Week 8: Hero – Peter Oborne

by Ray_North on February 23, 2015

hero_iconFollowing seamlessly from the Daily Telegraph victory in the category of Villain of the Week, this week’s Hero of the Week is their former Political editor, Peter Oborne.

I could be doing this guy an immense disservice, but I kind of get the feeling that a night out with Peter Oborne might be a challenge – he has always struck me as the type of bloke who when you innocently suggest that the range of beer is quite good but the choice of crisps is limited, he would tell you vociferously and in forensic detail why you are absolutely wrong about that.

He is, of course, the former political editor and chief political commentator of the Daily Telegraph – before that he wrote for the Spectator, the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard, he is probably a high Tory and, I get the feeling that he would laugh at many of the views that we espouse and hold dear on these pages.

But, say what you like about Oborne, he is without doubt a clever geezer (to use the yardstick employed by the late great Ian Dury), and also a man of integrity – not for him, the inane thoughtless nonsense of Osborne and Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. Alright, as a journalist he has a different role to the politician I referenced, and it is easier to hold on to your principles when you’re not chasing votes – but, alas, it appears that many journalists these days, are jettisoning their principles because they are chasing advertising space – and it is his outburst against this trend that has won Oborne our much coveted award as hero of the week.

Oborne resigned from his role at the Telegraph last week and did so publicly by writing a letter outlining in his usual forceful and erudite way his disgust at the way in which editorial control of the newspaper and its news journalism was being determined by the needs of those who buy advertising space within its pages. In particular he took issue with the Telegraph’s coverage of the HSBC controversy which was covered by every other newspaper in a properly analytical and critical manner, but was pretty much poo-pooed by the Telegraph according to Oborne at the behest of its commercial backers – this was, he said, ‘a fraud on its readers.’

I don’t think that Oborne will be out of work for long, but, in a world where, increasingly, print news is becoming less important and everyone with a blog or twitter account has become a journalist – it is absolutely vital that the real journalists like Peter Oborne are encouraged and lauded. That is why he is our hero of the week.

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