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Anorak | News Of The World’s Journalists Nail Ginger Tabby Rebekah Brooks And Others Who Betrayed Them

News Of The World’s Journalists Nail Ginger Tabby Rebekah Brooks And Others Who Betrayed Them

by | 10th, July 2011

ANORAK’S AGW delivers the Last Rites to the News of The World. You betray talented journalists at your peril:

THE very first contact I had with the News of the World was delivering it.

Every Sunday I collected a sackful of Sunday newspapers and took them to households around a grimy North British city. It was a cash sale exercise since in those days Sundays were delivered by independent traders. Newsagents had no say or dealings with Sunday deliveries…it was not legal to employ minors on a Sunday in that particular part of the world.

My Fagan-like boss was the grandfather of a schoolmate. He was an odd looking man who had rickets as a child and the widest bow-legged gait I had ever then , or since, seen. He paid generously and the Sunday morning activity was a welcome boost to my entertainment fund for the week ahead.

When I was given the bulging newspaper bags. There were only two strict rules which doubled as instructions.

1. “Get the money for each and every newspaper.” and if credit was given it was my debt and not Cyril’s (the bow-legged one)

2. “Never ever read the News of the World.”

Both rules were broken every week. Knocking on doors from around sparrow fart to 2p.m. Sunday pub session tipping out time let a young teenage boy see every minuscule aspect of life in a vast variety of homes in the area. Insights which were learned and honed for use later when I became a cub reporter and give me the first inklings of how to start difficult conversations.
Nothing before or since has matched the ability to get the half a crowns from the unshaven scruffy blokes tugging at copies of The People or News of the Screws while almost knocking me flat with the stench of Saturday night’s beer breath.

I learned a great deal re ladies nightwear in the same heady halcyon days. I was outed as heterosexual for life. It’s been tough but a burden I’ve learned to live with. Even in those days it was clear once I was outed broadcasting was probably not a good area to seek work.

My father hated me doing the job. The area I was given was in the shadow of a huge dirty steelworks. A tough and I mean really tough Northern City. He hated two things: the fact I was doing the job at all and servicing the homes of men who worked for him in his role as plant manager and I was being exposed to newspapers such as the Screws and the People.

He seemed to gloss over the fact the Sunday newspapers were always free and a good selection was always available. I avidly read them all and quickly learned the tightest writing and great styles were in those despised tabloids. I loved them. Especially when our local vicar’s wife and the church organist were named and shamed as being at it among St Cuthbert’s organ pipes.

It was made doubly exquisite when I had delivered the Sunday newspapers to the home of the organist that morning. The entire street had wanted unordered copies immediately. My first lesson in quick thinking and sharp enterprise came at once as I desperately tried to work out how I could break away and intercept other delivery boys in the next patches. I turned to run down the terraced Dixon Street to see bandy-legged Cyril Stanley at the street corner with a battered Silver Cross pram filled with the News of the Screws. It was the first and last time I had ever wanted to kiss an old scruffy bow-legged bloke.

We made a killing.
I still remember the organist. A few years later when I became a cub reporter he was a printer at the local newspaper office where the weekly editions were printed on a Buffalo flat bed machine…one of the oldest still running.

“Vicar’s wife in organist passion wrangle” remains one of my favourite headlines.

Later as a young sub-editor my admiration grew as I appreciated the skills shown by The Screws’ subs team. They were at the very top of the profession. It was always remarked the left-wing Mirror and NOTW subs drove Rolls Royce limos while the Express and Sunday Express (right-wing team) used the Tube.

The story of the 168 years of The News of World and its demise is not a tragedy. It is the same weary story as every journalist who has been in at the death of a great title (I’m one) will tell you.

NOT ONE newspaper title has failed because of bad journalism. Every single one was destroyed by poor to rotten management teams. In this case a failure to understand journalists can not act like or have the same protection as the government’s own spooks is only one fault. The over-riding need to keep a 7.5 million readership and advertising revenue is the core cause of what was a cellular breakdown in management and editorial structures. The eventual verdicts from the learned judicial teams will not be far from that truth.

Despite the shredding now going on, among the older journos who do know the full facts there will be several who will have the courage to stand up and point the Finger of Shame in exactly the right direction.

If anyone believes managements were not aware of the circumstances which led to the final death stroke of the UK’s top selling newspaper and the huge compensatory payments Murdoch may now be trying to avoid by binning the title then you are too naive to be reading this.

In a lifetime of journalism I have seen many of the great and mighty laid low.

The best Obituary ever was from the Irish daily which carried this on Sept 7, 1966

“Dr Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (8 September 1901 – assassinated 6 September 1966) Prime Minister of South Africa

“He was a bastard. God Rot Him”

Rupert Murdoch and the International Co, especially the ginger tabby Rebekah Brooks nee Rebecca Wade, watch out, there are those of us who never will forget and have the skills and determination to defend those who cannot represent themselves.

I, for one, have already penned your obituaries.

Betrayal is one of the words writ very large.



Posted: 10th, July 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink