Back Issues 22.05.03

Victims of Viet Cong

Reuters correspondents Ronald Laramy and Bruce Pigott were killed when the Viet Cong opened fire on their car in Saigon. Also killed in the shooting were Michael Birch of Australian Associated Press and John Cantwell of Time. UPI photographer Charles Eggleson died of his wounds the next day. It meant the death toll among journalists in the Vietnam War had increased to 17.

A well-developed idea

Press Gazette featured an amazing, inflatable darkroom – The Odd Ball. It was the brainchild of Perth Daily News reporter Lloyd Marshall, who worked out the design of the six-panel plastic ball on his living-room floor. His company, West Australian Newspapers, agreed to make the ball, which folded to the size of a loaf of bread and was powered by a vacuum cleaner.

PA cleared after 88 years

An article in Press Gazette marking PA’s centenary took the agency’s side in a row with Benjamin Disraeli which dated back to 1880. Disraeli had denied a PA report after he was defeated as Prime Minister about a meeting of his former Cabinet and their plans as members of the Opposition. Disraeli denied the report in a letter to The Times and his private secretary told PA’s rival, Central News, that the story was fictitious. But the Press Gazette article claimed the story was based on a leak from an MP at the meeting and this was later confirmed by a letter recorded in Robert Blake’s Life of Disraeli.

Spreading the news

The Daily Mail was sponsoring what it billed as “the greatest air race ever”. The race was to be run from the top of London’s Post Office Tower to the top of Empire State Building in New York. It was scheduled for May 1969 with £40,000 in prizes. You could take a scheduled flight or go by your own jet. There was one stipulation in the rules: competitors would have to beat the 16 hours it took Alcock and Brown to cross the Atlantic in 1919. Clement Freud was one of the winners.

Last post for Yorkshire masthead

The Yorkshire Post had a new masthead and dropped the “The” and its Old English design. Dog wrote: “The change does more for the front page than any title change we can recall.”

The golden days

These happy hacks on the Press Gazette cover were covering the Golden Rose of Montreaux TV awards and attending a Thames TV reception. Pictured from left are Derek Meakin, TV Times; Ken Irwin, Daily Mirror; Derek Johnson, New Musical Express; Martin Jackson, Daily Express; Peter Black, Daily Mail; Leonard Marsland Gander, Daily Telegraph; Margaret Pride, Reveille; Harold Shirley Young, TV editor, Fleetway; and Thames’s light entertainer supervisor Philip Jones and press officer George Spackman.

Jacko unveils new look

TV Times editor Peter Jackson had unveiled a bold new look for the magazine. The 72-page dummy was said by Press Gazette to reveal “a much wider field of coverage than any programme journal has yet attempted” and was like The Sunday Times Magazine in style.

Mercury defies demo

The Leicester Mercury was the target of a demonstration about its coverage of student sit-ins and immigration. Demonstrators blocked the way to office doors waiving placards and shouting slogans. Editor George Fortune said the paper would continue to condemn the “immature” behaviour of the students and support a policy of restraining immigration until present immigrants could be integrated.

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