Read this: Liberalism, leading, and the lockdown
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BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 on the Great Depression there's never been a better time to be running a publication about global affairs called The Economist the trouble is many of the ideas that the newspaper as it's still calls itself championships 1843 are now under attack as we often discuss is the very business model of journalism especially the intelligent kind and that was before the coronavirus role, is there for weekly analysis of global affairs and has the strategy of embracing digital subscriptions and America given The Economist some protection from the travails of the industry today for zanny Minton beddoes editor-in-chief of The Economist is one of the most respected financial journalists in the world not least because she's had a previous career as an actual economist including at the IMF
Welcome to the media show I want to talk about you or it'll work The Economist and I want to talk about journalism at more broadly, but let's start with you.
You've got a very interesting name.
Where does your family come from so it's much less exotic but it sounds so then he comes as a nickname that came from my real name is Susan and my mum is German and my dad is English and when I was born my mum wanted me to be called Suzanne my dad getting registered me and put s u s a n which was Susan she decided she didn't really want to call me that she said she caught his attention which is like the diminutive of cezanne and van key and became where does Minton beddoes come from my dad's name? I grew up in Shropshire and in the West Midlands and there's a place called Milton and Lymington lived in married ages ago some people better and that's kind of that's where I grew up around about the same time as the likes of a very political generator.
Cameron Ed Balls David Miliband were involved in student politics at all.
I was not at all involved in student politics.
I was there and that and that generation.
I'm not sure that's a great study PPE which I did because I don't really know what I wanted to study and it meant that you can do lots of different things so it was it was actually a fantastic course and I really really love it, but no no apologies whatsoever.
I did just do in journalism, but firmly no Politics of intellectual influences back then.
Back then, well, I did I love the philosophy bit of people particularly and so I have even then work.
I'm really interested in liberal philosophers.
They were quite a lot of in a more liberal philosophers that I really Mill redmill first and very very big influence and I had houses st.
Hilda's College and I had a tutor who was a Soviet olagist and I got very interested in comparative politics and in my first year to that was a big thing so what did eighteen or nineteen year old is Annie Suzanne then? What it 19 hours? I think that she would be when she grew up.
She had really no idea kind of 15 year olds any doing her O-level to that point.
That's what you want to do Sciences and really like biology and really like chemistry and so early that she wants to be a biochemist the washing machine a wattbike tennis balls at that point then I switched in A Levels and I did languages languages and then went to pee and I really didn't know and I got the stage of my final year of not having any clue what I want to do and my tutor this particular tutor who took who is very kind to me.
She said she suggested.
Why don't you apply for a scholarship to go to the US to graduate school and luckily I got that scholarship because I didn't really have any other alternative accidental accidental economist first two.
Am I done some student owners and I ended up getting the Oxford University magazine which has unfortunately of Isis about time we will do the same thing.
I didn't know that you know maybe you say yeah, but they're nice.
I went to the US and I can always been the one thing that has been a big part of my life from the beginning as I said my mum was German and I grew up in this was doing now my age now looking back.
I'm kind of days, but my parents did this but they were very very keen for me to have a party German education and so Primary School between the ages of 7 and 11 and 4 times.
I went and spent between Christmas and Easter living with my grandmother who lived on the south of Germany going to the local German school and as a result I had this sort of weird to speak through a journey was actually my first language and that I grew up with a kind of wind.
Into German life, but very solidly British but that gave me a kind of a love of travel and love of kind of thinking about the world of what was going on in the world and got to Oxford and thought about the idea to study in USA amazing chance to do and I went I went to the Kennedy School how much is the score for government at Harvard and then again completely kind of serendipitously at the end of my first year was wondering what to do in the summer and this was summer 19 and was told that the professor Jeffrey Sachs he was a professor at Harvard then was advising the Polish government the new firstpost government in Poland and that he was looking for a group of interns to go and work there in the summer and I wasn't at that point.
I went to see him and somehow convinced him to let me.
A group of PhD graduate students who he was taking and my story to him was I speak Russian I speak German and polish.
It's kind of halfway between and I know that agriculture and it's really important a job.
He agreed for me to come and that was actually the sort of single most life-changing moment first few months in Poland and both convinced me that I really really wanted to understand economic policy and kind of essentially work as an economist for a while, but actually looking back.
It was also the beginning of thinking writing about economics is absolutely what I love doing and so the journalism probably comes from that too.
So he was a key figure in your spending time there and being sorry got to go out of Poland but who is the key figure out? How did your move into The Economist magazine or newspaper coming back?
Then took a semester off my graduate school and really spent a long time working for the Polish ministry of finance and kind of got from that the sense that actually want to do with the current policy end up going after I finish school went to the IMF for a while and worked as an economist of the IMF and I did that for 2 years and the Amazon an extraordinary place and I like an absolute turn and hugely hugely came out of it much more about how we can I mix worked but I realise why was there that I didn't really like in economic models actually thank you for that good it did and what I really like doing was trying to understand.
What was going on in economy trying to understand talking to policymakers talking to all the people involved and then kind of writing it down and that they make me think I actually I love doing journalism University I really want to write about them and then I thought where do I wear?
And I know there was a time.
There was a columnist and how much to be honest with yourself now as an economist first and turn this all the other way round now.
I'm definitely a definite.
I was never a real PhD economist would think of me as a bit of a kind of I don't have a PhD I don't pretend to be you know a full-on paid up you know PhD economist.
I'm a kind of I have some I've learnt some I've got some training.
I've been a practicing economist a long time ago the IMF but now I'm absolutely honest.
I don't know probably not even a journalist now.
I'm I have brilliant journalist who I work with it.
What are you not allowed to tell which is it called where you got to get up in the morning? What's your motivation these days?
The world I get to work with an incredible bunch of colleagues to try and help our readers make sense of the most extraordinary stories that are going on in the world and right now.
It's the big you know the biggest shark this pandemic that we've seen in our lifetime and the biggest economic shocks the depression.
It's just an extraordinary change that is happening to the economy to business class societies and I have my colleagues that the home is absolutely extraordinary journalist there specialists in their field also with these brilliant group of people being able to work out what how to make sense of this and how to help our readers understand kind of not just what's going on today, but what's going on? What's happened? What's going to happen and what I'm going to be the consequences of this.
It's an amazing and privileged to be able to do it many people who apply for the editorship of an August title have to sort of cost them selves as agents of change but to largest.
Is to continue a tradition traditions of thought that began in 1843, so what was the key to your winning bid for the job? How did you just read them out? How do you say call what was the winning? What is a magic? You know what what kind of see the role of editor? I said that I thought of it as a football manager that you were basically you had a brilliant cost and a brilliant set of players and that each each player you can put it in my car does many things better than I do there's no doubt there are far better writers than me and The Economist there are amazing scientists data analyst all manner of people but my role is to try and bring that team together and get the best out of our team and I really believe that actually I think that's that's What Makes for a good editor someone who has a sense of.
Where do you want to go? What they want to focus on who can bring other people with them, but who is who whose job is really to get the best out of other people politics and journalism is about timing isn't it and commercial career until you became editor The Economist values liberalism open a global Outlook were involved there was perhaps on the right side.
What was it like for you coming into the editor's chair when suddenly those values were everywhere under attack as I took this job and one had started before which was the very big transformation is happening in the commercial side of Media I mean we are you know as you know better than I do the whole Media environment is going through a huge transformation as with the decline of the advertising model and so the kind of the nature of what we do the rise of digital journalism the way unit 476 years we produce.
You're a print newspaper once a week now.
You know it we do all manner of things we have daily.
We have a huge that podcast we have films we have all other things that are part of The Economist ecosystem, so that's the one step changers and then the other as you say is that the world has changed so dramatically that was beginning after the financial crisis was much greater questioning of the Sword of let's call it the kind of the liberalism that The Economist and for which I think is a strong as ever and the strength of liberalism the tragically since 1843 since we were founded, but be the kind of caricature about The Economist and sports open borders open global world the Washington consensus was very much being questioned after the financial crisis and rightly so and so you know I came into two when I was very clear that.
Needed to be thinking about how to sort of make the case against liberalism in the 21st Century and it was already and questions of things like inequality questions of climate change very big challenges that but as the world we need to deal with but then you know by Karen 2015.
We then had the brexit debate in this country the election of Donald the rise of populism the world change very suddenly more dramatically than I can borrow your head dissipated even at the beginning of 2015 and now we've got this extraordinary challenge and change again.
Thanks to this makes the covid-19 so I didn't have predicted that but I think we are very much now in the world the values that The Economist and for open markets individual freedom freedom are as important as the context has changed the case.
To be made for the new and in many ways, I think that's really invigorating because it's to be part of an establishment and established credo is one thing but to be making the case for something is in many quarters no longer fashionable.
You're forced to really make the case word in a much more, so the fundamental ways so I think it's actually you know invigorating and I think what we do is as important as more important a staple of your pages and with good reason and he the tourist he said when the facts change I change my mind.
What's the mechanism that you as an institution and that you as an editor have for testing where the principles that were timely in the context of waiting for the three principles.
You just outline are still relevant timely and correct and 2020.
We spent a lot of time thinking about that.
We spend more time asking.
What do we think about this and I think you're completely well.
I think the basic underlying principles of liberalism, but the sort of instantiation the practical consequences have changed dramatically in 1843 when the economy was founded James Wilson the founder of The Economist you didn't think that you should spend public money on education.
We had a very a position on the Irish famine.
That is the New Look Back In require that now we were it was absolutely limited government then in the end of the 19th century very much moved towards the new liberalism towards accepting the kind or being in favour of Progressive taxation we changed again to the big the big sort of turning points for this country's history with it's 19:45 Revolution The Economist shifted, and I think now we we have a
Job in a role and responsibility to try and help outline what you know a little lizard for the 21st century should be and there's lots of there is where there's a huge amount that I think needs to be rethinking the welfare state working out.
How do you create a competitive meritocratic society for the 21st Century with far from that? It's done a lot of work on this and there's a lot of change and reform that needs to come and I can one of the challenges right now.
Is that the worldview of of The Economist is that I can this is a sometimes unfairly associated with the establishment global elite globalist worldview and in fact a liberal and labour should be a radical to be advocating for reforming agitating for change and processes once called The Economist the paper with the radical Centre and that's that's kind.
I think what it should be doing and we should be coming up with ideas even as we're you're trying to make sense of the
Trying to show where the world is going to be plundered and a plagiarized which is simplify then exaggerate which is one of my favourite maxims.
Who's there is a tensioner.
We can gnocchi be grown up to an embrace attention attention isn't in your job between the fact that you have to respond to very specific very fast changing circumstances in 2020 which might be me after everything the power of the role of the state Princes whilst also being true to the principles of 1843 and the fact is there is got to be what does attention but a risk that you end up sometimes in our princess is a carbon tax which is a taxation which James Wilson might not have light, but it's response to climate change which is the biggest in 2020 and 1843 census as an editors having in her.
Addition and occasionally being at risk of betraying some your founding principles whilst trying to be an effective leader in 2020.
So are you I think I'm not sure that I think it is attention that it shouldn't be a pension if I'm doing my job properly because the underlying values the underlying tenets of liberalism are ones that are as strong now and as strong as they were need to put it through the belief in individual freedom the belief in limited government open to those are kind of a strong as they were the what does change this what that translates into into as you say specific policies, so I don't think that it's a betrayal of the values that they will contact the fact.
I think it's actually exactly the right way to go and we change of use on things as the world evolved, but the underlying sort of basic philosophy is the same one, what is what is attention, but it's so being prepared to think about as you say cancer when the facts change.
Change my opinion we need to not be ossified and I think it had to be thinking of you when you went when the world changes you need to think differently about one of the right side and right now.
There's a risk in in today's environment polarization and a caricature in the position.
So you know you caricature Callum actually liberalism is a is a philosophy that agitate for change Education Authority doesn't have bylines.
It speaks with one voice and is proudly when it's a very particular.
How can there be space for freedom of thought and speech in a newspaper that speaks with one voice as you would know that there are loads of different opinions within The Economist and fierce debate vs.
Argument about lots of things in the end.
You know the kind of people have great fealty to.
Is there a liberal ideals the Liberal and basis that we believe that we found it for that we strive for but there is a there's quite a division within that I'm sure every week.
There are things that not everyone agrees with but there is a very strong belief that the idea that we have a debate and then in the end.
You know the best argument wins but also the argument that the Broad underlying principles of The Economist new it's not a kind of Monolith Soviet style model is the thinking that said I suspect if you were you know someone who believed in protectionism on tariffs and really thought this was a bad idea that you would probably be quite uncomfortable in The Economist diversity more broadly Complex in and misunderstood that idea how would you rate The Economist diversity in terms of the the backgrounds of staff in terms of class diversity in terms of proportion and on graduating what proportion of from state schools?
I we got a lot of work to do I will be the first to admit that I think the the sort of stereotype of The Economist as a kind of you know Oxbridge elite is outdated.
We're not it's not it's not quite like that, but it is certainly true that we don't have the kind of diversity of backgrounds that I think would improve would improve to have more of them, but there is a there's a kind of interesting tension and an interesting sort of challenge in getting there.
It's a very small place.
It's very very strong culture and a culture that's been built up over decades the cultures really deeply deeply meritocratic nobody cares.
You know where you come from what your background is power of argument is the power of the big debate that matters and that's a really really strong part of the accounts of meritocracy.
Is it is a two-edged sword.
It is a really really meritocratic place and whether we have these very informative kind of Monday morning editorial meetings anyone can come as 100 + people in the room anyone can picture leader anyone can can you pick a part somebody else's pitch and it doesn't matter whether you know you're The Intern who had last week or whether you've been there for 25 years anybody's can picture.
It's quite intimidating but it does mean that sort of thing a good ideas win that said it's a difficult environment.
I think to come into if you don't like if you're not used to the cut and thrust of debate and so I think we have a lot more work to do to broaden the kind of you know the set of backgrounds classically racially I'm really committed to it and I will be the first to admit that we have more to do is that you want?
All sorts and so if you if you define diversity to naturally you focus on gender say only and you miss a lot more things that are really important to focus on on race exclusively, you missed a lot more things to do more important diversity of mindset really matters.
I think it's really worrying if you have too many people who all believe exactly the same thing who not only have the same life experiences that have the same worldview so I'm Mavericks as much as I want people from different Geographic places as much as I want people from different socioeconomic backgrounds and we know we have we have more to do that.
We're trying which I had a wee.
Wee unusually in the median.
Just been out of a paid internships which makes it easier for people to come and live in London and being intimate with the eponymous.
We're eating out more and to sort of non-traditional background trying hard to get more people.
But we also we know we want to have the best possible journalist and there is a trade-off that because you will have the best possible terms in with a broader group, but it's sometimes there are lots and lots and lots of conversation and the first one to say that there's more things to do but you also it's more complicated than simply said you know you need X number of more people from background or from this place close to my heart and the conversations about diversity by improving our understanding the complexity of that particular idea because I don't have the privilege of being a little meeting but to understand attention as I see it between having one at Loud and Proud voice for liberal values and also trying to surprise diversity of thought as you say how many for instance how many brexiteers would you say that you have in the editorial writer and economist 10%
I think this is this is true.
I think there are there was some accusations thrown at the media that are unfair but I think it is certainly fair that metropolitan British media has had a kind of had a view of the country that did not take sufficiently into account what was happening in large parts of it used to be a kind of Metropolitan elite, but I as I said earlier.
I grew up in South Yorkshire which is Which is brexit country I go there quite a lot the and it's it's a very very very different environments and I think having a better understanding about is important and was important and we should have more similar in the US context right now and the US is that we have the most readers in the us anywhere anywhere country is you know no between the Republicans and the Democrats and the sort of the media elite.
in the US is very much on one side and I would I would love to have more voices from the outside in 318 2018 new host of the festival which Steve Bannon was one of those did you invite band partly because you wanted to show that you were willing to hear from people on the other side of the day when it came to globalisation and you have any regrets about that imitation and how that went I don't have any regrets whatsoever and I invited him precisely because I think it's really important to hear from all sides and because he was and is a very eloquent representative of a very important part of the political debate in the US and he had just left the White House of that point but he was a very important part of Donald Trump's election campaign advisor in the White House in his views of the world could not be more different to mine, but he's a very very eloquent proponent of him of them and so I thought it was really important for
This festival which was a discussion about it was 175th anniversary.
It was a debate about you know markets are open societies of the 21st century.
We absolutely have to have that debate you can't you can't improve the world and have a kind of real conversation about where Society needs to go if you're an echo chamber of like-minded people you know just talking to themselves you absolutely have to have people live and I got a lot of flak for that, but I don't regret it for a second and I don't regret what I want some saddens me someone is that the world has become so polarised that there is an unwillingness Frankie on on on both sides to engage in that debate quite often and the most of the side of the backlash against me inviting him was really from the life.
You know how can you invite this terrible man from you know how can you give him a platform and I think that one of the problems of this sort of the left wing.
Side of the Debate nowadays, is is liberalism of the progressives you know the unwillingness to allow general Debate and unwilling to listen to certain voices in this whole move towards no cat for me.
I think is part of that.
I I'm I deeply and fundamentally believe in the importance of not.
Just free speech for the importance of engaging and that's at the core of what level is about.
That's what the 19th century all about and it's absolutely there was a genuine illiberalism now in in March of the progressive side and I think that's really really unfortunately.
There's a lot more to the magazine of the magazine for a second it doesn't particular type of journalism analysis and opinion but you don't generally break news stories or have scoops or or do features and other publications that have a similar audience to paps on your times at the Financial Times do do a range of things they do the opinion that there was a great new store.
Occasions and features would be so wrong if under Sally Minton beddoes the economy expanded to break the ice good for it's intellectual scoops occasionally have wheels Mohammed bin Salman told us that he was going to privatise Saudi aramco, but I got you know it was the first time in my life that you like being involved in a serious food that went completely you know the global news agenda for a while.
It's not something that we would generally engaging.
I'm not at all against it's a question of priorities at the question of Focus and it's a question of where we you know add the most value under your leadership with an interview with Emmanuel macron.
I think I remember correctly the coverline sits on the edge of a precipice but the line that with a picture of macron on the front cover for you.com.
But the lines he use which went all around the world was the line that NATO is brain dead now.
That's one hell of a strong line from a French leader.
Why don't you put the news line on the cover that Newsline on the news that went up that day and we had it and that was that was how it went viral that we had it up on the news piece that was because that was the word in the world go viral.
I then just felt that for something that is the cover of the paper that is going to sort of you know last for that.
We can have a longer life to have the given that the news with already out there and everybody had that had already been the basis of endless and I wanted to have something that gave flavour more of what the overall package was what was the interview but was also us drawing drawing conclusions from that.
There is a school of thought within chosen one I tried to combat for several years now analytical thoughtful and
800 opinion pieces are list of things that the internet wants it's not the kind of journalism at the internet hungry for and that you've had huge growth on social media.
Have you done it?
That I would take issue with is the 800 word bit.
I think that analytical in-depth our journalism people really want people are still reading and it and it actually is some of our most red stuff is longer pieces really thoughtful pieces.
I think people want to stand what they want from us is to stand back from the minute by minute.
You know breaking and underside of the kind of sirdar stuff that comes across the transition to help you make sense of it now on social media we started in 2015 when a person with built up a very big team and we now have a cross all social media platforms.
You know we reach something like 52 million people doing and followers.
It is you're right.
It's been a success.
It's the kind of it's a cross between a bit of delivery truck in a megaphone.
It's a delivery truck in that.
It's a way to get out or journalism to get it to get people to know about it and
Phone because it can allows us to highlight what we think is particularly important and what we want people to focus on and you can I think do you can use a medium which is often shrill and some of the moment and exactly the opposite of what The Economist is to promote and draw attention to economista journalism it count yeah, it is it can be can be tricky sometimes because the world of social media is a world of Personality a world of angry in thought out arguments.
It's a world of extremes and absolutely not what we are and so there's a constant concern about how we come across and social but I think it's just you know incredibly important as a way of drawing attention to another way of building a community with a journalism you take responsibility for the so you you also.
An eagle Eye on the streets Instagram post on the Facebook updates to make sure that they are in the voice of The Economist at your responsibilities and it was definitely my responsibility.
There's another set of augment.
Obviously many economist journalists tweet under their own names under their own handles and that becomes a much bigger challenge have a lot to be by me, but you remind me that this week Chris Lockwood is one of your journey is tweeted something about Boris Johnson's healthy deleted it apologise for that.
Is it difficult for you to the manager that you always clever people that have access the keyboard Warriors have got access on their smartphones to a lot of people this week was alright teachable moment.
We had a long conversation about it.
I sent round a new set of guidelines to my channel if you did think that was crap and
Tweet and I remind constantly done this but you know their own personal greeting can massively reinforce our reputation if it is for for for contributions, but it can also do a huge damage and I think it's incumbent on you know all journalists at The Economist to to be aware of the consequences of their private tweeting and to think that most people do not make a distinction if it is clear from a private Twitter account or a private Facebook post that you are an economist journalist, then that's how people see you and I think therefore there's a certain you know mode of discourse and a certain kind of responsibility the hard work that comes from that as you know I read the magazine closer every weekend.
I have a very particular which I will arrange with you and I'm going to use my position is the presenter of the media in doing that why is it that a reader writes in why is it that your pages are so fanatically devoted.
There are three reasons for everything so many of Adrian wooldridge is superb magic column so many of the pieces under her name by zanny Minton beddoes.
There are three things that just a huge a hugely restrictive intellectual straitjacket.
There are always more than three reasons why the ECB is bailing out the Arizona while China is winning the covid-19 whatever might be the DPF reductive way of thinking that clever people you.
Are you know I think when they hear this my colleagues will be quite startling because I am a added 3 points and I don't know whether it's because my brain can't cannot get might be on that you're alright many many subjects are more than 3 reasons sometimes.
There are fewer than three reasons.
I find journalistic articles that have very long list of reasons.
Just very heavy going and I think that there is a
I attach huge importance to the structure of an argument.
I think it's really important an argument is made clearly and it doesn't have to be true reason and you know I'm not going to go back into the function of thinking through the structure of an argument and I think that's a really important to be able to make your argument clearly and and I suspect that the the three reasons was kind of come from them.
Let me know the three reasons for a second by saying but all commercial model are there are three reasons why the this better protected commercially from coronavirus, which will talk about the moment but broadly speaking the commercial revolution in media through the internet series of the economy is better protected.
Which are the Avon braced digital subscriptions be you got a wealthy international audience and see you.
Don't do general news which is what the internet has made such a universally available.
Iceland I think you're right to appoint but I wouldn't exaggerate the degree to which we are completely insulated then we are part of the media industry.
We were you know we were fortunate to have made the shift to a subscription model early and so we've been relatively less hit by the collapse in advertising cos that's already much less, but I think it's I wouldn't want to sort of gloss over this is absolutely shocking and tragic what right now is happening to important the media environment and particularly local newspapers advertising is being hit on newsstands have been hit that subscriptions are doing very well.
You know there's people are people want the kind of journalism.
We are providing and you know I hope that stands up even as the economy gets hit incredibly.
It's our journalism couldn't be more important people are willing to pay for it with very fortunate in the media ecosystem, and that way I think it will also this this this whole covered area will shift towards digital again.
Where mentally lucky in that sense.
You know we've managed to all our prints are still open the vast majority of our print subscribers getting their print copies only in a couple of hundred India for example.
We won't be able to get in recently, but we've been able to get people who subscribe to the print economist be able to get the prescription even as we are producing them and at the end of the world as incomplete lockdown, but this is a digital offering becomes important that you can you know really an app that you can read the website.
I think newspapers and magazines more broadly.
This is going to choose the accelerator shift.
How much greater extent than is generally acknowledged the culture of a Newsroom is what creates a culture of a paper is the human interaction? Is it between an editor and design is an editor in in other fingers on her staff that creates at the culture of a magazine or newspaper? How are you finding? It being a remote editor operating conferences through zoom now been five issues, we've done and I'm really amazed at how well it's working if you said to me 2 months ago.
You know you're going to be producing the entire content remotely or going to be dealing with all of your remote and it's going to not only work is going to become inspiring.
How well everyone is doing.
I probably wouldn't believe you but actually the practicalities of work dramatically and in fact you're able to get you know the Monday the toil meeting on zoom works at the meetings that we need to have and the conversations.
We need to have on a day.
Whether it's on you no Google you can do it and it's amazing how and by the way people are going about doing it and the efforts that people are making me and my colleagues in the corners radio making podcast under the duvet with a children's flat.
You know that people are people really pulling out all stops but what I'm stuck that you not only can we do it actually work well.
This is something if we didn't have that the serendipity that comes and the collegiality that comes from a physical presence so I go virtual completely forever if it's working quite well for you.
Do you think you'll need as much office space in future or could this be a model for all Newsroom
Well our current spaces or massively overcrowded so if we can work out a way that some people we can do some of it from home some of the time it will actually it wouldn't mean that we would need it would be that we would need a squeeze where we were but I think it's a bit it's going to be a balance because you you would if you went completely remotely would really lose something there's no doubt that.
It is very much harder to those kind of serendipitous conversations that come when the science correspondent happened to talk to the health policy.
That will sit at lunch and theme and story ideas can people walking into each other's offices you get letter that you have been more proactive on soon.
You don't just sort of Hangout on air zoom all day until you I think you really would lose something but I'm struck by how much you can do and you use different can we use zoom for meetings? We use WhatsApp Hangouts so on Thursday mornings were still.
Old fashioned in the sense that we senior editors proof the whole weekly edition before it goes to press early on Thursday morning.
We still come into what we call the reading room and everyone is there at 6:30 in the morning.
You don't have half asleep doing it, but there's a real sense of camaraderie.
We now do that remotely wheel on a WhatsApp and WhatsApp on Google hangout, then.
We've started earlier.
We produce Everything by slack their endless slack channels.
It's doable and that that what the Google home in the morning.
You know everyone is no one's own video thank goodness, but you just have people can talk to each other so we create a virtual space for 4 hours where people just constantly on and I'm talking and getting the paper out.
Just go back to the magazine.
You got the technology quarterly pay weekly technology section that be quite a an enduring edition which becomes a hallmark of your order to ship.
But we had a Samsung technology section which we made bigger one ever came out of precisely that reason but I think you're right we can certainly do more we have a lot of technology covers in the in the business section I'm totally do you want to come and do something with it? I'm quite well employed and have a good time at the BBC thanks very much indeed, but I'm sure they're so hugely attractive invitation to a lot to be listening to music in your relationship as an editor with power.
Do you mix socially with politicians captains of industry and so on or do you like back to the editor of The New York Times told us when he came one show keep your distance from the matter of principle.
You don't be silly by their views.
Sort of bit of both I go to what you know sometimes go to the evening things that are you know are they work or are they are clear but I don't really hang out with you know captains of industry particularly.
I've got kids.
I've got you know I travel a lot I've got family at that's that's a big Focus so it's just I'm not it's not that bad thing as a matter of principle.
I refuse to you know mixed with anybody at all.
It's much more that's not the kind of my social life and do you do to extend does it weigh on your mind that the particular clientele? You have ordered.
You've got my expect her and usually I guess what I mean by that is for instance if you already vary widely by people of Wall Street Manhattan finance finances.
Do you think that would cause you for instance to hold off and being super critical of President Trump because so your audience.
Wouldn't want that and they want you to be nicer to present for someone who may have had some economic success for all of his other potential Phoenix I'm very sure that what we should be his own conclusions kind of believing in what The Economist and for regardless of how those go down that said what I think is really important is that we are seen as authoritative rigorous and and not as partisan and so sort of knee-jerk parties and criticisms.
I think we do not believe us and that's it's a difficult to have photo to play you know I let me give an example is cutting in the brexit campaign as you know we were very strongly argued in favour of remain.
I think that is the position for a newspaper that was staunchly pro-european throughout the latter half of the 20th century it fits with that comports with what they call MS stands for but I think of polarized brexit environment.
Have caricature sort of crazy remainers and as a result I think a whole set of readers of switched off which I think is really not what we are and the same thing as true and important in the US we have a lot of democratic Republican leaders and we don't fit into the pot is a prism in the US you know our economics is probably naturally closer to a classic Republican but I'll social position as you know in favour of gay marriage in favour of legalisation of drugs are much more conducive to the position, so we don't fit naturally into the puddles evolution and I think we actually need to avoid being seen as being you know anything other than fair-minded origin of independent outsiders from lunch with you and what feels like another epoch.
I had lunch with your predecessor John micklethwait and he made clear that he was very pleased with.
Proud of the Angela Merkel read The Economist that was a measure of success to him, what does success look like to you?
Success to me looks like being seen by a large number of people as a champion of the kind of the value classical liberalism as a authoritative guide not just to the world today, but too wet the world is going as a as a trustworthy rigorous weed, what's the make sense of the world? My metric is what my readers think and not just one we do things and editor-in-chief of The Economist thank you so much for your time and you can a longer version of our over on the BBC Sounds app, just search for the media show to find the ratio will be back next Wednesday Andrea catherwood is presenting as I'm off for a few weeks on paternity leave.
I hope you stay well in the meantime.
Thanks for listening and goodbye.
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