No phone number flaks will be the death of us

Tomorrow's Business

A debate in the hack trade: who’s more skilled at turning the screws on already stressed journalists? A) Newspaper management. B) Flaks.

Both have shown themselves adapt over the years at ratcheting up duress. Of managing to squeeze just another few pips from an orange that had surely run out of juice.

This week the flaks are winning the battle to raise blood pressure, seeming to ramp up the use of email-only press offices on stories that require explanation, require checking, require an actual conversation with a person who knows what they are talking about.

Email only press offices are not new. They’ve been used by the hopeless and the helpless for a few years, by firms who didn’t get any coverage whatsoever and perhaps couldn’t work out why.

Now some proper companies are issuing statements that are actual news but have no phone number attached. We are invited to email or perhaps What’sApp.

On a tight deadline that’s just no good. The bloke next to me is going to have a stroke one day. When he does, I’m blaming you.

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