In an article in the online newspaper The Daily Beast, Robert Bateman describes the origin of the paper’s name. He recounts how the 1935 Abyssinian War was influenced by the First Abyssinian War of 1895-96, which Italy lost disastrously. Benito Mussolini was 13 at the time of that defeat and was determined to put things right with another invasion:
Enter Evelyn Waugh… What matters here are the events of 1935, when Italy, massed on both the northern and eastern borders of Abyssinia, looked like it was ready to invade. That was when Waugh was sent to the region by the British newspaper The Daily Mail. What came out of that, his second trip to the region, was pure comic genius, as well as a depressing and still relevant commentary on the nature of journalism, and perhaps a bit about British society… the novel Scoop…In that novel Waugh lampoons his own experiences, melds them to those of some other correspondents, and skewers the very notion of war journalism, the concept of keeping people informed (vice manipulating them), and how wars are made. Scoop has all of that, and more. Get the book.
Oh, and the newspaper for which Waugh’s hapless neophyte reporter works for an egotistical and increasingly unbalanced owner and editor? That would be the fictional British daily newspaper known as, Daily Beast. Get it now?