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Serving editor who was still working for weekly he founded dies aged 89

Eric GordonThe serving editor of an independent weekly he founded almost 40 years ago has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Eric Gordon, pictured, the founding editor of the Camden New Journal.

Eric had been the New Journal’s only editor since its formation in 1982, when it was formed out of strike action involving the staff at the original Camden Journal.

He later launched the West End Extra and the Islington Tribune off the back of the CNJ’s success.

Last year, he celebrated the 2,000th issue with staff and the title won three prizes at the Regional Press Awards.

Eric died on Monday 5 April after a short illness.

In an obituary, CNJ deputy editor Richard Osley wrote: “As editor of one of the last independent titles in the UK, he was proud of the newspaper’s freedom from large groups and championed a co-op style structure, warning that papers would struggle to survive if they had to answer to faraway group executives or distant shareholders seeking dividends each year.”

Richard added: “Even before the creation of the CNJ and his relentless drive to keep on working into his 80s, Eric had lived a life like few others.

“In 1967, he spent two years under house arrest in China with his first wife and son.

“He had been accused of being a spy by the Chinese authorities when he was found with notes about the Cultural Revolution while working in a commune.

“He planned to write a book, but found himself being held for two years. As editor of the CNJ, he never took no for an answer and set the paper up to scrutinise public authorities, as well as the big businesses looking to wield power in Camden.

“There was a list of successful newspaper campaigns and awards, while generations of young reporters benefited from his mentorship. Up until his final weeks, he was still authoring his uncompromising One Week With John Gulliver column.”

The CNJ will print a special tribute edition to Eric this Thursday.