News, Newspapers and Television by Alastair Hetherington (auth.)

By Alastair Hetherington (auth.)

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Sample text

Although far from perfect, this system seems to work better than any other so far devised. That is to say, the BBC and lTV have shown themselves capable of withstanding government pressure, open or concealed, and of exercising independent judgement. That is vital to the impartiality and reliability of their news and current affairs programmes. Direct pressure has been applied by government only infrequently - on no more than five occasions, so far as is known, in the 40 post-war years - and it was resisted in most of those .

Mr William Deedes, editor of the Daily Telegraph, says 'I see him every day' . 16 Lord Matthews at the Express came from a City background after the diverse conglomerate Trafalgar House (property developers, construction, Cunard shipping, the Ritz Hotel) bought the Express group in 1977; at that time, he knew little about newspapers or journalism. Although at first he tried to exercise editorial control - and showed himself liable to react to random comments from friends and acquaintances - he later took a less active part.

An unusual feature at The Times is that the editor's secretary News, Newspapers and Television 50 sits in at the morning conference, making notes. Soon afterwards she circulates a cryptic memo of the editor's comments, which is a reminder that action is expected on these points. An example is reproduced here. 30) A. MAIN ITEMS 1. LABOUR (a) GCHQ developments (x ref Whitehall Brief) (b) Scott-Lithgow: Parly Cttee visit yard (c) Threat to Scottish coal field (d) Strike at BL Cowley plant 2. POLITICS (a) Shore attacks Thatcher over Mark deal (b) Chesterfield by-election (c) Opposition at entry ban on East-Bloc delegates 3.

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