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Former national and regional editor dies aged 75

A former award-winning journalist who became the editor of a local newspaper at the age of 21, has died aged 75.

Barry Askew started out in regional newspapers and was the editor of Derbyshire title the Matlock Mercury at the age of 21. He went on to edit the News of the World for eight months in 1981

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.



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  • April 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

    You do Barry a dis-service in this brief obituary. He led the team on the Evening Post (including the Society of Editors’ Bob Satchwell) in the late 1970s that ensured that Lancashire Chief Constable Stanley Parr was exposed as corrupt and then subsequently jailed. They beat every national to be named British Journalists of the Year, a very rare accolade for those outside Fleet Street, for that work.

    Earlier in his career, in Derbyshire, I believe, he also scooped the world when he revealed a secret visit by John F Kennedy to Chatsworth to visit JFK’s sister’s grave.

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  • April 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    If Rupe had kept Barry as NoW Editor, there wouldn’t have been a phone hacking scandal at News International. I know that he could be mercurial at times, but he also knew a real story a mile off. We could do with more real journalists like him editing our morning & evening papers.

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  • April 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Barry was one of the buccaneers in our trade and deserves a more comprehensive obit here if poss. Hope others write in here with more details. Quite a good obit in the Telegraph but not too clear what he got up to after leaving the NoW.

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  • April 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Sorry to hear this news. When my wife and I worked at Raymonds Press Agency in Derby, Barry joined us as a journalist and quickly made his mark as a keen ambitious newsman. He was one of a select group of young men who came under the influence and expertise of news editor Mike Kernahan and Klaus Jacoby who together moulded the careers of numerous young journalists who went on to make their names in television, radio, newspapers and magazines, Barry’s arrival at Raymonds was welcomed by Derby Pressmen’s soccer team in which he also starred.
    Les Parkin, former photographic director.
    went on to become an award-winning editor. recruits to reach the pinnacle of his profession

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