I fell in love with the longbow on the battlefield near Hastings where the Norman invaders settled the course of English history 950 years ago in 1066. I had turned up in 1989, a little after the event, to cover a medieval festival for the local newspaper.
Your Girl Reporter was earnestly taking notes while a big fellow in chainmail explained in some detail the intricacies of recreating the armour and weaponry of Ye Olden Tymes. “And it’s heavy too,” he said as he stuck his broadsword into the ancient turf with a manly smirk. “Go on, see if you can lift that.”
I obliged by failing to budge the thing an inch and that would have been the end of it except for the arrival on the scene of a man in Lincoln green. “Hey Robin, show the Girl Reporter your longbow,” he said and then, in case I was expecting an effete experience, “you have to be really strong to use one of these.”
Well, Gentle Reader, I surprised us all that day.
Bargirls and journalists have a lot in common. They are basically lazy, but work very hard for short periods of time – Arthur Hacker.
The numbers of foreign journalists in Hong Kong ebbed and flowed to the tides of the war in Vietnam so it’s fitting, and not entirely uncoincidental, that the Hong Kong Press Club was opened in Wanchai in December 1973, just months after the rock n roll war finally ended.
Its arrival sits right in the middle, between the end of old Wanchai, made famous as The World of Suzie Wong, and the new one, with its smart office blocks and trendy bars.
During the war of course Hong Kong was awash with young Boy and Girl Reporters who came from all corners of the world hoping to make their names as war correspondents. Many stayed and took jobs on local newspapers and magazines, both during and after the war. Continue reading
There’s a touch of the eulogy about Lord Jones is Dead, a new film based on the play by Australian journalist Matthew Clayfield.
The film is a loving tribute to the ailing newspaper trade and it’s packed with clever references that will be instantly recognised by any Boy and Girl Reporter who takes a passing interest in the history and traditions of their business.
And it’s also a biting, sniping satire of everything that’s trivial and wrong with mainstream media – a glorious kick in the guts for an industry that’s never been more down on its luck. That’s journalism for you. Continue reading