The Press: Pages of Sin

For the 103-year-old weekly on London's Bouverie Street it was the 5,378th issue; for the new editor, it was the first. To appraise his work, his staffers grabbed the first damp copies that came up from the pressroom. Page One was reassuring (it had a lovers' lane murder yarn) and inside there were headlines like JURY TOLD OF HER LIFE WITH MAN CALLED A 'BEAST,' and CHASTITY PACT BROKEN, SAYS JUDGE.

The headlines dealt with sex, sports and prize contests (£1,000 a week to crossword puzzle fans), three enduring attractions that had built for...

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