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AbstractColeman joined the Melody Maker at their Fleet Street office in 1960, and at first found it hard to adjust to a different style of showbiz journalism. He couldn't see what was ‘newsworthy’ about a string of Cliff Richard tour dates and preferred to stir up a row with the BBC or research a heavily angled investigation into the music business. Feeling frustrated, he planned to defect to the Daily Telegraph. Then he encountered a classic put-down from a Telegraph executive at his job interview. Asked where he worked, he replied: ‘The Melody Maker.’ And before that? ‘The Manchester Evening News.’ After a long pause, the executive inquired icily: ‘Tell me, Mr Coleman, why did you leave journalism?’ The anecdote, taken from Roy Coleman’s obituary (Independent 13 September 1996) reveals a common preconception about the entertainment press: it was a journalistic backwater, a place for fanatics and second-rate journalists, where publishers made easy money. The view misses the significance of a medium where the entertainment industry and the public came together to discuss the creative practices, performances and commercial products of artistes. These journalistic and publishing practices were not performed in isolation: the entertainment press, often implicitly but also knowingly, constructed and represented broader understandings of society, politics and culture.
CitationGlen, P. (2020) The Entertainment Press, in Conboy, M. and Bingham, A. (Eds.) The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, Volume 3 Competition and Disruption, 1900-2017. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh
TypeChapter in book
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