BENN PAYS THE PRICE
Eric Price, the forceful editor of the Western Daily Press, hit out in his leader column at the way one of his reporters had been treated at the adoption meeting of Anthony WedgwoodBenn (now Tony Benn) by the Labour Party in Bristol.
He said his reporter had been “treated with less than courtesy” and Wedgwood-Benn had sarcastically referred to the WDP as “a wonderful and glorious newspaper”. For the forthcoming election campaign, Price said: “We shall try to be fair.
And we are entitled to expect that our staff, as they go about their duties, receive courteous rather than curmudgeonly treatment.”
Three crime reporters who claimed they had been described as “beer-sodden hacks” in The Spectator won substantial damages in the High Court. George Glenton, of the Daily Mirror, freelance David St George and The Daily Telegraph’s Cornelius Coughlin sued over an article about the Oz magazine trial written by Tony Palmer.
A FEW MORE PENCE MAKES A LOT OF SENSE
A daily paper financed by trade union members to counter the “smears and lies” of the British press was called for by the left-wing monthly, Voice of the Unions. The Voice declared: “The press onslaught against the working class shows no sign of letting up. Nor will it – until we have a national daily run by and for Britain’s 10 million trade unionists.”
It suggested a one penny a week levy on all union members would raise £5m a year to finance a new daily.
Cosmopolitan, edited by Deidre McSharry, celebrated its second birthday with a record ABC of 369,383. Publisher Brian Braithwaite said advertising bookings for 1974 were up 13 per cent.
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Former Sun news editor Brian McConnell was one of four men shot when a gunman attempted to kidnap Princess Anne from her car. McConnell was in a taxi when the attempted kidnap took place. He jumped out, confronted the gunman and said: “Look, old man, these people are friends of mine. Don’t be silly, just give me the gun.” McConnell told reporters how he tried to grab the gun. “There was a flash and I remember thinking ‘Christ, the bastard’s shot me’,” he said.
EVENING CITIZEN SAYS GOODNIGHT
There was grave news in Glasgow where Beaverbrook executives had travelled to the city to discuss the closure of the Evening Citizen with the unions. The Citizen closed – after 110 years in publication – on 30 March and was merged with the Evening Times, then owned by Outram.
Beaverbrook managing director Jocelyn Stevens confirmed the Albion Street printing centre was to close and the Scottish Daily Express and the Scottish Sunday Express were to switch printing to Manchester. It was predicted that 260 journalists would be made redundant.
NOW THAT IS LOW PAY
One of the worst-paid jobs in the media was on offer. The wage for the job of information officer to the Anglian Bishop of New Guinea was £18 a month. The pay was the standard missionary stipend as received by the bishop himself.
THE KEYS TO THE FUTURE
An enticing pre-computer age offer of a portable electric typewriter was being made to Press Gazette readers. The typewriter’s selling point was its ability to use the mains or batteries, hence the claim, “it will type electrically in a desert tent, on the bus or even in a canoe”. An obvious must for the person who got the job as information officer to the Bishop of Guinea, although they would have found the hefty £88 price tag a bit steep on their meagre salary.