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international reporting


Dramatis personae


William Boot “Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole” Said to be based upon Bill Deedes, a journalist who was in Ethiopia with Waugh, who went on to become the editor of the Daily Telegraph. While he has always


brushed aside the charge, he has admitted that his 600lb of luggage might have provided some inspiration.


Lord Copper “We think it a very promising little war … We propose to give it fullest publicity” The overbearing press


baron has recognisable aspects of Lord Beaverbrook, proprietor of the Daily and Sunday Express, as well as Lord Rothermere and his brother Lord Northcliffe, who developed the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.


Mr Salter “Up to a point, Lord Copper”


The weary foreign editor,


ever deferential to his overbearing boss. Not reflective of anyone in particular as there were many like him on Fleet Street at that time.


Sir Jocelyn Hitchcock “The job of the English special is to spot the story he wants, get in – then clear out and leave the rest to the agencies” A journalist


working for the rival Daily Brute,


presumed to be based on Sir Percival Phillips, an established war


correspondent working for the Daily Telegraph who scooped Waugh.


Corker “News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read. And it’s only news until he’s read it.” Sent by an agency to


cooperate with Boot on stories for the Beast. Not based on any one


person, but his thirst for news and brash personality were typical of some of the reporters out there.


theJournalist | 13


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