On The Road With… A Broadsheet Editor

Newspaper Stand© Wayan Vota / CC BY-NC

I watched a programme on the BBC iPlayer yesterday, where BBC journalist Matthew Stadlen spent the day with the editor of the Independent newspaper, Simon Kelner.

During the programme, they (accidently) met Ed Miliband in the offices, and spoke to him about how the Labour leadership campaign is going, and how the relationships between politicians and newspapers have changed over the last 15 to 20 years.

They showed what happens at the morning and afternoon conferences, where the paper’s senior management decide which stories to run, where in the paper to put them, and which stories are going to go on the front page.

One interesting part was when they discussed how the paper hasn’t made a profit in over 20 years; its only because of backing from the owners that the paper can survive. There was also a part where they discussed the influence of the paper:

I think the Independent titles have always had an influence that goes beyond their mere circulation figures; I think they’ve been influential in political circles; they’ve been influencial in cultural circles, and while we don’t have a mass circulation, I think we have quite a powerful circulation and a powerful voice.

[In response to another question): You could say that a paper which sells two dozen copies is irrelevant, however those two dozen people who read it might be the most important people in Britain.

Simon Kelner,
Editor (the Independent)

You can watch the full programme on the BBC iPlayer; it features quite a lot more interesting things regarding how the Independent is put together, and is available until the end of this week.

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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