Harold Evans’ Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times

Apr 6, 2010

Harold Evans, editor of the Sunday Times from 1967 until Rupert Murdoch acquired the paper in 1981, made a name for himself by pursuing stories hidden from public view, as he did when, upon his arrival at the paper, he pushed against the Ministry of Health to cover the stories of families affected by use of the sedative drug thalidomide. Evans pushed the envelope, publishing pictures of children who had been born missing limbs. That editorial decision landed him in court with the British government, trading victories and appeals until the case ultimately ended up before the European Court of Human Rights. Evans' eventual triumph there forced the British government to reform its law blocking free speech in cases of what he claimed was "manifest injustice.” Patt talks with Sir Evans about his adventures in reporting and the remarkable changes he witnessed in the newspaper industry, from typing four carbon copies at his Underwood typewriter, to the age of the internet and Rupert Murdoch.

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