Back Issues 02.10.03


The Hornsey Journal office was severely damaged by an IRA bomb left in the doorway of its office in Tottenham Lane, Crouch End. The bomb was one of five that exploded without warning in what police described as “a sinister change of strategy” by the IRA.


A funeral service was being held for freelance cameraman Rory Peck, who was killed after being caught in crossfire during the attempted coup in Moscow. The Rory Peck Trust, which promotes the safety and welfare of freelance broadcasting journalists and their families, was named after him.


News & Echo editor Tony Livesey was defending his decision to get a reporter to buy a replica rifle and brandish the fake firearm outside Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, where the Conservative Party conference was due to take place. Lancashire Police had cautioned Livesey and reporter Simon Donohue over the incident, describing the stunt as “irresponsible”. Livesey argued: “We were doing a legitimate story that replica guns were on sale 100 yards from where John Major would be walking into the Winter Gardens.”

The News & Echo, David Sullivan’s short-lived northern newspaper, had upset Blackpool Police once before by taking a picture of an escaped prisoner drinking a pint of beer outside Blackpool Police Station.


The News of the World was threw a party to celebrate its 150th anniversary in amarquee on the banks of the Thames.The menu was boiled beef and dumplings, pease pudding, bangers and mash.Owner Rupert Murdoch could not be among the 1,000 guests, but he sent a message recalling that the NoW was his first British paper.”It’s hard to describe the excitement we all felt on 2 January, 1969, when we knew we had got it,” he said. “It was like being allowed to buy the heart of the British people.”


Daily Mirror editor David Banks defended his decision to print leaked extracts of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs, The Downing Street Years. He claimed it blew apart a deal between Thatcher and The Sunday Times that the book would only be serialised after the Tory Party conference. Banks claimed that Thatcher, the Tories and Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil had embarked upon a “conspiracy of silence”. Neil was hopping mad after judges threw out an application by his paper to injunct the Mirror. Neil fumed: “The judges have gone collectively bonkers. They have replaced the laws of copyright with the law of the jungle.”


Hello! was slammed by the Press Complaints Commission for making a payment to relatives of convicted fraudster Darius Guppy over an interview with him. The PCC accused Hello! of a “calculated flouting” of Clause 9 of the Code of Practice which states that family and associates of criminals should not be paid for stories. It not only upheld the complaint but accused the magazine of “evasiveness” and demanded a meeting with the publisher. Newspaper editors were said to be furious that the inter-view had been published at a time when theGovernment was looking at ways to regulate the press.


Journalists were caught up in a violent demonstration in London against the British National Party by the Anti Nazi League. Freelance photographer James Aylott, working for the National News agency, was knocked unconscious and detained in hospital overnight. Another freelance, Gary Trotter, working for the Sunday Express, was attacked with bricks and a stick. Journalists claimed they were deliberately targeted by a “get the press” mob taking orders from a
masked man.


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