Back Issues 08.01.03


Daily Mirror journalists were fearing more redundancies after Amanda Platell, deputy editor of Today, was appointed group managing editor by MGN chief and former Today editor David Montgomery. Platell’s first priority, together with Mirror editor David Banks, she told Press Gazette, was to improve the editorial quality of the Daily Mirror.

Over at The Sun, chief leader writer Ronald Spark was fired for writing a letter to British Airways chief Lord King distancing himself from the paper’s coverage of the BA-Virgin Atlantic legal battle.

Star performer in the national ABCs was Today, up 18.6 per cent to 525,068.



The press was under pressure from the politicians. Sir David Calcutt’s review of self-regulation had just concluded that the Press Complaints Commission was "ineffective and dominated by the industry".

Heritage Secretary Peter Brooke said the Government accepted the case for criminal offences to deal with intrusion and secret

bugging as recommended by the Calcutt Review. Calcutt had suggested journalists found guilty should be fined up to £5,000.

But The Sun was hitting back at the politicians. Under editor Kelvin MacKenzie, it had set up the Politicians’ Complaints Commission. Sun assistant editor Peter Cox complained that MP Peter Bottomley had demanded a fax of an exclusive story about his mother-in-law should be sent to him within five minutes. The Sun’s "PCC" ruled that the MP’s approach was "peremptory" but it concluded that better communication on both sides could have avoided a clash. Prime Minister John Major was rapped three times for failing to answer letters.



Bashful officials at Spurs banned photographer Emma Sawyer of the Maidenhead Advertiser from taking pictures of FA Cup losers Marlow, unlike her male colleagues. She fumed: "The Marlow captain told our sports editor I would have been welcome to take pictures. They have obviously more balls than Spurs."



The Periodical Publishers Association launched a campaign against the imposition of VAT on the consumer and business press.


Regional press

Reed Regional Newspapers pulled out of the Newspaper Society, saying membership was costing the group’s 100 titles £130,000.

The Manchester Evening News started 1993 with a bang by announcing a £2m investment in staff and launches – including a new upmarket free magazine published on Wednesday and a 32-page morning sports paper.

Northcliffe and



Westminster Press had agreed to a three-week trial of its own news agency, called UK News, in a challenge to the Press Association.



The New Year dawned on a deserted Thames TV newsroom after the broadcaster had lost its franchise. Out of 30 journalists there, only three were taken on by new franchise-holder Carlton.

The Radio Authority upheld a complaint against Richard Littlejohn who, on his LBC Newstalk show, said: "I am no royalist. I’d string ’em all up tomorrow." He also called the Royals "a tax-evading bunch of adulterers".



Sports editor Tom Clarke left The Times. Martin Lindsay was made editor of the Sunday Life in Belfast. Philip Graf succeeded David Snedden as managing director and chief executive of Trinity International.             

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