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Camden New Journal Founder Eric Gordon Dies At 89

07Apr
2021

The founding editor of the Islington Tribune and the Camden New Journal Eric Gordon passed away on Monday after a short illness. The 89-year-old had been the papers' only editor since their formation.

The CNJ had been formed out of strike action involving the staff at the original Camden Journal – the title was taken on at a peppercorn price as part of the settlement for industrial action. It grew from there and remains regarded as one of the best local papers in the UK.

On the back of this success, Eric later launched the West End Extra and the Islington Tribune. 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, the Islington Tribune reported.

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.

“Unlike other newspaper publishers, the aims and principles set out in our Articles of Association at Company’s House point to our adherence to the idealism of the 19th-century radicals who believed in the concept of the common ownership of ‘commerce, agriculture and industry,'” Mr Gordon said last year.

“We believe fervently in the powers of democracy and debate – that is why we pioneered the well-known letters pages from residents, unmatched in our opinion, and led several public campaigns to save University College Hospital in the 1990s from closure, a similar fate for the Whittington Hospital A&E, and support most council tenants who opposed a plan to transfer them to an outside management team.”