More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 113

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism’, is to be published March 1 next year, by Kennedy & Boyd, Glasgow, and available from

I WASN’T too sorry to get my own marching orders.

I was relieved that there would be no more grappling with the intricacies of the ‘official view’ on a myriad of international stories.

No more tediously re-writing The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for North Korea every time it popped up in a story, every day.

No more keeping a sharp lookout for subversive news agency references to Maoist rebels in Nepal, visits by Japanese politicians to temples commemorating their war dead, or any copy a trifle critical of Iran.