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The Press Council upheld a complaint against the News of the World over its use of “Paki” in a headline. The council ruled that the term was widely regarded as derogatory and racist, and should not have been used in a headline. Editor Wendy Henry said “Paki star” was used to tell readers that a story was about an actor playing a Pakistani part. The word “Pakistani” was not used because there was no room for it, she claimed.


Private Eye had made a public apology in the High Court to Mirror Group publisher Robert Maxwell after accusing him of”classic asset stripping”. The magazine had agreed to pay a “substantial” sum to charity and acknowledged the allegations, made in the Eye in June 1987, were “wholly unfounded”. Three years later, in November 1991, Maxwell’s body was found in the sea off Tenerife. It was only then that the fullextent of his fraud and huge debts became public.


Extra Special, a magazine aimed at the larger fashion-conscious woman, had folded after being bought by Robert Maxwell’s Fleetway Publications. Lack of ads was given as the reason for the closure.


Labour MP Clare Short, speaking at the party’s annual conference, said she was going to push ahead with her bill to outlaw  pornography, including topless pagethree pin-ups, in the media. She said she had received a letter from a woman who had been raped and her attacker had kept saying: “You should be on page three.” Short said she would not be put off by “the juvenile and giggling response from Tory backbench MPs”.


Sunday Sport had earned itself a place in the Dictionary of Outrageous Quotations for its headline “B-52 bomber Found on the Moon”.


The Government was facing a storm of protest from broadcasting journalists after it imposed a ban on paramilitary groups and their supportersbeing directly quoted on radio and television. Theban, introduced by Home Secretary Douglas Hurd, applied to 11 paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, both loyalist and republican. It was opposed by the BBC. Chairman of the governors, Marmaduke Hussey, accused Hurd of setting “a damaging precedent, which will make our reporting of Northern Ireland incomplete”. David Nicholas, editor-in-chief of ITN, claimed the measures would do more harm than good in the attempt to combat terrorism. The NUJ was calling for a day of protest against the move.


Dummies of Eddy Shah’s new national paper, The Post, were revealed in Press Gazette. The front and back pages of dummy issues were, said editor Lloyd Turner, “the closest we’ve got to achieving the real thing”. It was a bright, colourful tabloid, aimed at Sun, Mirror and Star territory. It launched in November 1988, but closed within three months. Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie’s reaction to the Post ‘s launch issue was to send a cheerymessage to ex-staff who had jumped shipfor the new title. It said: “Having seen your first edition, I thought you would like to know that you can’t have your job back.” Ouch!


A survey put ITN’s News at Ten at the top of the TV news programmes popularity stakes. In the second quarter of 1988 it had 750,000 viewers more than the BBC’s Nine O’Clock News each night.


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