Word Power | Lesson 3: Sir Harold Evans, 1928-2020, set the gold standard for journalism

Chúng ta sẽ tìm hiểu về cuộc đời và sự nghiệp của Ngài Harold Evans, một nhà biên tập báo chí lừng danh người Anh/Mỹ, qua đời vào ngày 24 tháng 9 năm 2020, hưởng thọ 92 tuổi. Ông là tác giả của các sách "gối đầu giường" của người viết báo: "Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers" (2000) và "Do I Make Myself Clear?" (2017).

Sir Harold Evans was knighted for services to journalism.

He set the world’s gold standard for journalism in the public interest, exposing deadly corporate secrets and the spy scandal of the century. His peers reveal his formula: tenacity, cunning, attention to the little details, and a boundless heart. A giant on Fleet Street and beyond, Harold Evans was 92.

By Bill Trott, Reuters on September 24, 2020

Sir Harold Evans, a British-American editor whose 70-year career as a hard-driving investigative journalist, magazine founder, book publisher and author made him one of the most influential media figures of his generation, died on Wednesday at the age of 92.

His wife, Tina Brown, said Evans died of congestive heart failure in New York.

A former editor of Britain’s Sunday Times and, at his death, Reuters editor-at-large, Evans put a unique stamp on investigative journalism. Championing causes either overlooked or denied, he and his team uncovered human rights abuses and political scandals, and advocated for clean air policies.

One of his most famous investigations exposed the plight of hundreds of British thalidomide children who had never received any compensation for their birth defects. Evans organized a campaign to take on the companies responsible for manufacturing the drug, an effort that eventually won compensation for the families after more than a decade.

“All I tried to do – all I hoped to do – was to shed a little light,” Evans said in an interview with the Independent in 2014. “And if that light grew weeds, we’d have to try and pull them up.”

After 14 years at the Sunday Times, Evans became editor of the Times of London shortly after media mogul Rupert Murdoch purchased the paper in 1981. Evans left a year later in a dispute with Murdoch over editorial independence.

A few years later, Evans moved to the United States with Brown, the journalist and editor to whom he was married for nearly 40 years. He continued his career as an author, publisher and university lecturer. He penned several books, including The American Century (1998) and its sequel They Made America (2004), as well as an ode to good writing called Do I Make Myself Clear? (2017).

He became the subject of books and documentaries, including Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime (2014), about the thalidomide campaign.

Evans founded Conde Nast Traveler magazine and served as president and publisher of Random House from 1990 to 1997. Under his leadership, Random House scored various publishing successes, including the best-selling Primary Colors, a satire about Bill Clinton by Anonymous, later revealed to be journalist Joe Klein, and Colin Powell’s My American Journey.


Read more at https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/harold-evans-obituary/


1. tenacity /təˈnæsəti/ (n): [U] (formal) the quality of not giving up sth easily; the quality of being determined

E.g. They competed with skill and tenacity.

2. cunning /ˈkʌnɪŋ/ (n): [U] ​the ability to achieve sth by tricking or cheating other people in a clever way

E.g. It took energy and cunning just to survive.

3. Fleet Street /ˈfliːt striːt/ (n): [U] ​a street in central London where many national newspapers used to have their offices (now used to mean British newspapers and journalists in general)

4. influential /ˌɪnfluˈenʃl/ (adj): having a lot of influence on sb/sth

E.g. She is one of the most influential figures in local politics.

5. figure /ˈfɪɡjər/ (n): [C] a person of the type mentioned

E.g. He was a well-known figure in London at that time.

6. congestive /kənˈdʒəstɪv/ (adj): involving or producing too much blood or other liquid in an organ

E.g. Sir Harold died of congestive heart failure in New York, according to his wife Tina Brown.

7. stamp (of sth) /stæmp/ (n): [singular] (formal) the mark or sign of a particular quality or person

E.g. President Reagan left an indelible stamp on the nation.

8. overlook /ˌəʊvərˈlʊk/ (v): to see sth wrong or bad but decide to ignore it

E.g. He’s so friendly people are prepared to overlook his faults.

9. uncover /ʌnˈkʌvər/ (v): to remove sth that is covering sth

E.g. Police have uncovered a plot to kidnap the President’s son.

10. advocate (for) /ˈædvəkeɪt/ (v): (formal) ​to support sth publicly

E.g. We were the only ones advocating for the victim.

11. expose /ɪkˈspəʊz/ (v):​ to show sth that is usually hidden

E.g. My job as a journalist is to expose the truth.

12. plight /plaɪt/ (n): [singular] a difficult and sad situation

E.g. He has expressed deep concern about the plight of the flood victims.

13. thalidomide /θəˈlɪdəmaɪd/ (n): [U] a drug given to people to make them calm, until it was discovered that it harmed the development of the arms and legs of unborn babies

14. defect /ˈdiːfekt/ (n): a fault in sth or in the way it has been made that means that it is not perfect

E.g. The drug is widely known to cause birth defects.

15. take sb <> on (phr v): ​[no passive] to play against sb in a game or contest; to fight against sb

E.g. You have to be brave to take on a big corporation in court.

16. pull sb up (phr v): (British English, informal) to criticize sb for sth that they have done wrong

E.g. She’s always pulling me up for/on/over my bad spelling.

17. mogul /ˈməʊɡl/ (n): a very rich, important and powerful person

E.g. He is a movie mogul.

18. sequel (to sth) /ˈsiːkwəl/ (n): a book, film, play, etc. that continues the story of an earlier one

E.g. The new movie is a direct sequel to the first, picking up the story where the original left off.

19. ode /əʊd/ (n): a poem that speaks to a person or thing or celebrates a special event

E.g. Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’’

20. devil /ˈdevl/ (n): (1) the Devil (in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions) the most powerful evil being; (2) an evil spirit

E.g. They believed she was possessed by devils.

21. satire /ˈsætaɪər/ (n): [C, U] ​a way of criticizing a person, an idea or an institution in which you use humour to show their faults or weaknesses; a piece of writing that uses this type of criticism

E.g. There is a strong tradition of political satire in this country.

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