A few years ago Press Gazette had a politically incorrect columnist called Grey Cardigan who penned a pastiche of Clement Moore’s famous Christmas poem.
I’m afraid it has inspired me to set off on my own festive flight of fancy…
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the zoom room,
Not a journo was stirring not even Jeffrey Toobin.
Expenses were filed to accounts with great care,
In hopes that they won’t query that claim for a chair.
Reporters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of journalism awards danced in their heads.
With phones set on silent, and laptop pressed shut,
They hoped 2020’s news cycle would finally let up.
When out in the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Was it Kay Burley and co on a Christmas night out?
Or The Guardian’s Owen Jones being pursued by some lout?
A news van was idling no driver in sight,
There’s no print edition, I thought, on Christmas Eve night.
I went into the kitchen when what should appear,
But a pin-stripe suited editor with a pencil behind his ear.
With a wizened old face and all the proofs he could carry,
He looked to my eyes just like old Sir Harry.
Setting them out on the table he turned on the light,
And said ‘hurry up lad we’re off stone at midnight’.
The headlines danced before my bleary sight,
A feast of good news about a world all gone right.
‘Local reporters to be paid out in gold,
‘After tech giants return all the ad cash they stole.’
‘Local press owners convicted and jailed,
‘For their miserly ways and management fails.
‘Expense account lunches made compulsory by law,
‘As exclusives roll in and circulations soar.
‘Army of churnalist online slaves freed,
‘And sent into the world to find some page leads.
‘Work exposing corruption and hypocrisy revelation,
‘Makes journalists most trusted profession in the nation.’
With pages corrected and headlines all done,
The editor rose up the chimney and was gone.
He spring in his van and is if in a dream,
Called out the names of his perfect news team.
‘Now Waterhouse! Now Wooldridge! Now Mulchrone and Tomalin
On Hollingsworth! On Knightley ! On Cameron and Colvin.’
And I heard him exclaim ere he rode out of sight.,
‘Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”