One of the main characters in Irish Firebrands is a political journalist, who writes newspaper columns, and reports on television, too. The story doesn’t go into his writing, but the Muses left hints about his career that make me wonder about their plans for yet another book in the saga. I guess the Muses want job security, too! Knowing how to read current events may help novelists to write plausibly about fictional reporters on their beats….
“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” has been variously attributed (Twain? Hemingway?), but it accurately describes the dilemma of reading about current events, especially during wartime. Apparently artists have been among army camp followers ever since cave walls served as the Neolithic hunter-gatherer’s news feed, pictured at left.
Napoleon’s motives for carrying a printing press on campaign may have included not only a need to control scuttlebutt amongst the troops, but also to help manage the spin that local rags might have put on his image.
The American Civil War was documented extensively in battlefield reporting art, but it was also the conflict during which photojournalism got its start: even the battlefield artist had his picture taken. (Click on images to enlarge.)
The advent of battlefield…
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