Quotes from “Pravda” about newspapers and politicians

From Pravda by Howard Brenton and David Hare
1985
Methuen

Quince [an ambitious and venal backbencher]: The press and politicians. A delicate relationship Too close, and danger ensues. Too far apart and democracy itself cannot function without the essential exchange of information – over lunch, over – (He gestures not needing to finish the phrase.) – on which the body politic depends. Creative leaks, interchange in the lobby, the art of the unattributable telephone call, late at night – “A source close to the Prime Minister”, meaning “the Prime Minister”. Your views aired, accepted, amplified, lying every day on the doormat. And in return, for the journalist, a promise of good copy, good fellowship, good jokes, printable and unprintable, a sense of being allowed to participate, the chance to dignify his own murky existence with access. Yes. This mutual relationship is a good thing,…
Page 39/40

Le Roux [a proprietor]: I provided the formula. It worked in South Africa. Page one, a nice picture of the Prime Minister. Page two, something about actors. Page three, gossip, the veld, what you call the countryside, a rail crash if you’re lucky. Four, high technology. Five, sex, sex crimes, court cases. A couple of filler pages then its editorials. Then letters. All pleasingly like-minded, all from Kent. The odd one from Berne, Lucerne, Geneva, Zurich to add weight and variety. An international flavour. Then six pages of sport. Back page, a lot of weather and something nasty about the Opposition. There you are. (He throws it down.) The only bit I hate is all those foreign correspondents. They’re totally out of your control. They bring you extraneous suffering, complexity. Even now I look at their little half page…
page 81/2

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2 Responses to Quotes from “Pravda” about newspapers and politicians

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    Dan Hind’s The Return of the Public

    …a possible corrective.

    =================
    http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/return_of_the_public_a_response
    Dan Hind’s The Return of the Public …

    Hind sets out proposals for beginning to retrieve control of the mechanisms by which we, as a society generate the information necessary as a basis for truly democratic, informed deliberation and decision making.

    …review of the book here, and you can read Dan Hind’s recent NLP article on media reform here.
    =================

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