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My Paper Chase

The energetic memoir of Harold Evans, a newspaperman who refuses to sing the blues.

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Read any good newspapers lately? Read any newspapers lately? If not, here’s the scoop: blogs, not banner headlines, swarm the digital frontier’s horizon, and the fourth estate has its pixels in a bunch  over the future of print media.

Columnists spill ink weekly (well, not at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has moved online, or the Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, which has gone dark) bemoaning the bad economy, Craigslist, the microscopic attention span of Millennials – anything that will explain their industry’s woes without reference to its fear of innovation. News itself is depressing enough. Must we now suffer down-in-the-mouth news about the news?

If anyone could be expected to join this existential journalists’ chorus, its Harold Evans. Mercifully, My Paper Chase, a refreshing memoir by the venerated editor of London’s Sunday Times and champion of pre-Thatcher British investigative journalism, jettisons hand-wringing over the “vanished times” of its melancholy subtitle for one man’s unquenchable enthusiasm for his life’s work. “I never conceived this memoir as a valedictory to a vanishing world,” Evans, now 81, writes – for this son of a middle-class railroad man, the importance of unbiased, responsible, free-flowing reportage is self-evident. If it’s not self-sustainble, that’s a problem for the accountants.

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