Journalist, Author & Anglican Priest

Journalism

I am, by background and instinct, a journalist. Even as a spin doctor, I was driven by the story – narrative is all we are (discuss). I was Industrial Editor of The Observer during the high summer of Thatcherite privatisation from 1988-1992 – the Industrial Society was kind enough to elect me National Newspaper Industrial Journalist of the Year in 1991. More recently, I was Religion Editor of the Daily Telegraph for a couple of years until 2010.

Naturally, I tend to get commissioned on religious affairs, but my background in industry and politics means that I’m increasingly addressing what we might call public ethics…

Latest

The medium is the morality

  MacIntyre and McLuhan: Both emphasised the medium over the message It’s over half a century since Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian mediologist, coined the phrase “the medium is the message”. By that, he meant that no means of cultural communication could be separated from the influences (and ownership) of the medium that carries it. McLuhan […]

Pre-truth, my truth, post-truth

Three decades ago, I defamed a knight of the realm in The Observer. We spent some expensive time taking counsel in chambers, where it was decided that we should settle out of court and apologise. “But it’s true!” I wailed, meaning my story, which was now to be withdrawn as a lie. My editor fixed […]

Why we need to tell stories like the Nativity

I like to think of Jesus saying to his disciples (who, in modern lingo, we might call his mates): “I was born in a stable, me”. It could have been a sort of Aramaic version of Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen sketch – a bunch of horny-handed northern Judean proles getting competitive about their relative hardships: “Luxury! […]