Fox, who says she has worked for a decade as a nationaI newspaper and news agency reporter, has outlined a tough sounding training regime for the erring Hari.
She writes: "Well, in the certain expectation I will never be asked to do it, I hereby offer to train Johann Hari. If he wants to spend three months with me rather than attending seminars on the free press in Somalia I'll not charge him a penny. I will teach him shorthand, lecture him on the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1976, grill him on local government, the council tax system, the defences against defamation and how to win a drinking contest.
"I'll send him out on deathknocks, pack jobs, magistrates' hearings, junkie inquests, tell him to drive 300 miles on a hopeless tip at 10pm then insist he's back at work for 7am, make him spend his birthday at a late-night local council planning committee, publish his phone number and paint his name on the side of his car so everyone knows who he is. I'll show him what to do when someone comes at him with a lump of wood or collapses in tears, and how to file off a notebook down a bad line while you're being shot at to someone who's drunk.
"It's not perfect and I could probably think of some more stuff but that seems to me like a syllabus which will teach him to care about his trade, the people in it and those he writes about. That, or it puts you off for life."
Fox's conclusion: "He probably wouldn't last an afternoon."
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
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