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Read this: Britain's Best-Connected Editor

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Britain's Best-Connected Editor…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 what does the future hold for newspapers few people are more qualified to answer that question but my guest on the media show this week and it's where to get an interview with him Geordie Greig has sat in the editor's chair as some of the country's biggest including the Daily Mail and mail on Sunday as well as the evening Standard Tatler magazine and since January this year he now faces new challenges as editor of The online-only Independent welcome to the media show for the first time this morning Any morning.

What's your day like? How does it start and is that different from the site of traditional print newspapers in the morning? I get my first email and possibly a call from Delhi where are 24-hour website so

At 6:30 or audience team who measure what is hitting the airwaves? What is on hot on social media? What are the story of having talked around the globe and then talk to the new later on The Witness incredible cycle in London is on from 6:30 till about six or seven New York clocks in Los Angeles then and then we cross over to Asia to Delhi and so we have this virtuous circle of news being covered with a 24-hour website which is unparalleled success of its reach to how you began in journalism.

I think you come from I think it's fair to say it well to do background your father's Farm courses for several Generations and your twin sister was Lady and waiting to Diana Princess of Wales did it come as a surprise to them that you wanted to pursue a career in journalism.

How to I went to incredible school and it began my journalism I suppose at school this pretentious boy writing to rockstars musicians, what is poets with the hope that I get a reply back to get some but I mean I set up something which is really for self promotional Geordie Rachel sorry, but it was called the contemporary art lives and white people down to school and I would interview them sometimes it worked Joanna Lumley came down and is an all boys school.

It was eating all boys school.

So there was something embarrassing moment when I was putting the microphone on Joanna Lumley and choose their quality and silly boys all went like a traffic light anyway 14-days on we're still in touch.

I believe in long relationships with people you meet on your way.

And I've recently interviewed David Hockney hooked up from school and that is more than 40 years later his allow me to interview him.

So it's enjoyable and exciting and jobs in local newspapers at the South East London and the Kentish Mercury based in Deptford why did they hi you to think and what did you learn that what I wrote 100 different local papers and got about 99 reviews on sore, but you busy or we haven't got a job and I turned up to this, South East London and Kentish Mercury and specifically said when you come after 3 I got remember we go back to the early 80s.

That's when pubs closed so I went in and not the avenues Elsa and very well, so the end of the interview.

I said do I get the job and they said this is Robin balancing the job?

No, I said why am I here? They said well? We thought it would be very funny to have someone who might have on their CV eating Oxford Deptford I went very funny.

We must remember was in the poorest borough in London and when I eventually joined it had more murders than it could possibly put into the papers as a very tough area.

Anyway, I said to them.

This is you just leave the room for a few minutes, so I left and came back and they said do what we're going to find your job.

I did I say the two and a half years and covered of crime deprivation and it was a huge the exciting and educative process for me to see in a tower blocks with lift not working people on the 17th floor single parents with Junkies and on them on the fourth total iopener for me as well as one of them one of the people who was tasked to get to know was a gangster called Charlie Richardson he led the Richardson torture gang the Krays in North London and you were the richest is entitled under and I remember going.

To lunch with Charlie Richardson and mad Frankie Fraser background or they just wanted to you know the local reporter great interview me, Fleet Street and they was very exciting but during honest frankly lean forward and surgery George no one's ever called me I wasn't going to argue with him.

Do you know what a codicil is and I said I do actually addition to a will and he said I'm Gonna Leave You my players in my Castle admission but actually when he died luckily no prior to the right through the post office fascinating to seeing that never world of criminality of poverty of an area with incredible vibram history and with his amazing editor who was race blind whenever we will never lie to mention anyone's colour, and it was this was a time.

Fire just had happened and so there was a whole education on race on the different parts of society of court cases of council meetings.

You couldn't really come back to the office until you've found a story and knocked on doors and you ask people questions and you hopefully all natural curiosity lead to what was needed which is very well.

Highly regarded garlanded career after stints the Daily Mail the Sunday Times your first major editorship at Tatler magazine between 2019 and 2009 then after editing the London Evening Standard for your also you become editor of the Mail on Sunday in March 20121 when you took over one of your credits complain that you have too many friends and places to be a really good editor.

How can you hold powerful people to account if your close friends with so many of them?

The good news is ruthless and exposes cover-ups applications and a lack of truth and I think certainly know the standard the males and today on The Independent we hold power to account if I know someone I know it's going to be written about I might call them up and said by the way you know there is no dodging.

This is going to ring about.

I'm just to let you know I think your straightforward your candid and your truthful.

Are you accurate? What people don't like his people not having the courage to face what's going to happen and I stand by what we Britain and friendships.

I'm sure it has a x i think the previous one Prime Minister probably wasn't over pleased by the coverage in the Daily Mail over partygate wallpaper Gate version.

Patience which help to account and we looked at Owen Paterson the way which the judicial system of Justice in parliament was going to be ignored we will payment against that position are increasingly critical for the Premiership would that deliberate strategy on your Park full of the news you follow the facts and there was no strange funding over that and then the cover up over that we were very very critical of Dominic Cummings when he went on my testing mission-critical that government when it went wrong but we know he was very supportive when it did things which seemingly promise to like the social care, which they then.

But at the moment they were going to support what the Prime Minister said on the steps of Downing Street which was to help the very vulnerable people.

I think is about helping people as well as transforming lives through exposure.

I think it's incredibly important part of our of our country.

I think it's a pillar of democracy to pompous about it, but I think it's one of those crucial things in a civilised Society is to have a proud rude and Free Press and it's because that was your time at the Daily Mail before that as I said you added to other men on Sunday which take a pro remain stance and the run-up to the 2016 referendum on brexit.

Where is the sister paper at the time the Daily Mail by Paul Dacre its long-standing address to that point encourage readers to vote leave some pretty tense conversation, but do you think we would have happened if the Daily Mail Havant supported it?

What we can all play hypothetical games as to you know if certain brexiteers and not been there forest and not been there if certain pavers haven't been to the moment but in the end.

There was a boat that the influence of newspapers, isn't it? What what was during that time that I was passionate Ramona and the men on Sunday was one of the most Potent voices arguing the case for not leaving the European Union and we argued with and I think I hope to some other reporters and commentators courage and we thought the good fight but again back to the principle of democracy.

If there is about you have to accept it did pain when we lost.

I definitely did and I think many many Romanians did but I absolutely do except that we have brexit and we do have a look back at the tensions of the time because it looks like they're tensions between the Daily Mail starts and Sunday stands which culminated events in 2018 if you replacing Paul Dacre to become vat of the Daily Mail when he was editor-in-chief at the mall parent company when he warned you.

I'm understand about moving the mi away from its pro brexit stance is that the tension that eventually ended abruptly leaving the paper and November 2021, what's the story behind that was asked to go and see the proprietor and he began saying first things about the economic climate.

And I had an intuition that he was trying to find me as I said I think you're trying to find me and he went very gracious.

I said just leave that was a very short conversation owner of the club has a right to move the personnel around your time at the gym after the support.

He has so many theories do I think he called the proprietor and said you must get rid of Greg no, I'm just so pleased to have the chance of being there but more pleased to be at the Independent which as I say is this incredible sleeping giant people have not fully understood that it's the

Digital quality newspapers in Britain 6 different Editions American Spanish nation edition it's a global brand which has been property and growing particular ITV independent TV has almost 3 million people watching it different times and the if the diversity of its coverage in the only paper to have a race correspondent a woman's correspond, so there's been an opening up for me of a different way of understanding her news is dealt with it comes to that simple thing as I said I hope not to see myself still and always will as a reporter.

I love finding the answers to questions.

I think I

Very much enjoy hoping to inspire our team of reporters and specialists and I newsdesk to quest to seek to find and to get answers to watch you on the Britain and the newspapers where is digitally like the Independent or princeville and digital key.

They're all moving into the digital Arena as quickly as they possibly can I just want to ask you a few questions about some slightly more I wonder where you think for example when it comes to being as an additive the line should be drawn over freedom of speech and I'm thinking about the recent Jeremy Clarkson column in the Sun which caused controversy about Meghan Markle and saying you want to see her paraded naked through the streets.

We would you will find him if you were editor or does freedom of speech Triumph where do you see that line for every single word which goes into their publication? I would have would have seen seen that I think I would have hindsight.

Vivo y20 to cover it was a huge mistake.

It was a horrible thing to say about any woman and I I think clearly he regrets it and it was not a proud part of history history and John arrived at the high court hearing in which their suing your former employer associated newspapers.

She's the publishers cost of the Daily Mail the Mail on Sunday for what they called gross breaches of privacy.

What's your what is a live court case we got this very strong accusation you got this very strong denial.

I mean I'm clear on one thing hacking is illegal wrong and they should be prosecution if evidence is found but then I say the denials of very very strenuous and just to be clear really from 1993 to 2011 I join them on Sunday in two thousand.

So I am very clear on what's right and what's wrong and we'll wait and see where this gets knocked out or whether it's huge and it's worth me repeating associated does vehemently denies.

You say all the allegations of lawful phone hacking and surveillance and as you say most of them date between 1993 and 2011 before your time, but the Nigel say up to 2018 and we can you categorically state.

You're jealous will not involved in commissioning the surveillance of public figures to get stories any hacking whatsoever on the watch let's turn to your later than that the Independent which is facing challenges on several fronts.

I think you've recently several staff redundancy and news websites.

Generally are facing extraordinary economic headwinds brought about by worsening digital advertising environment.

What is your recovery plan?

Astonishing ho advertisers commercial partners are coming forward with exciting new plans with you contracts.

I mean I N is always to try and grow the journal of them and every recession there are really painful cuts and sympathy goes out with for people who suffer those it's not final any sense is painful.

It's difficult my aim is to go round in a particular with with e-commerce with television happen.

Is that what you think there's more I mean going around talking to different people in business from the highest supermarkets the banks the big drinks companies all going to consider and what we can do with independent advertising.

Licencing incredibly inventive deft digital company the largest quality digital newsprint so unique Monsters which is the measure which one can take of the other regions excess where about 22 minutes the Guardian is about a million of love us that is about 16 and the times about 12ish so I didn't even more successful some people have said it lacks the intellectual health of its printful.


Is it still relevant to the National conversation in Britain today heroic Afghan fighter who was alongside British and American troops is now risk of being sent to Rwanda

those sort of stories with cut through as we look at coverage of the vulnerable coverage of may not be taken up by everyone and we will pursue those to the nth degree if you look at home to hold that was an independent story broken of the investigation into his furs which left his resignation if you look at how the prime Minister's wife was non-dom broken in the Independent if you look at the capability of The Independent in yesteryears to bring a million people onto the street to look at whether we should or should not be leaving Europe

The power and potency of The Independent the fact that we got €8 around the globe the fact that we invest in journalism constantly is the journey which were on and then you know the Independent is this is it on the 10th.

It is independent of no one proprietor and that's what people are in the staff and all regions around the world appointed by The Independent I was going to ask Mrs Merton style question if you don't mind which is what was it that first attracted you to the multi-millionaire level does Andy what attractive them to you do things and he came in with a PRP mail and they wanted to know when we would cover a party they were giving.

Elvis and the woman said you know what we're doing this in with a mikael Gorbachev I went do you mean Mikhail Gorbachev and she went whatever and and then with you again? Who is in 28 door glasses young man just said finally someone gets it so I then said we wouldn't cover it and I said will post it with you.

So they gave me a big budget the first Russian charitable event in the UK and we raised about it was £2000000 the first year we went on every year to do other charitable fundraising as resolved that I can remember about a year in calling and Alexander quite like to buy something long as it wasn't football club or a boat and I just at the standard.

and he said just one word ok, so we met up with him and just loving and lead to an initial agreement to take place and

Rotherhithe investment bankers and a half Geordie I was in the editor of Society Magazine and business experience by Broughton genius colleague just in front of the cleverest person in newspaper transformations as it turned out and we changed the standard and I became the other great thing about having in my experience of him.

Is that I had no until it's my question how much influence does he have hold over the even standing the Independent my contract and he is not actively involved in the application.

He is one of several shareholders in the shareholders agreement.

There is a covenant that the there will be no interference and no coverage of Russia has been lost or coverage of every political events around the world has been robust unfettered Michael act as an employee and I was hard by the channel.

John paton, who put it through the board so it was a business decision by them to hire an editor who previously edited other publications from the other spective the question that is often asked is what's in it for them to be a proprietary newspaper proprietor in the UK the temptation to buy newspaper has been many people with deep pockets.

I thought would be one of the most enjoyable, but the Independent has no proprietor.

We are individual independent original producers of news and comment which is unadulterated by any interference from anyone who's got any money invested.

Relationship between the media and politicians who clearly you've gone 11:00 at the beginning of you knowing him.

He is becoming more controversial figure is come under scrutiny for example the lord by Boris Johnson do people say benefited from the support of the evening Standard when he still doesn't have London and then Prime Minister do you think the relationship between the media and politicians is to cosy but I think it's fast Eddie what's happening at the moment.

I mean we're all waiting for boris's honours or dishonored.

We're all waiting and I think people will question the the give-and-take but it's it's not new we saw this going back to her Wilson danger that the contract of trust between reward.

Gets undermined and honour system is quite a good system of people being awarded doesn't cost anything and Angelo's Heroes from lollipop ladies two people have done great charities to be rewarded and if that gets undermined by the slurry of politics not a good thing and we doing about your influence on newspapers and digital brands like the independents worth mentioning that the 30% stake in the evening Standard independent which is owned by Saudi businessman, the arrangement is ok, but there are possible links to Saudi government bank.

We understand the British government is expressed fears that the Saudi government could potentially exert authority influence over the Independent and the standard is there any

Investor from Saudi is is a businessman named on the child agreement.

There's so many FTSE 100 companies who have Saudi investment British government does business with the Sadie's as an editor.

I've only got one concern what Harry pushing the paper and if you look at the track riddle, the Independent is unqualified lost independent its coverage of every matter to do with Saudi Arabia with Russia with Ukraine would you have an ideal world not taking money from the studies of the Russians in the present time in the end one can take quite a highest view on do you want to ban all investment from all countries who have had things which go wrong in the in the history?

Can you find anything you can do your research on me in the Independent single thing which makes you on settled and I will see the answer is no, can you confirm that thank you.

Not what I found anyway.

I'm going to be and just the future of news with the rise of social media in the proliferation of News website do the big newspaper brands still hold as much sway sway of the British public opinion in the way they said you're probably thinking back to the sun wot, won it.

I think that that those moments have gone but I do think that they are the price is still very Potent and in a good sense if it shines lights and shows things which are wrong with which politicians are doing uncovers facts for transactions or policies which are not getting the full sunlight which the public needs to make a full decision on who is in power.

Then I absolutely I'm proud to be a member of the press.

That's a very good moment to end on.

Thank you so much for joining us on the media today will be back at the same time next week.

Thanks, goodbye.

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