Being media editor: a brilliant job, rife with jeopardy

Tomorrow's Business

Newspapers writing about other newspapers is a nightmare, at least for the reporter concerned. A reporter forced into writing about his own paper feels about as comfortable as a frog in a pot of slowly boiling water.

When it comes to results, The Times, say, tends to do a straight, short version of News Corp’s figures.

The Evening Standard will mention the Daily Mail’s figures, but in passing not in detail.

Best of luck to Jim Waterson, who is joining The Guardian as Media Editor from Buzzfeed.

It’s a brilliant job, but one that carries more jeopardy than most. Turnover in these jobs can be brutally high.

Waterson, whom I don’t know, says he intends to cover media the same way he would politics. That’s laudable, but he’s plainly smart enough to know that he won’t always be able to do so.

Friendships at the top end of the media industry will sometimes get in his way.

Reporters ought to know much much more about the subjects they cover than they ever put in print.

If you’re Media Editor, that’s true times 10.

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