Public and politicians leapfrogged each other in providing facts for journalists to report at a crucial stage of the peace process in Northern Ireland, as the Ulster Unionist Executive met to consider the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
Reporters shivering outside the meeting were treated to one of history’s great stormings-out.
The deal was, SA-FM would pay for the pair to have a luxury holiday in Bali on condition that, at the end of the week, they marry.
But this episode of Two Strangers and a Wedding soon began to go wrong.
A radio station in Adelaide, South Australia, invited listeners who fancied themselves the ultimate eligible bachelor or ideal bride to be assessed for mutual compatibility.
According to a computer dating programme, twenty-seven-year-olds Thomas Balacco and Helen Boyer were the perfect match.
/ The new dialogue about news / Practical recommendations.
PART 2 Further thoughts Chapter 1 - How to handle propaganda efforts in war journalism By Rune Ottosen and Stig A.
But our news is full of stories where such a claim would be equally difficult to sustain.
Portsmouth Council advised them to apply for it six months earlier, it subsequently emerged, but they did not actually do so until the middle of the court case.
The ruling came and a Portsmouth spokesman outside the court gave the council’s side of the story to waiting reporters. They were saving their account for a five-figure deal with a newspaper, themed - My Struggle, by Boy, 15, Defying Disability and Battling Bureaucracy.
West Tyrone MP Willie Thompson emerged to give dire warnings of a deep rift within his party and to reiterate his opposition to the proposals.
As the thicket of microphones converged on him, it was impossible to miss the fact that their very presence had conditioned the story.