[00:08.23]What was the consequence of the editor's insistence on facts and statistics?
[00:16.30]Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics.
[00:24.65]Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic.
[00:34.66]When the article arrived,
[00:36.67] the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it.
[00:42.00]The article began:'Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace.'
[00:49.81]The editor at once sent the journalist a fax instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall.
[01:00.85]The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts,
[01:05.54]but he took a long time to send them.
[01:08.31]Meanwhile, the editor was getting impatient,
[01:11.10]for the magazine would soon go to press.
[01:13.80]He sent the journalist two more faxes,
[01:16.84]but received no reply.
[01:19.03]He sent yet another fax informing the journalist that if he did not reply soon he would be fired.
[01:26.43]When the journalist again failed to reply,
[01:29.42]the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written.
[01:35.22]A week later, the editor at last received a fax from the journalist.
[01:40.55]Not only had the poor man been arrested,
[01:43.66] but he had been sent to prison as well.
[01:46.76]However, he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor that he had been arrested
[01:55.63]while counting the 1, 084 steps leading to the 15th foot wall which surrounded the president's palace.