Birthday honours recognise journalism achievement

Sunday Times puzzles editor Barbara Hall has been recognised for a career spanning 70 years after being made an MBE for services to the newspaper industry in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Hall, 84, contributed the first of many thousands of crosswords to the London Evening News aged 15 for the fee of two guineas.

But it has not always been cryptic clues and word games for Hall, who served in the Royal Navy, where she was involved in intercepting and breaking codes, before working as a journalist in Africa. In a 15-year stay in Zambia, she reported for The Guardian, The Observer and Daily Mail and later reported from several war zones including Taiwan.

She said: ‘I still enjoy crosswords – it’s such fun twiddling around. I like to do the amusing ones, in fact for a year I did pornographic ones for Forum magazine, until I ran out of words. It was subtle pornographic of course, like ‘voluptuous girl’.”

While in Zambia, Hall was instrumental in setting up the African Mail newspaper, where she made simple crosswords to help with the country’s literacy problem.

Press Association group picture editor Martin Keene was made an MVO (Member of the Royal Victorian Order) in recognition of his services to the royal family.

Keene has worked for PA for 21 years – five of which were spent as royal photographer. He pictured the Queen on historic trips to Moscow and South Africa and took the famous photograph of Princess Diana sitting alone outside the Taj Mahal.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, has been made a CBE.

Amanpour, born of British/Iranian parentage, has reported on most world crises, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda and the Balkans.

‘I am proud to be part of this tradition,’Amanpour said. ‘I am stunned and delighted to be recognised in this wonderful way for my work, and of course for being a true Brit.”

Janet Walford, editor of Money Management magazine has been given the OBE for services to journalism and the financial services industry.

Walford joined the personal finance industry in 1971 before joining Money Management in 1978. Appointed deputy editor in 1981, she was founding editor of Pensions Management Magazine in 1984 before being appointed editor of Money Management in December 1986.

‘It’s an endorsement of what we do here,’said Walford. ‘I don’t believe in sensationalist headlines – we try to be fair but we’re very critical if we find something wrong. We try to suggest solutions rather than slam everything.”

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