While I have been to the newsroom at The Sun, funnily enough to meet Andy Coulson (more of that anon), I've been wondering what it must be like to work at the coal face of a Murdoch tabloid. Fortunately some former reporters are giving the inside track and painting a very vivid picture of the pressure, the tension and the single-mindedness of News International..
Here are two of the better ones I've read, one negative (from The Telegraph) and one rather more positive (from The Huffington Post UK.) They are both fascinating reads. But why it's worth reading both is the striking similarities in what they say. The culture of The Sun is laid bare.
So what of my own small step behind the curtain? I met Andy Coulson when he was editing the Bizarre column in The Sun, so I guess that would be in the mid to late 1990's. I'd love to say this was because I'm so showbiz, but the truth is more mundane - one of my clients was considering sponsoring his column. In all honesty my memory of him was someone driven, busy, polite and business like. The newsroom was a large open plan office, full of people calmly and quietly getting on with stuff at their desks. No running around, no shouting, no tension. In fact, other than a huge Sun logo, it looked like every other office in the world. Bit of a damp squib really. And not at all what I'd expected.
But you can only say as you find.