Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Chris. Some days we struggle to find four big stories. Today isn’t one of those days.
Have the Barclays tried having less avocado toast? If so – and they still couldn’t cover their debts – then things must be dire indeed. The Daily Telegraph and its Sunday counterpart are to be sold after the Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group failed to end a dispute over almost $1bn of debt, of which the Bank has said there was no sign that it would be repaid.
As such it is moving to sell the Telegraph and Spectator titles, and to remove Aiden Barclay from the holding company. This, it should be noted, is less to do with the financial performance of the newspapers and more to do with the non-dom Barclays’ other assets. Continuing with the flexible relationship with reality the Telegraph had with its Brexit coverage, the Barclays were maintaining there was no risk to the titles from the loans fewer than 24 hours before the decision was announced.
What’s most interesting now is who will snap those titles up. DMGT has to be among the frontrunners for at least the Telegraph, though it would need to clear competition regulation. Axel Springer is probably a good bet, too. At time of writing, however, the only certainty is that the Barclays have lost their grip on the Telegraph – and that change is coming.
I’ve only paid peripheral attention to this – in part because I didn’t actually think there’d be any repercussions to anyone from the Trump town hall thing. We criticised it at the time but I’d assumed the conversation had moved on, and maybe it would have had it not been for The Atlantic piece. There’s a longform article in this about how aping tabloid approaches to news doesn’t work for serious news networks…
I think the Royal Family is an anachronism and an insult. But to look at the response from some outlets you’d think Prince Harry’s evidence and testimony were flimsy at best – and truth be told it wasn’t an especially strong showing. It’s equally true that light is the best disinfectant, and Harry is in the best position to shine a spotlight on some of the behaviour by parts of the press that caused our current trust crisis. And if you’d rather that wasn’t done, then you don’t care about journalism in the UK.
Finally, a good look at an interesting community news outlet. The Bristol Cable is one of the most well-know news cooperatives in the UK, but it’s still relatively small compared to the population it serves. Journalism.co.uk has this fascinating look at how it’s attempting to diversify its reporting to rectify that.
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