20 DECEMBER 1963, Page 6

The Press


PART from the Sinatra kidnapping the big news story last week was Nkrumah's sack- ing of Ghana's Chief Justice, Sir Arku Korsah. The story broke in Thursday morning's papers: The Times on the Main Bill page: sixteen and a half column inches; Daily Express, page two: sixteen inches; Guardian, front page: twelve inches. The Daily Mirror, faithful to Mr. Hugh Cudlipp's policy of conciseness, especially where important news is concerned, gave two and a half inches.

It IS always interesting to see how the Daily Worker reacts to matters of African policy. This time they clearly did not have a clue which side they were on; so they borrowed one of Sir William Haley's world-famous electronic sup- pressors and said nothing at 'all. By the Friday morning, however, the Editor had received guidance; the electronic suppressor was returned to Printing House Square and replaced from some other source by an automatic lie trans-. mogrifier. - The Daily Worker front-paged the following processed story. Under the headline


the Worker printed the following: President Nkrumah has accepted the retire- ment of Sir Arku Korsah, Ghana's former Chief Justice from the judicial service with effect from Wednesday, it was announced in Accra yesterday. When Nkrumah dismissed Sir Arku from his post the sixty-nine year-old judge had announced that he had given notice of retirement, The developments followed Mon- day's acquittal by a special court over which Sir Arku presided of three people charged with conspiracy and treason.

I hear that Mr. Cecil Harmsworth King and Mr. Hugh Cudlipp arc reconsidering their announced plans to replace the Daily herald when they strangle it shortly after the general election. The new paper ought to be ready to start any time after March, but I hear that only . one man, Mr. Roger Wood, formerly acting Editor of the Daily Express, has so far been appointed to plan the proposed new publication. He is largely working in a vacuum. If the plan for the new paper has to be abandoned (it looks as if it has been aborted before birth) part of the fault will lie with the•TUC, which appears to think that it should receive a considerable sum of money for its 51 per cent holding in the Daily Herald which is currently losing 000.000- £700,000 a year. Some years ago Mr. King prophesied that within the foreseeable future only three national papers would remain.

* •

Mr. Roy Thomson is at present in Canada for Christmas and will not be back until the New Year. However, his people have been putting it around that the application of the Rosebery. Braemar Knitwear, Beaverbrook combine is not really serious about its application for the Scottish television franchise, at present monopo- lised by Mr. Roy Thomson; and that they are merely staking out a claim for the competitive service that will be started in two years' time. The suggestion is that they will be very happy to receive a consolation prize. The chairman of Beaverbrook Newspapers, Mr. Max Aitken. tell, tne that this is 'not so'. The group with which he is associated wish to start televising next year. not in two years' time. It is obviously more attrac- tive and less expensive for them to take' over a going concern than to start a new one against pretty.stiff opposition.


It is difficult to imagine the Observer becoming wetter than it has been for many years. This greater wetness is being achieved. In a front page news story last Sunday from Austin, Texas, the third paragraph began: 'It is not one of the better-

known facts ' It is surely a poor style of reporting to start with a negative. II is expensk c to send a correspondent to Austin, Texas to doll town) and receive from him a story in which, in an early paragraph, there is a negation and in which no further worth-while news is contained. The Observer's correspondent would have done better to have emulated the example of Lady Jean Campbell, correspondent of the Evening Stan- third.

Further in the same issue of the Observer, M r. Anthony Sampson, commenting in a patronking fashion on the Norwich Union shemozzle, wrote: 'And even in'the context of Norwich • which is not the most radical of cities- their behaviour has been odd enough to stir up the Eastern Daily Press.' The Eastern Daily Pres, had been on the job for two weeks before Samp- son twigged that it was a news story: and then, instead of giving credit to his source, he de- nigrated it.

How silly: how wet can you be.