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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February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'espresso di Wakefield  »

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1.37 : 1
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Commissioned by the Wakefield Express to commemorate its 100th anniversary, it was shot and completed in 1952, but shelved for years until the third Free Cinema programme, an event held in London in May 1957. See more »

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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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