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Posted by Russ Bridger on February 18 2008, 18:09 » Uploaded 18/02/08 19:11  

The story of Medialens landing a minor (but much sought-after) New Statesman column due to the intervention of Medialens editor David Cromwell's relative/friend, John Pilger, has "gone viral" according to an Observer article on nepotism.

The report has spread on scores of message boards and social networking forums, with many comments expressing indignation that better, more original writers had been overlooked in favour of Medialens for "not knowing someone famous". Pilger and Medialens are said to be humiliated by the exposure, and a former Comment Section editor for the Guardian has now weighed in, criticising what he alleges are Medialens's "dubious, name-dropping, hectoring, self-promotional tactics".

The story coincides with another "gone viral" report on nepotism concerning Max Gogarty, a young Guardian blogger, and his father, Paul Gogarty, a travel writer for the Guardian.


Caroline Davies
The Observer,
Sunday February 17 2008

COMMENTS Post comment


Comment 01 – Anthony February 18 2008, 21:44

I do remember the Medialens editors saying they got the NS gig because of Pilger's intervention. The then NS editor (Wilby) didn't think much of Medialens at the time, but Pilger persuaded him to give it a shot.

Comment 02 – Raoul Djukanovic February 19 2008, 00:07


Something that won't be featuring in a forthcoming alert ["Dancing dirtily with the dead: the BBC's pro-epidemiological bias"]:

On another note, the World Tonight has just won the 2008 Award for Statistical Excellence in Journalism from the Royal Statistical Society for a report by Jonty Bloom on how death tolls in conflicts like Iraq and Darfur are calculated and often politicised (which you can listen to here).[...]

And something that probably will ["Feigned dissent goes ungutted by liberal fishmongers"]:

DAVIES: "...for better or worse, I was pro-war..."[...]

Comment 03 – ALP February 18 2008, 14:13

Anthony wrote:
"The then NS editor (Wilby) didn't think much of Medialens at the time"

After lecturing others on the importance of criticising one's host organ, Medialens decided to "bend the rules" (their own words) with their New Statesman column. In other words they were largely uncritical of the NS and its editor during the period in which they had a column.

If they'd practiced what they endlessly preached - eg published an "alert" with Wilby and NS as targets (the NS special on Iraq certainly warranted it), it's doubtful that Wilby would have ended up on good terms with them (he later reviewed their book for NS).

I guess they're learning how it works - it doesn't hurt to "bend the rules" occasionally, does it? Who could possibly be mean enough to accuse them of hypocrisy?

Comment 04 – ESimm February 20 2008, 10:04

What exactly is the relationship between Pilger and Cromwell? It seems that Pilger issued uninhibited endorsements of Medialens when the latter were still an unknown entity (in the very early days). It's not like Pilger to gamble on a pair of untried, untested "media critics" with no previous experience of any relevance, and no track record to speak of. Unless he's Cromwell's uncle or something.






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