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A willingness to be bitchy

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A willingness to be bitchy

Do newspapers still matter, a flak-type just asked me.

Prompting his question were several developments, not least the number of hacks defecting to Bloomberg.

Other wire services, Reuters for a start, routinely pay big money to get newspaper hacks, making them an offer which the papers cannot match and which they cannot refuse.

A few thoughts: for a start the fact that Bloomberg centres its poaching activities on newspapers tells you that they rate those staff. They think newspaper hacks offer something they can’t get elsewhere.

What is that something? A sense of mischief perhaps, a willingness to bolshily upset, either via news or comment, important people used to deference.

Bloomberg does have columnists of course, John Authers is excellent.

Beyond that, what does Bloomberg think about anything? The whole point is that it isn’t offering too much opinion. It is giving those in financial markets facts in a style that is often dry bordering on arid.

As such, the thought of being savaged by Bloomberg brings to mind Denis Healey’s description of a debate with Geoffrey Howe.

If a CEO were warned that their industry was under investigation by one of the wires, they might not lose much sleep.

Told that The Telegraph or The Times were poised to roll out a three part-series detailing everything that is wrong with them, they would rightly fret.

As long as newspapers remain willing to be bitchy, they will keep the flak trade up at night and remain vital.

Press release of the day

When can we all retire? Probably later than we think says this from Our Life Plan, which has figures on what age people from different countries expect to quit work.

Koreans have it worse, by 2050 their retirement age will be nearly 82.

In Greece, they expect to retire at 57, so they must be doing something right.

In the UK, the age is 68 in line with the new state pension age, so no surprise there.

It’s not so long since we were promised that technological miracles would allow us all to work less and retire earlier. What happened?


A billion-dollar PR deal, that requires a response

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