Thursday, 7 June 2012

Changing times: Making a 1940s newspaper (video)

I've been involved in lots of meetings and discussions about the future of local newspaper journalism recently, but when you're gazing ahead, sometimes it's nice to be reminded of where everything came from.
I saved this video so long ago on YouTube I can't credit whoever pointed me in at it, but it's originally from Archive.org and is part of the Prelinger Archives.

And it's a fascinating insight into another world (although it depicts a seriously male-dominated industry). Who couldn't fail to be charmed by a narrator who tells his audience: "'This reporter is in a hurry. He is GOING TO COVER A FIRE. Covering a fire is usually an exciting event" while the film cuts from a reporter hurrying away from his editor to a burning building.

Or "The editorial writer must be able to write on many subjects, but instead of merely reporting the news he analyses it and explains its meaning" all accompanied by an earnest editorial writer poring over the paper and stroking his chin before pounding his thoughts out on the old Imperial alongside him.

And, finally, "The country editor, unlike the city editor, must spread his attention over all aspects of the business. He must go out after local news himself, and from local merchants solicit the advertising... he must then write the advertising and the news and plan the layout of each issue".
The segment ends with the tireless country editor printing out his paper by hand; I wonder what he would make of the unmanned robots trundling around, doing jobs without any manual intervention, at our Oldham print works.
 



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