The Last Newspaperman by Mark Di Ionno

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In his much-anticipated first novel, award-winning Star-Ledger columnist Mark Di Ionno explores the roots of tabloid journalism and the rise of celebrity media culture.

Jersey in the '30s was Fred Haines's beat, though it was hardly worthy of the reporter who'd scooped the Ruth Snyder story back in '27. "The most famous Daily News cover ever," Haines bragged. His photo showed Snyder strapped to the electric chair. "Respectable" papers denounced it as vulgar, but it sold millions of copies and cemented Haines's reputation as the go-to "tabloid guy" just as celebrity worship was becoming an American obsession.

But that was before Haines had the bad sense to publicly insult an even faster-rising media star named Walter Winchell. Haines wound up on the graveyard shift at the Daily Mirror, covering the most trivial stories his editor could dredge up. And Jersey.

"Strictly Sticksville," he said, remembering a cold March night in 1932. That was the night he drove down to rural Hopewell, near Trenton, oblivious that the story of the century was about to break under his byline. The infant son of Charles Lindbergh had been kidnapped, and Haines was about to become part of a media frenzy unlike anything anyone had ever seen.

"It is through the eyes of ruthless reporter Fred Haines that we see how modern media evolved from the remorseless, sensational journalism of the 1930s. With The Last Newspaperman, Mark Di Ionno has written the Great American newspaper novel."
— Robin Gaby Fisher, The Woman Who Wasn't There

About Mark Di Ionno

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Di Ionno is an Assistant Managing Editor at the Newark Star-Ledger.
Published September 13, 2012 by Plexus Publishing, Inc.. 232 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Haines remarks that, as news people, “We spread the crimes and tragedies but ignore the better side of humanity.” Di Ionno’s love of his home state of New Jersey is evident not only through the nonfiction he’s published and his columns for the Star-Ledger, but in this first novel which impressive...

Nov 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Last Newspaperman

The Celebrity Cafe

While covering yet another trivial story for his editor, Fred stumbles upon the Lindbergh kidnapping - the biggest story of the century.

Oct 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Last Newspaperman

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