Memo to Daily Mail staff sets high bar

This is a terrific memo from the former Daily Mail editor Mike Randall to his staff in the 1960s, setting out its standards and values. It is posted by the son of one of the reporters who worked at the paper at the time.

Don’t intrude into private lives, no forced interviews or pictures and uphold the highest standards. How times change…

Dysonology

In 1966-7 my Dad got a job as a young reporter for the Daily Mail’s Manchester office, just as it was made Newspaper of the Year. All staff received the memo below from editor Mike Randall.

When Dad sent it to me, he added: “Mike Randall left the paper soon afterwards. It became a tabloid and in ethical terms its downhill slide began. However, I think Randall’s statement still stands as the model of propriety to which all journalists working for all media should aspire.”

I couldn’t agree more – and it’s certainly how I’d hope people expect writers to behave. I’d add though that in the 15 years I’ve been writing, I haven’t noticed nearly as much awareness of the dangers of libel, sensationalism and indiscretion in young journos as was drilled into [my generation of] pre-internet trainees. I don’t think Twitter and the pressure of instant comment helps…

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