At a moment in time when journalists are frequently dismissed as pariahs and MSM hucksters, this is a refreshing approach.
Anderson even captures the essence of an editor – wandering around the office questioning expenses, being supportive and putting a line through sentences here and there.
Played by Bill Murray, he is Arthur Howitzer Jr, advising his team to “just try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose”. Which, of course, is the best advice.
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Even the subs are waspish and cool. (That, in a Wes Anderson fashion, is a knowing joke. The subs may cut it. That’s another one.)
There is a certain melancholic air at the film’s close, a sadness that the period for that particular style of magazine has passed.
The characters evoke a golden age of wise-cracking East Coast New Yorker writer that at one time every cub reporter has copied. Why would anyone choose to head into this trade now, a trade whose salad days are the stuff of stories and whimsy?
Last week we announced the Breakthrough programme.
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It’s a Big Issue talent lab aimed at bringing through young undiscovered and unnurtured voices from marginalised backgrounds who may never have thought of coming into publishing.
There will be other training programmes through Big Issue under the Breakthrough banner. But the first project is rooted in this great knockabout business.
I was worried that we may struggle to recruit, that journalism may not hold much attraction any more. It’s a long distance from Woodward and Bernstein. I needn’t have worried. The talent and ideas were not in short supply. The challenge was whittling down the numbers.
And so here we stand, on the threshold of something mighty and new, led by The Big Issue to inspire and move some incredible talent to their own French Dispatches.
Paul McNamee is editor of The Big Issue. Read his past editor’s columns here.
This article is taken from the latest edition of The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach local your vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.