David Scott has drawn on his experience as a weekly journalist, editorial manager and launch editor of the country’s first free daily for his debut novel.
The Standard Bearer takes a gritty look at life on a weekly paper in the late Seventies as the editor grapples with council corruption, competition from a free newspaper and a journalists’ strike.
Scott also used his knowledge of local government -he is a former councillor and mayor – for his tale of villainous council leader Herman Scruple who is in league with fellow freemasons to dominate the fictional town of Thurnham. The only man who can stop him is the editor of the Thurnham Standard , Dick Chinnery.
The novel is loosely based on Maldon where Scott worked on the Maldon and Burnham Standard . To add authenticity to his novel, Scott returned to Maldon and scoured back copies from the Seventies. The real-life detail in Scott’s novel is an antidote to the fanciful view of the local press often portrayed on TV. “This isn’t a soap version of a life on a weekly newspaper, like in Emmerdale where a local reporter is flashing around a cheque book to buy stories,” he said.
Scott worked in newspaper management in Essex and the West Midlands and was launch editor of the groundbreaking free Daily News in Birmingham 20 years ago. He now runs his own editorial training and consultancy company.
The Standard Bearer is published by Pen Press Publishers at £7.99. Scott is already working on a sequel