Witness 175 | Journalists misbehaving

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Robin Crouch
Robin Crouch

The thing about us journalists is that we’re paid to be nosey. Scandal is our life. What’s more we work in newsrooms — huge, open-plan expanses where many eccentric people are forever doing many eccentric things. It’s a perfect storm for skinder.

When you start your career as a journalist, bright, young and determined to change the world, the first thing you’re told by your world-weary colleagues is that the glory days of misbehaviour in the newsroom are long over. I’m sure they said that to new recruits in the 18th century, and they are still doing so in the 21st.

When I began at The Natal Witness in Longmarket Street in 1989, I found this hard to believe. The orange-moustached old sub-editors reeling back plastered from the Victoria Club after every lunch break were enough to convince innocent me that this was quite decadent enough.

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