Back Issues 03.07.03

Crime pays for clark

Southern Television crime reporter Peter Clark was a have-a-go hero after he spotted four of nine Parkhurst prisoners who had escaped at Bishop’s Waltham in Hampshire. Clark and his cameraman Joe Hardy gave chase. Hardy and a Southern driver tackled two of the men while Clark and two policemen cornered a third behind a farmhouse. The captured man, shoeless and exhausted told the television reporter: “I see enough of you on TV at Parkhurst.” Clark, a former Daily Sketch staff reporter, rushed back to Southampton in time to deliver a three-minute report on ITN’s 8.55pm newscast.

Punch celebrations

Punch was planning to mark its 125th birthday on 17 July with a 124-page issue. The first edition of Punch in 1841 sold out its 10,000 copies. Press Gazette reported that its latest circulation for July to December 1965 was 120,710. It also referred to the paper’s first editor, Mark Lemon, who was said to have become “a most unsuccessful tavern keeper” but was thought to have been the first man to say: “The love of all evil is the root of all money.”

Writs served ON Private eye

Private Eye, which was to thrive as Punch went under, was typically in hot water. It had to apologise to Daily Express editor Derek Marks over a story. Writs against 10 members of the Private Eye organisation were reported to have been served by Marks.

Bishop praises trial coverage

Coverage of the Moors murder trial was “moderate and responsible”, according to the Bishop of Chester. Dr Gerald Ellison wrote in his diocesan magazine: “We should be grateful for the way in which journalists performed their distasteful task. I believe it right that such cases should be reported. If there is secrecy there is inevitably an opportunity for gossip and speculation. It ought to be made plain to everyone that these unimaginably terrible acts can take place.”

unhappy snappers

Even back in 1966 the football authorities and the press were at loggerheads. The Newspaper Society and the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association had protested at a FIFA decision to cut by half the number of British press photographers attending World Cup matches. Originally the NPA and NS were each allowed four places per match. Press Gazette reported: “FIFA’s decision followed protests from foreign countries whose quota is now doubled.”

Fleet street return

Brendan Mulholland, who was jailed with Reg Foster for not naming his sources to the Vassall Tribunal, had accepted a move back to Fleet Street to work on the Sunday Express, edited by John Junor. The tribunal investigated Soviet spy John Vassall, a clerk in the Admiralty. Mulholland, who served four months in jail in 1963 for refusing to disclose his sources to the tribunal, had left the Daily Mail to join the Devon News Service. His book on his jailing, Almost a Holiday, had been published a month earlier.

no justification for picture

The Press Council upheld a complaint against the Surrey Mirror for using a picture of a crash victim who later died. The Press Council ruled that the picture of a woman lying in a road with head injuries could not be justified. The paper argued that it had published the picture in the interests of road safety.

a whitehouse experience

The Sunday Telegraph escaped censure from the Press Council despite a thundering complaint from a major which bordered on a Private Eye parody. Major E Orloff MBE, of Bournemouth, was outraged that the paper had published a letter from a teenage girl attacking that protector of public decency, Mary Whitehouse. The 15-year-old had written: “And just what does Mrs Whitehouse think she is? A protector of poor innocent little children? Pooh! I am sure half the children, in fact more, know that four-letter word.” The apoplectic major complained to the Press Council that the letter “constituted nothing less than a wicked incitement to the young to throw every restraint to the wind and base their code of behaviour on the negation of all moral precepts.” He told The Sunday Telegraph: “I shudder to think what depths the British press would sink to if other organs were to follow your example.” Despite the broadside, the council ruled publication of the letter was a matter for editorial discretion and rejected the complaint.

baseless fears

Supplies of newsprint were being maintained despite the seamen’s strike. Foreign ships were docking without difficulty and early fears of jams at the ports and shortages of newsprint were proving baseless. n

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