Robert Peston has riled the Mail's deputy editor with his comments about rightwing papers dominating the news agenda. Photo: Getty
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“Talking garbage”: Mail deputy editor responds to Robert Peston’s views on right-wing press

Following the BBC’s economics editor lashing out at BuzzFeed, PR, advertorial, and right-wing papers last week, the Mail’s deputy editor responded that he was “talking garbage”.

The BBC's fiery economics editor Robert Peston ruffled the media's feathers last week in his British Journalism Review Charles Wheeler lecture by decrying the media's use of advertorial, "massively popular" stories on sites like BuzzFeed, and the influence of PRs on journalism.

But his comments against rightwing newspapers dominating the media in a Q+A session following the speech have caused the deputy editor of the Daily Mail, Tony Gallagher, to take a stance against Peston on Twitter.

Peston lamented that his employer, BBC News, is "completely obsessed" by a news agenda set by newspapers, citing rightwing papers the Mail and the Telegraph as examples of publications to which the BBC is "pandering". He said:

It’s a challenge, the issue of the herd and pandering [to it]. Technology makes it much, much easier … to know what stories matter to people... My entire career has been spent arguing with bosses that something they didn’t know about, or care about, mattered. Being a journalist, a lot of it is about battles... There is slightly too much of a safety-first [attitude]. If we think the Mail and Telegraph will lead with this, we should. It’s part of the culture.

The BBC journalist said he feels it's "most frustrating" the way BBC News is "completely obsessed by the agenda set by newspapers".

Gallagher, who was previously editor of the Daily Telegraph, responded on Twitter:

Time to improve your own public relations, boys.

I'm a mole, innit.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.