The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

After Gordon Brown called that poor woman a bigot, her front lawn was invaded by all the press of the free world, desperate to get a statement from her. Unbeknownst to all these worthies, reporters from the Sun had snuck in through her backyard, and were trying to get her to slam Labour in return for big money. In the search for the scoop, it seems, any amount of skullduggery is allowed.

Such a far cry, then, from the more genteel world of 1960s journalism. As Michael Frayn reports in his neat little collection of essays titled
Travels with a Typewriter: A Reporter at Large, things were more bonhomous. He was a new hire for the (Manchester) Guardian at the time, and:
I was worried before I arrived in Manchester that I had never managed to get my shorthand up to speed. It didn't turn out to be much of a problem, though, because reports on other papers, not regarding the Guardian as serious professional competition, often saw it as one of their charitable obligations in life to seek you out afterwards and 'fill you in' from their own notes.
Ah, the sixties. Those were the days.


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