Stop Press Tim Heald

ISBN: 9780297815327

Published: February 1st 1999


278 pages


Stop Press  by  Tim Heald

Stop Press by Tim Heald
February 1st 1999 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 278 pages | ISBN: 9780297815327 | 10.29 Mb

A mildly amusing but ultimately tedious jaunt through Fleet Street. I enjoyed some of the early sections - particularly trying to guess which real newspaper was represented by which fictional newspaper - and the papers differing approaches to a news story about the PM being bisexual. The trouble was, much of the book seemed to be given over to in-jokes and lectures given to other characters which were really just lectures to the reader. What was the point of the section on newspaper cooks, for example, except perhaps to show off some of the authors knowledge?A reference early on to the demise of the sub-editor made me smile.

Most journalists had their own computers and did their own editing, we were told, which led to mistakes in print. I suspect the same thing happened with this book - a glaring factual error on the back cover, no less, when the character Fisher is said to be fired from The Intelligence (Daily Mail? Telegraph?) and in the very first chapter ends up being fired from The Conscience (Guardian would be my guess).

Tut tut. And the text was littered with editing howlers . Perhaps it was itself an elaborate in-joke, who knows.My copy was an ex-library book from which some helpful patron had ripped out the copyright page with the date on. I approached the reading of it as a guessing game: could I guess the year it was written from the cultural references? It certainly beat the plot for enjoyment. Lets see...vague nods to the internet and mobile phone use, but nothing overpowering. References to Tony Blair would put it in the 1990s, but no mention of 9/11 narrowed it down. My guess of 1999 turned out to be spot on (modest cough) but what I found particularly striking about that was the relative innocence of that age, and the way it was still OK to stereotype female characters - bimbo/harridan etc.

The blokes came off badly too, but they seemed to cover a broader spectrum. At the same time, there was that feeling of 1990s political correctness creeping in - how desperately the book seemed to want to tell us that the Womens Rugby Team were all lesbians, and yet it knew that wouldnt be right so it was reduced to hinting in the broadest possible terms.Entertaining in parts but one I could have lived without reading.

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