The times

Mail exodus to The Times continues

The shenanigans at Northcliffe House have given Mr S much to write about in recent months. Whether it’s Geordie Greig’s sudden fall from grace, Ted Verity’s promotion or Lord Rothermere’s designs on DMGT, it appears that the Daily Mail creates as much drama as it reports. Unfortunately it seems that the shock return of Paul Dacre last month has ruffled a fair few feathers in the newsroom, with some hacks fearing a return to what they call the ‘bad old days’. Amid the uncertainty and conflicting reports about comings and goings, it’s unsurprising that some young guns now see their futures elsewhere. For tonight the Times has proudly sent around an email to its staff announcing that the

How I got my encyclopedic knowledge of current affairs

Seven bells. Pitch dark still. I descend the creaking wooden stairs in the darkness, let the dog out, make tea and toast, put a pan of porridge and the coffee pot on the stove and download the Times newspaper on to the iPad. I read it from cover to cover. Every news story and comment piece, the Nature Notes, Court Circular, the letters and Daily Universal Register, the TV guide and the weather report, in which I look carefully at the daily temperatures in cities around the world. Sometimes I jot down the daily ‘food for thought’ quotation at the foot of the Daily Universal Register. This morning’s, for example,

Never a dull sentence: the journalism of Harry Perry Robinson

Is Boris Johnson a fan of Harry Perry Robinson? If he isn’t, he really ought to be. Reading this absorbing biography, I was struck by how much they have in common — especially in their early lives. Both men went to public school, then on to Oxford, then into journalism, where they proved incapable of writing a dull sentence. They both divorced and remarried — and were also American citizens, for a while. Both dipped a toe into politics, but while Boris took the plunge, Harry stepped back and remained a jobbing hack until his dying day, the finest journalist of his generation. The biggest difference, however, is that Harry