Back Issues 31.03.06

East German journos excluded from Britain The British

Sports Writers’ Association was seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the exclusion of East German journalists from Britain — including that year’s World Cup finals. John Bromley, chairman of the association, said: "This affects the rights and liberties of journalists and, in particular, sports writers all over the world. It is an intolerable situation."

News man’s book jacket protest

Evening News reporter Leslie Thomas was celebrating success as a novelist with The Virgin Soldiers. However, the book’s jacket had offended the commanding officer of the Ist Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles. Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Hamill complained that it clearly showed two soldiers, who were members of his regiment, against the silhouette of a naked girl. He said the book, based on Thomas’s experience in the army, depicted soldiers as "wretchedly unsoldierly and endlessly pursuing sex".

Merger of two unions was on the cards

It was the deal that never happened. Forty years ago Press Gazette led on plans for the NUJ and the Institute of Journalists to hold a vote of their respective members on a merger.

If the vote was in favour, it was envisaged that members of each organisation would belong automatically to the other. Under the merger plan, the NUJ would have taken over all trade union negotiations and the IoJ would have dealt with all non-union interests of the joint membership. The proposed deal came after two years of talks.

Levin takes a view on fellow columnists

The Daily Mail’s Bernard Levin was casting an eye over his fellow columnists. While he said he admired the Daily Mirror’s Cassandra, he described Anne Scott-James as "extremely irritating". Levin added: "She is essentially feminine; basically illogical."

Telegraph up to 1.3 million

Sales of The Daily Telegraph were on the up. It was celebrating average daily sales of 1,354,658 in February 1966 — an increase of 28,213 on January.

‘Only fools resign’, says Bill

William Davis, then financial editor of The Guardian, was passing on some advice he was given from the press baron, Lord Beaverbrook in a Press Gazette article. "However annoyed you feel, never resign. Only fools resign. The wise man allows himself to be fired — and collects compensation." Davis commented: "It seems good advice to me."

Hannen Swaffer awards

Michael Randall (left), editor of the Daily Mail, was named journalist of the year in the Hannen Swaffer Awards. Randall quoted Jonathan Swift: "Use the point of your pen, not the feather" and Fontaine: "Every newspaper editor owes credit to the devil," when accepting his award. Other winners were James Cameron, descriptive writer of the year; Michael Foot, critic of the year; the Daily Mirror’s Peter Wilson, sportswriter of the year; and the Daily Mail’s Anthony Carthew, reporter of the year.

NUJ opens Acorn House

Lord Devlin, chairman of the Press Council, officially opened the NUJ’s new headquarters: Acorn House in Gray’s Inn Road, London.

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