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George Osborne talks Evening Standard and Brexit

06 September 2017

SoE/Press Gazette

Former Chancellor George Osborne this week talked at an exclusive London Press Club event about his new job as editor of the London Evening Standard, his thoughts on Brexit and the changing worlds of politics and media.

The no holds-barred Q&A with broadcaster and commentator Andrew Marr took place at the Corinthia Hotel and was supported by the Media Society and the Society of Editors.

As reported by Press Gazette, Osborne, who took over as editor of the London Evening Standard in May 2017, said that during his four months at the helm of the Standard, he had learned the pressure of accuracy and the importance of making a story entertaining.

He said: “That pressure on the journalists and the sub-editor doing the headline and the pressure on the news editor and deputy editor to make it entertaining, to make it look good and draw the reader in – I don’t think as a consumer of the product I had appreciated the work that goes into it… it’s something I’ve come to appreciate,” he said.

“It isn’t enough just to inform you have to entertain,” he said.

“I’m also seeking to bring something distinctive to the job and of course I have my experience in government and that enables me to look at some of the things that politicians say and say: ‘Hold on, I know exactly what’s going on there and that isn’t the case’ and go for the pressure point.

“I can see where either the government or opposition is saying something because they have clearly got some internal problem they are trying to manage and so are fudging it.”

He said putting the paper together each day was a “genuine team effort”.

“The idea that an editor can do in any one morning a huge range of things is a mistake,” he said. “I like to think… that the job of an editor is like a conductor with an experienced orchestra. You are trying to make sure that the whole thing has a direction and an approach.”


Read the full report by Freddy Mayhew at Press Gazette here

Photo: Lucy Young, Evening Standard

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