Back Issues 25.11.05

Press Gazette launched It was 40 years ago… the first copy of UK
Press Gazette was published on 22 November, 1965. On the front page it
introduced itself to readers by stating: “We’re here, not before the
need is urgent, to provide journalists once more with a weekly
newspaper devoted exclusively to the problems, personalities and
practice of our craft.” The “once more”

referred to the demise of
World Press News, which turned into advertising mag, Campaign. UKPG was
not available from the newsagents, but sent out free to 4,100
journalists. Its revenue came from publishing press releases.

Rhodesian crackdown on press The big news was a crackdown on the British press in Rhodesia.

Bank of England was making foreign currency available to British
newspaper correspondents to help them pay living expenses and cable
charges. The Rhodesian post office was refusing to accept payments in
sterling or local currency. British newspapers were being burnt at the

New HQ for NUJ The first issue of UK Press Gazette also
contained this architect’s pencil sketch of the NUJ’s new headquarters
in Gray’s Inn Road, which became Acorn House.

Mirror opens
training base at Plymouth It was reported that the Mirror was opening a
new training base in Plymouth after buying three local newspapers: the
Independent, South Devon Times and the Tavistock Times. Senior training
officer was Norman Walker who was, according to Press Gazette, “between
smoking cheroots, helping the three papers with their production
problems”. Among the graduates of the training school were David
Montgomery, who eventually become chief executive of the Mirror;
Alastair Campbell, Tessa Hilton and former editor of Press Gazette,
Philippa Kennedy.

Hot off the (trouser) press Most bizarre advert
in the first edition was for journalists to send off their wool
trousers to be “durably creased” by a new process. Copy for the ad
stated: “The popular public image of the inmates of Fleet Street is of
Bohemians propping up the bars of its varied assortment of pubs –
rugged devil-may-care characters who are permanently ‘creased’. This is
about as warped a view of journalists as that encouraged by Z Cars in
relation to the police”. The ad continued: “To get that
hot-off-the-press look, why not have a pair of your own trousers
durably creased now? We invite all readers of the UK Press Gazette to
take advantage of this free coupon offer.”

Dog muses on f-word
The first Dog Watches Dog (a weekly appreciation of what is not always
appreciated)n was musing on the coverage given to theatre critic Ken
Tynan’s use of the f-word on live television, which had caused a
furore. He noted that The Times and The Guardian had given little space
to ‘that’ word and suggested it was because they had both published it
in the past. The Times, in a Court of Appeal case when two witnesses
described what they were doing to a woman on a railway embankment, and
The Guardian, in a feature on the Lady Chatterley case. Dog noted that
no-one seemed to notice its use in The Times, but there was uproar over
The Guardian, with questions asked in the House of the Commons about
whether the paper should be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications

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