Murray Sayle

Murray Sayle, a veteran foreign correspondent, died in September 2010.

Diary: The Makiko and Junichiro Show

Murray Sayle, 17 October 2002

A personable, middle-aged woman, humiliated beyond bearing, bursts into tears. Her boss reacts with a crude male-chauvinist taunt, and fires her. Their tiff starts a scandal and stalls a nation’s economic recovery, maybe the world’s. A villain is arrested, more run for cover. This is the Makiko and Junichiro Show, and it has kept the Japanese population glued to its TV screens...


Bloody Sunday

11 July 2002

Murray Sayle writes: I should perhaps make clear here, as I did to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, that the unpublished Sunday Times article was raw copy researched and written in four hectic and confused days, as opposed to the three months taken by the Widgery Inquiry, and two years plus by the current one. In the normal course of newspaper production the editors and sub-editors of the Sunday Times would...

On the night of 30 January 1972, Murray Sayle was sent to Londonderry to report on the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed civil rights marchers by the British Army Paratroopers – ‘the Bloody Sunday of Irish legend and British embarrassment’. The article he wrote didn’t agree with the official line. ‘There must be some other explanation,’ he later said. ‘There are only two that are remotely possible: a deliberate massacre or a monumental bungle. There is a fork in the road.’ The article was never printed, and his copy was discarded. He failed to find it on his return to the Sunday Times office; his report was not among the documents deposited in the Public Record Office in Kew after the official Inquiry. Twenty-six years later, in February 1998, it reappeared, unearthed by the new Inquiry. In what follows, he returns to Derry to give evidence.

A spectre is haunting America: the spectre of anti-Communism. In a word, Vietnam. Only three weeks into the bombing war in Afghanistan, the dreaded word ‘quagmire’ headed a New York Times piece by the Vietnam-era commentator R.W. Apple Jr, pointing out the ‘many echoes’ between the new conflict and the war America tries hard to forget. A rash of articles erupted,...

Murray Sayle writes: I gave no advice on what we should or should not do about the spread of hydrocarbon civilisation because I have none to give. Nick Ainsley rightly says that we in affluent Europe, North America and Australia could cut our energy use and therefore our carbon dioxide emissions by more frugal habits, and such measures could make a token contribution, even if they meant switching from...

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