The Whisperer in Darkness
The Gerelden Dispatch
The Gerelden Dispatch bills itself as ’Gerelden’s Premier Newspaper, Available Every Third Day’. The reality is less impressive: the publication usually takes the form of a grubby pamphlet published as frequently or infrequently as there is important news or a well written puff piece about the Portolee family, who are close friends with owner Yam Gamman.
The paper’s editorial staff consists of Mr Gamman himself to work the presses and two clerks multitasking as editors and financial assistants. Four runners, casual labour hired each week from among the cities homeless youths, carry messages from the staff to the writers who are loosely employed, work from home and are paid by the word.
One noted fact about the paper is its use by the security services, who insert hidden messages into obscure personal advertisements to communicate to agents within the city. But thanks to the paper’s habit of heavily and semi-incoherently mixing fact and fiction, it is next to useless as a source of information to anyone who isn’t a spy. In a constant battle with declining ratings, the Portolees are pumping more and more petsos into lowering the price. Future possibilities for the paper are that the family could either go a step further by making it free to everyone or could invest in better printing technology, allowing it to contain pictures and moving it into the soft-core pornography market.