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Read this: Media Masters - Alan Rusbridger

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Media Masters - Alan Rusbridger…

Media Masters with Paul Blanchard welcome to medium bastards a series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game Alan rusbridger former editor-in-chief of the Guardian and alumni of Magdalen College Cambridge he landed his first reporter role at the garden in 1979 followed by brief departure to the Observer and distintas us a picture of the London Daily news in Washington on his return to the Guardian he held the post of editor for two decades.

He pioneered the launch of G2 and weekend and took the paper to the Berliner format in 2005 after writing 3 children's books his latest book breaking news the remaking of journalism and why it matters now is a timely examination of past present and the future of the present.

Thank you be joining me please be here.

So let's start with a new book breaking news the question of who controls on using what is truth and what is fake is is more vital than ever to have democracy.

Yes, I wanted to describe what it felt like to be at the high.

This digital Revolution that is still with us and will be with us for a long time yet, so that's part of the purpose of the book but another bit of the book was a sense perhaps accentuated by brexit by Donald Trump by Facebook that we are living in a society which is finding it harder and harder to access to Newstead to be sure what is true and what isn't and I think that really sore replaced the dust subheading of the book The remaking of journalism and where the Germans and can just go on as it has been for 200 years or whether it is actually have gonna have to rethink some of the things that it does and what do you think of something that need to be rethought? Will I have very strong image of my mind as I was writing his book of a world that was arranged vertically so if you had.

Printing press you were in a position of tremendous power Attlee in the hand and Influence you had almost sole access to the news and you pass it down to your reader's who passed their money up to you and it wasn't just newspapers that were arranged like that.

There are all kinds of institutions and bits of societies that were arranged vertically and what's happening last 10 years is that the world has fallen over onto its side you now have 4 billion people who are connected who can publish talk to each other distributor and I think the challenge would rather than today is the work out how it fits into this new arrangement of society journalism is not greatly trusted sadly man-made mainstream media are the school very lonely and so how is it that we can we win Trust rebuild trust and convince people that German

Is actually a very good way of sorting out truth from fiction and lies from things that matter and are true and I think that probably does require a rethinking what channel is mince.

What will come onto the second book.

What do you think is the sum of the causes of that breakdown in trust of of mainstream journalism because he is easy from my point of view to look at Trump is clearly are a liar and a wrong and as my money would have said and it's in his interested to reduce the news but are there any other causes or is it just blatant self interest for 200 years when we had that Monopoly we didn't really care.

I'm annoyed.

I got this order of the Millwall chant.

No one likes us.

We don't care.

I just thought that you know we don't go to the profession to be loved if if everybody hates us equally then, we'll probably something like that kind of attitude and the trouble is there are too many now alternatives to many.

Too many other sources to do that care less about whether people trust us or not.

There are things about new media.

I mean we can spend part of this discussion slagging off Facebook and you know I can do that as well as nobody else, but that doesn't explain why 2 billion people have signed up to Facebook and why something like 1.3 billion a day using it there are busy doing something right and there is a sense in which that's peer-to-peer conversation is more trusted then.

It's owners who don't know anything about and part of it is to do I think with what the technology now allows you to do so it's at it on my Twitter feed bullshit is challenged within seconds.

You don't have to wait for 35 days to get ipso de coming on and tricks on your bath.

Don't lie doesn't last very long you can link two things you can say the trust my word for it here is

My sauce and so there are things about the way that people now live there lives digitally that I think lead to trust you and the things that mainstream Media do which are bits on stuck in the 19th and 20th centuries, but can my friends and family be trusted to give me the impartial news in my news feed for example of a few American friends and one of them is a nice person well-meaning at posted the length of the aware Obama was allegedly admitting that he what he wasn't born in America it was clearly doctored because my friend either posted it to raise awareness of eating out.

She commented believed it, but no one really challenged on it and in that sense is not a trusted source of music not trust him as a friend know you're quite right and all the services so that people don't trust a lot of what they read on social media social media session unsatisfactory turning itself because daughter is very different from Google which is Reading from Facebook but nevertheless.

You would expect wouldn't you that germs and which is supposed to be a system which is staffed by professional people who are whose only purpose in life is to sort route from from from lies.

You would expect us to be much more trusted then social media and depending on which bit of social media you use that's not necessarily true so in a way to say Wells social media is a bit rubbish should my my friends I can't really trust them is a fairly low bar to say it if we are sticking out future on be able to claim that we are so much better.

Get there seems to be such a plurality of outlets now the Innocence everyone's clamoring for a clicks and plumbing for a pensioner remember in the old days.

We know 20 years ago.

I would buy a copy of the Guardian and also buy it could be the Telegraph a balance because if your bike with the garden if that's a lens through which you want to look through the world.

That's the Guardians interpretation of what they will have to be true it would.

Have a counterbalance from timestamp.

They're not listed alternative facts.

They know and I think one of the good things about social media shutting my experience of social media as I can get the Guardian under Telegraph Anna and the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in the sun all in the same newsfeed and I have people sometimes talk about a filter bubble that that new media creates.

I'm sure that's true of some people but but a lot of research actually suggests that people are much more collecting note 9 news sources and a bit like you then they might not want to trust someone sauce, but they might want to trust five or six different sources that seems to be a healthy thing.

I also think that a lot of teenagers are struggling man and that the idea of some kind of Media literacy education.

This is something really worth visiting the try and make people will have ski.

Till about sources and and try and work out where things are coming from and what the motive might be of people who are telling you stuff, so do you think it is sense that this is an emergency old model way you won the printing press new can say what you like and the readers trusted whatever you said now it all seems a broken down.

I think that's a big.

Don't overdo it because have I think there are lots of people who like this actually find this very liberating very democratic like the fact that anybody can have a voice anybody can challenge anybody it's a much flatter arrangement of society.

So there's lots of things that are positive and there are some very very I find you know the subject like brexit.

I find in a way there more expert views on brexit in my Twitter feed that I read us some newspapers, so it wearing a revolution where everything is very new very complicate.

And the voices who are shouting at us to do something about it.

I think need to be resisted.

We need to give it a bit of time to see where this Revolution is going but but there's almost like a cafeteria approach to journalism now where you can pick and choose the sources that you want for good and for a time in argument example when that the Guardian 15 years ago whenever the website allowed me to 22 not have sport on my curated home page ad export all of it is a waste of time so I delivery don't want to eat support at controversial view, but my point is it allowed me to to self censor myself from certain areas of society which you don't get in the curated expensive reading any respect for the rules on people on Facebook at a newspaper only subscribed to say Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson well.

That's the reality of the day and it would be lovely if you were jealous because it was great being a journalist in those days to be able to turn the clock back and so will we want to be back on the pedestal we were we were the trusted experts and

We want to get back to that time and I think lots of journalistic, then I understand that but that's not the world.

We live in that.

I can't imagine that we're going to go back to those times so the Challenger journalism has to work out how we fit into this new ecosystem and ensure.

I think we just have to be better.

We have to clean well.

What is the public interest that we're trying to serve with the Joneses why should people trust as hacker.

We make them trust us and how can we be really excellent in providing a guide to the world and the things that matter and that that's that sounds really basic and you might think well.

Why don't you just do that anyway that you should the Guardian corrections and clarifications, There's a readers' editor.

I know that you if you get something wrong that you're correct it that you know there's a kind of sense that you doing this in there for a cause for the greater good and how come how can you improve upon that well?

System I started at 1 at the Guardian because I was very conscious of the fallibility of journalism as a great quote that im always feeling out of biomedical David broder.

Who was at the Washington Post and his description of a newspaper walls and paraphrasing but it wasn't an incomplete inaccurate somewhat partial account of the events that we were able to produce but we will be back tomorrow with a better version and that's used to be like a good account of what journalism is trying to do journalism is not the truth.

It's not history.

It's not holy writ journalist working difficult circumstances sometimes dangerous circumstances of them with people trying to put us off this end.

I think we do pretty bloody well didn't in terms of producing that first draught of history, but I think we should be honest with readers and say that you don't believe this.

The truth and nothing but the truth and we will make mistakes and if we don't admit them in our own pages there going to be a splattered all over Twitter so let's be more modest St honest about what journalism is bad at the same time acknowledge that journalism at its best is a very good system form and guiding people to true facts, how optimistic are you there? I mean journalism seems to be under attack as never before the president is crying fake news on the time journalist Newsroom seem to be empty than ever before though if you were journalists in most national newspapers.

Do you think that the changes coming? I think all things are true at the moment? I really do so it is possible.

I can sit here and give you the very pessimistic speech about how the economic model of journalism is collapsing very few people want to pay for news people seeing the opting out of use I think there was a recent survey that showed 50% of people.

In Britain that are service I actually I'm I'm fed up with news like me with the spot going on there on the website it right, so there's a there's a gloomy version of events and then there's an optimistic person with such as well actually Twitter is the most amazing and democratic democratizing force and the involvement of millions of people is a healthy thing as society and when you look back on the day is in which a few rich men only printing presses and had a disproportionate influence on politics and science and international relations and wore that wasn't very healthy eyes are so I think all things are true at the moment and it's a mistake to fall into one narrative or another there seems to be different ways to innovate in terms of financing journalism as well.

We had David pemsel regarding steel city in that chair a couple of months ago, but the success of the Guardians in a sponsor bit membership program seems to be going incredibly well.

You got me to the

Allpay walls of the FTA with Mark Thompson is the of the New York Times at on a few months ago, he was saying that as a citizen of America obviously feels apolda.

What's happening with trump in the white house, but as this chief executive of the New York Times subscriber numbers of gone through the roof as people rushed to support their journalism financially.

Yes, I think that will be multiple models if I was editing the ft.

Yeah, I'm sure driver people when I was editing the Guardian I didn't think it was the time to put up a paywall and I didn't know what would happen when I left the Guardian whether they would put other people or not and I'm pleased to see that.

They haven't really all that the financial model that we set up over 6 years ago.

I'm going I'm not against paywalls and sometimes.

They are a necessary way of sustaining journalism, but if you do put up a paywall what you're doing is essentially putting your news into a gated community of people who can afford to pay for.

To the New York Times is a great newspaper great newspaper, but something like 97% of Americans can't access.

It'll can't afford Traxxas it or don't access it now is that I'm very glad that you can't is there, but that's a very polarised country will the moment and if the really good prevails on use a world, where are we here but but you can't read this unless you pay your innocence vacating the playing field for all the people who are going to be there including Fox News who are going to pump out their Version Of Events that's got a downside big Downside as well as an upside cleaned it the Guardian your sense.

It has a unique funding models of the Scott trust in the sale of assets such as auto trading son.

It's a bit like the BBC that it had the resources to make a very noble initiative to make the website free but some of your commercial competitors have struggled to make it work financially which has resulted in fewer journalist empty newsrooms.

Yes, I'm in the garden to have the house.

It was very clever.

I mean people think of the Guardians HRT is not a charity.

That is so it's up.

It's got a very hard nose the element to it under and over the years.

We've built our page and endowment of about 8 billion quid and then we said well that is there to sustain guarding don't listen to be spent very spin yummy.

The moment.

I think the losses are greater than the amount that it would be wise to draw down from the endowment but from what I hear.

It's getting to the point of break break even though they've been very patient about the strategy, but the strategy is working would that work for the Daily Mail or the sun? I don't know I'm in the garden has tremendously loyal readers who love it some revere it and I think as long as the journalism is doing something that people feel a real need for a really trust.

Google pay for it if they want to do that on a voluntary basis, then that's good.

I've been there are other models like that national Public Radio in America Wikipedia papers like the Texas tribune are the Dutch paper called the corresponding in which increasingly they are going to read us and saying are james' Business Centre kind of public service and do you want to pay for it? Not only said that you can benefit from it, but the society at large can but as a citizen and as a journalist do not despair that we don't even seem to agree on the facts of something out a society at least they could be a disagreement with or without politicians and across Hamleys about you know what ought to be done about something but now they can without the advent of alternative facts.

We can't even agree on the the actual reality of what we dealing with Adventist Society seems more polarized than ever around soon subject we don't cut across party lines like brexit like like trump.

Yes, I think that is true and

Baby Donald Trump is all done us lent us all a favour by so regularly pointing to one of the best news organisations are well done, so well.

That's all fake because it isn't taking the cover is not you can and another patient journalist in America who are counting up all his let's call them over defects or you could call them lives and I think the Washington Post has now got to tally of something like 4000 hours in an element or office some of the incredible incredible.

I mean just complete gultoo to think that he can get away with it, but nevertheless.

I think people are waking up and thinking or I remember why we need journalist.

It's it's actually rather frightening to try and think of a society without use of course you got lots of towns now that you have a newspaper that either have a very poor newspaper now or no newspaper tall and you're right that the society can't advance I think unless you have an agreed basis.

Of fact that if is every debate is just people make up their own facts and are unable to greet on on the reality of the situation, then I think politics grindstore Holt but I've never known a situation where the president will attacks CNN itself as saying that they're anti-american that they're part of the problem in the sense of hostility toward journalism that they're there are an Enemy of the State as he says this is unprecedented terrible development and it's an attempt to delegitimize journalism, which of course you seen in in lots of countries around the world, but it is alarming and dismayed to find the same language being used in America of all places, but you know where the Trump is not anyone to bring words like that right and then when the Daily Mail called judges the enemies of the people disgraceful that was also an attempt to Sutton delegitimize institutions.

And that is sort of something ugly and new I think it's society in which he said can a culture Wars become more important than the truth and who should be the arbiter of those factors at the moment.

There's for example as Snaps do a very good job.

If if there's a mean goes round on Twitter that says we didn't really land on the Moon live usually got a page that says did we land on the moon the answer is yes, we did and here's the evidence but not Facebook or Twitter buddy, Albert it should there be some kind of check Mark over or is it a do we have to have a diffuse framework where the Guardian CNN ABC News and the Daily Mail all work together to try and verify all because otherwise people going to get lost.

How do they know whether stories true or even whether their entire website has been created as a confection to look legit.

Maybe circle deep venues and where the whole site is is fake.

Why won't we couldn't runners for the rest of the week? Is there a power cut in our policy private citizens.

So we have no constitutional position that determines that we are or have to be the afters of the truth and journalism can't even agree on whether there is such a thing as objective truth or subjective truth is a different view on depending on which side of the Atlantic you live so journalism as a system of getting it the truth.

Isn't it and in perfect one and the ground rules are unsettled nevertheless.

It is it's not a bad way in my view of of getting at truths, but we're not the only ones and governments can put information to the public domain by statistics and and and people pee on people can citizens can he has this meant that are our readers know more than we do is true, and what are you know if you like you about the Health Service I'm not a brain surgeon another nurse another GP there will be readers out there.

Will know more about this than I do so you can have many different lenses on the truth, but I bet it we need to be careful not to sort of the full Trunk Road of the world in my alternative truth is as good as your truth you because it it's it's not actually a fair use the word truth visit him implying like you said edit this to truth is clearly nonsensical well.

That's why I think difficult words to be banning around to say I have established the truth the facts.

Yeah, you can establish the facts and if you're lucky you can get near the truth.

You couldn't send it be truthful and you can be balanced.

Can you be impartial adenauer all these words that that you kick around if you get a journalism school, but I think we as a professional gonna have to start thinking hard about how we framework journalism is cos it 2018.

Is Steve Bannon a journalist is Julian Assange a journalist is Boris Johnson a journalist is of the bloke with a YouTube channel who whose work has promoted by Fox News and then Donald Trump watches here journalist you see what I mean though that somehow we have to rise above this ocean of what is there and find some agreed ways of describing journalism in the public interest and dose dose of the crucial words how optimistic are you there? That will even happen because as she were explained.

I was just filled with a mounting sense of despair as I wouldn't with everybody said but you just felt increasingly unrealistic.

Obviously necessary remember.

I find the book a little harder to read than I thought it would because I thought well.

I've been a journalist for 2 years.

This is going to be an easy book to write because the answer is more journalism.

We need more journalism and I was writing it during the run into brexit as I was never got that thing that I was I was just a reader and I had my instinctive feeling about brexit, but nevertheless.

I thought well.

I would like this explain to me.

I would like both sides explain to me if somebody tell wants to tell me their opinion of what happened.

That's fine.

I will read that with interest to but my instinct is this is a fantastically complicated question and so don't do me the this service of pretenders really easy questions anyone's side to it.

That's what you want from journalism.

I think that's that's how journalism would say well actually were better than that see a rubbish at there because that's what we do, but if it does not what most of the British pressed it most the British press started by saying world, where heart will brexit.

Some were even paid up brexit campaigners like them Sunday Express and all the academic research since has shown that it was very one-sided in favour of brexit now.

It's almost regardless which side you originally were most people think he was much more complicated than we were 10 little better that pigs ears and it really so that's a concrete example of how journalism could be better than the morass of information that out there by side job is this and that's different from what you get on the internet, but that's not what happened.

So there does a concrete example of how journalists might so take that as a as a test case of how they can do better than that because I'm in the newsagents.

There's the Guardian there's the sun on the shelf and actually to pick up the sun in a sense the jobs already done at that point is now I know what.

I'm buying of course now.

I think we'll be responsibility and then every time your finger retweet something that you haven't read which is often when I said you haven't done that business of checking to see if it's true, then you are purveying fake news yourself.

So yeah, you can't blame all this on on journalists at the journalist leaving a society that context the what journalism peers and how it's done, but I think if we want jealous because of I've we have to understand that it's doing a very different kind of job.

I am in another example are using the book of climate change in on any rational measure climate changes probably I use the word probably but almost certainly the most important issue of our lifetimes than her children's life x seeing the effects of it right now almost certainly yeah, so you would expect in a sister.

News for the climate change to be there almost everyday because it's not just about the weather.

It's about securities that immigration is about the economy as well the food we eat.

It's an incredibly important subject, but not only is it missing from much of the news but quite often when it isn't use it's written by people who don't actually believe in it is ok, and if you if if what was as jealous as we want to be the reliable guide to your lies.

Your family's lives your children's lives then.

Why do we either ignore climate change on the players or or denied that doesn't seem very very useful way of persuading people Amazon is something set apart from the internet which which has a sort of rigorous system that we should trust and why do you think that is 10 is that because journalist know that.

Fiat their readers listeners will tire of continuous climate change stories and therefore they give the audience what they want.

I think we've climate changes is very complicated as it's a difficult subject for news people to Jubilee doesn't change much from day today as a sense that readers are frightened of the truth is 2 bigger subject and some of it is due to an ideological Prejudice at super Potter Order to level.

I think there are many different computer key factors, but I use it as an example of how did think the news business is differentiating itself as a man is Croydon a book was Michael James delingpole.

I'm in an entertaining enough writer who where is the climate change correspondent of breitbart Frank in same as he doesn't even it's a hoax as you know if you know.

If you want to say that because it's not a question, I believe it's a question of the evidence supports.

Yes quite and delingpole is an English graduate he's got as far as I know he's got no Science background be on a couple of A Levels and yet if you tap his name into a database of all mainstream Media I counted six newspapers.

He's written for on climate change as the go-to guy for climate change the musical.

Why why why would you do that if you're trying to say we deal in the world as it is we deal in the truth.

Why would you use an entertaining clown who's going to write stuff that certainly belongs on breitbart call the internet, but that's not positioning newspapers differently and say we were better than that.

So there are these things that I think jealous.

I gonna have to start asking themselves and saying we got away with.

For 200 years but when I get to get away with that the future.

We didn't you answer your own question then calling him in an entertaining clown because if you're the producer of a television chat show that's topical and talk about current affairs you gonna want a couple of guests on weight when it's climate change that are going to have a Vaillant disagreement and he's going to be a bit chatty.

I'm I'm sure what he says his total lunar C but at former TV directors point of view in a studio in might be Great Khali yeah, and he writes amusingly and I suspect that the latter part of the answer that good copy.

He's a controversial as newspapers like controversy.

They like not to be seen to being politically correct and all that but is that are functions are functions that we are trying to tell the general public that we are different with the confusion.

Is is his wife, so you've got in a one bit of a Murdoch operation the times of the mouth.

Is very slow down on social media and holding it to work and saying you can't believe any of this stuff and it's a disgrace that people can publish this rubbish.

We're good for them and then you got Fox News in America that is regularly publishing the work of people who don't deserve to be in my view Graham caterers as mainstream Media so that's all within one company it one bit say look journalism is different and the other bit saying if you will publish any or rubbish by people and you know we know that President Trump swears by fox and watches that so this is jainism that doesn't it's not without consequences.

So if you just think of is a giant game or what I wanted to journalism because I have firmly logical beliefs and it's a bit of a game really or it makes money or it gives viewers as it was a really dangerous game and and and I

Pocket can see through it and it's not good for journalism and the general image for the image of all no necessity for journalism is Sean hannity on Fox News a journalist and I know you just said there about a lot of people of wiring it up to that didn't believe about as likely to have a huge base of supporters.

Who do believe what they see on Fox News people seem to be less interested than what the truth is Dan what does my side believe I've borrowed little bit about that strange speech of Donald Trump gave out of the stump speech in in Florida about Sweden need me suddenly said the singing look what happened in Sweden this weekend and it was he had seen something.

Fox News and what he had seen was a can of subtle gonzo journalist who has got his own website and I use the Jonas jealous loosely who's got his own YouTube channel and who goes around doing I think they're called mockumentary.

It's entertainment meets journalism and I watch this guy's documentary which had been broadcast on Fox News and it was a very short piece of work.

It didn't Belong on Fox News are any reputable news channel on anywhere and so there you have foxes amplifying the work of another clown and say hello here is what happens when you get Muslim immigration into a country.

They get around raping women bracelet.

That was the message of this film and Donald Trump sorry then suddenly.

He's using this an example of how you suddenly go from a fox.

YouTube channel with maybe €10,000 to tens of millions of people thanks duo Rupert Murdoch's Fox News in a let's get serious about this and either by the way are better than that or we are awaiting ourselves to it and say what actually if this guy is saying roughly he he's in the same sort of political ballpark that we are lentils matter if it's not good channels and Wigan practice entertainment is a chance that the people who have been arguably reckless and allowed this to happen and maybe negligent going to Canada learn from this like through some of the Democrats Hillary said in a runbook that she would she was a sense of complacency that she thought she was gonna be present and therefore didn't campaign as hard as necessary some of those States where she lost you think there is an element of with the advent of brexit and trump and the breakdown in all of these kind of problems in journalism that certain people are going to sit up.

Take notice like yourself and something is going to be done well.

I think people have been too complacent too long since in which the unsticking of the economic model is get a Focus people's Minds now.

You know I don't know you don't know what is going to happen.

You got me some news let's pray that middle comes good idea to the market next to the readers never paid for the use it was it was the advertising that paid for the Linden the news it was famously if you know the with the warm the Walmart advertising pays the New York Times Baghdad Bureau so what's happening? This is obvious enough is that this accident by Which advertising stuck itself onto news because they both came in a printed product and we know that they're becoming unstuck now all classified advertising is going somewhere else and colour of the display advertising is going somewhere else.

So what happens if all that advertising does detach itself from news and then you got a big problem and I think that is focusing people's minds and people saying one.

What is a market cannot supply really good news really serious news.

We're not talking about clicks entertainment.

We're not talking about the other stuff.

We've been talking about investigative journalist incredibly expensive so you know which commercial organisation took it is a business.

Its doesn't seem a good Roi in terms of investment of course.

It's important politicians in the powers that be held to account but you're not a pity the entrepreneur that decides to set up a website doing that is just the Aussies and lose money.

Yes, so therefore.

What have I let you know where does that sound so you say what ok you can't expect shareholders or entrepreneurs all the market does abort investigative journalism proposition 1 proposition 2 years.

We need investigate journalism.

You need people to find stuff out what we want politicians to be in favour of journalist rightly so so who's going to come that so it's same thing about local news.

You know if a local newspaper which used to keep replied because it car advertising in-house advertising job advertising no longer has any their advertising and can't afford to keep a proper news.

I'm going but nevertheless our Society needs news.

We need to know what's happening on the council and was happening at court cos you don't know what the local councils doing a lot of areas which is produce their own.

You don't want them.

So can we reach an agreement that says news is a public service it.

Is it it is in our public interest as a society that we have done this finding stuff out and telling us.

What is true? And what is not it's like an ambulance services like a police service.

You can't run a society without an agreed factual basis.

It's that important.

So if we frame it like that.

And then and I'm hoping this came across review into the economics of news.

Will will will look into this are there Newcastle organisations are new cans of companies which could do that and we began to see that will begin to see non-profit organisations in America these 5012 c3501 C3 is which apps are almost like charities.

You treating news like aren't they a public good that that is in the public interest would get charged for Leaf there are big corporations.

No record of things called social Enterprise companies which have a social mission first and profit second so are there tax breaks or incentives that you could give companies that were going to produce news in the public interest that I think is where the discussion will lead.

Tell us about his years at the Guardian I mean this is only a 1 hour podcast so could we have for everything and it want to listen to that it'd be great but what are they? Would have been the highlights and lowlights for you because I was thinking what specific aspects to ask you about in in in the Decades that you were there, but there's so many that I'd rather you select.

What are the strong strongest memories of the big picture was his son.

It's an amazing newspaper full of the cleverest most delightful moral ethical and fun people.

I may know it was it was just a great community did have a proprietor regarding his own buy new ones are any relationship was with each other and being on that journey with them of not only producing unit cracking story is an amazing investigations that said a ricocheted around the world, but also this business of reinventing journalism from muscle standing start was the best possible fun.

Was the highlight then for you? Well the too many to mention that I think towards the end we started.

We had a really good investigative muscle at the paper and if you have a good hip muscle in people bring stories to you people see that you've got the guts to run stories and take people on in powerful positions and then that almost becomes invitation rather people to bring stories.

Do you say we had this amazing run of in a writing about torture about toxic oil dumping about tax avoidance about phone hacking about slavery about the whole WikiLeaks I'll get the whole Snowdon Saga and we ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize in America which is incredibles records and it was incredible incredible time.

Too simplistic question, how much courage was involved only one of my earliest memories of you're ready to ship was Jonathan Aitken saying universe disorder true taking you want think I'm in your wrist so much in standing up for what was right well those those huge liable battles when we did them a charmeleon doesn't have we had the Police federation the way it was a series of there was up.

There was a perfect pillow salesman in in South Africa who's who does that cost us half a million quid so they were these gigantic actions which are I tell you had to fight if you'd rather go and journalism traffic euro yet.

I will know that your trip your tweet are member reading at the time you tweeted it seeing you for all reportable reason.

They're processing companies off the coast of Africa

Which had been poisoning people had a so-called super injunction so that you got an injection to stop your reporting it and also to your prevented from reporting the fact of the injunction and we were a bit mischievous on Twitter about saying there's something I've ever heard it on the front page here is a story about something that we can't tell you about involving a company we can't a court action.

We can't reveal we worried about jigsaw identification though.

I think I thought that in the end, it would just be too embarrassing for them as it was after about a week babe.

They lifted it because they realise they were looking ridiculous, so the whole notion of a super injunction seems draconian.

Will you can see why they have them in Pretty cases? I mean if you are a public figure and somebody's investigating your own private life and you feel likely that is my private life and has got managed with anybody else and

Try to get an injunction to prevent app from coming into the public domain, where is it adds up to a judge to decide whether there is a public interest in it, but but if the judge decides there is no public interest then you can see why you don't you don't want did the smoke without a fire business off so I can I can see an argument for Super injunctions in privacy cases, but it what you know what we had here was a trading company in a story about people being poisoned.

It was clearly a public matter not a private matter and I think that was a completely new complete misuse of of a super injunction that you mention that just briefly Edward Snowden and the revelations there a Julian Sands must have been quite a sleepy character of deal with I mean that you've had quite the conveyor belt the characters.

They have come through your life in this amazing career in journalism with a very different people smoke and they were both.

Sense kind of whistleblowers and I certainly wasn't actually Whistleblower himself was the sort of Chameleon figure in which she was not quite a saucepan in touch with us all.

She was a publisher.

He wanted to be thought of as a journalist but also he wanted to be thought of as a kind of study of the information, Alnwick it's that's where does the word against superstar as well as very occasionally impresario.

I'm talking about the past tense cos he's still living in London as well.

My nana.

Would have got the wrong and complicated with these his many many things and and I think I would defend the stories.

We published together of course in at some point he went often and dumpling documents that he didn't really believe in editing which is ridiculous because it will be full of risk if you don't read out the documents and people's addresses or whatever that makes them identifiably puts them at risk than of something.

UWE token that's the the view we talk with the Snowden documents.

I mean there is there is an issue there in this new world.

I think about Gatekeepers so you know when we had the printing presses we were The Gatekeepers and we were the arbiters of what people got to read them what they didn't a Sandra I think always thought that was ridiculous.

You know who's suicide you the other Gatekeepers and I just meant there was a moment again recently when I was a reader not heard nothing editor and that was the Christopher Steele dossier about trump and the Russians which are you make you may remember BuzzFeed eventually published get it and I thought well.

I think of them as a reader why these people sitting on this information.

I sort of thing I would like to be considered grown up and after disabling liver sauce and so who are these Gatekeepers that are City on these documents is.

What is a time when they were part of the other stuff about Mary Hillary Clinton but not about trump, but there is a obviously completely catch argument.

This is all done and that's what journalism is for the journalist brains that has into the internet.

It's there to try and reach adjustment on what's true? And what isn't true and only produce the truth these discussions that way now getting into a meeting at 12 hour podcast interesting time to be teaching journalism to be studying journalism want to be coming into journalism and having all these ethical issues.

I sometimes felt we needed a kind of moral philosopher in The Newsroom and to help us think through some of these issues into my when I was thinking about years of the girl who was the NSA revelations and you've been forced to come up dramatically destroy the hard drives in the garden as well and hand them over to this.

Charity services, what will happen when the state wasn't happy you can understand that and they run out of patience and said we think you've done nothing you have to stop well in him.


Is it for the state to tell journalists you've done enough and you have to stop for is jainism are an independent at realm which should be free to make up his mind.

It's own mind so we felt that it wasn't for the state to tell us to stop Publishing and we felt we haven't explored this archive enough so we made sure that there was a copy in New York when we were working with the New York Times and with propublica and because I thought there might come a point in Britain when they would try and injectors the almost impossible in America after the Daniel ellsberg case of 1978 to the Pentagon Papers

Almost impossible for a government of March in 2009 and stop it from publishing so we will have more protected in America than we were in Britain and to enough.

They can't remember the British government said if you don't stop we will stop you say my dilemmas editor was did I want to wait until that moment came and fight a legal case which would have essentially taking side of the action we we would not have been able to publish anything playing greenworld.

Who was working for us would have resigned he would have published from Brazil the new tyres the worshipers would have published and the Guardian would have been silenced that didn't seem like a good option so I tell the British government look I have copies of this in in New York you can do what you like in London but it's not gonna stop us and they said ok.


We will do what we like and so I've seen Spooks an hour.

Vulnerable at that moment like the most physically vulnerable because you ugly burly men coming over to try and take this hard drive without actually just try them.

We will deliver wouldn't come back to this so I can buy appointment UK my appointment then I'll call degassing machines and so we we had we had appointment for them to come and smash up on computers and yet.

They must also been aware of the futility of that given that you have copies of them and it seems quaint now that you would destroy a physical Drive given that you know file can be in the Cloud I think there was a kind of Visual symbolism wanted all the maybe they needed to build and help other people at Whitehall that you know then behave really tough day with a guardian angel.

Maybe they thought they were they were going to slowest and by doing that server.

I never been really sure what they thought they were going to achieve.

I think they were the point that I found I couldn't really convince them on was that they were incredibly lucky to be dealing with the Guardian of the New York Times and the Washington person that three fantastic newspapers who were prepared to talk to them in and we will keep it up and dialogue throughout in which we were saying as lucky as this document is there anything that you think is in a super sensitive incredibly reasonable of you.


I thought so I can see why from their point of view.

They just didn't want anything published but the alternative in 2014 2013-14 was not nothing new was that the internet would publishing Glenn Greenwald who lived in Rio de Janeiro I was outside the jurisdiction of the British state and he was acting at a Publishing and there were people who were.

Outranking Glen in a van in information and advice available online and in other countries who had part of this LCA they won't get it bring up the British government on sale in Oakham with with with with you like conversation about there was a risk that they could like us and just done the Whole Lotta so I thought actually a better way to a procedure would have been to suffragette.

Keep up a dialogue with a garden so we don't like you having this but we recognise that you have it and if you've got it, we would really like to stay close to you and talk to you.

That's it.

We have a better way of doing it tell us about the final few months of the time in the Editors Cheddar Garden how did you do it after that come to an end? Did you know it was coming that was it signed that did it feel the right moment? Yes, I've done 20 years that's enough for anybody and I was young enough.

And I'm so I had a chat with Liz forgan who was running the Scott trust and said look I think that I may be coming and she said well.

Can you stay on until after the next election that was 2015 and during the last six months? I did they really big thing on climate change because I just thought it's not a we haven't done climate change week that it will pretty good on climate change but I did think it has gone look back of my throat was anything I would regret I think I thought we could have done something more dramatic employment so we did a big cuddle.

Keep it in the Grand campaign about fossil fuels and what's it like being a reader when you were the editor for two decades you know do you find yourself can of second guessing what can find you a successor to the other so what's your relationship mean? Are you like a backseat driver like Mrs that she wants by Mrs.

Oh no? I'm not I'm going and I have no wish to edit.

I'm very relieved not to be editing any longer.

So very demanding and nerve.

Shredding shop sometimes and so I couldn't be more pleased not to have to think about not only the Daily News but but but but there's not a big questions.

We've been talking about the day only that I find fascinating questions.

I'm sharing the reuters Institute in Oxford and lots of journalist come through Oxford to think about these things but I'm very glad not to be doing it on a daily basis.

So what are you doing data? What is a typical week now? I know you did there fields of gold on BBC One all that time my god.

You have any more so the film TV writing ambitions and I was the piano playing my job.

I was running Oxford College Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford and fulltime that is most of the street terms of 10 weeks and a lot of stuff to be done in between those vacations and we're working very actively on how to broaden access to Oxford University of the kinds of people who might think it's not for them.

Who have not had that the starting life that other people have said that bansbury.

I can pay me a lot on this our educational front but I'm but I'm fine just book is 150000 words long that took me a lot of time to source Inc research.

Write and that's the reservoir that you couldn't do my research activities at Oxford have you slow down a little bit though it sounds to me that you talk about these issues, so it feels like a very busy life and a very enjoyable life, but I don't have that business of having to get up at 7 a.m.


We doing centre.

Don't you want to allow this was made out this morning.

I was that question but trying to think of 20 different things to do by 10 in the morning and you know that sinking feeling when I liable rich comes and also I'm awful.

In a journalist being held hostage in some godforsaken part of the world are those things that use to keep you awake at night and it in as editors never has enough sleep well in bed.

There's there's too many things that could go wrong and do go wrong and I don't miss that it'll make clearly the book is expecting any credibly Worthing very important initiative but do you have any on for filled ambitions? What's gonna be next for you in a medium to long-term or is it is there no next season of put your feet up when I was young open the bowling for England or contact the London Symphony Orchestra I think I've left both those a little too late.

I play music and ID I do still think you are writing things like scream players and players because I enjoy that nothing has recently been put on but I live in hope and I don't I also enjoyed writing books.

The little bit of this book that I enjoyed most apps that there are a lot of bits of reporting in it and I love reporting this there's no better phone than getting your teeth into a really meteor C1 and just ignoring at a particular bone to mix America so actually going back and reporting would make me very happy Alan has been a great honour.

Thank you ever so much.

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