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An irksome habit is spreading through flak-land and I’m forced to concede it was us lot who started this one.

In the olden days, I distinctly recall it being regarded as ungentlemanly, as not quite cricket, to slap the label “exclusive” or “investigation” onto stories where those labels were a stretch at best.

Since many hacks biggest exclusives, mine included, remain so for all time, the question too often left hanging is: why is no one else writing about this thing you’re bragging about?

Lately, I detect flaks getting in on the action, perhaps because there are more and more former tabloid hacks in PR firms.

Routine press releases, public service announcements in effect, try to dress themselves up as exciting.

The buzz word seems to be “revealed”, which is used too often and wrongly. Sometimes the release is “revealing” something which happened in public just hours ago.

If you think I’m being petty and need to lie down and worry less, you may have a point.

Still, better to leave the self-aggrandising, public show-offery to us.


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