It is said that those working on the editorial, as opposed to the advertising side of newspapers and magazines should not have any financial links with those they write about, and that this is to ensure editorial integrity.
On this basis the appointment of George Osborne as editor of London’s Evening Standard newspaper comes across as a ludicrous folly, given the former chancellor’s considerable income from speaking engagements with banks, income he has received because of his grooming of himself as the banker’s friend. Osborne sacked the head of the Financial Services Authority Martin Wheatley, reviled by the banks but admired by the public for his welcome and over-due tough stance, and Osborne has watered down a tough new legal responsibility regime that frightened senior bankers as well as altering the annual bank levy to make it more palatable for his good friends.
As a free-sheet the Evening Standard is financially dependent on keeping advertisers happy. To critics of his choice of editor its owner, Evgeny Leberdev, has advised “Wait and see his paper before judging”. So we will have to wait until Osborne steps into the job in May to see if his contribution will be to make it banker-friendly with positive banker PR, and drag in some much-needed advertising from his paymasters.
And, if so, whether it will then be worth reading…