Journalists’ dollars alone had been unable to keep the Blue Sky Bar afloat after the end of the Vietnam War (Suzie doesn’t live here anymore – the night Old Wanchai died) and so the opening of the Hong Kong Press Club was a huge risk.
But my mother in particular recognised that the vast majority of Girl and Boy Reporters were local people who did not necessarily want to socialise in a girlie bar.
If the Press Club was to survive it could not afford to be another cheap Wanchai drinking hole. It had to win the support of local Chinese journalists as well as – perhaps in spite of – the hard core of the international press corps who stayed on after the war. Continue reading
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.
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