A splash – the newspaper term for the main story on a front page – should be attention-grabbing and make an impact.

Ideally, the content of the story should match up to sensational nature of the headline and that’s certainly the case with Oxford resident Steven Glover’s novel Splash!

It’s billed as a satirical novel exposing the secrets of contemporary journalism and Westminster politics.

But with truth now outstripping fiction in many areas of public life, Glover’s scenarios don’t appear far-fetched in the slightest.

And as the co-founder of The Independent and the founding editor of The Independent on Sunday, who now writes columns for the Daily Mail and The Oldie, you can be sure he’s well-placed to get the lowdown on all the news that’s fit to print, those who create it and plenty more besides.

It’s entertaining to speculate just who – or what amalgam of people – he had in mind when creating his characters and easy to believe the behind-the-headlines shenanigans.

The novel is also extremely funny.

Sam Blunt, a drunken tabloid reporter working for a once-mighty newspaper, teams up with Benedict Brewster, a wet-behind-the-ears Oxford graduate who has landed himself a trainee journalist role thanks to his father’s connections, to uncover a story that’s more a tsunami than a splash.

As they try to nail the story, they are frustrated by the self-serving proprietor of the Daily Bugle; the malign and untrustworthy editor of Bugle Online and a prominent MP who launches a self-serving campaign against the press.

Adding to the fun are various affairs, a Chinese billionaire would-be press proprietor, a worldly bishop, a corrupt and ineffectual Prime Minister and a host of journalists mostly interested in doing each other down.

If there has been a more spot-on and funnier satire about news folk since Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, I haven’t read it.

Splash! by Stephen Glover, Constable, £18.99 hardback