Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Not editorial intelligence

Maurice Chittenden, The Sunday Times - Britain

A CATFIGHT has broken out among leading figures in the British media over whether journalists should sup with spin doctors from big business.

Julia Hobsbawm, the public relations guru who once ran a company with the wife of Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has set up Editorial Intelligence (EI). She says it will serve as a database of the country’s leading columnists and also as a forum “where PR meets journalism”.

... Last week the BBC advised two of its staff to resign from EI’s advisory board after learning that the firm was offering journalists £1,000 a year to sit on the board and £200 a time to attend seminars.

It is one thing for journalists to appear at PR events to teach us how and how not to pitch to them, it is an entirely different matter sit on the board of such and organization or have PR pros serve as judges for press awards, too chumy by half.

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