Bernardsville Public Library book group, Saturday Samplers, will attend author Mark Di Ionno's talk on Saturday, April 6th, in the Community Room of the library. The book group has just finished reading his new book, The Last Newspaperman, an acclaimed piece of historical fiction set entirely in New Jersey. Mr. Di Ionno is an award-winning reporter for The Star-Ledger and has a lot to say about the newspaper business.
The Last Newspaperman recounts the life and journalistic exploits of fictional reporter Fred Haines, now elderly, who reminisces about the years he spent working in tabloid journalism of the 1930's. Four sensational episodes in New Jersey history serve as the framework upon which Fred comes to judge the nature of journalism and his own lack of scruples therein. Among those episodes were the Morro Castle fire and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
In covering these events, Fred must face a number of moral dilemmas which tear away at his reporter's distance and dispassion. The reader is left to compare this era of celebrity and disaster-driven journalism with that of today's reporting, be it by newspaper or other medium. Mr. Di Ionna will sign copies of his book following his talk at 2 p.m.