The Press And

AH journalists are told two golden truths sometime in their career. Use short words, sentences and paragraphs. Say what you have to say and shut up! In other words no padding.

Secondly and most important from your point of view they are told—write about peop'e not things. Relate every incident to the human being. Remember these two things and you are halfway towards understanding the modern approach to newspapers, engendered by newsprint shortage.

Like 'Diminuendo' newspapers today are faced with the problem of getting a 'quart' into a pint pot', only it's not an illusion. News not going into the pot is thrown away.

News flows in an unceasing stream into a newspaper office from three main scources, staffmen, agencies and freelances, in thai order of importance.

There are two approaches, direct or via a staffman. ALWAYS go through the staff man in your area if you can for two reasons. It at once establishes friendly relations between the two of you and if the story is a good one, he will be appreciative of your efforts. No good reporter likes to get second-hand information of a story in his area from Head Office, for it reflects little credit on him. The human touch my friends.

Secondly he knows his paper's requirements from bitter experience and anything coming from him stands the maximum chance of acceptance.

If you decide to prepare a handout, do it carefully, and observe the elementary rules which create a favourable impression.

Always use good paper—you would be surprised at the amount of copy which we receive written on any old piece of paper and badly written at that—which brings me to my second point. Always type double-spaced, leaving a two-inch margin at the top of the sheet and a good inch margin at the sides. If you must write, print all proper names and make sure your writing is clear, with no chance of errors being made.

The margins and double spacing mean a minimum of time wasted in writing in corrections and headlines and that immediately puts you in the favoured class.

Finish off the job by clipping tc it a second sheet with your name and address in the top right hand corner, a suggested headline in the middle of the sheet and beneath that the approximate number of words. There you have it—all that is necessary to ensure your copy gets maximum attention. Small details but essential. Don't dismiss them as trivial. It's often the dressing up and presentation that gets you home—you ought to know that.

In my next article we will discuss broadly your work as a public relations officer for yourself, and how to ensure the chance of getting in the news.

In passing, I am surprised that Magicians as a body in any particular area do not fix a scale of charges appropriate to their standing and the job. I know for a fact that locally, where some established men have charged £5 5s. for a job; others undercut with offers of £3 3s. and stifl others are willing to do a 'badly presented' act for 30s. Small wonder that when a good engagement comes along, the people get a man from London. How about it Max? A magicians Union as well as a Musicians Union?

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