Back Issues 25.03.04

AWARD FOR PREDICTION

The Guardian’s Victor Zorza was named journalist of the year in the IPC National Press Awards for “achieving the astonishing feat ofpredicting the invasionof Czechoslovakia”.

PAWN’S FATE UNDECIDED

No, it’s not an Ipcress File-era Michael Caine lookalike contest; it’s brainy Sunday Times editorial executives playing chess minutes before deadline. Apparently, editor Harold Evans (right) scented trouble when he glanced at a page proof of the paper’s chess feature. So he called for a chess set and played out the moves with assistant news editor Mike Hamlyn (far left) and features managing editor Ron Hall (centre). Good thing too as, according to Press Gazette, “the penultimate move revealed an ambiguity in the fate of a pawn”.

TARIQ ALI SCOOP FOR WORLD IN ACTION

A team from current affairs programme World in Action pulled off a coup by getting film of Tariq Ali’s return to Pakistan at a time of civil disorder. The operation was led by Gus McDonald, then editor of WiA’s investigation bureau. Ali and the WiA team spent four days in Pakistan and arrived on the day President Ayub Khan resigned.

WHITE’S WINNING RIDE

Daily Sketch chief photographer Geoff White, brandishing a fine moustache, was pictured riding pillion on a motorbike before winning a
dummy run of the Daily Mail Post Office Tower to Empire State London to New York race. Competitors used three helicopters, five motorcycles, a Maserati, an E-type Jaguar, a Rolls-Royce, a Ford Falcon and two Boeing jets. White’s winning time was nine hours and eight minutes.

EVERYONE FOCUSES ON NIXON

Their lenses may have been shorter but the massed ranks of British and international press photographers and cameramen made a
formidable sight outside 10 Downing Street. They were waiting for US President Richard Nixon, who was on an official visit to Great Britain.

DISS TAKEOVER IS NO TURKEY

Colin Simpson, a former Sunday Times Insight journalist, acquired the Diss Express in East Anglia. Simpson, who claimed to have “been driven out of London by the parking meter”, beat off competition from Eastern Counties Newspapers to acquire the title from Sir John Mann. His former Sunday Times colleagues came to his aid. Designer Edwin Taylor produced a dummy of the new paper, for which his fee was a turkey big enough to feed 10 people.

UNION MAN HONOURED BY QUEEN

NUJ general secretary Jim Bradley received his OBE, awarded in the New Year Honours, from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

A TASTE OF YORKSHIRE

Copies of the Yorkshire Post were flown to Texas – with contents bills and posters – to boost a craze for fish and chips. Texas millionaire Carl B Zucker, who had plans to open 1,000 fish and chip shops in the US, demanded the product should be wrapped authentically. The Post agreed to co-operate. There was only one snag. US hygiene regulations banned the use of newsprint as a
food wrapping. So the Post had to be printed on treated paper.

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