A story that hit home
I've flipped through the opening pages of Liza Marklund's Paradise. I knew Marklund had worked for newspapers, but my god, did she work for mine?
She has my paper's management philosophy and general atmosphere of the last fifteen years down:
"The editor-in-chief, Torstensson, wanted to introduce a new managerial level ... All the signs of impending disaster were in place: the poor state of the finances; the falling circulation; the grim faces of the members of the board; the newsroom that swayed in a storm, poorly guided and with a run-down radar. ... Torstensson wanted to make a mark, and God knows he hadn't had any editorial achievements."
She captures the humiliation of veteran journalists forced to edit, oh, just to pick a hypothetical example, material almost as demeaning as high school poetry and theater reviews:
"The news editor held out a stack of scores from the lower sporting divisions.
"The question hit Annika like a punch in the gut. What the hell! They were going to have her do the kind of stuff she'd done at the local paper, Katrineholms-Kurien, as a fourteen-year-old ... Fill out your own tables, dickhead!"
"[I]t was Annika's job to organize and structure the articles. This meant rewriting every one so that they would harmonize with each other and fit the context. Yet her name wouldn't appear anywhere in the paper ... She was a sub-editor, one among the many anonymous, invisible journalists."
OK, Marklund is a little weak on sub-editors (copy editors in the U.S.) In fact, we get less credit than our fictional counterparts in Paradise.
All right, readers, what stories have hit home for you?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007