In a pub last night a friend was confiding – expecting me to be shocked – that he takes the Telegraph. Today he really has got reason to lie low, or to complain,with Peter Oborne’s revelations about the way in which HSBC’s advertising contract with the Telegraph has affected its coverage of the HSBC story. The Guardian’s covered this in remorseless detail, which is one of the reasons why I buy it – I’ll find out about things there that won’t be in any other paper (phone-hacking, Uk involvement in Torture, snowden and NSA…)
To long-time readers of Nick Davies there’s nothing really surprising about this abandoning of journalistic integrity, but there’s something impressive about Oborne’s rage. He’s always been a bit of a maverick, and not reluctant to attract attention to himself, but this time I think he’s got a serious complaint, and he’s only gone public in attacking a paper he loves after serious thought. As usual these days, their immediate response has been both sneering and dismissive, but they have serious charges to answer, and I hope their readers will hold them to account. And, as of last night, I do know at least one of them.