Big Flame

1970-1984

Archive for October, 2010

PROPOSAL FOR A SUNDAY SOCIALIST PAPER (Miscellaneous Big Flame Documents no 7)

Posted by archivearchie on October 25, 2010

The first issue of News on Sunday

This post is the seventh in an occasional series. This site already contains a large number of documents produced by Big Flame or its members. Most can be found in the 30 posts in Episodes in Big Flame History.

Each post contains links to documents which relate to its theme. Links to the same documents are also listed on the website’s Publications page, this time sorted by type – pamphlets, journals, newspaper, internal documents.

This is a follow up to the post on The News on Sunday Project.

According to Peter Chippendale and Chris Horrie in their book Disaster! The Rise and Fall in the News on Sunday (Penguin, 1988) there was “a legend” that the origins of the News on Sunday could be traced on a “great idea” one individual had during an aeroplane flight sometime in 1978.

I can’t vouch for what happening on this flight, but I can reveal a June 1978 Big Flame Discussion Bulletin article which floated an idea which resembled the project in many ways.

This was:

  • Six years before GLC commissioned first feasibility study.
  • Eight years before News on Sunday Publishing plc was established.
  • Nine years before the brief spell during which the paper actually appeared.

The context was Big Flame deciding not to become involved with the International Marxist Group (IMG)’s paper Socialist Challenge, but to explore that option of a “independent weekly revolutionary paper”.

The article argues for a Sunday newspaper because of the higher paper readership on that day and the lack of rival left publications.

Also that it had to be seen as independent rather than linked to any party to attract financial resources and journalists.

It talks about a minimum sale of 100,00 copies (far less that the later News on Sunday projections) which could require moving beyond street sales into mainstream distribution.

Click here to read: A New Independent Socialist Weekly Paper – On a Sunday.

 Archive Archie

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