On February 24, 1978 The Jam released "News of the World", a UK #27 hit written and sung by bassist Bruce Foxton. At the time Paul Weller was reportedly in the thick of a writer's block. (The next single would be "David Watts", a Kinks cover).
In his memoir, That's Entertainment, drummer Rick Buckler writes about the decision to release he Foxton song as the single :
The only problem with Bruce writing songs was that they were instantly-and I think unfairly-compared by the press to Paul's songs and I think this was something Bruce never really recovered from. Bruce wasn't Paul and Paul wasn't Bruce, but both were members of The Jam. We understood why the press and some people thought the way they did. What this did mean was that the songwriting from here on really fell onto Paul's shoulders alone and that's where it remained until the last days of the group. It was simply something that Paul had to live with. He hated being treated like a machine that was expected to keep churning out songs to order, and recording songs like 'David Watts' helped sometimes.
The video was shot on the roof of the Battlesea Power Station in London.
There were two songs on the B side. "Aunties and Uncles" is written by Weller but "Innocent Man" is another Foxton song.