“Plunder, Pillage and Poison the Well”

My interview on Radio 4’s Media Show, where we dealt with some of the practices of journalism, including the three rules for a death knock.

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Discussing the Journalese book on Ireland’s Newstalk radio

In which Sean Moncrieff and I compare our pet hates.

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Times Picks Romps… as its Monday Book

Ann Treneman has reviewed Romps… in The Times. You can read it here, but it’s behind the paywall, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that she thinks you should buy it:

“An essential guide to finding out what you are reading about. Some people may dismiss this as a ‘loo book’ but, actually, it’s so much more.”

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The Top 10 Glaring Omissions

For my speech at the Romps… launch party, I listed the Top 10 glaring omissions from the book, the bits of Journalese I really wish I’d got in there. (This list was compiled using the same rigorous scientific method as the rest of the book.)

10. “Glaring omission”.
9. “My sense is” – I’m live on TV, and so far out of my depth that I don’t even understand the question the person in the studio just asked me.
8. “Frolicked” – what actresses do on beaches in full view of the photographers hiding in the bushes several hundred yards away. It was a wet spring, so this one didn’t start appearing in newspapers until the book has gone to press.
7. “Fired the starting gun” – what the prime minister will do to the election at next month’s party conference, and then in every speech for the following 18 months.
6. “Brandish” – what referees do to red cards
5. “Economic madness” – I disagree and you’re dangerous/”Economic illiteracy” – I disagree and you’re thick.
4. “Mercy dash”.
3. “A light-hearted sideways look”. As in: “Newsman Robert Hutton has penned a light-hearted sideways look at the weird and wonderful world of the news.”
2. “Pleasant-looking” – generally means “unpleasant-looking”.
1. “An area popular with joggers and dog-walkers” – always the best place to hide a body.

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Sick of the book? Blame the government

The Spectator’s Mr Steerpike has the skinny on how the book came about:


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Romping on the World Tonight

In which I become the first person ever to sing the Benny Hill theme tune on Radio 4’s leading evening news show…

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Journalese No Longer A Mystery

In which a Barrow journalist discovers she speaks a second language…


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Beancounters’ hack in bid to probe scribe word secrets

Press Gazette’s take on the book. Its editor Dominic Ponsford says: “Loved the book, every journalist should read it!” This review features one of my personal favourite definitions: “All Grown Up”.


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Newsman Opens His Heart To The Telegraph And Confesses Secret Shame


A piece I wrote for the Telegraph about my fondness for Journalese. Features the definitions for, among others, “Special Investigation”, “perfect storm” and “Quintessentially British”.


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Boffin lifts the lid on journalese


A piece by John Rentoul in the Independent On Sunday on Romps…, featuring the definitions for “foul-mouthed tirade”, “innocent bystanders” and “love rat”.


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