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Any old ex-hacks out there?

chordstrangler 20 Jan 01 - 08:49 PM
kendall 20 Jan 01 - 09:00 PM
Inukshuk 20 Jan 01 - 09:01 PM
Allan C. 20 Jan 01 - 09:03 PM
Sorcha 20 Jan 01 - 09:13 PM
catspaw49 20 Jan 01 - 09:22 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 Jan 01 - 10:03 PM
flattop 20 Jan 01 - 10:15 PM
Allan C. 20 Jan 01 - 10:27 PM
kendall 20 Jan 01 - 11:29 PM
katlaughing 21 Jan 01 - 12:10 AM
wysiwyg 21 Jan 01 - 12:11 AM
Chocolate Pi 21 Jan 01 - 01:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jan 01 - 02:15 PM
chordstrangler 21 Jan 01 - 03:23 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Jan 01 - 04:48 PM
Giac 21 Jan 01 - 05:01 PM
Cool Beans 21 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM
ddw 21 Jan 01 - 07:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jan 01 - 07:50 PM
chordstrangler 21 Jan 01 - 09:35 PM
wysiwyg 22 Jan 01 - 12:38 AM
zonahobo 22 Jan 01 - 01:35 AM
Sourdough 22 Jan 01 - 03:31 AM
chordstrangler 22 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM
wysiwyg 22 Jan 01 - 07:06 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 Jan 01 - 07:17 PM
zonahobo 22 Jan 01 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,dick greenhaus 22 Jan 01 - 10:45 PM
ddw 22 Jan 01 - 11:49 PM
Amos 23 Jan 01 - 12:09 AM
Gervase 23 Jan 01 - 05:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jan 01 - 05:59 AM
Pinetop Slim 23 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM
chordstrangler 23 Jan 01 - 03:15 PM
wysiwyg 23 Jan 01 - 03:46 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 24 Jan 01 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Colin Randall 13 May 08 - 01:44 PM
Colin Randall 14 May 08 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,Guest Gweltas1 14 May 08 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 14 May 08 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 May 08 - 05:52 PM
Cool Beans 15 May 08 - 06:42 PM
Teribus 15 May 08 - 08:35 PM
Ebbie 16 May 08 - 12:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 May 08 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 May 08 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 May 08 - 12:55 AM
Teribus 16 May 08 - 03:43 AM
Ebbie 16 May 08 - 03:41 PM
Matt_R 17 May 08 - 01:04 AM
akenaton 17 May 08 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 17 May 08 - 07:22 PM
Teribus 18 May 08 - 12:13 PM
pdq 18 May 08 - 12:53 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 May 08 - 01:44 PM
Teribus 18 May 08 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Fantasma 18 May 08 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Fantasma 18 May 08 - 04:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 May 08 - 05:46 PM
Teribus 19 May 08 - 01:07 AM
Gervase 19 May 08 - 03:48 AM
open mike 19 May 08 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Fantasma 19 May 08 - 04:47 PM
Gervase 19 May 08 - 06:29 PM
Teribus 20 May 08 - 09:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 May 08 - 10:13 AM
Teribus 20 May 08 - 11:43 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 May 08 - 01:04 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 May 08 - 03:25 PM
Teribus 20 May 08 - 03:35 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 May 08 - 03:36 PM
Teribus 20 May 08 - 06:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 May 08 - 09:36 AM
Gervase 22 May 08 - 05:05 PM
Teribus 23 May 08 - 01:01 AM
GUEST,Dan Mitchell 19 Jul 08 - 05:22 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Jul 08 - 06:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 08 - 07:37 PM
Stringsinger 20 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jul 08 - 05:42 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 11 Sep 08 - 06:04 PM
olddude 11 Sep 08 - 06:34 PM
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Subject: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 08:49 PM



I hope that this isn't a dumb idea. If it is, or if it has been done before, please forgive me.

As a newcomer to Mudcat I have been lurking in the shadows for a month or two like a blushing young maiden mad to join the party but a bit too shy. Anyway, now I have plucked up my courage and so, here goes.

As an ex-hack having spent over 20 years in daily journalism before fleeing too early and too late to the hills and sea, I cannot escape the conviction that there are more than a few ex-hacks in the ranks of the Mudcat fraternity. As I read the threads I cannot escape the familiar recognition of the haunted hands of hackery. It takes one to know one!

Am I right ? I dunno. I hope that this is not a bad idea. If it is, feel free to consign me to the virtual Coventry where I shall loudly lament and lick my cyber wounds.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 09:00 PM

a hack in the USA is a cab driver, or, a flunky.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Inukshuk
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 09:01 PM

Who are you trying to kid? There's no such thing as an ex-hack. I'm the president of our local Writers' Circle and one of our members, well into her eighties, has just accepted a job with a small town weekly. Just let your eloquence flourish! You must be a mandolin player.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 09:03 PM

As I get it, a hack can be a commercial writer, a cab driver, or a saddle horse. I fully suspect you will find all three here. I presume you mean the writer variety. I know of one former newspaper editor who is now freelancing, one other freelancer, one former cabby and a number of horses (or, at least, portions thereof). I, myself, have only ever written one news article that was published.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 09:13 PM

(also computer breakers)


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 09:22 PM

Welcome to the 'Cat! One definite hack you'll find who just struck out into some different things is GERVASE in London, and he's really a super guy. You might send him a Personal Message in case he doesn't see this thread.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 10:03 PM

Me too, I'm afraid. No harm saying so - I was "outed" by Brendy months ago.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: flattop
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 10:15 PM

Isn't WyoWoman still in journalism?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 10:27 PM

BTW, I wasn't paid for that one article so I guess that eliminates me altogether.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 11:29 PM

What happened to Brendy?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 12:10 AM

Yeah, Wyo Woman is freelancing, as am I....welcome to the Mudcat...Once A Hack, Always A Hack, eh? No Coventry for you and glad you've joined us!

kat/katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 12:11 AM

Copy writer, copy editor, proofreader, print production manager, markup.... technical writing... grants... speeches... then PR. I used to call it being a wordmonger.

(Rant on):

Now, however, I prefer the term Media Slut. A Red Cross press campaign and multiple releases churned out within a half hour of a fatal housefire-- to raise money of course-- and dispatching another caseworker to help the fam instead of going to help them myself-- when your hands get that dirty, you're past hack all the way to sloppy seconds.

(Rant off.) I suppose since I don't talk about this side of my experience it's only fair I get tagged as a pollyanna. Surprise!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 01:35 PM

Sorcha: This is a hotly disputed term in computer-land. "Hack" is a verb, and in its original sense means "to do something clever or unsuspected." MIT's big pranks (i.e. cows/telephone booths/police cars on the big dome, disruptions of Harvard/Yale football games with weather balloons and marching bands) are called hacks. Jargon File: Hack

Malicious attacks compromising the security of systems are called "cracks," and their perpetrators "crackers" or "script kiddies" (the latter is used in the case of those (usually early-teenaged boys) who find and use automated scripts where all they have to do is type go. Jargon File: cracker and script kiddies.



Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 02:15 PM

I'm another. Ten years, and then I sidestepped into social work. Which has a lot in common - in both jobs you get paid to poke your nose into other people's affairs, and then go back and write it up, you spend a lot of time talking to people who don't much want to talk to you, and a lot of time on the telephone.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 03:23 PM

Thanks for the response and for not sending me to virtual Coventry. My instincts were proved right.

By the way, since forsaking the newsroom and heading for the hills and sea I have been making a somewhat precarious living as a freelance columnist and singer/songwriter. I have occasionally wondered if the disciplines of a journalistic past have had a positive or negative effect on songwriting.

Coming from a discipline of the five W's (Who, What, Where, Why, When and How Much) must have some effect. Does it? Has anybody else encountered this? I'd love to know.

Yes, I do play the mandolin - badly


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 04:48 PM

Gervase has done a wee bit of hacking in his time......

LTS

The only hacking I've done is the coughing sort....


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Giac
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 05:01 PM

Born into 1940s hot type; flat-bed, hand fed; AP stringer when it meant something; NPPA; daily obit writer to news editor in a few years; editor (which meant I did everything -- write, typeset, pasteup, darkroom, photos, printer's devil, address, take to post office then sweep the floors) of weekly where a war was waged, and won, against a crooked politician.

Woke up one morning and realized I had been doing that for 40 years. Moved to the mountains the next week. Write for my own amusement. The term "hack" was used when I was coming up, but usually meant an itenerant reporter, or one who could churn out volumes of trite phrasing -- hackneyed writing. Don't know which came first, hack or hackneyed.

"It was a bright and sunny day when the elderly man with snow-white hair pulled his aging sedan into the path of the speeding teenagers, and the sun was still shining when two of the children lost their lives..."

He was fired, but rehired two hours later because there was no one else to cover the city council meeting.

Editing puts a crimp in song writing for me, I'm too damn picky about phrasing, syntax, etc. Can't just let it flow, although I've written a couple that aren't too bad.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM

I'm a theater critic, full-time, paid. Formerly a copy editor, assistant city editor, weekly editor, feature writer, reporter, freelance writer. Well, I still freelance a little. Friend of mine who now writes for TV Guide, observing head-shots of herself and three other critics who were all then at the same newspaper, proclaimed it "Mount Hackmore."


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: ddw
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 07:10 PM

Not ex — still at it. Reporter for 10 years (12, if you count the two in broadcast before I switched to print) and an editor for the last 16 or so. Keep hoping to be an ex soon, but can't convince anybody to give me a sufficiently golden handshake, so — unless I win a lottery — still have seven and a half years to go.

david


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 07:50 PM

Songwriting. Maybe for some sings anyway - it does tie in with getting into the story quickly, and recognising whwere you can leave out stuff to make it balance better, and putting in telltale details and so forth.

Hack - short for hackney, and like that word, a term for a run-of-the-mill horse, especially those hired out. It might be linked to the Latin word for horse, equus."a drudge, a hireling".


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 09:35 PM

Giac, I'd love to see one or two. Is that possible ?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 12:38 AM

Giac can take you with her to anywhen she's been. I prize her e-mails like emeralds and sapphires.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: zonahobo
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 01:35 AM

I'll add to this thread because I've managed to be a journalist (air force military journalism 1967-71) learned computer programming on the G.I. Bill (we programmers often refered to ourselves as hackers hijacking any code we could lay our hands on). Raised three kids (if that ain't pretty close to taxi hacking I don't know what is) and am an unreformed smoker (hack hack) .. so I guess that makes me a quadri-hacker... I don't care if the internet glossaries say a hacker is a cracker, I almost never hear cracker used in that context and the context I do hear it used in doesn't need repeating.

I also dabble in song writing and find I am somewhat obsessed with ryme and perfect meter (no real music training just school of Mel Bay). I'm not sure if meter is the right term but the lyrics have to fit the music timing really close or I don't think it's right. So maybe the journalism does tend to 'structure' the song writing fairly tightly.

One thing journalism and music do seem to have in common is that very few really get paid much to do it so you got to love it to stick with it. (Now let's see, have I covered all them W's?)


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Sourdough
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 03:31 AM

Twenty years in broadcasting but now I'm writing for print and researchng full time. My writing was all for the spoken word for years. I think it affected my print writing. The same love of words and appreciation for tight writing that attracts me to the old ballads is what keeps me trying to communicate my thoughts , experiences, and feelings in prose. Never tried songwriting though.

Sourdough


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOYS OF THE BYLINE BRIGADE
From: chordstrangler
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM

I had absolutely no idea that I would encounter so many brothers and sisters in arms when I embarked on this. I would love to hear some of the songs.

This is my own effort at writing a song about working in journalism. I'm sorry that I haven't worked out the clicky things yet and MP3 and Wav files remain one of the glorious mysteries. Shucks, I was always better in the print medium anyway.

BOYS OF THE BYLINE BRIGADE

It's four in the morning, the paper's in bed, the Newsroom's as quiet as the tomb.
When the old man gets up from his seat by the door, another day's nightwork has been done.
Like a greying old shadow he peels on his coat and he knocks off the lights on his floor
And he melts with the darkness into the grey dawn just before the presses start to roar.

CHORUS: And the glass in his hand feeds the pain in his eyes alone, insecure and afraid,
A victim of booze, overwork and old age and the boys of the byline brigade.

That morning the byline brigade will arrive, those bright keen young men about town,
And they'll shout into three different phones at one time and get the whole damn thing written down.
When the country edition's being flogged on the street and the City's being checked on the stone,
That old man who once interviewed princes and kings is quietly drinking alone. CHORUS

And he stands at the bar and remembers the time when he was as good as the best,
In those days when his shorthand was clear-cut and plain and he'd work twenty hours without rest.
In the days when his copy ran just as it stood, lead stories and bylines galore,
The first with the angles, the first to the phone, the first with his foot in the door. CHORUS

If he had only licked more arses and got drunk with the boss, God knows where he might have been today—
Not manning the doomwatch at the dead of the night and curing the shakes half the day.
He had died on the day that his shorthand broke down from too long pushing pen, soul and mind,
And they'll bury his body along with his pride in six lonely lines on page nine. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 07:06 PM

Wow!!!!!

Wonderful end-- the rest too, but POW'ful end.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 07:17 PM

Ah, Chordstrangler, I can smell the hot metal, and feel the building shake!

The first daily I worked on had a steel-reinforced top floor. A crane hoisted the metal to a loading platform at that level, so that its subsequent progression towards the presses was always downwards. I still fantasize about Linotype machines. Heath Robinson, or what?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: zonahobo
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 10:40 PM

That's some fine verse there CS ... well done!! I'l bet if he had the chance to kiss that arse again, he still wouldn't. It just doesn't mix with the jounalistic call. You have to wonder what will happen to print journalism in this profit driven information revolution. Sound bytes and video clips. Will all the fish go unwrapped? (what fish you say?)


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 10:45 PM

Still hacking, but on a monthly. Less pressure. It's hard for an ink-stained wretch to get out of the ink-stained wretching business.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: ddw
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 11:49 PM

CS — Great stuff. The first paper I worked for was in hot metal, so a lot of your imagry is nostalgia for me. I used to love to go into the press room to check galley proofs and watch the Linotype operators set type. Only lasted about a year, then we went to an offset press and the Linos went to the scrap yard. I managed to salvage a few of the old photo plates — have 'em framed in my study.

Also loved my first 20 years in the business. The adrenalin rush of a breaking story, working 20 hours and not even noticing until things slowed down — sometimes days. Listening to the stories of the oldtimers in the Press Club, putting names and faces and places to lots of things that seemed to matter and lots of others that didn't.

I couldn't play the game either. Biggest lie my ol' daddy ever told me was that if you're good at something, you'll get ahead. Only got as far as copy desk chief, then ran into spell-check technology and a whole bunch of younguns who don't understand the importance of precise language and punctuation to understanding. They eliminated my job, made me a copy editor again and I gave up caring much about the business. Now I just want to play my music as much as I can and retire as soon as possible.

Passed my torch to my daughter, who a couple of years ago won both of the major writing prizes that the Gannett Newspaper chain hands out and looks like she may be on her way to more this year.

It's a young person's game, for sure.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 12:09 AM

Get it to the Goddess, man! She'll flip. You want to see some of our hacks, try following the Quick Links to the Mudcat Songbook. Don't start if you haven't got the evening free, though.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Gervase
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 05:39 AM

Bloody fine song there, chordstrangler. As Liz said, I spent 20-odd years in the trade, the last 13 of them in what's still known as Fleet Street. It could be the best and worst of jobs - the best for those times when you find yourself in situations the like of which you would never have encountered in any other job. The worst for the same reasons - particularly if there's too much slivovica and an AK involved! I don't know about the song-writing side, though. Your song, I have to say, knocked my socks off; a really powerful piece. Yet I've tried and failed to come up with anything that isn't pastiche or parody. It's as if years of churning out copy have almost numbed the creative and critical faculties - or maybe it's just the gargle that's dimmed the brain! In fact, now tht I've been out of the trade for the best part of six months, I'm beginning to feel as though I'm detoxing; that I don't have to write paragraphs of no more than two sentences and that English doesn't always have to be of the "lite" variety. I miss the adrenalin, the travel and the sheer lunacy of the job, it has to be said. Nevertheless, greyer as the world is outside the Street, I don't miss the politics, the liver damage or the way relationships are subordinated to the job. Now, what do I want to do when I grow up...?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 05:59 AM

I really like that chordstrangler. It could be Henry Lawson, another old hack in his time.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM

Count me as an unreconstructed hack, in news business since 1967.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: chordstrangler
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 03:15 PM

Amos, as a newcomer to the Cat I'm unsure about the rituals involved in getting it to the Goddess.. Is this wise ? Does it require ritual purification or a deep knowledge of the blue clickey things ?

Also, is it wise to be responsible either morally or ethically for a Flippin' Goddess? I was once mildly flipant to what I took to be a minor Goddess and lived to rue the day. Please advise?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 03:46 PM

CS--

Oh, THAT goddess is always flipping. She's just really bouncy, is all. Toujours Gae.

Pull down the Quicklinks menu at the top of the page to find Aine's Mudcat Songbook. (Don't forget to come back out of there and talk with us once in awhile!) There will be some clues there on how to submit entries. She also keeps an eye on the threads, often, and finds posted songs like yours to invite into the songbook.

Amos isn't at Mudcat as much as he used to be, so I will take this opportunity to speak about him behind his back. I don't know how he was christened Five Minutes Flat, but he is a really gifted songwriter and a few of his pieces are actually pretty good (just kidding, Big Guy!). A CD he made at home was played on one of the Mudcat radio episodes, I think in February of 2000.

Why do you need to know this? Because if you will see the quality of his work, you will get embarrassingly puffed up about the fact that he complimented you. He's awful good. To have gotten his accolade... well it was a big one. Not that he ain't generous with them when due. He is. But what I am TRYING to say is that if I got a note from him like you did, I'd be doing a LOT MORE songwriting, and I hope you will.

Your piece was THAT GOOD.

Enjoy the songbook!

~Susan

PS-- Also BOLO for Aine's "Song Challenge!" threads. Since they are based on funny news stories, they all start from hacks!!!

LOL!!!

~LOL


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 07:02 AM

Kevin, just a long shot, but if you really aare of Harlow, did you ever meet an old hack called Les Mitchell? The Three Horseshoes was his local, I think.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Colin Randall
Date: 13 May 08 - 01:44 PM

I love the way ancient Mudcat threads sometimes spring back into life.

Mickey's excellent words quoted above - I have never heard them sung -are not the only ones to bear the same song title. My friend Geoff Lakeman, another newsman as well as being dad of the assorted Lakeman brothers, father-in-law of Cara Dillon etc etc, wrote one too.
I have traced the background to this in an article at at Salut! Live but would be grateful if anyone could convey the link to Mickey, who I have so far been unable to contact.

in an article at


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Colin Randall
Date: 14 May 08 - 12:30 AM

I have just re-read the thread and realised that I half outed Chordstrangler, author of the original song called Boys of the Byline Brigade, since nowhere else among these old messages was he identified. But there's no secret - Chordstrangler is, as Gervase (also up there somewhere) says at my site, Mickey MacConnell. I do not know how good a journalist Mickey was, but he's a mightily good songwriter. Tinkerman's Daughter, Only Our Rivers Run Free........Gervase would add Peter Pan and Me, which I have never heard
So thanks to Gervase for alerting me to this, albeit seven years late, (and also for his beautifully written summing up of the highs and lows of daily journalism, and the life beyond it that I, too, hope to sample again)
And finally, another singer, Anne Truscott Kennedy, has popped up at Salut! Live (link in previous message) to tell us that Mickey is still making great music over in Kerry. She has also added some YouTube links to Mickey live.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Guest Gweltas1
Date: 14 May 08 - 12:36 AM

Colin,
I have copied your "Bylines" article and emailed it to Mickey MacConnell some hours ago and I have also responded to your article on your website. I will e-mail you Mickey's current e-mail address, if you wish to contact him.
Best regards,
Anne (Gweltas1)


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 14 May 08 - 08:07 PM

Hello, Chordstrangler--

I wrote a local history column for an LA Times subsidiary for about three years before the bean-counters in Chicago closed the whole operation down.

I am not conscious of that having any effect on my prose style. When I went to work, I said, "What do you want, style wise?" They said, "Read Fidleydee; we like her." Three years passed. I never read any of Fidleydee's stuff. As John Pryne once wrote,

"Disgusted, Disgusted, you have no complaint;
You are what you are, and you ain't what you ain't."

As for an effect on writing music, well, I wrote a song once. Check that off. I'm happy to re-work traditional stuff, and actually I figure the odds are on my side. Singer-songwriters can knock themselves out for years and never get a real winner. I play stuff that's been around for a century and a half, I figure it must have something going for it or it wouldn't have lasted, and pretty much, the audience proves me right.

The only effect I can readily see in myself is to become rabidly, excitably, lividly outraged at the MANY distortions of history laid upon us by newspapers and politicians. I'm trying to engage a local editor right now over a matter of historical accuracy. I say trying, because the paper isn't dialoging with me at this point; I believe they are hoping I will just go away. Marx was wrong about a lot of stuff; he was right on with, "History is a pack of tricks we play on the dead."

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 May 08 - 05:52 PM

WELCOME StangleChorder

Nice to see you the floor.
Your desk is over there - you will be sharing will Marion the librarian. (He only comes in T,Th)
Patience - I've been here over a decade and still do not have a window desk.
CARDINAL RULES - If you are the last to drink from the coffee pot - start a new one.
Grounds go in the trashcan not the sink.
Pick up after yourself - your mother doesn't work here.

Newspaper Editor's Prayer

I pray, thee, God,
Send us for tomorrow's copy
Some great flood or earthquake or disastrously erupting volcano
Or picturesquely havoc-bearing storm
Or other natural calamity such as we
In Piety
Call "acts of God."

Or may there transpire some big new step towards greater global malice
Or may the peaceful work of the U.M.
Be disrupted by a new flare-up, with corresponding walk-out.

Or may some admiral or general
Blowhorn about the ever-mounting power
To spread misery.
Or if there is to be no true disaster for this day
Then I pray thee
Send us at least conditions for some rumor
That we may flaunt it before the antion
In foot-high front-page headlines
(Being to truth dedicated
We can deny it later,
In a small item well hidden).

Give us, I pray thee,
Some such monstrosity
As a way of drawing gaper to market
That our merchants may the better peddle their wares.

And then happily
Many thousands more acres of stately trees
(Such as young Keats called "solemn Senators")
Trees that make a Cathedral of the forest
Will have been successfully processed.
Transformed into the printed yellow matter of journalism
By the rules of hygiene
To use once and throw away...

Burke, Kenneth Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method, PARTII, Chapter Two - "The Thinking of the Body (Comments on the Imagery of Catharsis in Literature)," University of California Press, Berkeley, 1966, p 330-331.

Kenneth Burke (famous for "The Burkian Pentad" of rhetoricial analysis )

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 15 May 08 - 06:42 PM

It's seven years since my original post to this thread and I am proud to say I am now an ex-hack, having taken a buyout last November. I am now teaching at a university, training a new generation of future ex-hacks.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 15 May 08 - 08:35 PM

Well chaps just to piss a little on your parade

"Any old ex-hacks out there?"

Journalists - one step slightly above child-molesters

Politically motivated shysters who had their stories dictated to them and written before you even left the office.

I wouldn't even piss on you if you were on fire.

You collectively have done more harm to western civilisation than Hitler, all in the name of the God of circulation.

Many threads in this Forum attribute "spin" to politicians that in all honesty belongs fair and square at the door of the "popular press" or its cousin "Main Stream Media" - the name Ober-something-or-other springs to mind.

Rather than patting each other on the back the lot of you need horse-whipping. Take a bloody good look at this country (The UK) this is where you and you alone have brought us.

Utterly contemptible the lot of you. Best let on to family and friends that instead of being an "old ex-hack" you tell them that you were all piano players in a brothel - far more honourable profession IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 May 08 - 12:02 AM

I gather from your post, T, that you are familiar with the brothel? I didn't know you play piano.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 May 08 - 12:09 AM

You collectively have done more harm to western civilisation than Hitler, all in the name of the God of circulation. . . Utterly contemptible the lot of you.

Thank god the fair and balanced voice of teribus is there to set the world straight. NOT.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 May 08 - 12:44 AM

Well done Teribus !!!!

RE: Journalists - one step slightly above child-molesters.

No problem with that positioning slightly above:
Catholic Priests
Politicians
Pubic/Privy School Teachers

If there is a spill to make a thrill - a debauchery to make a mockery - a liar's song to pluck like a lyre...

The "Fifth Estate" is waiting... lean, hungry and mean... in the wings....waiting to feed upon the incorruptable Host.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 May 08 - 12:55 AM

Holy Molly!!

I PROMISE to try my best, to do my duty, to not venture (for six weeks) "Below the Line."

There are true daemons (and I thought I was the best) down here. Mr. Duhgil is one thing...jOhn is another... but I have met my match with "Teribus." Reminds me of my conversations with Mr. Lewis regarding The Screwtape Letters....did I invite you here Mr. Teribus ?:?:? I feel a kindred spirit.

Sincerely,
Gargoylr


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 16 May 08 - 03:43 AM

Eh No Ebbie, neither but I do, however, know "Journalists" at first hand.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 May 08 - 03:41 PM

Every one of them?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Matt_R
Date: 17 May 08 - 01:04 AM

I'm a newspaper copy editor/page designer. Never did any reporter, just a plain old desk hack.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: akenaton
Date: 17 May 08 - 04:09 AM

Well Teribus there are journalists and journalists.
Pilger, Simon Jenkins, Parris are heros....most of the others are vermin.
I think at last we may have some "common ground"...Ake


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 17 May 08 - 07:22 PM

There is probably no point objecting, dear Teribus, that you not only never read anything I wrote, but you never knew the circumstances behind it. Far from having what I wrote dictated to me, I spent those few hack years trying to swim upstream against the steady flow of garbage that local politicians and self-proclaimed "experts" on this and that were dishing out.

It is not ever justified for anyone to condemn an entire profession on the basis of some of its members. It is within the bounds of Mudcatness, unfortunately, but not of polite or rational behavior.

You owe all of us an apology.

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 18 May 08 - 12:13 PM

I have not the slightest intention of apologising Chicken Charlie.

By the bye, Medicine is a "profession", the Law is a "profession" - as far as I am aware Journalism is a job

Now until such time as your "profession" starts to police itself and roots out those who deliberately misrepresent every single member of that "profession" can and should be tarred with the same brush. If it is your job to report on something then restrict yourself to doing just that. Report factually, fairly and impartially we do not need your comments, we do not need your opinions.

Example - Piers Morgan - complete and utter moral amputee


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: pdq
Date: 18 May 08 - 12:53 PM

"I spent those few hack years trying to swim upstream against the steady flow of garbage that local politicians and self-proclaimed "experts" on this and that were dishing out"

If that included time in LA in the last 30 years or so, may I say "I feel your pain".


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 May 08 - 01:44 PM

The doctors who preside at executions are in a profession.
The lawyers who spent years keeping Robert Maxwell away from his comeuppance were in a profession.

You cannot judge whether some is to be accorded professional status by what the shadier characters get up to.

Writing is an honourable profession. I wish I were skilled enough to do it.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 18 May 08 - 02:15 PM

"The doctors who preside at executions are in a profession.
The lawyers who spent years keeping Robert Maxwell away from his comeuppance were in a profession." - WLD

Were those doctors in attendance at those executions there in their professional capacity? Yes they were. Was the presence of a qualified medical practioner required by law? Yes it was.

Were those lawyers engaged to provide a defence for their client? Yes they were. Were those lawyers bound to provide the best possible defence for their client? Yes they were.

Your comparison is rather badly skewed, both groups you come out with were practicing their professions as required by law.

Writing is not a "profession", it may be honourable. However we are not talking about writers in this thread we are talking about Journalists - different kettle of fish entirely.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Fantasma
Date: 18 May 08 - 04:26 PM

One of my dearest writer friends has a saying I wholeheartedly agree with: "journalists don't have friends, they have contacts".

Rather explains it all right there as far as I'm concerned.

Ditto the clergy, lawyers, and politicians.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. But that just proves the rule.

No problem in my world painting entire "professions" (or job classifications, if you prefer) as loathsome, particularly when it is their mission to feed off misery for personal gain.

That is pretty much the job description for clergy, lawyers, politicians, and yes, journalists.

I find it nearly impossible that I am in agreement with Teribus. But there you have it.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Fantasma
Date: 18 May 08 - 04:27 PM

Oh sorry, I meant to include soldiers in my list.

No one feeds off human misery more than they.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 May 08 - 05:46 PM

Yeh and when Veronica Guerin was killed - she was killed for acting in a professional capacity.

When Woodward and bernstein made America face up to facts that they had a crook for president - they were acting as professionals.

we could do with a few more like them.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 19 May 08 - 01:07 AM

No WLD all those you mention were doing their jobs.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Gervase
Date: 19 May 08 - 03:48 AM

I've always seen journalism as a trade - like carpentry, plastering or joinery. It's certainly not a profession in that there is no self-regulation. To tar every member of that trade with the same brush shows an extraordinary display of myopia, ignorance and plain pigheadedness. It's like me saying that everyone who has ever served in the Royal Navy is a sordid, amoral pygmy and a drunken disgrace to his country after witnessing matelots on the lash.
I can only assume, given the splenetic eruption above, that the poster makes a point never to read newspapers, magazines or periodicals, and turns off the television and radio whenever anything that might loosely be construed as news or current affairs is broadcast for fear of tarnishing his simple sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play.
As for asking a pompous, self-important arse like that to apologise - a complete waste of time.
In my own experience, journalism is a broad church, and those who distort, twist and dissemble rarely prosper. Your ordinary reporter is merely that - someone paid to be the eyes and ears of the public and to interpret the events of the world for the viewer, listener or reader.
That said, there are editors and proprietors on whom I wouldn't waste my piss if they were blazing. Just as it's said that there are no bad troops, merely bad officers, so one could argue that there are no bad (staff) journalists, just bad editors.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: open mike
Date: 19 May 08 - 04:41 PM

http://www.cambridgema.gov/License/faq.html#Hackney


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Fantasma
Date: 19 May 08 - 04:47 PM

Look around at the mainstream media today, Gervase.

And there, I'll rest my case.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Gervase
Date: 19 May 08 - 06:29 PM

Mainstream US, UK, French, Australian or what?
Generally, when I look around, I'm impressed by the diversity of the mainstream media. In the UK you have the BBC which, though many knee-jerk rightwingers would argue otherwise, is a model of dispassionate, objective reporting, and the broadsheets, which offer a depth of coverage - particularly foreign - that puts most US papers to shame. The Telegraph may be a 'Tory' paper, but its op-ed pages are distinctly anti-Cameron, while the Guardian may be a peacenik leftie rag, but the squaddies posting on the Army Rumour Service consistently rate the paper's Audrey Gillan as the most Army-friendly reporter on Fleet Street and Max Hastings has a weekly slot on the op-ed pages.
And, before anyone counters, there is the Daily Express, but that hasn't been a real newspaper since it was bought by a sleazy pornographer. And the other tabloids? Yes, they have agendas, but it would be a dim person indeed who looked to them for a general world view. And even in that blinkered world view can lie some important truths. Much though it galls me to mention, it was the Daily Mail that first named the killers of Stephen Lawrence.
But, sure, 'the meejah' is an easy target. No-one's going to shout you down if you blame society's ills on the journalists. It's an easy and cheap point - blame the media and win a teddy-bear. Just remember, though, who it was that uncovered the corruption and turpitude of Aitken, Archer, Levy and their ilk.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 20 May 08 - 09:56 AM

"I've always seen journalism as a trade - like carpentry, plastering or joinery. It's certainly not a profession in that there is no self-regulation." – Gervase

Completely agree with that.

"To tar every member of that trade with the same brush shows an extraordinary display of myopia, ignorance and plain pigheadedness." – Gervase

Here we part company. Considering the amount of damage that "opinionated" and sometimes completely misinformed and sensationalized articles written by some Journalists can do, and have done, to people, lends me towards my opinion that Journalists, Radio & TV Reporters (The Mass Media) should ALL be treated with the highest degree of distrust and suspicion.

Question for all – something inaccurate, or downright untrue, is sensationally blasted across the front page of some rag with a circulation of millions. It is pointed out to that rag or to the "Press Council" that the story is untrue and without foundation – Where does the "Rag" print the apology/retraction? Front Page? Given equal prominence? Don't be shy, Gervase tell us, but I suspect most readers who are familiar with the Press in the UK already know exactly what happens.

"It's like me saying that everyone who has ever served in the Royal Navy is a sordid, amoral pygmy and a drunken disgrace to his country after witnessing matelots on the lash." – Gervase

Let's see "a bit of an old hack for 20 years", puts us back to 1988. Ex-RN so for the period could possibly have served either 4, 6, 9, 12 or 22 years, if options were exercised, or were you D-by-P? Difference here Gervase is that you did actually serve, therefore you should be aware of exactly what happens when "matelots" go on the "lash". Another 'catter, Shanghaiceltic will know the "animals bar" up at HMS Neptune, he would also be able to tell you exactly what its function is.

Historically the "Royal Navy" has always had a bit of an easy time as far as public approbation goes. The "British Army" on the other hand has not, and reasons for that are simple. One is the sovereign's and historically safeguarded the trade of the country, the other was raised by Parliament to keep the country in order (English Civil War).

Historically, "Jack" when he came ashore en-mass brought with him lots of money, more important, he was more than willing to spend it, for which he was universally loved by Publicans and regarded as an amusing entertainment by the general population. If trouble broke out it was normally an "inter-mess-sort-out" Jack fighting Jack, very rarely did it involve the locals that was true in Nelson's time as it was during my time in the RN, which coincidentally would have been around about the same time as yourself Gervase.

The Army on the other hand was universally disliked because they were forcibly "quartered" on generally unwilling civilians when out of their own garrisons, they had very little, or no money, they were drunk whenever possible and violence spread in all directions more often than not with robbery as a motive. While the Army got drunk in the public eye – brutal and licentious soldiery – Jack drank a hell of a lot more, just look up what his daily ration was, but he did the bulk of his drinking out of sight of the public and under the constraints of the Naval Discipline Act.

So, having served in the RN, if you wish to consider yourself – how did you put it? – "a sordid, amoral pygmy and a drunken disgrace to his country" – that would be entirely up to you, you know best. I obviously saw the men I served with in a much more favourable light – Hurricane relief in the West Indies, Cyclone disaster humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh in 1970 (Far worse than the current disaster in Burma).

There again I do not for one second think that you do believe that everyone who served in the Royal Navy is, or was, a sordid, amoral pygmy and a drunken disgrace to his country – that you only came out with to have a personal "pop" at me. Which, in a way, illustrates my point with regard to "Journalists" perfectly. To have a go at me you blithely cast aspersions on those you served with – some of them must have been your friends Gervase – but that didn't rate as a consideration when you went into print, did it Gervase?

Just to fill you in a bit with regard to suppositions Gervase:

"I can only assume that the poster makes a point never to read newspapers, magazines or periodicals, and turns off the television and radio whenever anything that might loosely be construed as news or current affairs is broadcast for fear of tarnishing his simple sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play."

•        I read, and I mean read, four "National" Newspapers everyday all broadsheets.
•        I read three local Newspapers every week.
•        News via TV I get and watch daily from local and National Broadcasters plus BBC; CNN and Al-Jazeera.

Do I believe what they tell me all the time? – No I most certainly do not.

Now for the Ad-Hominem part of your post:

"As for asking a pompous, self-important arse like that to apologise - a complete waste of time."

I can safely say Gervase that anyone who contributes to a thread in which one group of people get together to collectively clap themselves on the back and tell everybody what a great bunch they are has got no business telling anyone else about being pompous and your own feelings of self-importance require serious attention.

"In my own experience, journalism is a broad church, and those who distort, twist and dissemble rarely prosper." – Gervase.

Really – how well did Piers Morgan do with his book? – care to relate the "story" that brought him to notoriety, while at the same time put the lives of British servicemen at risk? I note that he wasn't among your list of examples Gervase.

"Your ordinary reporter is merely that - someone paid to be the eyes and ears of the public and to interpret the events of the world for the viewer, listener or reader." – Gervase.

Would that he was old chap, but those days have long since gone and the "world and his dog", including both you and I know it. Having long since ceased to being the eyes and ears of the world, 'the meedjah', as you refer to them are now more, and more increasingly becoming just "the mouth".

I am pleased to hear that you agree with my opinion that "there are editors and proprietors on whom I wouldn't waste my piss if they were blazing." Except I go that little bit further to include the authors of the pieces that those editors and proprietors print. If there is "editorial" or "proprietorial" influence the "journalist", if he had any integrity, would withdraw the article.

This by the bye, I thought was priceless:

"In the UK you have the BBC which, though many knee-jerk rightwingers would argue otherwise, is a model of dispassionate, objective reporting, and the broadsheets, which offer a depth of coverage - particularly foreign - that puts most US papers to shame."

Let's see Gervase was that the BBC that during the initial bombing campaign in March 2003 reported a stray cruise missile strike on a Baghdad Maternity Hospital in the early hours one morning. Four bulletins later their own reporter in Baghdad came on the TV and from the scene reported:
•        That No Maternity Hospital had been hit
•        That a missile had landed in an area near a Maternity Clinic
•        That there were NO casualties as the missile landed at around 3.30 in the morning and the Clinic was closed and the market area desserted.
•        Said reporter showed the hole made by the missile plus some fragments

Subsequent BBC Reports on this incident throughout the remainder of the day Gervase said what? American Cruise Missile Hits Baghdad Maternity Hospital – Now what was that you said again? "the BBC ………. a model of dispassionate, objective reporting".

The BBC, hmmm, the same BBC who has been dispassionately and objectively reporting all those phantom Taleban "Spring" and "Summer" Offensives in Afghanistan, that have never materialised.

The same BBC, who find it impossible to say the word Taleban without stating the adjective "resurgent" before it.

The same BBC who continuously reports on the increasing number of deaths in Afghanistan but omits, in the cause of objectivity, to report that most of those deaths are insurgents (Hint 2007, Deaths 4000 of which three quarters were Taleban, of the 1000 civilians killed, around 900 were Afghanis killed by the Taleban).

The same BBC of Dykes and Gilligan that got slated in the Inquiry into the Death of David Kelly? The Inquiry that found the BBC to be far from impartial or objective, so much so that both Gilligan and Dykes found themselves out the door.

"Much though it galls me to mention, it was the Daily Mail that first named the killers of Stephen Lawrence." – Gervase.

And in doing so compromised subsequent legal proceedings IIRC.

Interesting to get your take on the current treatment of Sarah Ferguson's daughter Beatrice by 'the meejah', Gervase? My take on it - absolutely despicable – now where is the condemnation from "The Press"?

There won't be any will there Gervase? This sort of subjective personal attack made on someone who 'the meedjah' knows can't fight back sells Newspapers doesn't it Gervase? And THAT Gervase is the TRADE that you and your fellow hacks are in – "eyes and ears of the world" – my arse.

PS: Don't stand near open fires or any other naked flames.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 May 08 - 10:13 AM

Some journalists do a bit better than their job.

Ed Murrow telling America about the London Blitz.
That guy who repoted the famine in Ethiopia , and inspired Live Aid.
Brian Hanrahan in The Falklands.
Richard Dimbleby's report entering Belsen concentration camp.

You can sneer and downgrade everything in life. But I think such people, and folks even doing humbler tasks are worthy of the title professional.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 20 May 08 - 11:43 AM

"Some journalists do a bit better than their job." - WLD's examples

1. Ed Murrow (Radio Reporter)telling America about the London Blitz.

2. That guy who repoted the famine in Ethiopia (Michael Buerk - BBC Television Reporter - 1984) , and inspired Live Aid (Bob Geldof - 1985).

3. Brian Hanrahan (Television - 1982) in The Falklands.

4. Richard Dimbleby's (BBC Radio War Correspondent - 1945) report entering Belsen concentration camp.

Example 1 - WLD has to go back nearly 70 years for this example - Ed Murrow had been reporting affairs in Europe for America since 1938 and had seen the threat and the evil posed by Nazi-Germany up close. FDR relied more on what he got by way of information and "feel for the situation" from Ed Murrow and Harry Hopkins than he did from US Ambassador Joe Kennedy. Murrow knew that the UK had to be kept in the war and reported accordingly. A "black-and-white" situation, very hard to do wrong in such a situation - Joe Kennedy suceeded in doing just that - advising Roosevelt, "England's finished"

Example 2 - 24 years ago - Well reported cry for help - nearer to today who has bothered for Darfur? Who has bothered backing up the only Head of State to describe it as it is - Genocide - George W. Bush President of The United States of America.

Example 3 - 26 years ago - Reported factually as directed by the RN. At the same time his colleagues in the UK Press alerted the Argentinians that they had fused their bombs incorrectly.

Example 4 - 63 years ago - Again factual reporting of a complete and utter horror story.

Two radio correspondents, two television reporters - No "hacks" no journalists. All from over a quarter of a century ago. That's encouraging.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 May 08 - 01:04 PM

well true enuff! some of the good stuff was a while back. still you could say the same about folk music, and Bob Dylan, and he's professonal.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:25 PM

Alas poor Teribus, in possession of a brain fit only for soldiering, which he then fills with the voluminous output of four daily newspapers (all of them broadsheets, he proudly boasts). If he has time to wade through all that entertainment/lifestyle tonnage, generated purely and simply as wrapping for the adverts (and to judge from the sheer ennui of his penultimate post, he clearly has), he would do better to read the Economist from cover to cover each week. Its editorial line is far removed from my own political agenda but it is well written and packed with solid information, usually unspun. But perhaps a bit much for Teribus to absorb, on reflection.

To illustrate the absurdity of Teribus's generalisations, Gervase postulated a similarly absurd generalisation about the navy. Unfortunately this was a bit too complicated for Teribus, who has only a squaddie's brain at his disposal. He took the hypothesis at face value and assumed it to be Gervase's solemnly held conviction. What schadenfreude to see Teribus wasting a good hour or two of his time rebutting an argument that was never made!


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:35 PM

"There again I do not for one second think that you do believe that everyone who served in the Royal Navy is, or was, a sordid, amoral pygmy and a drunken disgrace to his country." - Teribus

Now what was that again Peter K (Fionn):

"He took the hypothesis at face value and assumed it to be Gervase's solemnly held conviction." - Peter K (Fionn)

"I do not for one second think that you do believe.." = "He..assumed it to be Gervase's solemnly held conviction."

Only a Squaddies brain eh? Fionn, seems to be a bit sharper on the uptake than the one you are, or more likely the one you are not using at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:36 PM

Oh, just a little detail Teribus, but the Daily Mail named Stephen Lawrence's killers only after the CPS decided, on the evidence of a racist and incompetent police inquiry (not my words), that they should not face a trial.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:05 PM

But Peter K, having named them it meant that it was that much more difficult to bring them to book should further, more compelling evidence turned up, as any subsequent trial would have been compromised.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 May 08 - 09:36 AM

Hard to explain then why the Daily Mail was cleared of acting in contempt of court and why its action was subsequently credited with being instrumental in instigating the McPherson inquiry. Still, I can understand why Teribus, as a squaddie, you would prefer that our establishment institutions be left free from scrutiny.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Gervase
Date: 22 May 08 - 05:05 PM

Apologies, Teribus, for the personal remark - but I'm afraid I took your blanket attack on journalists personally. You accused me of being craven and dishonest, and I reacted.
I'm sorry that you have clearly had some personal issues with the media which have coloured your outlook. I believe you are completely wrong, however - but that is unlikely to have the slightest effect. Some journalists are held in high regard by the services - take a look on ARRSE and see the massed ranks of the Audrey Gillan fan club - and she a Guardian hack at that!
"Hack", by the way, means any journalist; be it the gentleman from the broadsheet or the keen young thing from the Bogshire Bugle.

Not Navy, by the way - have only been on ships as cargo, and as a wardroom guest (where I was drunk under the table and through the keel by your brethren!). Though, for sheer tastelessness and amoral depravity, I'm afraid the Army probably has the Navy beaten. Even the Marines would blench at some of the grot-games that while away a dull hour in the bar.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Teribus
Date: 23 May 08 - 01:01 AM

Thanks for that Gervase, and you are correct in that my opinion of the "Press" in general is coloured by my experience of them at first hand. I would now not knowingly ever talk to reporter about anything other that the weather at that particular time irrespective of whatever circumstance or situation we both found ourselves in.

"I can understand why Teribus, as a squaddie,....." - Peter K (Fionn)

So I was a "squaddie", was I, Peter? After what has been stated in the following posts, for you to come out with that at 09:36 AM, 22 May 08, serves as an excellent indicator of how much your finger is on the pulse - hope you pay better attention to detail in your "reporting":

Gervase - 19 May 08 - 03:48 AM
Teribus - 20 May 08 - 09:56 AM
Teribus - 20 May 08 - 03:35 PM


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: GUEST,Dan Mitchell
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 05:22 PM

Peter K (Fionn)

Referring to your post of 24 Jan 01 - "did you ever meet an old hack called Les Mitchell? The Three Horseshoes was his local, I think"

I'm his son. Stumbled across this while googling. Did he owe you a pint?


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 06:55 PM

Well, I spent a whole lot of years in the ink-stained wretching business--mostly magazines, with a few books thrown in.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 07:37 PM

Interesting that Mitchell would find this thread via Google. Too bad he mucked up a bunch of teribus stuff at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM

As I understand it, one person's "hack" is another's "pundit" or "guru".

Hacking out a living is an American dream. You have to hack it out because you
are not going to be given it on its merits.

Most writers for newspapers are there because their bosses are breathing over their
shoulders and telling them what to write. This would include TV pundits on all the
major networks and most of the American newspapers today including the New York
Times.

There are a few intelligent beings who are writing journalism today and making
sense and a living but you can count them on your fingers.

Journalism is a corrupted form of expression in the US today. Don't believe me?
Ask Bill Moyers who knows something about it. Ask Amy Goodman or Olbermann (sometimes).

The reason there are ex-hacks is that truth in journalism is not encouraged today.


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 05:42 PM

A hack is, properly speaking, a writer who can produce usable copy on any subject he or she is asked for. See also "professional"


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 06:04 PM

Hi Dan Mitchell! Sorry for the delay in responding. I was celebrating my 60th birthday in Republika Srpska the day you posted, and have only seen your message now. I'll send you a personal message - and don't worry, your dad's account with me was all square!


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Subject: RE: Any old ex-hacks out there?
From: olddude
Date: 11 Sep 08 - 06:34 PM

I got paid 10 dollars for an article once does that count. Wow I am right up there with the great ones. Such exciting works as "the implementation of cyclic redundancy checking in the C Language" or Brents Method a Recursive Example in Ada" or my best seller "Semantic Database Management Systems" buried in journals no one alive would ever read. Nope never got paid for such masterpieces only 10 dollars for writing about a local fair. A friend of mine told me they were not bad but his wife was bothered because she had to keep pulling the gun barrel out of his mouth as he struggled through any of them.

:-)


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