for the jobs. “There was a very large number of
depressing applications,” he said. “Janet, with her experience and
contacts, was in a different league from all the others.”

Mirror Group threatens closures

Industrial strife in Fleet Street was so bad the print unions were
warned by Mirror Group Newspapers that the Sunday People and Reveille
could be closed if strike action continued. Sunday People FoC Denis
Cassidy sent a telegram to Prime Minister Harold Wilson stating: “The
journalists of the Sunday People wish to place on record their alarm at
the threatened closure of this publication, which would deprive 13
million readers of a major, campaigning newspaper, and urge the Prime
Minister to intervene.”

Union conference picketed

The NUJ’s annual delegates’ meeting in Cardiff had to be delayed for
a day after striking electricians put up a picket line outside the
conference venue, the City Hall Assembly Rooms.

After the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunication and
Plumbers’ trade union refused to let NUJ delegates cross the
picket line, the ADM was switched to a Cardiff hotel.

Bob Satchwell wins promotion at the Post

A 26-year-old Bob Satchwell was promoted to associate news editor of
the Lancashire Evening Post, from district chief reporter. He went on
to work for News of the World and edit the Cambridge Evening News. He
is now executive director of the Society of Editors.

Yorkshire Post move for Chris Oakley

In another move, Chris Oakley switched to the Yorkshire Post as
assistant editor after five years on sister title, the Yorkshire
Evening Post.

Oakley went on to edit the Liverpool Echo and then led the
management buy-out at the Birmingham Post and Mail. His company,
Regional Independent Media, ended up acquiring the Yorkshire Post and
Yorkshire Evening Post.

The best of times, and the worst

Britain had three or four of the world’s worst newspapers and two or
three of the best, Sunday Times editor Harold Evans told an audience in
New York. Evans, picking up the International Editor of the Year award,
said the press was held in low esteem and should be “more at one” with
the public.

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