It was standing room only at a recent memorial service for legendary Press Association editor-in-chief David Chipp.
Friends and colleagues gathered at the ‘journalists’ church – St Bride’s in Fleet Street – for the service where former Press Complaints Commission director Guy Black delivered the main address.
David was editor-in-chief of PA for 17 years from 1969 and a devoted fighter for press freedom in the UK and across the world.
He was also Reuters’ first correspondent resident correspondent in Beijing after the Communist takeover and became the agency’s editor in 1968.
The man who knew everyone, including Chairman Mao, died in September aged 81.
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: “As a news editor and later editor, I knew David as a customer of the PA service, and in recent years, as a colleague in the Commonwealth Press Union, as an influential and inspirational campaigner at home and abroad on precisely the issues for which the Society of Editors exists.
“The size of the congregation summed up the esteem in which David was and is held by so many.
“But in looking around the church full of family, friends, journalists and especially former colleagues at the PA, it occurred to me that there were thousands of journalists who would have hardly known him yet he certainly influenced their working lives.
“What’s more, most of the public probably never heard of him, but their lives were touched by his editorship of the PA which provided, and still provides, so much news for all of us.”