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Nash, Knowlton.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1987. 332pp, cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-7710-6703-8. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by John D. Crawford

Volume 16 Number 3
1988 May

This is a personal view of development in the "National" newscast over the past twenty years. The author has been involved in these developments as executive and anchor, and he brings to his book the insights provided by his position. While there is some chronology apparent in the text, each chapter concentrates on some particular aspect of the "National." One chapter of particular interest guides the reader through a day in the CBC newsroom. Other chapters focus on personalities in the news, the scheduling considerations of the nightly newscast, and the various tribulations of Lloyd Robertson and Peter Cook. The foregoing chapters are buttressed by Nash's views on the distinctive nature of Canadian new sea sting and what the future holds for it.

This is a very entertaining read, particularly for addicts of the "National" news. The reader will learn that the regional news is adjusted for the different time zones, rather than simply being one newscast shown at different times. I found the various mini-biographies in the text very interesting, although they tended to whet the appetite rather than satisfy it. Indeed, Prime Time at Ten could be criticized for covering a wide canvas in less depth than some readers might prefer.

This book has a number of strengths. In particular, it provides many interesting insights into the actual operations going on behind the scenes of the "National." It also gives the reader a brief glimpse of the personalities of several of the people involved in the newscast over the years. Some sense of the atmosphere in the newsroom is conveyed, although there is a feeling that many gaffes were left unrecorded. This book can be recommended to students of the communications industry and also to the many viewers who switch the "National" on each night, confident that their need for the latest news still will be satisfied.

John D. Crawford, Blanshard School, Victoria, B.C.
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