Campaigning editor honoured

A newspaper editor who saw journalism as “doing good and God’s work” has been commemorated with a Westminster Council green plaque outside his former home.

According to the Encyclopedia of the British Press, William Thomas Stead (1849 to 1912) was the “apostle of the New Journalism”.

He was appointed editor of the Northern Echo in 1871 and in 1880 became assistant editor of the Pall Mall Gazette before being promoted to editor in 1883.

In 1890 he left to set up the Review of Reviews and he died in the Titanic disaster of 1912 – he was last seen helping women and children into lifeboats before jumping into the ocean.

He campaigned to improve the conditions of London’s poor, strengthen the Navy and send General Gordon to the Sudan.

Later in his career, as a peace campaigner, he founded the War Against War weekly paper.

At the unveiling of the plaque, in Smith Square, Westminster, councillor Angela Hooper said: “William Thomas Stead was one of Britain’s greatest Edwardians and we are delighted we can honour a journalist of such high calibre in this way.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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