Politics and Insights condemns George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard in joint independent media statement

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Politics and Insights is proud to join other independent media journalists, writers, collectives and organisations across the UK to condemn the appointment of George Osborne as the new editor of the Evening Standard.

Independent media includes any form of autonomous media project that is free from institutional dependencies, and in particular, from the influence of government and corporate interests.

We are not constrained by the interests of society’s major power-brokers.


Here is our joint statement:

The appointment of George Osborne as Editor of the Evening Standard signals the continued demise of trusted mainstream media sources at a time of great political strife in Britain. We have come together to denounce the brazen conflict of interest advocated by this announcement, and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media channels.

Trust in the mainstream media has never been lower. At present, the number of people who trust the media polls at about 24%. That’s 12% lower than it was before Brexit at the start of 2016, and 2% lower than trust in politicians.

Revolving doors between business, media and politics have severely affected impartial reporting, while political analysis has proven to be a futile exercise when journalists become politicians and politicians become journalists. The Evening Standard’s former editor, Sarah Sands, known for her conservative-leaning views, leaves a Conservative MP in her wake, at the helm of a paper which will offer no challenge to its new editor and his politics.

George Osborne, who comes into this role without any formal journalism experience, will not be bringing an editorial revolution to the Evening Standard to give London the representative newspaper it needs. The appointment of the Tory MP does, however, plainly illustrate a situation which sees personal interests and closed cliques continue to dominate the information disseminated to the masses. To put it very simply, how can a member of parliament hold parliament to account? When the issues of the day relate to policies supported, or indeed created, by Osborne, what can we expect from his editorial stewardship?

Before Osborne’s recent hire as Editor of the Standard, former journalists Michael Gove and Boris Johnson ran a deeply damaging pro-Brexit campaign, facilitated by the nation’s biggest newspapers. Columnists have been paid to spew hate and fear, whether of Muslims, migrants, transgender people, disabled people or other marginalised groups within our society for some time now.

For an effective democratic system, we need a vibrant public sphere fuelled by varied independent broadcast and print media. We do not need the ex-Chancellor benefitting from the editorial control of a free London daily which benefits from city-wide circulation to publicise the divisive rhetoric of a right-wing government. When a crisis of representation, fed by a culture of nepotism already plagues so many establishments, Osborne’s appointment is a step in completely the wrong direction.

We write this as independent journalists, committed to holding the powerful to account. We will continue to fight for better representation and healthier political analysis in our media channels, and we will continue to produce the journalism that is missing from the corporate-owned outlets which dominate our newspapers and televisions today.


The Platform

Media Diversified
Skin Deep Magazine
Red Pepper
Novara Media
Real Media
Media Reform Coalition
Now Then
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
Centre for Investigative Journalism
Politics and Insights


Collaborative solidarity

6 thoughts on “Politics and Insights condemns George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard in joint independent media statement

  1. Good and reassuring to see you lot publicly condemn his appointment as Editor to this paper.
    I was a bit concerned that the only media focus was to be about him holding down his job as MP whilst taking on the media role.

    For me its more important we keep him out of the media, I think he can do less damage on the back benches at least……for now…..

    Far more damaging is to have the State overtly run this paper. and to get away with it..

    There’s audacity then there is rubbing our noses in it…..

    Question still remains however…..

    Will we the people allow the establishment to get away with this blatant psychological assault?

    I can see it now…. This appointment somehow spun as the government and the media standing together to combat fake news and all their brainwashed followers swallowing it….


  2. Indeed the pro eu mass media kept telling us the remain campaign were ahead and were going to win, no doubt buoyed by their pro eu project fear propaganda, and the governments own lies designated as “true facts”, fortunately the old saying you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time, was proven to be true in the instance of the referendum. There is no way a sitting M.P. should be working in the media, because it is undoubtedly a conflict of interests.


    1. Actually, a disproportionally large section of the msm supported Brexit. You also seem to forget that the majority of Conservatives did, too.

      “If you were ever in any doubt that media reform is needed in the UK to support something approximating democracy, the reporting of the Leave campaign surely gives you your answer. When newspapers lie to bring about referendum results and the regulator is not prepared to stop them, the consequences are socially and politically catastrophic.” From: http://www.referendumanalysis.eu/eu-referendum-analysis-2016/section-4/brexit-inequality-the-media-and-the-democratic-deficit/

      But you’re right: no sitting MP should be working in the media.


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