18 May 2012

Details? Who cares? We're talking about our readers remember

a stroy about the workings of the media
I was going through some old files the other day looking for some long forgotten but specific information. However, going through old PC files that date back many years is like looking through a collection of vinyl singles - you may be after a particular song, but you end up stopping to look at and recalling each one. By the time you find what you were originally seeking, the reason has slipped your mind. That's what happened to me - I came across the beginning of a story I was going to write, but never developed past the opening paragraphs.

It was from 2003 and revolved around a fictitious newspaper, a fictitious, pushy female journalist and her fictitious office bound editor with an expensive leather chair and a cheap plastic smile, who slid from deal to deal and slithered from bed to bed.

The idea behind the story was that a journalistic stunt would turn into something far deeper, but I never continued with the idea.

As I read it again for the first time in nine years, some passages stood out. With your permission - and even without it - I will share some of these with you.

Editor: "It will make a great story, our readers will love it. Splashed across the front page. It can replace the story about the gay priests relationship with a corporate executive, who has just been given a golden handshake after being forced to resign as a result of a dodgy deal with a leading politician."

 Editor: "Details? Who cares? We're talking about our readers remember. You know, the ones who think Sierra Leone is a casino in Las Vegas and Condoleezza Rice is a Mexican take away. Give them a story like this and ten thousand voices will speak as one - disgusting innit, shouldn't be allowed".

Journalist: "Glancing through the file a few phrases caught my eye and I began to visualize the sort of story I would write. Hell, I was a reporter for the Daily Standard, I didn't need to go to some far flung corner of the country to interview anyone, I could make up the facts from behind my desk"

Yes, I assure you it really was fictitious - honest!  

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