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April 15, 2024updated 16 Apr 2024 9:28am

ITN ‘trailblazer’ Diana Edwards-Jones dies aged 91

ITN CEO Rachel Corp said she hopes other women are inspired by the legacy of Edwards-Jones.

By Charlotte Tobitt

Diana Edwards-Jones, one of the first directors of ITN’s News at Ten who has been described as a “trailblazer” for women in the industry, has died aged 91.

Edwards-Jones was one of the founders of news production company ITN at its creation in 1955, when it began providing ITV with its news service.

She was studio floor manager of the first ITN programme and it was her job to cue newsreader Chris Chataway as he did not yet have an earpiece.

She was later a director of News at Ten from its launch in 1967 and became head of programme directors in the 1970s.

Edwards-Jones was awarded an OBE in the 1987 New Year’s Honours List.

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ITN chief executive Rachel Corp, also chair of the Women in Journalism group, said: “ITN is immensely proud of Diana Edwards-Jones’ legacy and how she supported innovation on many levels by holding a crucial position in broadcast news.

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“She played a hugely significant role at the start of ITN’s journey and showed women were central to the company’s development off-screen as well as on-screen.

“As we prepare for another UK general election in the coming months, I hope that other women will be inspired by her example and continue to push journalism and production boundaries.”

Edwards-Jones was the first woman to helm a TV election special in the UK in February 1974.

ITN said on Monday that Edwards- Jones will be “remembered as a trailblazer whose groundbreaking achievement opened doors for greater female representation in television broadcasting”.

Michael Crick, a founding member of the Channel 4 News team which is produced by ITN, described Edwards-Jones as a “brilliant professional, master of the control room, deliverer of the impossible, great sense of humour, and famous for her – how shall we say? – highly colourful language”.

Alastair Stewart, a longtime ITV News anchor, said Edwards-Jones was the “best director especially of big event news TV like general elections – her language put troopers to shame”. He added that he “adored her and will miss [her] as will all lucky enough to have met her”.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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