- 26 Jan 2006
- Wherever I lay my hat that's my home
Read Alan Rusbridger's book 'Breaking News'. It's quite interesting and he seems to have been someone who wasn't afraid to take on powerful interests. He guided The Guardian to be one of the leading digital news sites but its content has gone downhill since Kath Viner took over as Editor (and blocked his nomination to the trustees of the Scott Trust).Is this a sign of the times Chris, by that I mean has clickbait overtaken journalism?
The digital world means the traditional newspaper needed to change for financial reasons so editors insist journos follow their researched customer base and literally pander to their often extreme views.
Views of news prevails which allows say a cartel or say a Government (eg Russia or Qatar or g##) to buy into a financial need in return for job security and skewed publicity.
Propaganda is now sold by a financially desperate media who simply want clicks and have descended to having all their media pages advert features along with those tagged as such.
But in the book he talks about the Telegraph and how it's basically in hock to its major advertisers. It refused to run a story about wrongdoing by HSBC that every other paper ran, because HSBC spent a lot of money advertising with the Telegraph. He tells how the Telegraph ran other stories that had the Advertising Director screaming at the editorial staff, which were subsequently removed or significantly altered.
A few years ago, at a Manchester Football Writers Festival event, Oli Kay (then at The Times), David Mooney and Paul Lake were part of a panel talking about young players. Afterwards I got to have a chat to them. I think Dave Mooney was part of this conversation but Paul & Joanne Lake certainly were and we got talking about where journalism had gone. Kay said that he could write the piece of his life but if it didn't get enough clicks, his editor would kick his backside all round the newsroom. That's the state of our current, so-called "quality" media.