ROY GREENSLADE WANTS the readers of his entertaining, over-stuffed book to learn two ‘lessons’. Most readers of the Literary Review will know them already, but here they are again: ‘editors can be brilliant under any proprietor but they cannot achieve greatness unless they have either a brilliant owner or, better still, no owner at all’; and ‘newspapers were not democratic institutions.. . . Ownership conferred rights on proprietors which allowed them to do as they wished’. I don’t know why the second lesson is in the past tense.