A former award-winning journalist who became the editor of a local newspaper at the age of 21, has died aged 75.
Following his editorship at the Mercury he went on to the Sheffield Morning Telegraph and did a brief stint at the Sheffield Star before embarking on a 13-year editorship of the Lancashire Evening Post in Preston at the age of 32.
During that time he won awards in competition with national and other regional newspapers as campaigning journalist of the year and journalist of the year. The paper won at least one major award every year during his tenure.
Evening Post features editor Peter Richardson, who was given his first job on the newspaper by Mr Askew 35 years ago, said he was ‘a high-profile character’ in the town.
Said Peter: “Barry was well-liked by his editorial team because he trusted them and let them get on with the job and when he got the sniff of a big story he really went for it, all guns blazing.
“I’m sorry to hear of his death. He was a one-off character; volatile, erratic sometimes but a good journalist.
“No one ever landed such a huge job as News of the World editor straight from being editor of a provincial paper but Barry managed it.
“He should have had a far longer career, really.”
Barry also embarked on a broadcasting career with the BBC in the North West and as a presenter of What the Papers Say for Granada TV.
He then moved to the News of the World where circulation went back to more than five million copies during his brief period in charge. After that he returned to Lancashire and left the media at as a result of illness.
Investigations led by Barry, who died on 16 April, saw the dismissal of Lancashire Police chief constable Stanley Park and uncovered abuses at Whittingham Hospital.