Why is there a market for biographies of hacks? After all, relatively little journalism is of sufficient literary merit to survive beyond the immediate context of the news it concerns. It being some years since a directive was issued prohibiting the wrapping of fish and chips in newsprint, it is surely time a more up-to-date phrase was coined to describe the fate of newspaper prose; but whatever the eventual expression, the sentiment will stay the same.
Yet some types of journalist do make good biographical subject matter. The most obvious are those fearless correspondents who risk life and limb to prevent truth from becoming the first casualty of war. At a less professional level, there are also those hacks whose alternative careers as dissipated philanderers attract