Book Review: “Newsmaker” Is A Fascinating And Intriguing Read


Based on fifty years of Roy Howard’s privately held diaries, and thousands of pages of his “Strictly Confidential” memoranda, Newsmaker’s author Patricia Beard takes the reader behind the scenes of a turbulent era, and provides background to the role of journalism in the digital age.

My knowledge of Roy W. Howard’s life and his contributions to the world of news, was minimal. I grew up accustomed to the gloss of well-known news media personnel, with their throw-away lines and quick soundbites that represents news today, sometimes, a nostalgic look back to the good old days would have me wondering what went astray. The advent of technology is, of course, responsible for the present way news is presented.

Author Patricia Beard gives a wonderful look at the past and she spares no one, with her straight telling of the world of newspaper empires, and the wheeling and dealing of the rich and powerful will take your breath away. She presents Roy Howard as a hard-working boy who delivered newspapers, worked as an usher at an opera house, earned his meals by doing odd jobs at the school cafeteria and became a cub reporter at 17 years of age. This is a fascinating look at the life of a self-made man. The amount of information and detail locked inside the pages of this book can only be described as extraordinary.

You are going to enjoy this read, and to ordinary folks like me, don’t be afraid to get into it, you will be surprised how much you are going to learn, and it is very, very enjoyable. My advice to you – take your time and you will reap the rewards of a story well-told that will have you looking back and saying “yes, they knew how to do it then.” The prologue was written by Pamela Howard, Roy W. Howard’s grand-daughter. Definitely a keeper!

Available in bookstores now


Ann McDonald

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