Those who wondered what would happen to free sheet City AM after its editorial chair was handed to someone with no experience in the field one might have expected to be a prerequisite for the post - journalism - have not had to wait long, as the paper has moved rapidly downmarket under the less than benign leadership of sneer specialist Christian May, formerly chief spinner at the Institute of Directors.
Royal Exchange, City of London
Readers have been treated to the kinds of subjects dear to May and his pals, like their love of driver and rider sharing service Uber, something which May believes to be A Very Good Thing, as he mistakenly fixes on technology, rather than the arrival in the marketplace of a highly aggressive and utterly unprincipled corporate, determined to eliminate not just black cabs, but all sign of competition, from the capital’s streets.
Still, this kind of ideological stance is only to be expected from yet another of the Young Britons’ Foundation’s alumni, and a long-time flat-mate of the Sun’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent” Harry Cole, as is taking the paper’s lead from the Guido Fawkes blog, which the Sun has done more often than has been good for it. So it was that City AM became fixated on Labour’s shadow City Minister Richard Burgon.
Christian May. And some bloke who they roped in to give him an award
After the Fawkes blog ran a routine attack on Burgon back in October, demonstrating that one of their number had been watching the ideologically unsound Channel 4 News, over the idea that Labour’s City man had not yet met with anyone working there, or representing those working there, City AM took up the baton, albeit at a glacial pace. On December 8, the paper put his face on its masthead.
“Have you seen this man? Curious case of Labour’s shadow City Minister” read the teaser, only for readers to discover that City AM could not tell them whether Burgon had now met any of those movers and shakers. But they did include a link to Channel 4 News in the online article. The conclusion could easily be drawn that this kind of puerile knocking copy was not the kind of thing that a serious City publication should be carrying.
And that brings the question May might have difficulty answering: what is his vision for his paper, other than the shock horror red-top style front pages and peddling of his pet hates before the readers? While that lingers in the minds of City folk, the question will continue to be asked why it was not possible to find an editor who had actually practised journalism, when so many publications were laying off experienced staff.
How Christian May came to be appointed as editor of City AM is an area which is now being subjected to some serious investigation. As he is an upstanding Freeman of the City of London, I am sure he will welcome this. After all, those coming out of the YBF are always keen to see openness and transparency, if only in others.
Meanwhile, City AM is once again going in to bat for Uber today. May and his staff really do need to get out more. Most City workers never go near such things.
"...one of their number had been watching the ideologically unsound Channel 4 News..."
If those loonies actually thought that, they can't have been watching C4 News "reports" by Hilsum, Rugman, Miller, Frei, Mason...and sometimes Snow too. Content and intent of the programme has deteriorated so badly during the last eighteen months or so it has become a laughing stock. Not that they need concern themselves with it - when it's privatised C4 will do away with broadcast news, a prospect that even lit a bulb in Snow's increasingly dim attic.
The notion is also an indication of how far right they are. Which makes them and their ilk very dangerous for democracy. Not that they care about that either. Not with money to be made in crooked, money-laundering Canary Wharf.
'Freeman' of the City of London is a typo presumably. Funnily enough, the 's' and the 'o' keys have been sticking on my laptop too, recently.
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