PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 October, 2011, 12:00am


by Warren Phillips
Audible (audiobook)

This book may have a limited audience - people in the news business - but it should have a long shelf life, like that enjoyed by its author Warren Phillips, who started working in 1947 at The Wall Street Journal, then a 100,000-circulation financial paper, and retired after 45 years. Phillips had gone from copydesks to become a reporter, an editor, the Journal's publisher (by which time circulation was two million plus) and chief executive of its parent company Dow Jones & Company. Reporters today might not recognise some of the terms used (the 'slot man' in Phillips' day was the person who handed stories to editors, then checked and sent them in pneumatic tubes to the composing room), but they will be familiar with the sentiments about how stories were changed (sometimes unnecessarily); who the newsroom stars were and why; and what the important stories were. Phillips retired before Rupert Murdoch bought Dow Jones in 2007. The paper 'is better today', though it has lost its distinctiveness, he says. One bleat about the narrator is his tendency to say 'noosepaper'.