Back Issues 27.05.05

MAY 1975

BY JON SLATTERY

Scotland daily launched

The Scottish Daily News – described as Britain’s first worker-run
newspaper – was launched 13 months after Beaverbrook closed its Glasgow
printing centre with 1,846 redundancies.

Staffed by 500, mainly ex-Beaverbrook employees, the paper’s slogan
was “Read the people’s paper and keep 500 in jobs”. Press Gazette
compared the look of the new paper to that of the Hugh Cudlipp Sun, the
broadsheet successor to the Daily Herald, which was taken over by
Rupert Murdoch in 1969 and turned into a tabloid. The SDN venture was
financed by the print workers’ redundancy money and a £1.2m government
loan but the paper soon ran out of cash and was short-lived.

Journalist jailed for contempt

Daily Record chief reporter Gordon Airs had spent the night in
police cells after refusing to identify one of the accused in a trial
involving the “Tartan Army”.

Airs was called as a prosecution witness in the trial at Glasgow
High Court of seven men accused of being members of the Scottish Army
of Provisional Government. Trial judge Lord Keith ruled Airs was in
contempt of court after he refused to name a man he had met who claimed
to be on the Military Council of the SAPG. Lord Keith told him: “Even
doctors do not have a code of confidentiality and journalists don’t
have it. You must answer the question.”

PM settles libel action

A libel action brought by Prime Minister Harold Wilson against the
Daily Express, over two articles concerning land deals, was settled and
the writ withdrawn. Wilson received no damages and had to pay his own
costs.

Press Gazette described the outcome of the case as “a walkover
victory” for the Express. Wilson had claimed that the stories
suggested he had participated in land speculation and obtained
excessive profits.

The Express had denied any intention of making
such an allegation but accepted “that the articles might possibly have
been understood to bear meanings of which Wilson complained”.

Guardian green light

Prices secretary Shirley Williams had given the go-ahead to the
Guardian and Manchester Evening News to take over four weekly
newspapers. They were the Rochdale Observer, Rossendale Free Press,
Heywood Advertiser and Moston, Middleton and Blackley Guardian. The
papers were owned by G and A. N. Scott Ltd.

David Holmes ready for Question Time

BBC Radio 4 will was preparing to broadcast Prime Minister’s
Question Time live in a four-week experiment of broadcasting Commons
proceedings.

The commentator was to be David Holmes, the BBC’s political editor.

Press Council upholds Zionist attack ad in The Times

The Press Council had rejected a complaint that the publication in
The Times of a full-page advertisement was an act of anti-Semitism. The
advert was placed by the Committee for Justice in the Middle East and
attacked Zionist fundraising. The Press Council, in throwing out the
complaint, said the ad was an attack on Zionism, not an attack on
members of the Jewish faith.

Mayor steps in to save weekly

The Mayor of Belper in Derbyshire was one of three businessmen who
had put up cash to save the Belper News from closure. Arthur Chapman,
who ran a carpet fitters and wine and spirits merchant, stepped in to
rescue the paper after it was shut by the Derbyshire Times group.

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