COMP CLOSED: Give us your best headline and win this new memoir

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This week we are giving away three copies of The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News. It’s a brilliantly evocative memoir from the golden age of newspaper publishing, from a man who helped define our modern media, Les Hinton.

The book recounts Hinton’s early years, born amid the rubble of the blitzed docklands of Bootle, near Liverpool, through to the fulfillment of his 1950s schoolboy dream to work on London’s Fleet Street – a place awash in “warm beer, black ink, fag ash, and hot metal”. Fifty-two years after being sent out to buy a sandwich for his first boss, one Rupert Murdoch, Les finally leaves Murdoch's employment in 2011, amid an industry that has been turned upside down by social and technological change.

This fascinating journey through big media’s heady golden age and on into the colder reality of a 21st century existence is told by someone who was at the heart of the beast – present in newspapers, magazines, and television, on three continents over five decades, in Wapping and Wall Street, Australia and California.

We see the death of Diana, the IRA bombings, the charisma of Bill Clinton, and the phone-hacking scandal from a revelatory new angle. And we get the most undiluted portrait yet of Murdoch – perhaps the last of the great press barons. But above all, comes the voice of someone still in love with newspapers, and now the author of an era-defining media memoir.

We have three copies of The Bootle Boy to give away this week. To be in to win, just give us your best front page headline to accompany the picture above. Our favourite three will each win a copy.


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