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Sizing up silly season

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Officially, there is absolutely no drop in editorial standards during August. PR guffery will head to the bin just as rapidly as usual.

Unofficially, well, things that had no chance in July might make it during what everyone calls the silly season.

So stories about the Pavarotti of the fish world, get on to the front page of such esteemed publications as The Times.

Back in August 2010, it was considered news that the Loch Ness monster was dead.

It could come back to life any day now.

In the summer of 2010 Mary Bale, a bank worker from Coventry, became a world-wide sensation when she was filmed chucking a cat into a wheelie bin. It ran and ran and ran.

I’m not saying you should re-send old rubbish. I am saying that the top editors are likely to be away on holiday and that pages look awfully empty in the morning to the deputies left in charge.

I think that initially there’s a feeling that lighter stories play better to an audience which itself is on holiday or acting like it.

Then after a week or so, hacks are ravenous for anything that looks like hard news.

But don’t be greedy. Clients seem to think their news should appear in every proper publication.

Just one good hit is still a hit.

Tomorrow’s Business is going on holiday. It will return on September 3rd.


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