Don’t – Please Don’t – Look Back

I mean it. I really wish I hadn’t. Being limited for space at home, I decided to throw out my old paper reviews and articles, including those that my mum had insisted I keep in a scrapbook she bought for me (bless!) When these became too numerous to track I kept just the well-written ones, […]

News For the Weaselly Pleased

These days the press is getting such bad press that neutral reporting is clearly a desirable commodity. But neutrality still allows wordsmiths to subtly influence readers. These hidden persuaders are called ‘weasels’ in the advertising trade. I culled these examples from yesterday’s papers. The BBC reports: Singer Charlotte Church says she is “sickened” by what […]

Why I Did Not Go Into Journalism

Perhaps one shouldn’t be exercised by the kind of journalism that’s merely ‘the rattle of a stick in a swill bucket’, but ‘t you’re going to lie, I always think you should at least try to make it convincing. Clearly this did not cross editor Lisa Byrne’s mind before the Leveson inquiry about OK! magazine’s […]

Not Many People Got That Right

Apparently, Michael Caine never said ‘Not many people know that’. It was Peter Sellars. Democracy has found itself a new website. ICorrect has turned up to set the record straight about what people say and do in public. Here’s how it describes itself on its site. ICorrect is the website to set the record straight. […]

The Incredible Shrinking Book Pages

Some writers keep massive cuttings files; I don’t anymore. At the start of my career a mention in a newspaper was a cause for excitement, a case for scissors and glue, but after a while I became extremely blase about press mentions. This was largely due to the inaccuracy of the reportage caused by speed […]