6.9/10
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Wakefield Express (1952)

| Documentary, Short
Documentary about the production of a small town weekly newspaper from reporting to printing

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George Potts ...
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Documentary about the production of a small town weekly newspaper from reporting to printing

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newspaper | reporter | See All (2) »

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Documentary | Short

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L'espresso di Wakefield  »

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1.37 : 1
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Now nostalgia; paper still on line six decades after
5 October 2015 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

There's a quaintness to Lindsay Anderson's early documentary about how a local newspaper works. The family business was already over 100 years old when he shot this, and now over six decades later000009 I was surprised to see it still alive and well on a website.

The old Linotype methods and way of putting a newspaper together have changed radically, and I suspect even the weekly activities of a local beat reporter are different too. Film is so old that messages are still being sent by pneumatic tubes (resembles those gimmicks for sending deposits at a drive-thru bank).

I worked for a newspaper throughout the '80s and we still had ancient ways of doing things -even at my desk I would get an outside line by not dialing but asking the switchboard for a line; I typed my stories on manual typewriter with carbon paper for copies, etc. Layout and group proof-reading at a table was also antiquated as shown in this movie made three decades earlier.

Nostalgia apart, Anderson's film does show us the purpose of local reporting and the face-to-face style of gathering news, even of the trivial "local person's picture in the paper" variety and working with advertisers. One can easily surmise what is being lost, at a very rapid pace, by the shift to internet news and the unchecked "going viral" nature of today's media world, compared to a simpler but generally more conscientious era.


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