Archive for February 6, 2008

DEADLINE – at what cost

it is  what it  is

that woman by Loraine Ritchey contact info

Since I cannot afford to literally escape the reality of the present day in Lorain, I take mini vacations, usually in the living room and if not lost in the pages of a book; I will try to escape for a couple of hours into another time and place – old black and white movies are usually my preference.

I try to find the “English” ones first, as they take me back across the pond and into a place with which I am familiar and comfortable therefore, giving me “more” of a vacation from my reality.

Today was no exception, fed up with the CRA, politics, wordsmithying and people in general I switched on the “idiot box” to Humphrey Bogart in Deadline USA 1952.

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I hadn’t seen this movie before ( I am not a big Humphrey Bogart fan) but since I have had “ newsprint” on my mind and the playing thereof, I thought I would get a glimpse on how the 1950’s USA perceived the world of American newsprint , newspaper -now the Print Media (emphasis no longer on “news”)?

After watching Deadline USA, I went on line, as always,to research and also read the reviews etc. and came upon this from Editor and Publisher a piece by Dennis Anderson ( Editor of the Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale Ca.)
the rest of the article is found here

“But the movie that snagged a bunch of us at the frat pad of journalism guys through a haze of beer and stale cigarettes was viewable only on TV and usually at 1 a.m.

“Deadline U.S.A.” starred Humphrey Bogart reprising what Rick Blaine from “Casablanca” would have moved onto if he shifted his idealism from winning World War II to running a newspaper. There are similarities.

Jackpot. A movie with Bogie as a managing editor at a big, quality daily that was going to be auctioned into oblivion by clueless newspaper heirs who wanted to cash out. Sound familiar?

Oh, and Bogie as editor Hutcheson is a cheerful workaholic with a stained trenchcoat and an ex-wife who likes him fine, but left him for steadier company because she couldn’t remember what he looked like.

That was newspapering. Ahem, that is newspapering.”

Just where did the term deadline come from?

Origin: 1864
Civil War prison circa 1864

It began as a real line, drawn in the dirt or marked by a fence or rail, restricting prisoners in Civil War camps. They were warned, “If you cross this line, you’re dead.” To make dead sure this important boundary was not overlooked, guards and prisoners soon were calling it by its own bluntly descriptive name, the dead line. An 1864 congressional report explains the usage in one camp: “A railing around the inside of the stockade, and about twenty feet from it, constitutes the ‘dead line,’ beyond which the prisoners are not allowed to pass.”

Nothing could be more emphatic than dead line to designate a limit, so we Americans happily applied the term to other situations with strict boundaries. For example, the storyteller O. Henry wrote in 1909 about crossing “the dead line of good behavior.” But it was the newspaper business that made deadline more than just a historical curiosity. To have the latest news and still get a newspaper printed and distributed on time requires strict time limits for those who write it.”


Ah! the 4th estate we love to hate them, want their attention in the good times and dodge them in the bad. I was disappointed to learn a few months ago when I had a complaint as to an editor ready to squash naysing” and naysayers and others using their power of the 4th estate to manipulate (in my opinion) to find they weren’t held accountable apparently by any “press council”, as I had been -when writing for the UK and Australia. I was gobsmacked and I was left , seemingly, with nowhere to ask for some accountability from the press. I haven’t been able to find an American version of a Press Council, am I looking in the “wrong language”?

Maybe if the movie of 1952 still reflected the media of 2008 and reflected the thinking of Dennis Anderson (emphasis mine)

“Deadline” is about what we do when we’re working a story that will blow the lid off this town. It’s about newspapers tilting with the powers that be, finding the bosses and exposing them and sticking up for the little guy. So, “Deadline U.S.A.” is really homage to the way it was supposed to be — to the way it is supposed to be.

there would be no need for an American Press Council. It seems, to me at least, some of the editors and reporters in NE Ohio -from my experience at least -have more on their mind, than unbiased news reporting ( and YOU know WHO YOU ARE!), the advertisers, the political cronies and making a name seem to have taken over the “news” . But that is just “that woman’s” opinion
Press Councils
Press Council of Ireland
Ireland,England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany India and South Africa. In fact just about every nation has a Press council that adhere to excellence in journalism as stated from South Africa:

are a self-regulatory mechanism set up by the print media to provide impartial, expeditious and cost-effective adjudication to settle disputes between newspapers and magazines, on the one hand, and members of the public, on the other, over the editorial content of publications.
The mechanism is based on two pillars: a commitment to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, and to excellence in journalistic practice and ethics.

Yes! Deadline USA – the movie- is a bit corny and idealistic by today’s standards, but wouldn’t it be nice to believe Virginia. There is  a Santa Claus

Does America have a similar organization to a Press Council?

February 6, 2008 at 2:05 am 6 comments



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February 2008