Extra Extra Edward R. (Ted) Leach

Extra Extra
by Edward R. (Ted) Leach

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Fake news. Media bashing. Vanishing readers. 1st amendment under attack.That is the state of affairs of newspapers today, but this is one way to push back. Readers have no idea what goes into bringing forth a daily or weekly newspapers. They would be amazed at what happens inside the newspaper offices from edition to edition. Factory assembly lines bring many various pieces together at a precise location and at a precise point in time. That is exactly what newspapers do, but there is nothing "mechanical" as the daily or weekly deadline approaches. EXTRA EXTRA takes the reader behind the scenes of the news business with a novel that is both informative and fun to read. Ed Remington, the publisher of the fictional Elgin Eagle, unfolds the story of this New Hampshire weekly newspaper through the lives of its employees, advertisers and readers. Set in the mid-1980's, the newspaper is at the dawning of a digital revolution that generates considerable uncertainty as to what lies ahead. Dozens of vignettes illuminate a variety of news stories ranging from community gatherings to personal catastrophes. Mechanical mishaps interrupt the deadline drive. Young, bright reporters are quickly brought into the flow, and hone their journalist skills as part of a larger team. Remington keeps the paper moving forward as a team, and the newspaper excels. A major conflict with a local police chief requires months of behind-the-scenes investigation and inquiry. Town officials, almost all of whom are volunteers, react to seeing their words and deeds in print. The newspaper ad sales people try diligently to service their accounts and not just take orders. The NH primary is a passion for Remington and his staff alike and they are known as a "must stop" by many candidates. The steeper the deadline curve the more Remington digs in. His love for the profession surfaces time and again throughout this 334-page book. All phases of newspaper publishing, from writing, photography, advertising, and community involvement, are blended against a classic New England backdrop. Weekly decisions as to how to handle a story are contrasted with approaches followed by competing media. Accuracy and exclusiveness are perpetual goals that are pursued by the entire staff, which confronts its role, and its impact, within a news cycle that never ends. By the end of the book the reader has been witness to the never ending drama that is present in all newsrooms. Ethical questions, dealing with readers, sources, staff and advertisers, and unwilling to take shortcuts that could compromise the accuracy of a story are part of this novel. A long thread of humor keeps this book alive from beginning to end. Set in an expanded 12 pt. font, makes this an even more enjoyable read. I wrote it because I wanted to create something that would preserve what it was like to publish a newspaper as the industry was rapidly moving into the digital age. And while the technology is totally different, the underlying commitment hasn't changed a bit

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