Hundreds Of Barrels Of Ink

Tomorrow's Business

Mark Twain once said: “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

I thought of that this week several times when engaged in the sort of arguments with PR folk that are going one way only: in my favour.

I think most hacks attitude to genuine mistakes is simple: we don’t want to make them and are embarrassed when we occasionally do.

When it is clear we have goofed I tend to find myself offering an alteration to the online story before the flak has got to the end of the sentence.

On other matters, where it’s a question of interpretation, or the company just didn’t like what I wrote because it was meaner than they were expecting, well, you’re probably just making a bad situation worse as I delve into details and find new issues that just demand a wider audience/gratuitous repetition.

My employers buy ink by the hundreds of barrels.

And they more or less let me use that ink as I fancy.

That’s how it is supposed to work….

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