Ref NoPK
Acc NoASCC-2010-07
TitlePhillip Knightley Archive
DescriptionContains material relating to the research and publication of a selection of Knightley's articles and books which relate to journalism, espionage and public scandal. This includes correspondence, press cuttings, research notes, interview transcripts, publishing contracts, lecture notes and photographs. The largest proportion of material relates to the research for his book 'The First Casualty', a seminal work for Journalism History and Communication studies.
Date1946- 2010
AdminHistoryKnightley, Phillip (1929-2016) was a special correspondent and freelance writer. He was born in Sydney, Australia and was educated at Canterbury Boy's School, Sydney.

He entered the newspaper industry as a copy boy on the Daily Telegraph, Sydney, in 1946: and the following year became a trainee reporter on the Northern Star, Lismore, New South Wales. From 1948 to 1949, he was a reporter and columnist on the Oceania Daily news, Suva, Fiji.

He then returned to Australia to work as a reporter on the Melbourne Herald, 1950- 1951, before joining the Sydney Daily Mirror as a reporter, 1952- 1954. His next position was as London correspondent for the Australian Mirror group (1954- 1959). Following two years as managing editor, Imprint, Bombay, India (1960- 1962) he went back to Australia as a reporter for ABC, Sydney in 1963.

He returned to London in 1965, and worked at The Sunday Times first as a reporter, then as a special correspondent, where he stayed until 1985. As part of the Sunday Times Insight Team Knightley worked for 3 years on the Thalidomide case. By systematically working through company accounts with a translator Knightley was able to prove that the drug had been developed in Germany and sold under licence by the Distillers Company in Britain without adequate testing.

Another major scoop for Knightley was the exposure of the Vestey family. After more than a year of research, Knightley wrote a piece that showed how one of Britain's richest and best-connected families ran a business empire that had been entirely structured to avoid tax.

From 1985 until his retirement he worked as a freelance journalist. He was a member of the National Union of Journalists from 1965 to 1990.

Phillip Knightley has won numerous awards, including British Press Awards for Journalist of the Year, 1988 (Vestey), and 1989 (Philby): Granada 'What the papers say Reporter of the year', 1980: British Press Awards Magazine Writer of the Year, 1982.

As an author he has written: The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth-Maker, 1975 (American Book of the Month Club main choice). For this he was also presented with the Overseas Press Club of America award for the best book on foreign affairs, 1975. His other works are: The Vestey Affair (1981): The Second Oldest Profession: the Spy as Bureaucrat, Patriot, Fantasist and Whore (1986) (American History Book club main choice) : An Affair of State: the Profumo Scandal and the Framing of Stephen Ward (1987): and Philby: KGB Masterspy (1988).

He is co-author of: The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia (1970): The Pearl of Days ( a history of The Sunday Times) (1972): The Death of Venice (1976): and Suffer the Children: The Story of Thalidomide (1979). He also lectured on journalism and espionage in Britain, the United States, Australia, Sweden, Norway and India.

Phillip Knightley died in December 2016.
CustodialHistoryThe papers have been in possession of Phillip Knightley. They were donated to the University of the Arts Archives and Special Collections Centre in October 2010.
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2021