The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 15 -

FLEET STREET



The Newspaper headlines blared out the daily carnage as I
cris-crossed the narrow, smoke-filled streets known to the
world as the Mecca of tabloid journalism: IRA VOWS TO
DESTROY "CITY"-IRISH BOMBS ROCK PALACE.

Outside of Hollywood, few places on earth catered to
people's worst instincts better than the newspaper empires
located on Fleet Street and none had been doing it for so
long.

From the earliest days of England's Empire, Fleet had
functioned as the unofficial voice of the realm, its
newspapers cranking out the longed-for desires and official
wis doms of the nearby Palace and the Bank of England while
keeping the opposition in check with innuendo and hearsay.
In return for this service, the crown had made the men who
owned the presses "barons" of information.

Now, in many ways these barons were more powerful than
the governments they operated under. And as the new
millennium began, they were already extending their control
into electronic realms not even dreamed of by Orwell.

Cellular phones, computers and the Internet tied the
world together in an electronic web that only a decade
before seemed like science-fiction. From outer-space,
satellites could pinpoint a burglar crawling through a
window or a Middle East dictator about to launch an attack,
and the appropriate weapon stood ready to deal with either
at a moments notice. Under the banner of better "marketing,"
the monitoring of humanity was now a twenty-four hour affair
with everything from the number of toilet flushes, to your
brand of toothpaste, available with the click of a mouse.