media & PR

Media spin, 1966 vintage

A trivial historic footnote for your delectation.

During the 1966 general election campaign, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, one of Labour’s most successful leaders, visited the Birmingham Rag Market for a public meeting. The location had been the scene of a famous* public meeting in the 1964 campaign when the then Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home got shouted down.

Compare and contrast the media coverage of the time about how this meeting went.

Exhibit A: a Labour supporting paper
WILSON GETS THE BETTER OF TORY HECKLERS (The Worker)

Exhibit B: a Conservative supporting paper
HECKLERS GET THE BETTER OF WILSON (Daily Sketch)

However, to be fair, the Tory papers did not present a united reporting front on all issues:

WILSON: 15,000 IN BIG RIOT (Express – page 1 splash story)
MRS. WILSON HIT BY PAPER DART (Mail – small one paragraph story)
 

* Famous to aficionados of mid-1960s political public meetings held in cities beginning with the letter B.

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