Back Issues 08.07.04





Paul Horrocks had been promoted from news editor to assistant editor at the Manchester Evening News, succeeding Ken Wood. Today, Horrocks is the editor of the MEN.


Labour minister Tony Benn had described the BBC as “a lunatic system where almost everyone is on a short-term contract and an atmosphere of great anxiety has been created”. Speaking at a Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom meeting, he added: “I wouldn’t give a penny for Birt’s BBC, but Iwould die in the lastditch for public service broadcasting.”


Ian Hargreaves had been offered the job of editor of The Independent. Then deputy editor of the Financial Times, Hargreaves was being lined up to replace founding editor Andreas Whittam Smith. Explaining his decision to take the job, he said: “I think the opportunity to lead the editorial side of this very important free voice in British newspapers is too big and attractive an opportunity to miss.” He resigned from the paper in December 1995. Also on the front page of Press Gazette was a story that shocked the magazine industry. IPC’s Yachting World had been ordered to pay £1,485,000 libel damages to yacht-builder John Walker and his company after it ran a
critical review of his trimaran. IPC also faced a legal bill of £750,000. The libel damages were the second highest in English legal history.


Former Smash Hits! editor Mike Soutar had been appointed editor of FHM. The move came two months after Emap Metro bought the title and three weeks after Francis Cottam resigned as editor. PG speculated that Emap was planning to bring a younger, more humorous feel to FHM to compete with Loaded. FHM became one of Emap’s biggest success stories. Soutar is now IPC editorial director.


Ten years ago journalists were living up to their image as hard-living chain smokers, according to a report by the Health Education Authority. Although other professions had started to stub out the demon weed, hacks were said to be still puffing away in newsrooms. In a MORI poll of journalists, lawyers, computer and advertising staff, journalists came out top with 35 per cent who smoked, compared with 24 per cent of those polled. Journalism had the most managing directors who smoked – 26 per cent compared with an average of 20 per cent.


The Sunday Times came under attack for an exposé on MPs accepting £1,000 each to ask questions in the Commons. The Tories accused the paper of using entrapment and complaints were made to the Privileges Committee and the Press Complaints Commission. One MP tried to strike back by reading out the name, address and telephone number of Sunday Times reporter Jonathan Calvert.

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