When a news nose can't sniff out nonsense

25 April 2021 - 00:00 By peter bruce

Just what counts as news? A former editor of The Spectator used to tell a story about a posh friend of his who was shocked, on his first day in a newsroom, to learn that he would be required to write about news and call people he did not know in order to ask them questions.

"Hello," he would say to whichever government department he was calling, appalled at the sheer vulgarity of it all, "do you have any news?"..

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.