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Editor looks back as paper marks 140th birthday

The editor of a regional daily that has built its reputation on eschewing sensationalism has taken a reflective look back at its 140 years of existence.

The East Anglian Daily Times first hit the streets on 13 October 1874 and since then 44,170 editions of the paper have been published.

In its inaugural issue, the paper’s first editor Sir Frederick Wilson pledged that it would report events “faithfully and fairly” and avoid “editorial advice or misrepresentation.”

Now its current editor, Terry Hunt, has written a first-person piece reflecting on how the paper sought to remain true to those founding values.


Wrote Terry, pictured: “Throughout those 14 decades, the EADT has at all times sought to report fairly and honestly, proudly keeping faith with the guiding principles which were set out by our first editor in the very first edition of this newspaper.

“Never sensational in character, the EADT has always fought for what’s best for the communities it serves, throughout Suffolk and North Essex. Staying true to Sir Frederick’s promises, the ‘Anglian’ will never presume to tell it readers what to think. Instead, it seeks to set out the arguments and then leave people to reach their own conclusions.

“It’s been a long journey since October 13, 1874. The world has changed so much. And so has the EADT, at least in the way it looks. We carry news on the front page these days!

“But in character, I believe the newspaper stays true to its roots. I hope that if Sir Frederick was able to come back, just for one day, and read an up to date copy of his ‘Daily Times,’ then he would approve.

In a separate piece, also published in Monday’s anniversary edition, Terry focuses on the issue of journalistic ethics in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

“Newspaper ethics have been much in the news recently, and a lot of it has made for very uncomfortable reading for journalists. Laws have been broken and people’s lives badly affected by some national newspapers chasing “scoops.’’ Some of the behaviour has been utterly shameful,” he wrote.

“I can assure you that not all newspapers, or journalists, are the same. The cornerstone of the EADT’s relationship with its readers and advertisers is trust. Research tells us that people trust the stories we print. It is the most precious and important attribute that we have, and every young journalist who joins us is in no doubt about that.

“We don’t hack people’s phones, or have “agendas’’ – hidden or otherwise – against people or organisations. Our only “agenda” is to do whatever we can to help make Suffolk and north Essex as successful and safe as possible.”

Both Terry’s pieces can be read in full here.


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  • October 15, 2014 at 7:33 am

    140 not out but the writing must be on the wall for the EADT any time soon by the looks of their free falling copy sales figures.
    Down 15% in February’s reported figures( not reported by Archant
    funnily enough) and down another 22% in the figures published in August mean that in less than a year this paper has lost over a third of its readers and is now selling a grim 22,000 copies a day across Suffolk, an incredible and worrying loss for a publisher so obviously out of touch with the communities it thinks it serves.
    With sales figures the litmus test of a publications worth in an area, these staggering and consistent sales losses, always amongst the worst in the country,must surely forewarn the plug being pulled? Or are things so bad at Archant these days that they hang on in there grabbing whatever commercial ad revenues they can from anywhere they can get it irrespective of the costs incurred in doing so?
    I wonder if they have cut their ad rates accordingly by a third to reflect the shrunken market they are now reaching? Somehow I think not.
    The sound of rustling you can hear must be sir Fred turning in his grave at the state his paper now finds itself in.
    Costs up,sales down= RIP EADT

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  • October 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Portman – Remind me never you to my birthday party.

    “Happy 40th, Trunky! But look at those cholesterol figures. And that blood pressure. Combined with the fags and booze and your family history of cancer – it’s only a matter of time before you die!”

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  • October 15, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Can anyone ever get sensational about anything in sleepy Suffolk?
    But then, that’s how the locals want it (snore!).

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  • October 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    AAAAAAAAAAARGH! Newspapers don’t have ‘birthdays’. The word is ‘anniversary’.

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  • October 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Portman’s a bit harsh. We all fondly look back to the days when local newspapers sold by the truck load. But most people read the EADT online now, like they do most news. We’re not reading this on paper are we? I’m reading it, and commentinng, in the back of a t
    axi in Wigmore Street.

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