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Friday, July 20, 2007

Read all about it

Three items, included in this our second ‘edition’, about proprietors – with whom, perhaps understandably, some of our ilk appear to have something of a fixation.
Paul Bannister continues his astonishing account of the mentality of his old boss on the National Enquirer, Generoso Pope; Geoffrey Mather reveals that, when told that he was mad, Lord Northcliffe reacted in a manner that might be seen as a sign that he was perfectly sane; and Sue Bullivant reports on watching a one-man play – which may still be doing the rounds in the provinces or home counties – written by a journalist and based on the presumed thoughts of Chairman Bob.
Stepping back in time, which is our wont if not our veritable raison d’etre, Paddy Byrne looks at a photo from just before the War and says it might not be quite what it seems. It was actually queried by another publisher, John Blauth of Media Digest. But since John is hugely popular with his staff, and has the wisdom to read this blog site, he obviously cannot be counted along with the other loonies.
Eddy Rawlinson (briefly a publisher himself) describes how, in roughly the same generation, he narrowly escaped becoming an inky by moving into the world of flash-powder and block-making for the old rotaries, in a period of his life in which he could invite people to see his etching.
Back in the land of the living, Revel Barker recounts a possibly true tale about how the Daily Mirror brought romance – typically, at totally unnecessary cost – into the debate about the UK joining the EU (or the EC: in the days when it was merely a ‘common market’ and not just a bunch of overpaid, underemployed and interfering legislators).
Ian Skidmore describes how he set up a ‘pirate’ radio station – for the BBC. This was before being presented with a Golden Microphone for broadcasts to an audience in Australia, British Forces Network, Radio Ulster and Radio 4 – a total of 26m listeners. And being sacked a fortnight later by BBC Wales for being English.
For those who missed it we include Professor Roy Greenslade’s take on this website, published by Media Guardian within an hour or so of our launch last week.
Pickfords are meanwhile moving in a couple of items of furniture. We are introducing a Letters Page, which we can at least promise will be more accessible and user-friendly than the same thing on The Times site. We bring out of retirement Dr Syntax, last seen in the pages of Worlds Press News, before its reincarnations as (UK) Press Gazette.
And finally… What would the Internet be with Jokes? A darned site better; we agree. So the strict policy of this site’s er, Editorial Board on the subject is briefly explained in a new feature, with a couple of examples of what is acceptable, to which everyone is urged to contribute. But any offerings that start: ‘This is true! It appeared in the Washington Post / New York Times / Warrington Bugle this morning!’ go straight onto the spike.
Find articles by scrolling down, or by clicking on names or subjects from the permanently updated Archive, top left.