One of Scotland’s most illustrious journalists, Dundee-born Don McNicoll, has died in London, aged 93, after a sparkling career which spanned more than 70 years.
Yesterday, The Scotsman carried a lengthy obituary, and we quote excerpts here.
“Don McNicoll, inevitably known as Mac during his long career in England, was a working journalist for an astonishing 72 years, nearly half of those as a senior Fleet Street editor for the US-based Associated Press news agency, or ‘wire service’. He was one of the old school, a ‘deadline man’, obsessed with the right blend of accuracy, style and speed in beating the
competition, mainly Reuters and, in those days, United Press International (UPI).
“For most of his career, he was more at home with a red pencil and coffee-stained sheets of paper than with a computer, though he found himself overseeing the first computers in the AP newsroom in the 1970s – in the face of considerable hostility to the new technology from set-in-their-ways hacks.
“Like many successful Scots journalists around the world, McNicoll broke into the largely ‘closed-shop’ (union-controlled) newspaper business by joining the firmly non-union DC Thomson company in his native Dundee – initially with the People’s Friend and The