A friend has exhumed instructions issued to Daily Mail journalists by their editor, Mike Randall, in the mid-1960s, about how to behave (below).
The first three items read: ‘1. No member of Daily Mail staff intrudes or is called upon to intrude into private lives where no public interest is involved. 2. No ordinary member of the public is lured, coerced or in any way pressed by a Daily Mail representative into giving an interview or picture which he is clearly unwilling to give. 3. It remains our duty at all times to expose the fraud and reveal the mountebank wherever the public interest is involved.’
This is a good deal crisper than Leveson, but it may be significant that Mr Randall lasted only three years in the editor’s chair, before being removed because of falling circulation.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.