Time to heal ourselves 3
Peter Wilby - Letter 6
Special edition: editors and editing
Geoffrey Goodman - Bridging the generation gap 7
Bill Hagerty - Paul Dacre: the zeal thing 11
Bill Hagerty - The forgotten Cudlipp 22
Patrick Ryan - The art of the editor 28
The greatest editor of all? 33
Martin Rowson - High importance of being Low 37
Sarah Shannon - When the fox preaches, look to your geese 44
Bruce Page - Pricking the bubble: financial scandal and the media 49
Andrew Wasley - Indy journalism: facts are free, opinion is sacred? 58
Richard Littlejohn - Why I'll never give up the day job 65
Rudi Vranckx - Now truth is the first target 71
Michael Billington - Who shot Adrian Noble? 75
BOOK REVIEWSMike Molloy on Richard Stott 80
David Eliades on Penny Junior 84
Phillip Knightley on Robert Capa 86
Who is the greatest national newspaper editor of them all? Here is an arbitrary
list of some of the more accomplished of those who have been privileged
to tread the most difficult of journalistic tightropes in the 300 years
since Edward Mallet launched the Daily Courant, the first daily. Readers are
invited to vote – polling details to follow – for the editor they consider to
be the best editorial and commercial genius of the lot. Voters are not, of
course, restricted to choosing their nomination from this list – all those who
have and do run national papers, daily or Sunday, are eligible. But it would
be bad form for those editors able to do so to vote for themselves or lobby
support. And one person, one vote only, please...
DAVID ASTOR: legendary chief of The Observer, 1946-75.
THOMAS BARNES: “The most powerful man in the country” (Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor) edited The Times from 1817 until he died, at the age of 55, in 1841.
MRS RACHEL BEER: editor of The Sunday Times and The Observer simultaneously, having bought The Sunday Times in 1893 and editing it herself without relinquishing her role at The Observer.
RALPH BLUMENFELD: an American, “RDB” edited the Daily Express for 28 years from 1904. Also editor-in-chief from 1924; considered a major architect of popular journalism.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL: Launched the Sunday Pictorial, then a crusading editor of the Daily Mirror from 1916 until 1931. Later a special correspondent, mainly on social problems.
EMSLEY CARR: editor News of the World from 1891 until his death in 1941, achieving an enormous circulation in his 50 years. Also chairman and partproprietor from 1934.
ARTHUR CHRISTIANSEN: legendary editor of the Daily Express, 1932-56. Dominated by Lord Beaverbrook, but turned the Express into a great newspaper.
COLIN COOTE: jettisoned by The Times, became editor of The Daily Telegraph, 1950-64, and increased sales from 971,000 to 1,319,000.
HUGH CUDLIPP: editor Sunday Pictorial at 24; subsequently editor-in-chief of the Pic and the Daily Mirror, then editorial director and, finally, chairman of Mirror Group and IPC. Generally recognised giant of popular journalism.
PAUL DACRE: editor for past 10 years of a Daily Mail that dominates the middle market and is acknowledged to set many journalistic production standards.
W.F. (WILLIAM FRANCIS) DEEDES: legendary journalist and alleged model for Evelyn Waugh's William Boot in Scoop; edited The Daily Telegraph 1974-86.
GEOFFREY DAWSON: twice editor of The Times, 1912-19 and 1923-41.
JOHN DELANE: editor of The Times at 23, retaining his position for 36 years, 1841-77, and witnessing 13 changes of government.
ROBERT DONALD: editor Daily Chronicle from late 19th century until 1918. “A just man...a born leader. I never knew him to weaken in his principles or fail those who worked for him and loved him” (former colleague at Donald's 1933 memorial service).
ROBERT (BOB) EDWARDS: edited Daily Express twice in the 1960s; subsequently editor of The People and then the Sunday Mirror for a record 13 years.
DAVID ENGLISH: editor Daily Sketch 1969-71, then co-creator, with Lord (Vere) Rothermere, of the modern “compact” Daily Mail and editor 71-92. Later chairman and editor-in-chief Associated Newspapers.
HAROLD EVANS: the only person to have edited both The Sunday Times (1967- 81) and The Times (81-82). Credited with turning The Sunday Times into a great crusading paper.
HAMILTON FYFE: editor Morning Advertiser, Daily Mirror (1904-07) and Daily Herald (1922-26). Between main editorships, a great reporter.
JAMES GARVIN: edited The Observer 1908-42, falling out with Northcliffe, who sold the paper to William Waldorf Astor, but eventually removed by Astor for refusing to criticise Chamberlain or the Government in 1941.
HOWELL GWYNNE: allegedly edited two national newspapers on the same day – The Standard, which he left on July 7 1911 after six years, and the Morning Post, of which he became editor the same day and was to remain until it merged with The Daily Telegraph 26 years later.
SIR WILLIAM HALEY: director-general of BBC before becoming reforming editor of The Times (1952-66).
DENIS HAMILTON: editor The Sunday Times 1961-66; as editor-in-chief of Times Newspapers, appointed Harold Evans and William Rees-Mogg as group editors.
JOSEPH HATTON: held a cluster of provincial and magazine editorships before running The Sunday Times (1874-81) and, later, The People (1900-07). Novelist and playwright.
DEREK JAMESON: Eastender editor of Daily Express, editor-in-chief of the Daily Star, instigator of the “Bingo war” and editor of the News of the World. Later a radio and TV personality.
JOHN JUNOR: ran the Sunday Express from 1954 until 1986 and is credited with establishing it as a major journalistic force.
LARRY LAMB: first editor of the Murdoch Sun (1968-81, except for a short break), taking the circulation from 650,000 to more than four million, the largest daily sale in the English-speaking world. Also edited the Daily Express (84-86).
EDWARD LEVY LAWSON (LORD BURNHAM): co-editor, at age 22 and in tandem with Thornton Hunt, of The Daily Telegraph from 1855 until 1873. Acknowledged later by Viscount Camrose as “the originator of morning journalism as we know it today”.
KELVIN MACKENZIE: Instinctive tabloid craftsman who maintained popular market supremacy of the “soaraway Sun” from 1981 until 1994.
GORDON NEWTON: as editor of The Financial Times (1950-72), “he was to transform the paper from a modest eight pages selling 50,000 copies a day to one averaging 40 pages and a circulation of 200,000,” wrote his chairman, Lord Drogheda.
FRANK OWEN: inspirational leader who, having brilliantly edited the Evening Standard, ran the Daily Mail for three years from 1947.
PETER PRESTON: long-serving editor of The Guardian, also chairman of Guardian Newspapers. Remains a member of the Scott Trust and a Guardian columnist.
C.P. (CHARLES PRESTWICH) SCOTT: Edited the then Manchester Guardian from 1872, when only 25 years old, until 1929; also proprietor from 1905. Famously wrote: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred...”
STEWART STEVEN: Rescued the Mail On Sunday (editor 1982-92) after disastrous launch and made it the middle market brand leader.
RICHARD STOTT: a record five times Fleet Street editor, twice of the Daily Mirror, twice of The People and of Today.
HOW TO VOTE:Email your nomination to email@example.com, or, if you must, write the name on the back of an envelope and send it to: Greatest Editor, Bass Walker Associates, 133 Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3DJ.
And those who would like also to cast a vote for the worst national newspaper editor of all time – no list on the grounds of lack of space – please feel free.