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22/02/2007 - par Mark Tungate

One of my favourite quotations is from the American author S.J. Perelman, who said : « The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he's given the freedom to starve anywhere. » I thought of that yesterday when I got an email from my friend Lisa, who has given up her job as a freelance journalist in London to try her hand as a screenwriter in Hollywood. In order not to starve completely, she's convinced The Guardian to let her write a blog, in which she will recount her adventures in the screen trade. For the first episode, I'm afraid you'll have to enter http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/02/my_sunshine_moment.html.

Today, it appears, the foreign correspondent has been replaced by the foreign blogger. I don't know how I feel about newspapers running blogs after all, they were supposed to be the amateurs' revenge on mainstream media - but judging by the fact that Lisa's first post attracted quite a few comments, they are obviously read. I also like the idea that they give freelancers a new way of working for big newspapers. Before, the editors would always tell you that they didn't have space for your ideas. But cyberspace is limitless.

By the way, I was surprised to read in Stratégies Newsletter that le Sénat has set up a special committee to investigate « the causes of the crisis facing the press in France ». I can tell them the causes in less than ten words : Boring newspapers plus the internet equals press in crisis. Now, where's my cheque ?

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