Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Declaring an interest

Purchasers of the print edition of the Failygraph today have been greeted by a full-page puff for the cruise industry, written by one of the newspaper's cruise sales team, Jane Archer.

As we pointed out yesterday, Archer has a habit of writing emollient pieces on the back of cruise liner disasters, reflecting the commercial interests of her employers, The Telegraph Group, which runs a significant travel business, marketing cruise holidays.

Compare and contrast the Archer puff with a piece by Gwyn Topham, in the Guardian (above) - which does not have the same degree of financial interest in selling cruises. Should politicians (other than ex-EU commissioners) have stood up in the House and made a speech on areas where they had major financial interests, the Failygraph would, no doubt, have waxed indignant about their failure to declare their interests.

But, in the foetid world of the media Telegraph, it seems, hypocrisy is the done thing. Not only may you publish long comment pieces under the guise of objective journalism, aimed at protecting your commercial interests, you can even con people into paying for the privilege of reading it.