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Journalism’s chronic lack of diversity is a failure to reflect the nature of society

4 24 4
30.11.2020

The Spectator magazine, which is entwined with Downing Street like the marble lovers of Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’, is not an obvious beacon for equal access to the media for all social classes. The right-leaning periodical, which traces its roots to 1711, was edited by Boris Johnson for six years until 2005.

Its commissioning editor, Mary Wakefield, is married to Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s recently-departed guru. Its political editor, James Forsyth, is married to Allegra Stratton, the new Downing Street press secretary. Chancellor Rishi Sunak was best man at their wedding.

But a report published by the House of Lords on Friday – Breaking News? The Future of UK Journalism – singles out the Speccie for its radical approach to internships. Instead of providing a CV, interns take editorial tests, such as suggesting guests for a podcast or condensing one of Cummings’s notorious blog posts into 500 words.

Such egalitarian measures have helped The Spectator uncover some gems. Cindy Yu, a former store manager at Lidl, was hired as broadcast editor. Katherine Forster, a mother-of-three without previous experience in journalism, interned at the Spectator and went on to join The Sunday Times. Ben Gartside, who left school with two Es at........

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