May 2023 was the 30th anniversary of the launch of the ITN 1955 Club Newsletter. It started as an experiment in May 1993, and there have now been 337 editions.
Here’s a brief summary of the history of the Newsletter.
Pat Watson recently wrote a short summary of how it developed between 1993 and now:
“The first Newsletter appeared in May 1993 – suggested by Arthur Clifford – and was greeted enthusiastically by the membership. Frank produced and posted these to members. Over time, it grew from 2 sides of A4 to 4, then 6 stapled together.
In June 1997, Frank realised he had produced 50 of them, and started numbering them.It was at this time that we changed to A3 folded, and Syd Stiller and I took over the distribution to an ever-increasing membership. The 8-page Newsletter grew into 12 and then 16 pages as the membership went up to over 300.”
When Frank retired, after editing 248 editions, Duncan Jones said at that year’s Christmas Club lunch:
“I need hardly tell any of you of the significance of Frank’s contribution to the Club. He has done a remarkable job editing the Newsletter for 22 years, and has always shown terrific enthusiasm for the job”.
Sam Hall edited the Newsletter from April 2015 until July 2017.
Putting new emphasis on layout, Sam can be credited for moving the Newsletter to more of a magazine format. When he stood down in 2017, he wrote:
“For me, it has been an intriguing, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable experience that has brought me closer to many club members.”
Julian Wilkins replaced Sam, and was editor for four years from September 2017 until September 2021.
In his last edition as editor, he said that the Newsletter is “a great way to capture the remarkable history of ITN”, providing something not only for its members but also serving as “a guiding light for the new battalion of ITN staff”.
Nigel Dacre then took over in October 2021.
He wrote in the June 2023 edition of the Newsletter:
“I still have a long way to go before I match Frank’s record! But it’s been a positive experience. It’s hard work and time-consuming, but it has been nice to be in touch with former colleagues, and I enjoy the research, writing and production work that goes into each edition.”
Photo above: the Newsletter on its 10th anniversary in May 2003. The front cover includes an article by Frank Miles on ITN’s Iraq War coverage, and what was by then the long-running saga of ‘News at When’.