22 Comments
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Jun 1Liked by The Mill, Mollie Simpson

Dear me, another brilliant and moving article.

The Mill writes some great pieces and I hope you are able to continue doing so.

I note your problems recruiting editors, find people of your standards isn’t easy.

Keep up the great work.

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Thanks very much David. Glad you enjoyed it. I think standards is part of the challenge, but there's so much more going on with picking editors. Sophie and I have a very specific idea of the types of story ideas we like and the mix of things we want to publish. We will get there..

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Jun 1Liked by The Mill

Another great Mill piece.

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Jun 1Liked by The Mill

What a great piece. Fascinating. And really brings home what has been lost in both local and national journalism in this country..

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Jun 1Liked by The Mill

Fantastic article. What an amazing couple. Reminds me of my dad, first in the family to go to university in the 30s. The family lived near Little Hulton for centuries, (my brother has traced them back to the 1600s) and within one generation of free education they were dispersed all over the world.

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It’s interesting that your piece starts with reference to his rarefied life mixing with film stars; because he was anything but “grand”. My dad had been a fellow newspaper-man- a lowly circulation rep initially with MEN, where he got to know Harry and later with the Mirror. Over the years they always remained in touch; Harry always found time for him because despite them being polar opposites of the newspaper hierarchy, they were bound by their dedication to getting newspapers out there.To be as good a journalist & Editor as well as being a thoroughly decent guy seems remarkable.

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Lovely.

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Just wondering if the Infected blood and the Post Office scandals would have taken so long to reach a conclusion if Harold Evans had been in his heyday.

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Good point.

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Always interesting , sometimes exceptional , the Harry Evans story is one of the latter .

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Didn't know anything about Harry Evans so thanks Joshi . I've also always wondered what an editor actually does ,I found this aspect of the piece fascinating.

What is it about Manchester people? So many interesting life stories, Norman Foster the architect is another one from very humble roots.

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Read Arnold Wesker's 'The Journalists' for a sense of Evans in full flow.

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Jun 1Liked by The Mill

That’s two books I have bought because of this article. Amazingly well done Joshi, this one was a stunner.

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Thanks v much. My Paper Chase is great.

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What was it about the newspaper owners that gave him the freedom to campaign in that way? do editors generally have that freedom today?

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I'd certainly recommend 'My Paper Chase' as very readable, and a great insight into newspapers and journalism. From being flummoxed by 'asparagus' on his first day on the Ashton-under-Lyne Weekly Reporter to campaigning editor of the Sunday Times he learnt his trade inside out.

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Good question. One of the things he points out in My Paper Chase is what a brilliant owner Roy Thomson was. Thomson's politics didn't always align with what his papers were saying but he gave his editors freedom. I don't really know about what kinds of freedom editors have today. I suspect the thing holding them back from these big campaigns now would be the lack of resource for the investigative bit, but that's a guess. When I was on the Standard, there's no doubt our Russian proprietor Evgeny Lebedev interfered with the paper (the paper calling Ed Miliband's popular non-dom proposal a 'London tax' was particularly embarrassing). But he also allowed editors to run the very successful Dispossessed campaign about urban poverty.

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Sorry that was meant as an answer to Sheila.

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Brilliant, interesting and inspirational piece.

The Mill strikes again.

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Brilliant piece that very much made me want to read Evans's and Brown's memoirs - not a class of books that usually appeals to me. Hope you'll write about how you solved your editor problem once you get there. I find a lot of my clients/friends struggling to recruit for middle tier/semi-senior roles at the moment and I don't know if there is a pattern there or if it's just coincidence.

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A trivial note: the Scottish-themed pub near the Guardian/MEN offices might well have been the Sportsman's, a William Younger pub on Market St which later became the Auld Reekie.

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Good knowledge, thanks

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