Rene Gutteridge’s diverse writing talent continues to amaze me! Scoop, the first in her Occupational Hazard series, details the inner workings of a television news team struggling in the ratings and looking for the one big “scoop” that will boost their popularity.
With a stressed out producer, a young and dedicated reporter, an ageing news anchor and an ethically-challenged news director, Channel 7’s 10 o’clock news is looking down the barrel of oblivion if the team doesn’t find a story so the news director sees no problem trying to make the news instead of just reporting it. Into this mix comes Hayden Hazard, assistant to the producer, Hugo, home schooled with an honesty about her faith that is both endearing and confronting to her colleagues. When their news anchor disappears, it seems Channel 7 finally has a story that will be a ratings winner and save their futures.
Rene gives fascinating insight into the stressful and fast paced news environment and fills it with genuine and unique characters. As always her writing is injected with humour yet with an underlying depth that encourages the reader to think and contemplate their own workplace behaviour. My only niggle with the book was not hearing more of Hayden’s own “voice”. Hayden is portrayed through the thoughts of her work colleagues and no doubt while I imagine this was a deliberate choice by Rene, it would have been great to hear directly from this interesting character.