The Press: Facing Jail for a Caption

British press laws are among the most stringent in the Western world and newsmen are properly chary of them. Truth is never a defense. Even so, the London Sunday Times was not wary enough when it ran a picture caption descnbmg Michael Abdul Malik, a Black Muslim indicted for inciting race hatred, as a "brothel keeper, procurer and property racketeer." That was the truth but it revealed Malik's record before he came to trial—a violation of the law. Times Editor Harold Evans was haled into court on contempt charges.

Evans had cause for concern. In 1963 two London newsmen who had...

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