Peter Bruce Columnist

Back in the days when print space was at a premium for reporters in the field (before the internet), Michael Holman, then Africa editor of the Financial Times, developed a series of tricks to ensure that when he called in to the FT foreign desk on a scratchy line from the equator, he was taken seriously.

Holman knew the one thing newsdesks hate is not having a story the competition has. News editors are defensive by nature. They don’t want to miss anything in case the editor asks why the next morning.

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