Back Issues 27.05.04

IPC’S SUN BLUNDER

It was one of the biggest blunders in Fleet Street history. IPC, owner of Britain’s biggest-selling national newspaper, the Daily Mirror, decided to offload its sickly stablemate, The Sun. Robert Maxwell was in the frame as a buyer but eventually it fell into the hands of Rupert Murdoch in the autumn of 1969. He and his editorial team under editor Larry Lamb transformed it to replace the Mirror as the country’s best-selling daily when its sales soared to more than four million in 1978.

ALL QUIET IN THE NEWSROOM

The Daily Mirror newsroom was deserted apart from night news editor Dan Ferrari (left) and night picture editor John Trievnor after a
May Day strike by print union Sogat stopped publication of the nationals in London. The picture was taken by the Mirror’s Arthur Murray.

REDHEAD BIDS FAREWELL TO GUARDIAN

Brian Redhead was pictured making a leaving speech as he gave up his post as northern editor of The Guardian to take on the editorship of the Manchester Evening News. This was before he became a national name as a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. To the immediate right of Readhead in the picture is the then editor of The Guardian, Alastair Hetherington.

PHOTOGRAPHER IN VIETNAM BLAST

British photographer Tim Page was recovering in an American Army hospital in Vietnam after receiving serious head injuries when a
Vietcong booby trap exploded. He was on an assignment for The Times. Page’s main concern “was getting his film to New York”, Press Gazette reported.

MAIL WINS ‘BIGGEST’ LIBEL AWARD

US magazine Newsweek paid at least £25,000 in libel damages to Associated Newspapers after it ran a story suggesting the Daily Mail was likely to cease publication. The £25,000 was paid into court but the settlement was in excess of that and thought to be the biggest ever libel damages award made to a British newspaper.

FLYER SHOWS NEWS CRASH DAMAGE

Just 24 hours after crashing his plane in the Daily Mail’s transatlantic air race, amateur flyer Ben Garcia from New Jersey was pictured in the offices of the Evening News. He was showing a 10ft strip of canvas from his wrecked Piper Colt aircraft, which crashed in a
Pennsylvanian chicken farm, to Evening News deputy editor Don Boddie. Garcia had completed the race from London to New York on a scheduled flight and roller skates. A bottle of champagne was opened to thank him for providing such good copy.

EYE SETTLEMENTS CRITICISED

There was criticism in the Commons of libel settlements against Private Eye that extracted promises that the litigants would never be mentioned in the magazine again. The settlements were said to be by editors David Marks of the Daily Express, Nigel Lawson of The Spectator and Paul Johnson of the New Statesman. Labour MP Michael Foot told the House there should be “no compacts preventing free debate”.

NUJ BLOCKS JENKINS COLUMN

The NUJ chapel was refusing to allow the Daily Mirror to employ outspoken ASTMS union leader Clive Jenkins as a
columnist because he was not a journalist. The issue was seen in the wider context of non-journalists being drafted into Fleet Street as “specialists” – a move then strongly opposed by the NUJ. The union argued that it had an agreement with the Mirror that the newspaper would employ only qualified, full-time journa

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