Dr Mumbo

Why journos shouldn’t write fiction

There’s an old joke about journalists’ literary ambitions.

First journalist: “I’m writing a novel.”

Second journalist: ‘Neither am I.”  

So Dr Mumbo salutes The Australian’s WA editor Tony Barrass for turning his hand to creative writing.

The result filled a full page of his purple prose in The Oz in a tale titled Nothing less than a bloody scoop.

It was an extraordinary effort, which happily can be read online. It tells the story of a journalist of dubious ethics who gets a bereaved family to share their grief by letting them think they’re a cop.

A sample of the writing should probably suffice for now:

“Ray’s pulse automatically ratcheted up, in time with the pace of the high-performance Corolla. He could hear the muffled voices in the background, urgency and tension in the tone.”

Or as one reader of the article put it to Dr Mumbo: “The writing is so bad it makes me want to punch myself in the face.”

If you’re very lucky, more extracts will follow.


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