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Read this: Media Masters - Fraser Nelson

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Media Masters - Fraser Nelson…



Media Masters with Paul Blanchard welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the media game magazine under his 10-year editorship is reached the print circulation of a 70000 the highest in its 100-year history BBC political editor and associate editor is Rose elsewhere have included political columnist for the News of the World political editor of The Scotsman and business reporter with the times.

He is a board of the center for policy studies and a recipient of a number of awards including the British society of magazine editors editors editor of the Year thank you for joining me to be season directions for me.

Clearly Hates Me editors editor of the Year from the Editors Society it is used to be editor of the Year back in the old days and then.

Is massive inflation so now every word they give is now editor of the Year bracket something or another that leads to a problem.

So what do you call the overall? It's a great honour.

Did he ask other editors to vote every year for some reason the panel of Judges who decides that the number one title is the other editors no vote who's going to be the Editors to the year and you walk off with this was lovely big trophy and I always think the British journalists not to care too much about the words because Americans always do this to sometimes right for Pulitzer panels for the readers.

So I think it's a proud journalist you not to be too worried, but I have to admit to receive one of these things.

It was one of the end of the best moment of my career help, please I was too.

Repossession owner of such a wonderful piece of silverware it must be an incredible honour those who actually feel that you recognised because being an editor is is in many ways a thankless task of interviewing enough of the many podcast it is and it's funny.

That's like ticking Trust is currently the international and business secretary when she comes on her she's business secretary week.

I don't know but that's for another great fan of Katy balls my colleague says to me for his time.

He moved onto my bedroom because your sister is not the best job being a blizzard out in the fuels.

That's great if you're an editor your job is to be behind the scenes making basically other people shine.

It's a job that I love boots.

I remember Peter political editor of The Spectator you said that the great paradox is the editor is not the best job in his opinion being political editor was the best job and it depends there's so many aspects of journalism.

Wave that you can sign the funny thing is amongst my colleagues and 22 old Queen Street wework.

We've only got one staff writer and that's James Forsyth everybody else are basically commissioning editors.

We look for other people to write in front of them as best.

We can which is journalism OBS not the people only think of journalism immediately returned to think of writers some of the best journalists you owe me to people whose names you never see the sub editors for example am a huge believer in the power of 7 litres to transform titles to transfer Writers on my team as well.

I wear a PR agency for people who gone into making that column Shine when you to be the word ceremonies and used in accordance with the word normally the first in the coldness.

Does is thank the commissioning editor?

The Saboteurs you make it work the long list of people who go towards what the reading things off as the work of one person and I think that's why the digital came along some people thought well is journalist can surely they can just set up the website charge everybody at no £10 a year and then the biggest problem is can you take the money themselves, but nobody has done that but nobody's been able to replicate relationship between writers and editors sub editors the kind of the magic which goes on in publications and that's why I think digital leader is not atomized writers people expected because we just need each other a bit too much and what type of editor.

Are you? How do you go about your job as editing? I've had quite sitting in that chair and there's lots of different ways to go about the job more ambassadorial commissioning some editors actually enjoy the actual act of editing others are appalled by that.

I'm saying that's not my job.

He said.

Inspire and motivate the team and set the overall Direction what type of medicines are you one of the biggest questions in each other because there's so many ways of doing the job.

I've been editor of The Spectator 4 and 10 years and 3 days that you got my anniversary of the relatively recently and it's changed utterly in those 10 years now.

You can be a very good picture if you are just doing ambassador you doing front of house you talking to the press or you represent in the brand somehow.

It would be brilliant as long as you make other things happen.

I think Boris Johnson was next to you, but you just came in so a couple of times a week and people up and then went away but he was brilliant it to sort of five or six years to get the Seals back to where they were to the peak important job were you edit copy of all time you don't really speak to Hog the limelight you let the writer's do.

And then there is anything were used in the back bench and literally is it copy rewrite in Shrewsbury right headlines and you have somebody else's publisher sort of person take the job doing overall strategy.

They are barely it doesn't have us and the magazines.

I have the great honour doing all of you cook and Bottle washer really because when is such a small team that aren't that thing the joint working for The Spectator you not put in a silent.

You're not right.

You only do one part of journalism the way that we describe it as we see journalism and all of this dimensions, so we will do social media about my colleagues can a podcast to record something to do a blog to write a page reads come up with a picture to think of a cobra headline to choose a cartoon called multi-platform journalism.

Yeah, but the way I see it is and I think that right now if this is why.

Travelling time to join journalist because there's so many more dimensions to it and if if somebody starting as ensuring listen if they can bring themselves to see it not as print or digital broadcast journalism with the platform is almost of secondary importance then.

It's so many opportunities and it's such fun to do because every day brings evolution not just a new subject matter used to be said that the great thing about journalism was everyday you doing you not really writing about you been learning about something new your job would change that is still true.

What's also changing now.

Is it the way you do it can have all from one month to the next so whether you are how you use social media as a big question for lots of journalists conversations were having yesterday is now in the south causey election period how can we innovate what new products.

Can we bring to the market at let's try something.

I haven't had before and see if you like it.

Get to change not just what you write about how you project.

It's how you develop your relationship with your subscribers at a time where there are more receptive than ever to pay on the day consuming and it's advertising is going through real problems and Industry but the amount of people willing to pay for a journalist and the like and trust has never been greater.

So that's why I see is a kind of a boom time really for journalists if you can find ways to come up with a product I hate that word but sometimes in the business-to-business that the product the people think is worth paying for and you can serve them in many ways, then they will pay and they will buy it and that's the sort of spectators in right now will let me go even more managerially buzzworthy then because it's not just about product isation.

It's also about that distinctiveness of The Spectator is a distinctive product, isn't it?

It's not got millions upon millions of readers, but it serves its niche readership incredibly well and you can monetize that well.

Let me know we've got that 2 1/2 million unique users a month now and now we've got 78000 people paying for the magazine.

That's incredible numbers.

It is yes, and this is also 25% more than it was 5 years ago and she should win some award award and the reward is having conversation doesn't know how to grow rather than how we can interesting existential question isn't it? Because if you are from the BBC hasn't them all the Broad appeal is the most insipid.

I'll give you the content becomes a mass-market.

How do I increase and deepen your reach without losing that distinct to spectate anus to your first question? What do I do with? This is the most important thing that I make sure.

Everything we do is up the same consistency but it looks or sounds if it's a podcast like it's cut from the same cloth that we don't do anything which is off Brand and the everything we do forces our request to those listening and reading but they subscribe to the magazine now Frank Johnson one of our greatest editors said that The Spectator was two things clever in another words that we respect our readers intelligence that we don't do fluff we don't do cheerleading in the way the sun Newspapers can do especially when elections are on but we always do it with self-deprecation and we always look to find out the funny and amusing things that happened in politics and we reject as false the choice between being entertaining and being informative if you're not enjoying yourself when you're ringing spectator, then I'm not doing my job properly so I always see as one of the Saturday morning Leeds on a Friday really you can pick it up on Thursday and was a freeze people use.

For publication or lean back on you lean forward and take notes like you might do if you're reading The Economist or do you lean back in the in the bath or on the sofa and enjoy it and because everything we do is aimed at selling a print magazine.

We want that lean back on the sofa experience to be the formation of what we do and so it's just show we could be of light and heavy foreign and domestic.

We are things that make you smile things that make you angry and them this is designed to give an overall enjoy Anna podcast you do that as well or evening land email that we send out now.

That is we have 75000 people reading that now, so that's quite something when you think of healthy people.

We already have one staff person devoted to the email but everything we tried to do is supposed to be from The Spectator DNA

And the interesting thing about our DNA is that is not me that he who decides it.

I worked out that pretty early on that I was the inheritor of a project that was started.

You know not just a nation 2018 the first picture came out but really in 1711 when the first ever daily opinion she was started in London but and they set the characteristics of a spectator and then that was one of DNA was created that was when are brand parameters reset.

Yeah, but you're the custodian of that now.

You could be done a terrible job and then your mother wouldn't have been proud does that weigh heavily on you that there is that you know all joking aside a lot of responsibility to be made it but to be honest it doesn't particularly heavy and has never been slightest doubt in my mind about who we are and what we do.

I add eyes over a whole bunch of things but I don't agonize over that this has its own momentum in knows what it is.

There is something about the way that are writers come together and they all basically know the project that involved in then.

We've got columnist of the calendar tomorrow Matthew Parris rod liddle Street but then write for us which is basically on Commercial and they do that for a bale of the magazine a value is integrity and I like what is doing so is not me that letter telling them how to write and what to write is.

I don't really have to tell a right let's keep it fun.

Let's be not to parties and if they want to do parties and they wouldn't be writing for The Spectator they wanted to be poo face they wouldn't be writing this data.

So they all come together for I guess the the other and it seems strange, but that's what it genuinely is the owner for being involved in this project which predates any other Project

Which is greater than you know what the different to what it is right now.

I just continue have thought as some publications did 10 years ago.

Oh my god prints sales are doing down which they were the print advertising is collapsing which it was therefore something radically reinvent.

We need to be very modern.

We need to jump the old-fashioned stuff and digital isn't a threat to Prince so that the Threat to print is people losing their nerve when faced with a new dynamic markets and thinking ok.

It's time to check out the baby in the bath water water and something else to panic relief to have FIFA if you keep Faith with the readers if you keep giving them things that are going to enjoy reading if you keep giving them content which is.

Consistently better than what they can find for free.

That's a test then they will pay for it and for the first 5 years of their leadership it.

It was really up in the air if this is working on it was a sort of felt like it sort of gamble in my parts this belief that the money will come if you get the content-type field of Dreams if you build it.

They will come yeah, and I remember doing this this was going to be one of the marriage of 10 years ago because it was exactly what time of year and the office asked me to become editor and I thought my god you must be crazy.

I've never heard it before I've never written a headline.

Why do you think I can take you for the magazine at a time like this and so thinking of the padding went to follow and it might not work but the odds are it won't work gone into three years so many ideas tend to be edited a bit like football managers.

You know the if they still go down the other two cos you got the Sword of Damocles hanging over.

Desk and quite right too really because the title so important you can afford to indulge a strategy that isn't working but a few things came together for us about 5 years ago.

It was a big change in the market that helped us there is a revival in subscriptions that helps us so just do my 10-years velator I was 5 years of thinking.

I will be lucky to take it back to where it was during what we used to call them or speak and then the last five years we've seen the market big sales increase and a big changing the conversation about what we doing with it all comes down to the what we're doing in the time people see anything from The Spectator if is an email if it's a podcast with 1.4 million listeners a month on the podcast which is huge, but if I'm doing my job every one of these podcast.

Every one of his listeners The Spectators fun, it's entertaining is worth your while and if you like the podcast maybe you should consider subscribing so it's podcast as signpost to buy the magazine stocks.

Everything is a signpost to buy the magazine from us every on our website for example.

You can read a couple of 3 articles and a month after that we ask you to pay the paywall enough then you might consider taking a trial subscription you get the first month for free and then if you like the description you go straight onto a full rate.

We don't receive the discounted rates hotel in have to be paid for yeah of course and given that advertisers are basically not coming back.

This is not coming back also importantly we're not going to get that money from digital assets publishing ok, you guys going online that's fine.

We got a website to so let's measure ourselves in the how many hits we getting the website and let's try to.

Isn't the 90s and Mrs banner blindness where are trackers where they sell websites and they literally don't they can see the advert of the corner of their own because they know it's not but yeah and the clients can take the click-through rates and they can see that this that this banner blindness is kicking in so you then work out now in that case the only funding of journalism is getting people to pay for it and how do you do that? If everything is free, but I think the big change that has come on the market right now first of all has been an explosion contents online 10 years ago you had a lot of newspapers giving away.

What is a free and it was quite easy to get pretty good quality content without paying for it really but now it's a lot harder you get BBC website.

You'll get the Guardian but not when your times you you don't have to limit to what you can really get for free that of pretty good quality, so that means if you actually think that.

Read it never been more important.

I think it's in this time is certainly true then there is a greater argument be paying for it now the big white horses that are written to the rescue the publishing world on Netflix on Amazon in my opinion.

They have created a sort of new have it or you do pay monthly for something you do subscribe 10 years ago.

Not many people will pay anything digitally whether it was a movie or a or music like the market and a rising tide lifts all boats including yours for something online the question is what you pay for that is a big change in conversation that makes it far easier for small publications like The Spectator to come in Behind these great big they've created in people's minds.

What do you describe two has new conversation not whether you subscribe, so now when you started adopting with Netflix model one month free then we charge you monthly.

We saw the massive increase in descriptions.

We moved away from what I've been traditional publishing model 12 weeks for £12 or $12 in America and then move up to quarterly if it's very strange that much different but the different people they used to the Amazon model used for the Netflix model and now this creates a great opportunity for all through the publishers if you can position yourself in that way and the funny thing is that we sell digital subscriptions, but when people do make the decision to buy them that was your shift cases, thereby print and digital so that's why I print sales have ended up as a record high as well as our our total sales and that's a trend which is being reinforced and it's strange to hear about Prince been inevitable decline because I really don't think that it is if you're certainly easier if your newspaper because you magazine you not lying around your

Have a beautifully drawn cover it can look like something that lift the tone of your living room people might think newspapers are sort of messy if this doesn't come on let's play them away so that the magazine has got it easier in the prince aspects of its but I also think that we could be entering the beginning of the Golden Age if we managed to keep to what we all do to retain adjusting to The Spectator of a statement The Economist prospects and he said he's very anti digital.

They don't have a Twitter I think they have an Instagram now, but their website is there argument is by the magazine.

It's a curated a beautiful product.

Yes, and I was struggling to interview with you ready was just talking romantically about how you'll love this newspaper is the new factory in Germany that produces in the blues are coming off in this lovely way this newspaper and that joy of Prince is something that will be shared by readers as long as you the editor shares.

Spending more time than ever done a spectator thinking let's look at this thread is a visually attractive spending more on artwork and cartoonists then we've ever done before and the future for is making his print pages look better because if you do it, then people will buy it and I think that's the death of print has been vastly overstated for magazines and is a great time to be a cartoonist for example.

There is a formal demand for top-quality cartoons with the reply right now as I was young artists.

I would absolutely think about getting to the art of political cartoonist because there's never been festival no shortage of material to draw if you look at the sun to part is my Grandad would say and sometimes better than 2000 words of writing the most important thing.

I do is editors same commission their boobs cartoon the front cover by Morten Morland is Norwegian but I think it's one of the greatest cartoon.

In this country since Kilrea is just absolutely blowing your time as well as the Sunday Times as main cartoon and we got all over from pages end up in a wall and The Spectator for last year.

Is it? Where is surrounded by then and you can look at Morrisons cartoons from this year and see how it spans out in images to support the downfall of civilization it yeah and also see the many tragicomic aspects to this.

It's funny.

You know it should bring a smile to your face in less than that of the second until he was going on and a great artist can do that and there is great demand for people artist who got the skills now.

I'm watching from a commercial point of view.

You know who your reader's are in terms of demographics book stands.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind and do you have a kind of lens through which The Spectator looks at the world is that define how much thought it was quite a bit of thought into it but you know if you buy the

You know that they're going to report on the same offence through their lens.

What's The Spectator lens? That's a game is quite easy to answer we do lots of events at the station now you more events to which magazines we do about 60 events a year.

We obviously publishing 52 magazines year and the great thing but he's offended you can meet your readers all the time and we are very weird with those tea party invite them for a cup of tea in the back garden.

We do other various events with them and I like James Caan and Kathy Bates in misery.

Obviously do they come to your event you have to remind yourself are the ones who superfans really and the ones you to worry about the brink cancel subscription, but you do know it isn't really an age profile is a mindset rather than age.

So you can get literally.

Prostitutes you can get we once had a party for Jeremy Kyle f correspondence invited readers to come and have a drink with him.

They had to submit dirty jokes to in order to qualify for his party and that's an incredible cross-sections if you even read his cousins, I'll never forget one of the conversation that her that party if we went along the lines of would you like some became the answer was no why not because I'm a member of the Metropolitan Police I mean they were all great people but got in common.

Is that the the well-read they love humour.

They don't take themselves or politics too seriously they like to read well-argued pieces with we disagree.

They want to be challenged with a younger old they don't like finding themselves in any sort of echo chamber and they won't read of opinion and when we talk.

Reduce nesting what they like most of all usually they say taki taki for 82 year olds I left a bit of a Ledge little because frankly his writing isn't as he gets on my nerves now imagine that he thinks this is both as a victory.

Yes, I see the biggest single thing you just say to me is didn't turn down Rod that is the biggest bleed couldn't have to be authentically yourself, but he does and by the way the most people who don't like rod, but if you buy me spectator you learn the art of turning over a page if somebody that I like reading mean usually like some people might say oh, I just be easier to code for me or Matthew Parris is Danny remained too much but you don't really complain about that if you respect a Teresa because this potato exists to give you the parameters of opinion if you just want to read articles.

With their own applications out there the terms of that sort of market so our readers when I think it's difficult Rita I do really think of a person I wanted the same email from the recent podcast listener who's now a subscriber and he's he's a bricklayer and that he wouldn't admit to his friends that using the politics because it's a bit embarrassing you love the current political drama.

He wants to find out what to cross it.

He got into us by listening to a podcast when he was working in two shifts and now invited the magazine and he loves it the road to say just before and that's I've got a picture of himself with a magazine and that is on my wall together with his letter because those are the kind of guys that we live to serve as members of The House of Lords we've also got bricklayers mum's students anybody who wants to enjoy themselves reading about politics.

Wants to read an article that they're gonna probably disagree with they come to us and is my job to make sure that we never approved off into a political there another that we keep giving them that spark and variety and is also lovely think the podcast by the server purpose of print.

Have you got no ways of demonstrating it we can prove many guys listen to the podcast why it's a leap of Faith really there is these are our readership and the great thing about The Spectator is it impossible to paint a picture really of a side any concerns that you might have as a citizen as as the editor of a weekly political digest as a journalist.

You do really enjoy the fact that this chaos at the moment, but people need The Spectator more than ever to actually make sense of what the hell's going on because there was a sense when Blair brown and Cameron the politics was a bit down in a bit settled really and in a way that now you look.

No one seems to have a clue what the hell's going to go on tomorrow nevermind next week.

It is that an exciting time for you to be no doubt that is absolutely thrilling.

I mean right now if you go for an hour meeting with somebody eating something would change something pretty big somebody might have resigned.

I can there's never been a time in politics and approachable politics were the piece of change has been so fast you can even a general election and the old is pretty straightforward one guy wins of the other guy wins and usually the opinion polls give you a pretty good idea which one is going to be but now the options are so varied so much is a steak.

We are literally talking about the future of the country about the survival and labour Conservative Party about a parliamentary democracy and the great benefits if you're in the business of writing about politics.

Is it far more people are interested in it then used to be the case.

Courses in again to be romantic about it's as an editor as a manager you look at the sales increase and we think how much it is realistically is a blip caused by the fact physical magazine in Smarties political times.

Maybe when they settled down the bay car sales might go down and what we think is this great industry-wide increase isn't Factor respond to be craziness that we've seen since I suppose since the Scottish referendum was probably when it began a conspiracy theories might argue that you're behind all of this until David Cameron call the referendum.

Just so that we have 7 years ago that you could then cover that are getting now and this journal is to go to freeze good for trait.

It might be bad for you the citizen but good for trade means that things are changing so.

People want to read about it.

No I used to take with your average person the average balance person didn't really need to know much about politics really I mean sure you can follow it in the week before the soap opera you get in interested in the cast of characters close down the Eden really need it to as a sort of stars navigate by the right now when we talking about with it was going to be a no deal brexit with Jeremy Corbyn government is now the average person does feel the need to be appraised about so it's a great opportunity if you're interested for a puppy to say ok.

You are interested.

Well.

Let us think of various ways that we can tell you what's going on sharing the print magazine but in other ways as well.

We can send you an email.

We can give you a podcast on your iPhone multiple touch points as they collect the adrenaline the interest the the way that you get up in the morning.

No idea what things going to look like at lunchtime that live by the evening that's really good for journalist is also a great way of us being able to reinvent ourselves and saying look the industry lot of trouble fibre 10 years ago, but now the oranges and current affairs and now you're here.

Let's also tell you that we've got a great book sections as well as you care about and we got a great life sex entertaining so it's a great country is a great addition if you like for us to sell and persuade people that they should be interested in all the various other things and spectate just got to the way I'm like see that life is too short not read spectator that was so much you can enjoy that there is not just bought 64 things are changing and what they're changing in in science and technology changing the way the cultures come together changing in Europe changing in America and it is every bit as interesting as well as changing here so are sort of one month free.

Audition that is our 4-week opportunity to persuade I think it right now.

We've got 7000 trialist so we've got 4 weeks to persuade these guys to hang around to come with the shouting to come along because you instant one thing and this is Irish journalist to interest you and all the other things that we write about and persuade you that once you can move the wall to regarding there's all sorts of other delightful Ironside 10 years and 3-days the Americans will call them teaching moment but I suppose the question is what he got wrong in the last so many is 6 hour podcast starting with taking the job.

We feel right all the time in Hollywood right now.

I'm too low because that means you're not innovating is universe and you should be trying five things for of which.

So I can give you got no particular order list of my mistakes.

I didn't quickly enough trust the most members of staff work out the width direction of the magazine will be decided by them not by me when you look everything we've got right and left 10 years not a single thing was invented by me the editor.

We have evening blend email.

That is the number one of us talking about earlier.

That was invented way Isabel Hartman when she just joined us from politics home and amazing journey, and I do this right.

I make it fun and she invented are podcast prevented by this incident we had called Sebastian Payne who then went off to the Washington Post the ft, but he invented those and James recycle political editor invented Coffee House our blog or website.

Why do we do try to do some blogs? Will do it for the duration of this local election?

If it takes off a pretty long, so I think there is a mistake to think that would be the one coming and yeah, it wasn't so I worked out of my job was related to empower these guys and stated that look all of us at our hands and clay here and is my support you and to do what you do know when we started getting that writes my the funny thing is the best things came from some of the most in your lowest paid guys an organisation and I think that technological reasons because you get digital natives coming on now who instinctively or think digital first rather the battle by the distinction and looking.

What do you mean? It looks different mediums changed and that's right, so by the time.

I worked out that they really were the leaders and my roles as it was to support them.

That's when.

Started to grow also we we want to various supplements thinking that we have a health supplement of money supplement.

We try to try to fight against the Decline and print advertising revenues for that.

It didn't really work because if you're any started you've got involved increasing print advertising you swimming against very very strong side and a lot of people myself included did keep swimming but I'm just thinking that the service to leave the way because I'm going down as the only future also I think even though it might fail you get credit for trying it and I think you should be trying a lot right now.

Everybody should be trying a lot and learning fast the Motives up spectators to ask for forgiveness not permission in other words nobody is going to be chastised for trying feeling anything it is far better to say I've done this.

I took a chance that went wrong.

It's far better to say that.

Spent six months in a new job and not relieve tried anything at all.

So that is alright.

That's our motto anything.

It hasn't worked for the last five years before going to work for the next five as well.

We're having a discussion about whether we should be on Snapchat for example a lot of people getting there NewsNow off Snapchat threads on Snapchat and I never got WhatsApp either I will tell you what I'm going to do it on Snapchat because it would take too much time with all the podcast recipe easy for us to do dogs eat easy for us to Dublin with that we would take to do Snapchat division you can double up podcast out so we figured that is also not an obvious enough route to point to the publication use even if you could get naughty into a million unless you think that pretty significant.

Chunk of those guys are going to come to you, then there's not much point but it's a book.

Things I didn't think would work.

I've always worked in intake the blocks never mistake.

I made was thinking for far too long the people wouldn't pay for blogs that blogs.

We just something that were family were free that were somehow be the smaller cousin of a print so in my head you had this magisterial product of a prince Colin that somebody would write narratives and back for some somebody else with writing ability with go through another register that still happens with a print magazine the average we go to for every single printing and magazine is way greater than a blog with somebody somebody else weeks slam it up, but that's the charm of the blog is the immediacy of it interesting for the reasons they didn't see this great big gap and quality is only as journalists who see this great between the two of them that some of the most read and was subscribe things we get her blogs with very short size, so one of my mistakes was not really seeing the magazine in the way of.

Seat base all the blogs as being pretty much of the same importance so when we started to pray all the blocks we did it for experimenting ok.

You can read them within found the half of Us ascriptions half of them came the other blogs and other magazine so here was I thinking of The Spectator magazine has been in the categories.

I would pay for and the blogs being really small something we do for fun.

It's a bit supportive not realising that would really happened was that we could have had a barney revenue coming in through what I wrongly dismissed as being relatively minor and so now it's a great and also when you look at a subscriber traffic have their subscriber traffic goes to the plugs and have to the magazine another mistake.

I made was going to take it by hits by thinking ok.

We got a million you need to mine uniques.

It doesn't matter doesn't matter how many rednecks and texts are losing you because I saw something to Twitter or because they're bored.com.

Matters is how many things that you journalism is good enough to pay for so now we've stopped measuring hits with stop taking that as soon as a metric.

We only look now with your subscribers read every morning we get this spec but email where it tells us what subscribers read yesterday by Rank secondly, what got the most new subscriptions by Rank and then I got the most highest ratio of subscriptions for hits because you can promote those to get subscriptions simply incredibly commercially aware.

He is not have you been commercially driven? Yes, but here is use the danger people like me can fall in love with these metrics and think that the algorithm can tell you what's journalism and what's not what was Elgar isn't routinely tell me is how wrong I am about my instincts like we we ran an article by Ivan Rogers brexit vote yesterday.

That was 3/2 hours of words and that's going to be.

Articles so I might have thought without this metric sticky note 3 n9000 works who's going to want to read that this is a websites good take the answer is huge numbers of people so I think these metrics can help check the Instance of editors when they think is anybody going to be interested in a 50 PT bottle of Theresa May's deal written by a lawyer is that yes, she's numbers were interested in there.

So what I've got wrong is sometimes underestimating the appetite of my readers to consume long and complicated things and think about the data.

Is that it can tell you I basically improve you understand what's going on, but it's not a substitute for journalism in the decision of the electrics you failed you not him anymore you report an eye concealer actually we show that information to because I don't want any other writers to think.

Being judged on how many people read the articles it's there is no formula for journalism, but never will be a formula for journalism data can help you but the moment you start to be led by you feeling this journalist now last night.

I did a statistical analysis of all former editors of The Spectator now, because I'm lazy I restricted the sample size to just one but based on that conclusion.

It is a direct correlation between editor Vogue editor of The Spectator and then becoming Prime Minister Prime Minister of United Kingdom and Northern Ireland yes and there is going back to 7-Eleven the 1st of the 1st spectator was a politician who found himself out of work for a while so like Ian McLeod a former Chancellor wing left politics magazine.

And and who basically has been posted by that means that's not me.

I am a journalist through I'm not a politician.

I can my PE discipline to stay in a particular political party and argue that the parties is the whole time I admire people who can go off to a constituency and take their wife and kids and you can spend the time on trains you can basically say goodbye to the wife and kids as sacrifices politicians make is one that I could not make I am in this.

I am I'm editor of The Spectator only for to basically to see if I can get this beautiful wonderful magazine and make it better than ever there is no way I don't become a politician.

I am not capable with a sacrifice the personal sacrifices politicians make a normal capable really of the partisanship.

I know that.

Tori in a way that those guys are Tories and I don't really look any MP and think I wish I had your job at work for ministers and obviously sort of you and Chris Mullins amazing Diaries I think you've got more of an influence on society than most middle ranking Minister's matters.

Yeah, you can actually improve society you can shining a torch on things that are going wrong and expose them and I think it's so important for Society sunlight is the best disinfectant and who produces the torch light and the sunlight is the journalists who can just reveal and there's so many things if you want to correct something is going wrong and Society a politician will take a problem and try to fix it but who is it to identify the problems in the first place is the journalists so my job is to make

As many of my colleagues are doing that as possible.

We left the magazine this week on the plight of the EU nationals Who Boris Johnson government is not treating with the respect that he claimed and automatically settled status and so we run a cover story basically saying look this is going and yes Boris Johnson you are guilty of this because you made this promise is watch and and within a few days.

They changed the policy on ending free movement.

I'm not going to say it was because it was a dreadful policy that lies with told him didn't make sense but to me that is what you should be doing we're not going to be saying for as far as good because he was a former editor.

We're going to be shining listen.

What's going wrong? We're going to be telling readers.

What's happening that is journalism and is very distinct I think from politics well.

Since I said on the city of York Council as a local councillor for 6-years 6 miserable years and the only thing that all Council is no panties feared was the Yorkshire Evening Press it if there was only started meeting everyone says will pick up this it to attention and make it look like they were doing a good job and the more pressure tension was great if politicians filter on the front foot but they also fade if the back foot and that's why we should be so worried about the fortune of local newspapers right now is actually do think when it comes to making a difference local newspapers can do far more the national newspapers that you can have a great campaign like the times.

It was the Grooming scandal the Telegraph expose cricket match fixing but when it comes to community-driven things things that realistically affect most of our lives a lot more, it is local newspapers and local journalists that do they are the ones who put it on the agenda that creates the problems and what you've done that resolution quite often is quite obvious and the politicians should do it.

And if you look at who's suffering right now in the industry local newspapers are hit so hard by the collapse of classified advertising about print advertising and also by the levels of debt with it local newspapers got and that worries me a lot.

I think the national titles if they do play the game and Cards Right Will Survive and even thrive a model hasn't been found yet for our local newspapers are going to do it and it's great to see the Yorkshire Evening Post eating very well and that there are the Manchester Evening News recently even launched this Sunday issue is when there when you come up with your fist fighting their communities.

It's a beautiful thing to watch as one of thing and there is no substitute BBC local news will not substitute this you need local papers, so I would love to think that something will come along that with this trend was subscription friend that help.

Also help local papers because we do need them more than they could have done with that question.

I was going to go the other way actually in terms of does it worry you that seems to be a rise of some politicians that don't care what the media think like Donald Trump and even see it as a badge of honour that they are the fake news media are attacking me again and therefore you don't believe anything at this thing that because I think we'll local newspapers.

Can I such an effect because they highlight problems is not that they give their verdict on the council leader is a good really bad or they veridiction Howard government shouldn't be exposed problems and once you've done that politicians actors to provide the Solutions I have never thought the national newspapers or national Media have that much of influencer report when you look at Donald Trump for example.

He that's a great reminder of how little media really matters when it comes to influencing America he didn't really.

But that ironically was his power he works out how to true the newspapers how to troll the broadcasters, so they would all talk about him.

He looked out he could pick up the phone and use it to control the news in the same way you pick up a remote control in and change channel to eat something and within 10 seconds wow there.

It is on the television people attacking for it and this helps because it gives some profile.

I don't think that what newspaper is really say about brakes are reading about Donald Trump Boris Johnson how much of a difference.

I think we should have all The Gatekeepers if you like are finding their power really quite reduced books people get their news from a whole bunch of other sources and the formula of different ways and I've never leave thoughts as a political commentator of the what I do changes the Minds of my readers really one Way Or Another they might have

You might disagree with you, but you're not really going to change their opinion.

I think that we do but we don't want the Society of magazine editors editors editor of the Year while, but I'm still at some point but I think the biggest chocolate for me is that you've been insulted by John Cleese he called you were tenements.

Got in there over press freedom.

Yes, you did and flattered by that the strange thing was that happened.

I was in a pub with June Forsyth visitors about 10:00 and Sunday and if it was funny says look at 1 John Cleese and Scott what does it mean to Google it and sometime one day and strangely enough, that's what I felt like I've been called out his right that saddens me because I would have been flattered as someone that with the status but I agree with you.

It wasn't meant kindly, I recovered and I came up with my fist fighting the next Jordan said you know I am a tennis court and I'm proud of it, but will it first happened? I thought it's in the post syndrome is a logical and I think a lot of journalists have it.

I thought I had it but it's turned out that actually don't have any discernible Talent and I am incompetent and yeah, but the thing is you can't believe argue self out of this position and the things you said were true.

I do not come from the grand family expensive education like him if you look at my CV I didn't go to my educational background is very different from that of most editors, and then I'm just not cut from that so the same cloth and yet somehow ended up in this job.

Is there such a strange and all the best thing for him to say?

And the ended up getting a lot of hassle for it to get domain 10 yeah, and I also thought to myself I guess I sorted myself.

Ok, I should do it now.

Yes, I am I am the first member of my family to go to university and my dad is Dudley School E15 yes, I didn't grow up in a household.

Where people speak to a politics and no I never imagined myself ending up in a job like this, but I did anyway I guess I'm happy to be judged by the magazine that looks rather than you know my although I can you get sometimes people do thinking where is the sky? Where are you from? How come how come you're like this ended up in this illustrious team job and I've got some sympathy with them to be honest.

I think I'll make it the man.

I do think about myself right now you do it and you know it doesn't bother me too much as long as my readers think I'm doing a good job and my boss is

Good job, I am I'm happy so I mean Boris Johnson spent many years denying that he wanted to be Prime Minister and and really clean the very idea.

Obviously you've done the same thing or another editor of The Spectator ruling out paying Prime Minister but what is next for you and it's an impossible question accept you can't see what I'm planning to leave.

I'll do one of the ten years and then whenever an idea of what you might do next in the medium to long term and I guess I fell into journalism in the first place by then fell again into French I thought the third time in two political journalism, because they had no x and nobody up in Scotland and somebody hurt my Scottish voice on the toilet and thought about that over there.

We've got evicted to feel that all of these things are just random the Barclay brothers happened to buy The Spectator as a Scotsman and moved to myself now to heat across all these things have been axed.

The only things that I sorted my way to get to Sue having never had a career plan.

I am I am off to meet you that I don't have one now.

I never thought I would like 10 years ago.

I thought that that would write something and I would be good at the same explosion at that could still happen in the restyle over a cliff at some point and then in safaris in able to guess I would say what is next to me is writing I don't despair part2 edit the newspaper.

I think that's very different job and also I've never been able to choose between writing and editing I still rise a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph I love doing that.

I still think there is I love all aspects of journalism, and if I was to be his favourite at the same time does it have to be words that mean you like popping up on the tv in the radio IC regulator in the paper review and yes, I do.

I've got what some people call it.

For newspapers I can't really see by my brother strangulated valves being a smash Hits on on Broadcast I don't mind I mean it's you know if you if you're blessed with irritable bowel syndrome like me then you can just pop up now and again, but I'm not I'm not that worried about it really and I also think that journalists unlike other people don't really see much further than two years ahead Lorraine career can see further than today as we need to get to the day without listening to take a joke, but clearly he's in the morning.

You don't have a clue what you doing this afternoon because something change exactly and similarly in a woman holiday.

I can pick up a magazine with thing going on in my career and I could be gone and that's that is just what it's like.

It's incredibly unpredictable realise.

I just think is the if you're going to be fired.

Believe in rather than saying to your boss.

I thought that's what you wanted to know if I mean, I've never had a job, but if I ever will be for stealing a very large amount of money from the come to be worthwhile.

What's the best story you never worked on the sounds of Paris in 2 minutes, but it's just a little story.

I once review of the life expectancy in Carlton Place in Glasgow during my dad drop was 56 and that's treated lots of the problem of life is basically the agency Glasgow the world Health Organisation pick this up and it's it going exactly the conversation that wanted to start because it's the documentary about this channel 4 as well about the inequality in Glasgow and it's moments like this.

I guess that every journalist tries to get you want to see if you can.

Says somebody's breakfast, but that's something that eating at profoundly matters actually much deeper than that sets of balls rolling and highlights a problem that you think matters and I still think that we are incredibly life about the extent of property right under our noses in this country that we can get very worried and probably my emails way, but not really asking why it is that so few people from deprived backgrounds making the jobs like ours and have always paid my interns ever since I've started our business and TV internships.

We get people to apply without sending a CV and we take them on merit and we will pay their accommodation if needs be and we had such an incredible diversity of people entering I guess going back to the John Cleese point is right that is weird that I'm not saying that the price Factor and have been a very of very fortunate background, but I would describe myself as lower middle class.

Yeah, my dad was in the military and I think she's got a little strange Stratus benefited from massive stroke of luck my dad was posted in Cyprus I I managed to get into a boarding school.

I was there for 45 years and that gave me a leg up and dad age should get into the air force the Air Force help him give his family everything like it when they're all from extracts of luck and when I think about where am I from and I also think about it, but this isn't my cousins and I think why is it that I have had this incredibly fortunate life.

It's because of relatively free decisions.

I think when you when you're in Division to change the system.

You should take it because two people talk about the system being corrupt the system very bad the system is only as good or bad as those in control of it can make it.

Any level of power in the winds you can change it so that's why I've thought to try to do this of journalism.

I doing about the Glasgow the also ever speak to you said somewhere thinking anybody was talons can come in will judge you on your application, so we had this that's a problem for me because that means I won't get in if you're able to do if you definitely get it, but he would never got in and I didn't expect that sort of expecting a different social class of graduates.

I didn't expect that means something like those kids are grown up and thought one.

I try my hand at journalism when she came in to you, but she is now the Japanese review editor of the Sunday Times when two years after making your debut aged 48 in journalism.

Are we talking about diversity? We will think of it in terms of age diversity.

What about the people who have had the Talon beforever recently started a family they haven't been able to let the journalistic Alan you don't need qualifications to be a journalist.

You just need a Hunger and Attitude A Love of language of love of words and I think there is a lot of profession can do to open the doors to Tallinn from places expect and that I think it is the lifeblood of a spectator own pockets editor was it a store manager and middle before she joined us and we've got another guy and he was a barman that one of our awards ceremony.

We had a couple of years ago again.

We supplied it was all Blinds it was all just 10 aptitude only but there is so many people willing to contribute structuralism a strength in journalism, and I think we sometimes use of the services we think.

Basically, we're going to get the Bright Young graduates from these universities because a certain sort of person is more likely to get to the top universities and other two people and the going back to them about that quickly loves a podcast of all sorts of all sorts of backgrounds who loves words you want to be formed you want to tell stories and would love the chance to tell the stories of other people and journalism rather than shrinking can expand in the sort of people that takes in and when you do that you and all sorts of new ideas and dimensions you able to reconnect with a country which had been turning off a certain style of journalism, but if you can reinvent it, then there's no door that is close to you and there's nothing absolutely nothing inevitable about Stuart listen to climb which melts my final question actually which is that we have a lot of listeners that are starting out in their career a lot of university lecturers and journalism.

Send This podcast about their students as part of their weekly think then click on the links and Sons we get a lot of ac.uk clicks might be listening to this very podcast list the once ultimately 20 years from now to the editor of The Spectator what advice would you give that person listening right now? We don't need supervision messaging people with you in 7 years within the Chelsea do my job when he was 27 years old Malcolm Gladwell outliers accommodate.

I think a lot of people actually thinking at the time till we get to the top.

That's not the case you got the energy metallon.

You can do it anytime my advice.

It depends normally go to two faces of advice standard advice to incheon to stay away from journalism is very tough job.

You're not give you my lovely page.

I do that to try to deter those who haven't got a real passion for it.

You should only be.

If your heart and soul in journalism in my opinion because it doesn't pay you very much.

There's lots of disappointment is quite Mercurial in a new career progression use only do it if your heart is absolute if you got for certification or calling but if you do have it, then my advice would be first of all to even if you hate social media get on social media if you need help publications health and social right now to a medium website to show you where is 2 is 5 of the TV having a website we got examples of your broadcasting of yourself and camera.

We should continue to do the same piece to camera and filmed in version of an article that we done the magazine and it's ok.

I'm going to get my iPhone and try to narrate it as if it were a little News at Ten report impressive use now one of the regular contributors.

So you need an online CV as it weird to show what you can do to be imaginative and

Yes, I would say above all the plight of The Spectator internship scheme.

We tend to the beginning of May normally we have got about 200 applications.

We are about 12 people and we usually hard to three growing and expanding right now and we are above all looking for people who want to journalism at all of this dimension to do a writer or just want to be a broadcast producer if you want to try to do everything and we're not looking for a symbol of an ideological.

We get a lot of that.

I want to come to The Spectator because I'm unable to join the Tory Party that may know we're not that sort of outfit and if you've got the energy in The Curiosity and the self belief the nearest never never been a better time to into journalism and right now and so I guess above all that would say is doing that anybody dumping Eurovision prize.

It's been a hugely interesting.

conversation thank you for your time with big things Media


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