Communications, Media and Culture
News and Events
Ladies and gentleman. It's an honour to be here, in one of the places he loved best, and in the country he loves best, to begin what I hope and believe will be a long series of lectures saluting one of the great British editors of the twentieth century.
The curse and the glory of daily journalism is that it is indeed daily - first, rough drafts of history cleared away by the office cleaners with the next dawn, emptied like the slops of the night before's cold coffee. That means your triumphs are short-lived - but also, blessedly, that most of your goofs are short-lived, too. And it means, as well, that your impact, your contribution, seems instant and fleeting. Journalists are very rarely part of the history that they help to make. They are mostly passing tradesmen.
But Alastair, of course, was much more than that. He did, at crucial moments, leave his stamp on history. And, in the taking of the Guardian to London and the building of its strength over 19 years, he also left his stamp on the shape and aspirations of modern journalism. He was and is my guide, mentor, tutor and friend. He was also, in a sense, my future: and so it seemed right for this lecture to look, as he would look, at the future of newspapers: to see where we're heading.
Such examinations, though, always have to start somewhere. You need that, too; a sense of evolution. Just as you can't appreciate the English style of polemical journalism - the Bernard Levin, the Richard Littlejohn - without knowing about the pamphleteers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, men like Thomas Nash, and Daniel Defoe. Everything comes from somewhere, everything in the pile marked yesterday's fish and chips is always there for a reason.
So I shall start this evening with the Manchester Guardian of November 1, 1956. The first Guardian Alastair Hetherington formally edited. And golly, what a day for news! It's war - and the time of test that any editor, however experienced, views with a shiver of apprehension as well as a shiver of anticipation. "First Blows by Navy and RAF: Cruiser sinks Egyptian Frigate. Commons in Deep and Bitter Division. Mr Gaitskell's Savage Attack on Premier's Action".
And on Alastair's first day there was Suez. A front page consumed by it. Page 2 and much of 3 given over to that Commons bitterness, verbatim. A thousand or so words of a fierce and magisterial leader. "A Disaster." It begins: "The world must be told clearly, as Mr Gaitskell said yesterday, that millions of British people are deeply shocked by the aggressive policy of the Government". A facing page of foreign news. "Intense Anger in U.S. - Alliance Shaken" - from Max Freedman in Washington. A back page which was almost a second front page examining Labour's backbench support for the Gaitskell line in wise depth. Nobody could say that this first day editor had sold the story or his readers short. It was a start to be proud of.
But there are other things in this paper - less resounding things - which are also worthy of comment. One is the reminder that this was still, at circulation heart, a local morning paper. Take that back page. In column three the Israelis are defending the Suez invasion. In column four, the Egyptians are being "kind and helpful" to our Cairo ambassador. But in column five, 30 farmers from a village near Oldham who've had five power cuts in five days are suing the North-west Electricity Board. And in column six, Salford Civil Defence isn't getting much thanks for bringing 220 hot meals to Salford pensioners. "CD meets Apathy". The news of the 72nd case of polio in Stockport this year is the briefest of non-headlined briefs.
That schizophrenia runs through page after page. There are two city pages. The second is almost entirely devoted to the annual general meeting of Manchester Liners. There is a single sports page. Count it ... one. It leads with county rugby. Dorset and Wilts have beaten Oxfordshire. Sussex have seen off Hertford. Oxford University golfers have beaten London University. Oxford University freshmen have set a new 220 yard run record - but, alas, with a following wind. This is a paper where football ranks no better than golf. Amateur golf in Prestbury. Where Manchester companies rule the page tops. Where (search for it as you may) there is no mention and no programme guide for television. Or radio. And where no feature of a currently identifiable kind exists. There is one page which, without labelling, appears to fill that function. It begins with an account of Halloween preparations in a small place north of Leigh called Scotia North. It has a (pre-Frayn) column called Miscellany, filled with much excitement about women joining the Oxford Union. And there's an essay about school days by Edward Blishen.
We have, in sum, something which might more generally be called Miscellany - just as page six features, only inches apart, Dr Charlie Hill's pledge for the Post Office - "a phone in every home" - and an obituary of Marshal Badoglio, first Viceroy of the Italo-Ethiopian Empire, plus a column called Boats and Boating. (Today's tip: Do's and Don'ts at Sea). I rehearse Alastair's first Guardian in this detail here because it is a necessary bench mark. Just 43 years ago. There was Cinemascope and Marilyn Monroe, and Charlton Heston flexing his pectorals. There was Alfred Hitchcock in his prime. There was, for heaven's sake, the Archers. There would soon be Coronation Street. Bob Monkhouse was a 27-year-old comedian telling today's same jokes. We're not talking pre-history. But one of the great newspapers of the world - and the Manchester Guardian was exactly that - seems to come from a far different time. Circulation: about 170,000. The rigour of its analysis was outstanding. The coherence of its presentation and organisation was essentially random. A tugboat strike on the Mersey sitting alongside the chess column. The Sky at Night in November floating among the news. Why? I'm long enough in the tooth to know why. To remember the hot night on the stone with chunks of metal (decked with little paper stickers) ranged across the metal stacks like lottery tickets looking for a winner. Edition time. Anybody got six inches? The page is going. What is it? Who cares? There's no time. Cut it in and shut up.
Oh, and one more thing. This Manchester Guardian had four pages of classified ads and a couple of pages of display in a paper with the total size of sixteen pages. There were twelve pages of editorial. Twelve. No forests had died to make it possible. Nineteen years later, as Alastair packed his bags for BBC Scotland and set off for legendary conflicts with the undevolved, unreconstructed bureaucrats in Broadcasting House on great national issues like (I think I remember) the provision of a BBC piano in the Inverness studio, the paper was transformed. A national paper doing all the things national papers do. A paper selling 320,000 copies a day. A paper with sport and some of the greatest sports writers. A paper which had begun, even pioneered, the development of topical features as part of its service. An organised, not a random paper.
Some of that progress was individual - the product of individual vision. Some of it was dragged along by the normal competitive imperatives of newspaper life. "If they're doing it, we better do it too." And some of it, in ways those of us who were there did not always realise, was conditioned by forces we barely comprehended. Take television. It was there, increasingly dominant. It set the immediate news agenda. If you wanted to know what was happening, you switched on at six or nine or ten. There was less and less point to a newspaper, chuffing along train lines in the early hours of the morning, which merely reiterated the news of twelve hours before. We had to offer something different - and, in two broad ways, we did. The tabloid press sought to survive by covering the life of sex and crime that television, a regulated, consensus medium, couldn't touch. Lust-crazed, machete-wielding TV soap stars were best of all. The broadsheets sought survival by swelling pages and specific coverage of areas their readers couldn't properly explore in the constriction of two, three or even four television channels. Education. Public Services. The Law. The media. There was potential recruitment advertising here - but validly so, because the readers already existed. We were going deeper and wider. We were in the business of coalitions of readers and interests. In news terms, we tried to tell you what had happened yesterday: but also why it was important, what it meant, what would happen tomorrow. The appetite for features became ravenous (and, if I'm honest, The Guardian had a stroke of fortune. Because in London we could only sweatily screw 16 or 17 "live" pages out of the hot metal system, the only pages we could add had to be features, matted - cardboard sheets - 24 hours earlier in Manchester and sent south by train in the morning. We expanded in the only way we could; and it happened to be the right decision).
Those tendencies were already clear when Alastair packed for Scotland. They are still the ruling orthodoxies of 1999. But there also vast changes. Consider, for instance, the technology of it all. The technology of newspapers themselves is utterly changed. No hot metal, no stone, no sweating legions of compositors. There is colour on cue. Forty or fifty live pages a night are routine. The printing plants are far away, the pages pumped there electronically at the flick of a switch. Almost anything, sometimes, seems possible.
But it is as nothing compared to the change in the rest of the world. For four TV channels, read 40 or even 400. The agenda domination of the major terrestrial news bulletins is fading (as their mass audience fragments). And the Internet is the king of the future - offering not just entertainment, but instant news the moment it happens, plus all of the special interests any newspaper reader could wish for. The specialist sites grow apace. Business would be lost without the FT and the Wall Street Journal sites. I'd be lost without the wonderful movie archive called IMDB. Classified recruitment sites are on the march, threatening to take away as much as forty per cent of the revenue of many local newspapers. I bought my last air tickets online (for £148 - not the £402 that our office travel agent offered). I've found a hotel and booked it on the Web. I'll keep in touch with Farringdon Road while I'm away merely by plugging in my little palm top and pulling messages across 4,000 miles.
This is a revolution happening on a screen before our eyes. The reach of the technology seems to march on almost exponentially. How long have we got? Two years, five years, ten - before the wonder of the Web, at least on many pundits' recognisance, erodes the industry we have. Before the newspaper of the future is no newspaper.
But pause ... It's time, as Alastair would say, to stop and think, to analyse. To see what from this wash of change is real and vital - and what is merely the facile swell of futurology and of consultants who make a living by cancelling their last prediction. To re-read the old books of Alvin Toffler for instance, as I've just done, is not to denigrate a lively lateral thinker: but it is, nonetheless, a slightly humbling experience. We have to be humble. The shock of the future is rarely what we think. What everybody says will happen has a nasty habit of not happening.
Let's look first at conventional wisdom. And that wisdom, as ever, is profoundly gloomy. We are all - we men and women of newspapers - doomed. All doomed.
In a way of course, that's right, Even futurologists are doomed to become part of the past. One day there may be no call for books. Especially books by management consultants. When will they invent a computer called McKinsey? But, in the meantime, it pays to be rather more thoughtful. As the last media guru to visit these shores, Michael J.Wolf of Booz-Allen, usefully observes; "The most important thing to bear in mind, in the midst of Internet hysteria, is that no new medium has ever killed off another; it has only influenced changes in it". And that, for all its feeling of complacent banality, is also the truth. I'm old enough to remember, for instance, when television was the death of cinema. Two of the three cavernous and beautiful old cinemas in my home town did indeed die. But what happened next? Suddenly there were more screens showing six - not three - movies every week: and suddenly box office attendances and takings were going up again, not down. It was Wolf's change - as quoted. And it hung on a point of crucial difference. Sitting at home in front of the TV with a video is not the same as going out. It is not an event. There is no audience participation. The phone rings: the kettle boils: it's a way of filling in life, not living it in a way you remember. I can't remember any single film I first saw on video - or courtesy of Rupert Murdoch.
So let's assume - let's really assume - that Wolf is right. Let's see, in more detail, how newspapers have changed already - and how they may change further.
Take the crude assertions of decline to begin with. Sales are falling. Circulation is slipping off a cliff. OK, In 1963, the really good old days when I joined Alastair's Guardian, the total universe of daily and Sunday national papers was just over 30 million copies and there were 18 of them. Today that universe is almost 28 million and there are 20 titles. That isn't precipitate decline. Indeed, in more than one way, it isn't decline at all. Look at the number of titles. And feel the width. This morning's Guardian doesn't have 16 pages. It has 56. It is three and a half times as big. What wide awake management consultant measures only the individual sale, say, of chocolate bars? What lesson does he draw, say, if his firm is selling 12 million instead of 14 million chocolate bars a year - but the bars are over three times as big? Is 600 tons of chocolate a decline on the good old days when we only sold 200? It's a ridiculous proposition: but it is mindlessly repeated over and over again whenever newspapers are mentioned.
Then, interestingly, there is the question of magazines (and books themselves). Did you know that in the Net heart of the future - I mean America, of course, where tomorrow happens today - there were 2,250 magazines on sale in 1990 while today there are 4,500? That last year over 1050 new titles were launched? Not an America-only phenomenon either. Just wander down to your local Menzies and look on the shelves.
How can that possibly be? If the electronic word, proceeding at pace, is about to drive the printed word of newspapers into the sea, then why is the precise reverse happening in magazines? Gurus like Wolf have an answer to that: "Nothing beats magazines for portability". But it is not, on examination, a very convincing answer. Portability? But newspapers are highly portable. He also likes the glossy pictures. But the explosion of new titles - and the resuscitation of old ones - is not by any means limited to shiny pictures on shiny paper. No: the true answer has to be elsewhere - in targeting, in niche markets, in an extension of newspapers' attitude towards features that I touched on at the beginning. And nor are these niche markets small ones. Three years ago, for instance, my daughter-in-law thought of and developed a magazine for 35-ish mums stuck at home with the kids. It's called That's Life, and I doubt it has wide readership here. But it is expertly and sympathetically done - and from a standing start it now sells over 500,000 copies a week. Some niche!
The question is whether our newspapers are capable of following along that road - and what changes such a road entails. The answer is that of course they are: but that they have barely begun to recognise the question.
Let me use the last forty years of The Guardian to illustrate the dilemma as best I can. The paper Alastair inherited, the paper I dissected in some detail, was two things: a morning paper for the Manchester area and a morning paper of liberal resonance for the rest of Britain - and, indeed, for the world. That was a unique formula; but it needed, in the heat of crisis, to be refined once the Guardian dropped Manchester from the masthead and moved inexorably to London - the executives and journalists left behind in the North shrinking year by year. Competitive national papers had to be competitive at every point, to offer the full range of expected services. It wasn't possible, for instance, to cover horse racing in a short column of tips. Whether a substantial number of readers wanted a full page of racecards or not - and the evidence is that they didn't, for maybe only one reader in a hundred even pauses over that page - it was necessary to provide it, because its provision was the symbol of a proper paper, offering the proper, expected range of services.
I could repeat that experience time after time - not just in The Guardian, but across the spread of its rivals. And what was lost in the process? For one thing, any meaningful attempt to cover the cities or regions with the slightest pretence of diligence. Effectively, The Guardian now has five reporters based outside London - and that, comparatively, is a proud record. The Independent seems to stop at Watford. The Times (like the BBC) has someone called Our North of England correspondent. The controversies of community which consume Birmingham or Bristol or Sheffield or Leicester have little place in this pantheon. And, lest you smile, London itself is equally poorly served. The Evening Standard, crippled by the impossibilities of distribution through the mighty snarl of London's traffic, has been forced virtually to abandon any consistent reportage of the things that happen in the capital that matter to the capital. Softer lifestyle features, rather, rule this roost.
The nationals, meanwhile, wouldn't dream of telling you what Camden Council decided last night (that's news too local); so, in reality, any proper coverage of a conurbation of ten million souls is reserved to a jigsaw of local weeklies and freesheets. Jigsaws, moreover, with some of the pieces missing. Can I, living in downtown Camberwell, buy a paper which tells me what's going on there and along what we euphemistically call the Dulwich borders? Not really. The South London Press, for there is no other, is hotter on Bermondsey and Brixton.
My point here is one of dislocation. The guru debate over newspaper futures - if any - inevitably centres on the news content of newspapers. Who wants that news when the Net - or Cable TV - can bring it to you so much faster? Why concentrate on news at all when the appetite for specialist magazines appears so ravenous? And so, after a fashion, the national papers we have all chase their tails. The tabloids chase Captain Hewitt. The broadsheets add bulk and specialist coverage like The Times' new law section. But let me, at the margins, scent a little absurdity here.
Consider: if I'm sitting in my home town - say Leicester - I can reach for a copy of The Guardian, The Independent or (less predictably) The Times. And it will tell me what's showing at my local Odeon and give me the times of performances. Equally, when Leicester City play Watford, there will be a report of that match the morning after. But if a bus loses its brakes somewhere near Six Hills and runs into a lamp post causing nasty, but not fatal; casualties and complete commuting gridlock, that's a local story, to be left to the Mercury. You're told what time Star Wars starts at the Odeon. You're not told why you missed it, sitting in a traffic jam five miles away. Nor are you told that local residents have been campaigning for months to have that dangerous lamp post removed.
There isn't much logic to any of this. Sport is sport. I'll get the City's matches and the Tigers' rugby reports. I'll get the Leicestershire cricket. But I'll be very lucky indeed to get a theatre review - and still luckier to find a mention of the Birmingham Symphony's night at the De Montfort Hall. I'll be told in pages of detail what university courses at the local ex-poly still have vacancies - but I won't get any digging detail on the performance of the local schools a few miles from the campus. We have come a long, long way from that Manchester Guardian of 1956. The question that's worth putting for the future, though, is whether the present destination makes much sense?
Let me suggest that it doesn't - and that many fascinating examples from far and wide (including Scotland) show that pretty clearly. But first let's go farther and wider.
Take one country I know well: Spain. Newspaper reach is still far less than in Britain - but it's growing fast, propelled by a raft of vibrant papers founded over the last ten or twenty years and forced to re-think the role of a newspaper from scratch. One, on whose board I sit, is El Mundo; only nine years old, but already the third biggest force in the country. El Mundo operates from Madrid. But it also maintains substantial reporting offices, and printing facililities, in Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Majorca. It grows on a hard-driving blend of local and national effort. It takes pains to reflect the regions as well as the centre. And that trick is also pulled to great effect the other way round by the Groupa Correo, a Basque company which became so successful at turning round ailing regional morning papers that it was positively wooed as saviour by more of them. Again, it has a simple but rigorously energetic formula. A local morning - like Idea in Granada - run by a local board and a local chairman, in this case the Vice-Chancellor of the university, but operating to central group accounting standards and centrally approved design standards - able to combine the works of its local staff with high quality international and national coverage pumped out from Madrid. It's the expert mix of the national and regional which brings success. And while I'm in Spain, I ought to mention El Periodico, the biggest of the Barcelona-based dailies, a thick quality tabloid produced each morning in two hugely different languages, Catalan and Castilian. Again, the energy and technical ingenuity are remarkable.
There is a market. There is a news agenda that works. And, as promised, it's one which will be very familiar to you in this audience, because it's made reality every morning in Scottish papers like the Herald and The Scotsman, papers in Britain's most fiercely competitive newspaper market which know how to combine the national and international together with the interests of a specific audience at a specific time in a specific place. No future? No space for innovation? Phooey! Look at what the new Sunday Herald has already achieved in a few months since its birth - not just shaving copies from its competitors but, very clearly I think, enlarging the Sunday paper universe here in Scotland. Here's something which, despite the growth in the Net and the explosion of new media, still speaks of a space to be filled. A niche which, in other ways, we might call a small canyon of opportunity. At a London level, to be sure, such newcomers (the Sunday Herald or Sunday Business) are deeply unwelcome. But they also point a way forward that London would be wise to heed. If you want to copy the techniques and the growth potential of magazines you need to learn about more than features: you need relentless targeting in news, too.
Now, how does all this fit together as a prescription for the future? Very simply, I believe. What's the peril that has to be faced? The loss - allegedly - of the habit of newspaper reading, perhaps reading itself, among the young. The migration of advertising - particularly classified advertising - onto the Net. (Most American analysts, to repeat the ides of destruction, calculate that loss at 40 per cent of ad revenue and 50 per cent of the average paper's profits). The instant development of the Internet as THE prime tool for following and accessing breaking news, leaving poor old print trailing far behind. The gradual peripheralisation of print as a medium. It is a formidable charge sheet. No wonder the gurus are keeping themselves in funds. But consider what we've learned already about the potential of print. We know that - in an explosion of magazines - it has life and force.
We haven't found any prophets writing books which predict the death of book publication. We have found some curious gaps and underexploited opportunities in the news market. And, if we're wise, we realise that news gathering is a labour-intensive, costly and expert business which is beyond the reach of Net news teams alone. They, at best, merely process existing news agencies. They don't and can't provide a service worth paying for in its own right. FT or Reuters special financial services, perhaps: they command a cash premium. But there's already a great Net resistance to paying extra for services which are expected to be free. When Bill Gates, for instance, hired the wonderful magazine writer, Michael Kinsley, and made him editor of a witty, eclectic Web magazine, the intention was to charge a subscription for it - but that, swiftly, was unreality. Readers loved it. But they didn't expect to pay for it.
We haven't, either, even begun to see what could happen if newspaper publishers took the offensive in an innovative and dynamic way. Take one scenario, every part of which is technically possible already and, in some measure, in some parts of the world, is actually being done.
Why, when I buy my Saturday or Sunday paper, am I required to buy every fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth part of it - the sections I want to read and the sections I always hurl into the bin? If I'm abroad - say in Spain again - I can pay one of two prices, for the basic paper or for the full, glossy Monty. That doesn't seem to throw Spanish newsagents into terminal confusion; and nor, I suggest, would an extension of that approach.
Think about the way you live your life. Sometimes a late start, sometimes an early one; sometimes a crowded train ride into the office, sometimes a frantic car dash; sometimes a busy morning, sometimes a leisurely few hours of brooding and thinking. Your needs are different from day to day. The biggest problem for daily papers is ensuring daily purchase - not two or three times a week. Why not a paper tailored to your demands in volume, size or even shape? Broadsheets, we know, can be a struggle on crowded Tube trains, for instance. Tabloids are easier to manage. But why, if I've got forty minutes stuck on the Tube, should I be asked to buy something other than the broadsheet of my choice? It's not particularly complicated these days to produce the same basic paper in differing shapes. It can easily be done - far more simply than El Periodico's two language editions.
More regional editions, more targeted news, more effort, different shapes and more differentiated content. And at once, I think, you begin to glimpse the synergies.
Some things that newspapers do routinely today make no sense half a step into the future. What's the rationale, for instance, of all those thick, dense pages of UCAS vacancies when the Internet provides such information and more in an instant? What's the point, only a little further on, of pages of entertainment listings where, in the Net world, you can call up all such material at the flick of a switch, and make your cinema or theatre bookings and (if you're a reader of the San Jose Mercury) get detailed instructions for driving from your hotel or home to the door of the theatre? Some things are not ultimately competitive in print. But many things - in particular, the edited mix of news, features, sport and special interests for you in a way that defines you, a Guardian reader, a Telegraph reader, a Dundee Courier man - remains as unassailable in print as a Tom Wolfe novel or a collection of poetry by Robert Burns. It's not the medium that's wrong. It is the uses to which it's put that are there to be questioned. Most crucial of all, newspapermen have to devise a new fit for their papers in a revised universe.
In this new, fitted world the electronic media aren't deadly enemies, but potential allies for survival and prosperity. Most of us, for instance, already run subscription schemes. Sign up for The Telegraph for year and see its price tumble. The Sunday Telegraph sells 800,000 copies a week, The Observer sells 400,000. But The Observer sells more full price copies than the Telegraph. Why, though, should such subscription wheezes - though they have their mailing list uses - be primarily devices for lopping cash off circulation revenues? Couldn't they be a great deal more than that? Sign up for your Times for a year for instance, get your smart card and computer pass word, and there is so much more that nice Mr Murdoch could offer? Free films on his cable channel. An individualised schedule of law reports on his web site. Details of the local football scene in Queensland you give more than a four XXXX about far from home. The chance to order only half of the Sunday Times. A Scottish edition with Scottish news - or the English edition in Aberdeen if you're a Penzance businessman far from home. If the distribution is right, if the newsagent has moved beyond scrawling indecipherable notes in pencil in some heavy ledger, if that is part of the electronic future too, then the newspaper and the Net are brothers under the screen. Not just in obvious services like cheap holidays or wine offers, but more deeply - as a tool for understanding and coping and living more easily.
The mixture of considered, arranged news in print and instant updates (or plunges into far, far greater detail) has to be the most powerful of combinations. Tell me what's going on. Tell me why and how. I'm fascinated, now let me have access to much, much more.
The concept is hardly revolutionary. Newspapers already run newsprint computer supplements cross referencing to their own web sites. At the most basic level, a lot of print TV listings will set your videos for you. Local daily papers, in particular, have begun making determined efforts to get their local circulation areas buttoned down as effective print and Net monopolies. The connections are being made.
What isn't there yet, however, is the full extent of the big picture. Here is the screen, I think, that it must operate on.
I am a newspaperman. I have always felt that in my bones. Part of a tradition going back to Defoe. I am automatically, then, a journalist. My trade is the wider news of life. My basic expertise, and that of all those who work around me, is the gathering and sifting and presentation of information. We are information people. That's our business.
But we'll lose our place and our role to a new information regime if we attempt, blinkeredly, to operate only in the little boxes of the past - to cling, for instance, to heavy presses clanking out a few desultory editions, to teeming news rooms whose output has only one newsprint outlet. That is hopeless thinking. It not only guarantees hard times - it misses the point that the words on the Net and the words on the printed page are WORDS. Written words. It misses the point that the cost of the information gathering machine is great - too great for Net-only sites to compete against. They have some advantage in some areas of classified ads because the words on paper are expensive. The advantage swings in the other direction where the words are words of news and analysis, because the cost structures of newspapers already bear that weight. The crux is developing a total entity of interlocking possibilities that is worth paying for, that relates to the needs of the reader, that crosses the gulf between the electronic and the printed word.
I have said it before. I love newspapers. They are a unique medium filled with unique possibilities. They won't merely survive. They will grow and prosper if we're flexible enough to make the connections. Alastair, setting out on his editorship almost half a century ago, saw the connections and the imperatives. He played a vital part in the sustenance and development of a wonderful paper. He embraced the future. I hope that those, down the decades, who have the honour to give this lecture will embrace it too.