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life in the bowels of the newsroom workhouse - an exchange

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Raoul Djukanovic

Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Posts: 385
Location: UK

Post Post subject: life in the bowels of the newsroom workhouse - an exchange Reply with quote

life in the bowels of the newsroom workhouse

Posted by Raoul Djukanovic on August 13, 2004, 5:21 pm (from medialens chat)

this is the world in which most hacks have to earn their spurs before being let loose on the crusades dreamed up by the likes of spy-da-man arachnowitch.

it is difficult to land a job with a national news organisation without possessing either a) a measure of celebrity however contrived; or b) three years or more of experience in the courtrooms and council meetings of small towns. the same rules apply, but the flak is of more apparently human origin. a few tickings off and you quickly learn to serve up the bilge that suits either your boss or your sources, usually depending on how cynical about your job you happen to be feeling on any given day.

the following email exchange was between two journalists in their late 20s lamenting their lot in a career cul-de-sac while others abandon their betrayed ideals and get on with hyping without the pretence.


Date: August 12, 2004 17:50:01 BST
Subject: RIP

News just in, though they died a good few months ago. The latest pair to leave the regional press in search of normal pay and conditions.
In search of averageness, of a Mondeo, weekly shops at Tescos, that £40 party dress they always wanted, maybe even a house. One day perhaps bring up a child. All unattainable in their former lives.
Clare Shaw RIP (Sheffield College, Barnsley Chronicle)
Vanessa Bassnett RIP (Barnsley Chronicle)
May they enjoy their rebirth at the York Railway Museum (Shaw) and Crown Prosecution Service. Doubtless in PR. 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar newdesks of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond regional rag foam

(apologies to Binyon)

Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: RIP

Devastated to hear the news of comrades lost in action, alas this is a war and there will inevitably be losses.

The important thing to remember for the rest of us battling at our computer terminals with self loathing coursing through our veins as news editors whip our backs with chains is never lose hope. 

The revolution will come one of these days. We mustn't allow ourselves to be taken over by the evil side. 

Press Officers might earn more, have more time off, have more sex, live longer, be happier...BUT there is no reward without hurt.

The perks they may enjoy now will wear off and soon they will miss their old lives.

Just remember the satisfaction of taking an unsuspecting person's quotes and taking them so out of context they feel compelled to ring up the next day and scream at you down the phone.
And lest we forget that warm glow we all have knowing we have singly been responsible for ruining someones day, raising their blood pressure and probably bringing forward their death.

Lest we forget.

Pte Pynn (SWNS Brigade, Bullshit Division) 

Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:39 pm
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