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25.3.06

Journalists in fiction 

I’m not entirely sure what to do when tagged with memes—not long ago, Cat Morley had been tagged with a list where she had to name four of her favourite things, etc. This was among the four blogs she was reading. (Cat, thank you—I wasn’t entirely sure if I had to carry that on, but maybe after I sort through this in my mind, and I can find your post again, I will.)
   I notice this morning that Andrea Weckerle has tagged me with one from Mediations: the Scoop!, which actually looks like a darn good blog. Its premise:

appear in fiction in many guises and play many roles. Sometimes they provide central characters, often they intrude on the action, their attentions as unwelcome as they often are in real life. Scoop! gathers together these appearances under a variety of themes, some amusing, some trivial, some giving an insight into how works and how it is seen to impact on our society.

   I’m sure those better versed in the blogosphere will inform me if I mess this up, but here goes (rules at this link). American fictional journalists are easier (Andrea Sachs in Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada; Crawford Sloane in Arthur Hailey’s The Evening News) but The Scoop!’s Philip Young wants the character limited to UK and European fiction.
   A mid-Atlantic solution would have been a TV news reporter in an early Raymond Benson short story, ‘Live at Five’, published in TV Guide—one of his early outings. But Mr Benson is from Chicago, and the story is set there. Darn.
   In that case, how about Will Farnaby in ’s Island? Still on my to-read list, but I admire Huxley a great deal, particularly his ability to take a punt on the . From what I know of Island, Huxley gives his views on , , , and spin—and that they remain eeriely relevant today.
   Here is the hard part: tagging three people, whose reading habits I do not know for sure, other than they do absorb (as I typically do). Johnnie Moore, I pick you as you know everything about everything; Simon Young, because you have a strong set of values that suggests that you are well-read; and Jeff Risley, for similar reasons and because your blogging style has a strong narrative. Please know I chose you not to scare you from reading here—this is due to genuine admiration. (And for others I did not name, I enjoy your work as much—but I really can’t guess your reading habits. These three were hard enough to pick.)
   I wish coComment was working here, but I keep getting DNS errors. I’m sure I had run across other suitable folks in my travels on the blogosphere.
   Gentlemen, apparently “all you need to do” is find a fictional journalist, blog about it and the Scoop! blog, tag three people, then go and add your pick at Philip’s site. I’ll leave it to you as I know your schedules are rather full; Johnnie, in particular, due to recent travel and a pile of emails in his inbox.
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PS.: If you are a designer with a typographic bent on a Windows machine using Firefox or Netscape, can you let me know if the ligature in the heading of this entry appears in the correct font for you? I am using ATM as well.  
Thanks for the suggestion, and for the kind words about Scoop! Funnily enough I had recently noticed the Huxley's on my shelves and was thinking about why he has apparently dropped off the UK literary landscape - but had completely forgotten about Farnaby.

Thanks too for the careful consideration of people to 'tag' (still haven't found a better word!). By doinmg so you have identified a significant feauture of this meme - it's not like just forwarding a joke to a friend.  
You’re very welcome, Philip, and I’m glad to receive your praise. You are obviously a very well read gentleman—I felt a bit of shame mentioning a character from a pulp novel that my high school English teacher would have frowned upon!
   Good luck with your blog.  
Now I'm completely puzzled, having never heard of meme tagging. Shocking! I will save this post and read it again in the cold light of day, and find out what it was all about. Thanks Jack, this sounds like it'll be fun!  
I hope you will enjoy it, Sy! I have to say I am learning a whole new language, almost! Meme-tagging, blogosphere, comment spam and other terms make this Web 2·0 a rather interesting world.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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