Back Issues 29.07.04

FE-MAIL

Priscilla Deacon was the first woman news sub-editor to be appointed on the Daily Mail. Deacon was an American who had worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. Although aged 24, she was described in the Press Gazette headline as as a “girl”.

“GUTTER PRESS”

An education director accused the press of following the old Yorkshire saying “where there’s muck, there’s money”.
West Riding education chief Sir Alec Clegg was commenting on a case in which a mother was paid £800 over a story about her child being taken into care. Sir Alec noted that public hangings and the stocks had been stopped because they appealed to man’s depravity. He said: “But surely no public punishment of any kind could have had the effect on so many people that the most lurid pages of the gutter press now have. Those who follow will find it difficult to believe that a generation which split the atom should know so little about the effect on the human spirit of the exploitation of depravity for commercial gain.”

JOURNALIST CHARGED

Daily Telegraph correspondent David Loshak had been charged with sedition and publication of false stories in Sierra Leone. He had been held at a police station for five days before being allowed out on bail. MP Evelyn King condemned the charges in the Commons and said they were bogus. Press Gazette also noted that BBC correspondent Ronald Robson had been refused permission to stay in Rhodesia and Zambia had banned BBC news broadcasts.

KEEPING THE BALL ROLLING

Argentine football reporter Osvaldo Ardizzone sat down in Birmingham to file his story on the World Cup. He finished six hours later after producing 20,246 words for the readers of El Grafico. GPO operators transferred the story on 21ft of paper by direct link to Buenos Aires. It took five hours and 40 minutes to send at a lost of £340.  Ardizzone said his story would take up 32 pages of the 100-page weekly magazine. And would it all be used?, he was asked. “Of course,” he said, “this is football – and the World Cup as well.”

PEOPLE’S PEAK

The contrasting sales fortunes of the quality and popular national press over the past four decades is highlighted by a story from Press Gazette. Sales of The Sunday Times in July 1966 were up more than 85,000 to 1,360,320 – bout the same as it sells today. The People was up 74,000 to 5,583,276 – hich is 4.5 million copies more than it sells now.

MERCURY RISING

The Leicester Mercury had moved to a ew home after 76 years in its old premises in Albion Street. Pictures in Press Gazette showed one of the Mercury’s30 Linotypemachinesbeing lifted out of the old building. The new £2.5m headquar-ters had a 300ft editorial floor with “silent typewriters and internal/ external desk phones.”

RED STAR

The Morning Star had the scoop that Prime Minister Harold Wilson was to visit Moscow. It ran in the Star’s first edition before confirmation from Downing Street came in an 11pm press statement.

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