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Harold Evans

‘Under Evans’ leadership between 1967 and 1981, the Sunday Times gained a reputation for crusading journalism on behalf of the victims of the thalidomide scandal and for stories such as exposing Kim Philby as a Soviet spy. But his legacy was shaped by a failed attempt to lead a staff buyout of Times Newspapers and a subsequent falling out with the new proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, which led to Evans’ departure from the company. After this, he remained a lifelong critic of the Australian media mogul’s backroom political deals with British prime ministers: ‘Murdoch’s News International came to think it was above the law, because it was.'”
Sir Harold Evans Was 92

Lionel Barber: “Together, Harry and Tina became the Big Apple’s media power couple, throwing the best parties at their bijou duplex in mid town near the East River. He was a meritocrat, who once wrote that Britain has “a penchant for secrecy, social privilege and the nurturing of an educational elite which remained pervasive in the culture and has not been quite expunged to this day”. Nonetheless, he accepted a UK knighthood from Tony Blair’s government. After all, it guaranteed a better table at a Manhattan restaurant and a more distinguished email address. In his final years, Evans continued to write, to interview on stage (as editor-at-large of Thomson Reuters) and to encourage journalists old and young. ‘He was to journalism,’ as former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said, ‘what Dr Spock was to child-rearing.'”

Alan Rusbridger: “His time in the editor’s chair was not driven by his views, but by an endless hunger to find things out. Reporting came first and last – “peeling the onion, peeling the onion,” he called it. What was the one immutable rule of journalism, I asked him in 2010? “Things are not what they seem on the surface. Dig deeper, dig deeper, dig deeper.” “Just find out what the bloody facts are.” He knew the importance of facts to a functioning society long before we descended into information chaos, with a majority now saying they no longer know what’s true and what isn’t. In an age of widening divisions there is delicious escape in thinking back to the simple comfort of evidence.”

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