The epiphany on Rhyl beach shook my faith in the printed word, but it did not make me averse to newspapers. On the contrary, as I entered my teens, I grew ever more eager to involve myself in their mysteries. Newspapers were clearly more important and more fascinating than I had imagined, reporting more than a matter of stenography. But how was I to become a reporter and learn the newspaper trade? I was a working- class boy who had already been branded a failure, having failed to qualify for grammar school (the English equivalent, roughly, of American high school). Was I reaching too far? Was I really fit for the work? What were the pitfalls, the ethical dilemmas, and the traps I could barely imagine? How could I equip myself to decode the complex, ever- changing, thrillingly dynamic mosaic of live news and bring it to the public with the raw integrity of truth?
So began my paper chase.