On Journalism…

by | February 20, 2016


Extract from Scoop by Evelyn Waugh


Many of Corker’s anecdotes dealt with the fabulous Wenlock Jakes. “…syndicated all over America. Gets a thousand dollars a week. When he turns up in a place you can bet your life that as long as he’s there it’ll be the news centre of the world.

…”Why, once Jakes went out to cover a revolution in one of the Balkan capitals. He overslept in his carriage, woke up at the wrong station, didn’t know any different, got out, went straight to a hotel, and cabled off a thousand-word story about barricades in the streets, flaming churches, machine guns answering the rattle of his typewriter as he wrote, a dead child, like a broken doll, spreadeagled in the deserted roadway below his window – you know.””

“Well they were pretty surprised at his office, getting a story like that from the wrong country, but they trusted Jakes and splashed it in six national newspapers. That day every special in Europe got orders to rush to the new revolution. They arrived in shoals. Everything seemed quiet enough, but it was as much as their jobs were worth to say so, with Jakes filing a thousand words of blood and thunder a day. So they chimed in too. Government stocks dropped, financial panic, state of emergency declared, army mobilized, famine, mutiny –and in less than a week there was an honest to God revolution under way, just as Jakes had said. There’s the power of the press  for you.”

“They gave Jakes the Nobel Peace Prize for his harrowing descriptions of carnage – but that was colour stuff.”

Source: https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/


2 Responses to “On Journalism…”

  1. ian says:

    No one need ever underestimate the power of TV and press. It has convinced majorities to support every war, or in some cases, convinced the people that a majority were for it, and by not supporting it, they were in the minority. If MI5 blow up a funeral procession, and say it was the IRA, then the press tells everyone it was the IRA, and as the IRA don’t own any relevant media, everyone believes the story. Easy as that. Get a huge demo going, get half a dozen undercover cops to torch cop cars and smash shops, light fires for the media. Then tell the shocked people that they’re crying out for police action and you get it easy as that. Unbelievably simple when you own the press, and particularly TV.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.