Back Issues 20.02.03

Shame felt in Coventry

Coventry Evening Telegraph editor Geoff Elliott hit out at The Sun and News of the World, claiming they were putting press freedom at risk. In a front-page leader he claimed: “Like most other newspapers at the reputable end of Fleet Street and across he provinces, the Evening Telegraph feels the shame seeping its way from the antics of those who treat news as if it were cheap entertainment.”

North gets morning title

It was revealed that a new regional morning paper was to be launched for the north of England, based in Manchester. Behind the title were former Guardian journalist Robert Warterhouse and for Express Newspaper chief executive Roger Bowes. The North West Times launched in September but folded seven weeks later.

Best figures are not bad

After three months, circulation figures for Best showed sales at a very healthy 993,541. Stablemate Prima had reinforced its position as the country’s biggest-selling monthly magazine with a six-month ABC of 1,072,284. Latest ABC figures put Best sales at 416,074 and Prima’s at 325,042.

Chelsea becomes home sweet home

The Observer had a new home, Chelsea Bridge House, south of the Thames in London. Editor Donald Trelford was said to have described the building as “a cross between thirties’ Gaumount cinema and a liquorice allsort.”

Security services to keep quiet

The Government had asked the Spycatcher appeal judges to impose a new catch-all injunction banning the press from publishing any material from past or present members of the security services.

Newspaper for the unemployed

Britain’s first newspaper for the unemployed was launched. Signing On cast 25p and was to be sold outside job centres. The man behind the newspaper, Philip Riley, said: “It is time the unemployed had a voice of their own. There are several million of them and up to now they have had no chance to communicate with each other.”

Page of opinion

Press Gazette devoted its front page to an opinion piece backing The Independent’s Jeremy Warner who was fined £20,000 for refusing to name sources. Warner was brought to court under the 1986 Financial Services Act by two DTI inspectors investigating alleged insider dealing involving civil servants. Asked by the judge if he felt he was above the law, Warner replied: “Journalists do not stand outside the law. But they feel they must adopt the principle of confidentiality throughout their dealings with people and must suffer the consequences if, as a result, they are brought into conflict with the courts.”

Maximum amount

Dog reported that all efforts to keep Robert Maxwell’s name out of the Daily Mirror had been thwarted. The column counted the number of name checks for the Mirror Group publisher and revealed: “On Monday Maxwell was mentioned 74 times, on Tuesday 63 times and on Wednesday broke all records at 94 times. This gives a grand total of 231 Maxwells mentioned in just 3 days.”

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