States Can Still Learn Something From Our English
The New York Times has a nice story about how the current media is dominated by Brits, and they are doing very well at it.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Comedy Central
Piers Morgan came from Britain to take over for Larry King, The Wall Street Journal is edited by Gerard Baker, a British newspaper veteran, and the chief executive of The New York Times is Mark Thompson, who spent his career at the BBC. Anna Wintour has edited Vogue for more than two decades and, more recently, Joanna Coles took over Cosmopolitan, which defines a certain version of American womanhood.
NBC News recently looked to the mother country for leadership and found Deborah Turness, the former editor of
ITV News. ABC’s entertainment group is headed by Paul Lee, also formerly of the
BBC, and Colin Myler, a Fleet Street alum, edits The Britain Daily News. New York
The list goes on, but the point is made: when it comes to choosing someone to steer prominent American media properties, the answer is often delivered in a proper British accent.
No question the British are very good at this sort of thing, although to listen to the new, temporary host of the Daily Show it is clear that writing is as important or more important than performing. And here, without further comment is one reason why.
It’s a very British way of thinking. The one question all young reporters on Fleet Street are taught to keep foremost in their mind when interviewing public figures can be best paraphrased as, “Why is this jerk lying to me?”