FLASH: Queen Anne's dead.
Where does the news come from? Is it any use? Other than weather forecasts, the last usable information I can remember is from the summer of 1987, when I learned that Sir James Goldsmith had sold all his shares on the Paris Bourse, which confirmed my feelings about the way the market was going - but that item came from Private Eye magazine.
December 1, 1978: publication of the Times and Sunday Times suspended for 11 months. During the journalists' industrial dispute, a spoof paper comes out, called "Not The Times". At that time, a strap line for the Financial Times was ""Don't you wish you were better informed?", so the send-up featured a picture of a steam locomotive that had crashed right through the wall of a railway terminus and down onto the pavement beneath, with the headline "What could you have done, had you been better informed?"
Useless, or trivial. As the Poet Laureate Alfred Austin wrote about the terminally-ill King Edward:
"Along the wire the electric message came,
He is no better, He is much the same."
So, who determines the news agenda? Are journalists much cop any more? Are they allowed to be?