Back Issues 28.01.05

BY JON SLATTERY JANUARY 1970

Biafra: Press rebuts slur

Journalists were under fire after filing stories about the suffering
in Biafra at the end of the civil war in Nigeria. They were accused by
the Nigerian leader, General Gowan, and the British envoy to Nigeria,
Lord Hunt, of searching out scandal stories and belittling efforts to
bring food to the Biafran enclave. A group of 80 journalists covering
the conflict were detained in Port Harcourt for 18 hours and had to
wait 60 hours for a flight back to Lagos where they could communicate
with the outside world. The Daily Mail’s Anthony Carthew dismissed the
claims of sensationalism and wrote: “What we have tried to do is inject
a sense of urgency, of action on the most humane principles, into the
situation.”

Good on you Rupe!

The Daily Sketch
had launched a campaign to save the mini skirt, which was under threat
from the maxi skirt. The Daily Sketch said of maxi skirt manufacturers:
“These people are our enemies. Of them it must be said that never in
the history of human happiness have so few worked so stealthily to
spoil the pleasures of so many. They must be stopped. If we do not
stand and fight now the beacon of joy which has lighted us through the
dark days will be doused. And where will Britain be then?” The Sketch’s
campaign had been copied by Rupert Murdoch’s Sydney Daily Mirror ,
prompting the British paper to take out an ad in Press Gazette stating:
“Good on you Rupe you old flatterer!”

Daily Mirror tops five million

Sales of the Daily Mirror had topped the five million mark to reach
5,003,798. Sales of the Sunday Mirror were also above five million at
5,130,675 and the Sunday Express was selling 4,271,982 copies each week.

“Old lag” Mulchrone takes feature writer award

The Daily Mail’s Vincent Mulchrone was a highly popular winner of
feature writer of the year in Granada’s What The Papers Say awards.
Presenter Brian Inglis joked that the judges had thought of setting up
an “old lags” award, as veterans such as Mulchrone, Marje Proops and
Alistair Cooke were the leading contenders for the award.

Mulchrone received a long ovation at the awards ceremony. Other
winners included the celebrated Sunday Times photographer Don McCullin,
and Times reporter Michael Hornsby was reporter of the year for his
coverage of Czechoslovakia. Newspaper of the year was The Guardian .

Privacy: pressmen to join government committee of inquiry

Representatives of the press were being invited to join a Committee
of Inquiry into the need for legislation to protect individuals and
businessmen from intrusion into privacy, Home Secretary James Callaghan
told the Commons. Callaghan was speaking during a debate on MP Brian
Walden’s Privacy Bill, which he asked him to withdraw in view of the
Government’s proposed committee. Walden said the press had complained
the Bill was a “rogues’ charter” but added bitterly: “You will never
have any legislation of this sort they (the Press) won’t campaign
against.”

Ton up for Northern Echo

The Northern Echo was celebrating its centenary. A feature on the
paper quoted Gladstone’s description of it: “To read the Echo is to
dispense with the necessity of reading other papers. It is admirably
got up in every way.” Famous old boys of the Echo included Edward
Pickering, who went on to edit the Daily Express, and Harold Evans, who
went on to subsequently edit The Sunday Times and The Times

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