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Use the ideas in the box and the vocabulary from the previous exercise to answer the following questions. Add any further ideas of your own.
Which of the types of the media listed above do you prefer? Why?
Do you choose different media for different purposes (e.g. information, entertainment)? Why?
e.g.: I’d far rather listen to music on local radio stations because they’re more up-to-date than music programmes on TV. I also read music magazines because they tend to be more analytical than…
5. Read the biography of A.J. Cronin and an extract from his famous novel “THE NORTHERN LIGHT”.
Archibald Joseph Cronin, a noted British novelist, was born in 1896, in Scotland. Educated at Dumbarton Academy, he went to Glasgow University to study medicine. After the First World War he graduated from the university and held a number of hospital appointments. Overwork made him give up medicine for a literary career. In 1931 Cronin published his first novel – Hatter’s Castle. He gave to British pre-war literature most outstanding social novels – The Stars Look Down (1935), The Citadel (1937). The world movement for peace provided a new impetus to Cronin’s creativeness. The hero of the novel The Northern Light (1958) speaks with anguish about the dire consequences the militaristic policies of the ruling classes might have on the future of England.
The underlying subject of The Northern Light is the dramatic struggle of Page, editor of a democratic provincial newspaper against the monopolist Somerville, who wants to expand his “newspaper empire”.
Aware of his great responsibility to his readers, Page does not want his newspaper to become a “mixture of sex, sensation, and scandalous gossip”.
Page was at the office early. Instead of going directly upstairs he went into a well-lit room where most of news staff worked.
“What’s in from Egypt?” Henry asked, when they had said good morning.
“The Canal’s still blocked,” Fenwick answered. “The Americans can’t get permission to raise the cement barges. King Saud had a talk with Eisenhower. Nasser’s still throwing his weight about… the Israelis won’t budge. We’re getting short of oil.”
Page listened in silence.
“What’s the home news?”
“There’s a gruesome story in from Belfast. Double murder and suicide… wife, lover, and husband, all with their throats cut.”
The details, which Henry ran through, were frankly horrible.
“Spike it”, he said.
“ A paragraph on the back page?” Fenwick suggested.
“ No, not a line.”
He went up the winding stone staircase to his office. Miss Moffatt, his secretary, was practically indispensable, doing all sorts of odd and important jobs without the slightest fuss. This morning her manner was decidedly “off”. Henry sensed at once that she had something on her mind.
“He’s been on the phone again.”
Henry looked at her in surprise. “What did he want?”
“He wants to buy the Light.”
“Well…” Henry said, at last, “even if you’re right it makes no odds. He may want to buy. But I certainly don’t want to sell.”
When he had dealt with the correspondence he passed along the corridor to the room where, every morning at ten, he held conference with his staff to plan the next day’s news coverage and features. Malcolm Maitland, his chief assistant editor, was already there, talking with Harley Slade, who managed the art department; and as he entered, Poole, the sports editor, came in behind him with Horace Balmer, the advertising manager.
As they sat down at the long polished table, Henry had a sudden impulse to mention the Somerville affair, but feeling this to be weakness on his part, he refrained. They began to discuss the format of the paper.
The policy of the Northern Light had long been summarized in the phrase which could be found at the head of page one: “All the news that’s fit to read”. Set inflexibly against sensationalism, the paper had built up, over five generations, a reputation for integrity, fair-mindedness, and sound news presentation. It had become more or less a tradition in the district. Today, inevitably, the main news interest centered in the Middle East. Page and his staff went into this at length, worked through the national and county issues, came down finally to that subject of perennial interest – the weather. Within an hour, after they had all spoken freely, an agreement was reached and it was possible to give some definite shape to the paper.
While the others went off, Malcolm Maitland walked along the corridor with Henry. Maitland was a man whose opinion Page profoundly respected.
“There’re so many problems.” They were discussing a topic for the leading article, and Henry spoke irritably, depressed and more than usually on edge.
Maitland nodded. “It seems we’re deeper in the hole than ever.”
“If only we could get rid of our apathy. We are in a bit of a mess all right.”
Maitland paused outside Page’s door, gave him a sidelong glance, touched with understanding humor.
As the door closed Miss Moffatt said:
“ It’s London again.”
“Not Somerville!” Henry exclaimed involuntarily, and was immediately ashamed of himself.
‘No. It’s from Mighill House. A Mr. Jones.’
After an instant’s pause he said:
“Put him through.”
“Mr. Henry Page? This is Trevor Jones, Sir Ithiel Mighill’s confidential secretary. Mr. Page, Sir Ithiel would like you to meet him in London… or at his country house in Sussex. At your earliest convenience.”
Instinctively Henry guessed what was to come.
“I’m afraid I can’t spare the time.”
“Sir Ithiel would be happy to send his personal plane to fetch you.”
“No, it’s impossible.”
“I assure you, Mr. Page, it would be to your advantage to come.”
“Sir Ithiel understands that the Northern Light is on the market. He particularly wishes you to do nothing until he has talked with you.”
Henry’s throat tightened with sudden anger. He cut the connection abruptly. What on earth was it all about? Why should two of the most powerful press magnates in the country suddenly turn their eyes towards a small provincial paper? Although, in his concern, he probed every possibility, he could find no reasonable answer to either question.