Back Issues 22.07.05

JULY 1975

BY JON SLATTERY

Mail’s bash for Freemantle

Daily Mail editor David English was pictured on the front of Press
Gazette, pedalling a rickshaw down Carmelite Street. The passenger was
foreign editor Brian Freemantle, who was retiring from the paper to
write books. The Mail certainly knew how to throw a leaving bash in
those days. Staff donned fancy dress as English conducted a This Is
Your Life-style farewell to Freemantle.

Diarist Nigel Dempster, wearing mask, cape, tights and a t-shirt
with “Captain Schizoid” emblazoned on it, jumped onto the foreign desk.
Other staffers dressed variously as the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee,
Vietcong soldiers and British Rail guards. Certainly beats the
traditional carriage clock and a few pints down the office local.

Fleet Street chapels rush to beat 10 per cent ceiling

NUJ chapels in Fleet Street disrupted production of their newspapers
as they tried to negotiate pay increases ahead of plans by the
Government to impose a 10 per cent ceiling on all rises. In these days
of low inflation, the annual pay rises look enormous. Daily Mirror
journalists had turned down an offer of 20 per cent, while The Sunday
Times had accepted 22 per cent and The Times, 17 per cent. Journalists
on The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph were demanding a 25 per
cent increase. The negotiations with individual papers came after talks
between the NUJ and the Newspaper Publishers Association had broken
down.

Regional news agencies ask nationals for more

It could be a story written today. Regional news agencies were
complaining about the low rates paid for stories by the national press.
In a letter to national editors, Reuters, the BBC and ITN, leading
agencies complained that they could not continue to provide a
comprehensive news service if rates did not improve. It was signed by,
among others, Raymonds News Agency of Derby, Solent, Caters, Wessex and
the Southern News Service. “This is the first time that such collective
action has been taken,” they wrote. “It is grossly unfair to expect
national calibre stories for less than a fiver.”

MP bugged by magazine

The New Scientist had shown how MPs could be bugged in the House of
Commons. It enlisted the help of MP Jeremy Corbyn, who smuggled a
listening device into Parliament. He then used it to bug a conversation
with another MP, Tom Torney, which was picked up by New Scientist
journalist Enid Broderick 350 yards away on Westminster Bridge. Torney
was not amused. He said although he sympathised with what the magazine
was trying to do, it had gone about it in the wrong way. New Scientist
stressed the purpose was to show that even tight security was no
defence against bugging.

Whoosh – it’s supersonic Womersley

The Daily Mail’s John Womersley became Fleet Street’s first
supersonic news editor when he joined Concorde for its first endurance
flight to Bahrain. Womersley’s copy, based on the outward flight, was
used in the Mail’s first edition under a Bahrain dateline. He was back
in time to file from Heathrow for a report which went into the Mail’s
third edition. “It seemed remarkable that in seven hours 43 minutes of
flying time we had been 7,000 miles, when you consider it could take
longer to get a reporter from London to the West Country,” he said.

New magazine for pub landlords

Parkway Publications announced it was planning to launch The
Publican in September as a monthly magazine. The Publican is now a
weekly and was recently sold by Quantum to UBM for more than £20m.

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