A Guardian hack getting a job at Murdoch’s Times sums up the cesspit that’s the UK corporate media

The Guardian window display media Allegreti
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The Guardian‘s senior political correspondent has just landed a senior job at Rupert Murdoch’s the Times. Predictably, the stenographers in the press pack are having a field day over his appointment. However, it sums up the state of the cesspit that is the UK corporate media – where a journalist can go from working for the supposedly left-wing Guardian to a top job at the climate denying, racist, and transphobic Times.

Allegretti inducing a corporate hack circle jerk

Aubrey Allegretti is currently the Guardian‘s senior political correspondent – having worked there since February 2021. However, he excitedly announced on Twitter on Tuesday 8 August that he’d got a new job. Aubrey is moving to the Times to be its chief political correspondent:

Congratulations were apparently in order from other corporate hacks, like the Sunday Times‘s ‘Whitehall editor’ (whatever the hell that is) Gabriel Pogrund:

Former BBC and Sky News journalist Lewis Goodall (who’s recently come out as a raging centrist) also sent Allegretti best wishes:

In fact, it seemed half the UK press pack ceremoniously descended onto Twitter to fawn over this guy’s new job:

One person warned us to have plenty of Kleenex at the ready:

One big club

However, for normal people (that is, non-members of the UK’s official establishment stenography club) Allegretti’s new job was a source of fury; the main point being that it showed that the UK corporate media was one big, homogenous swarm of hacks:

Non-corporate journalist Jonathan Cook noted that the Guardian and the Times were effectively two cheeks of the same arse:

Another Twitter user summed up the situation by saying:

This is classic media self absorption, this is a huge change of allegiance but it’s clear you don’t actually care, politics is just words for you. This at a time of unparalleled corruption in government and politics. Zero responsibility but happy to take money from anyone.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Allegretti has switched from the Guardian to the Times. A cursory browse of his LinkedIn shows he previously worked for Sky News, HuffPost, and briefly for the Times before, as a researcher for four months. These kinds of job swaperoos are just common place in the corporate media.

For example, everyone’s favourite former BBC political editor, now prime-time BBC Sunday morning host, Laura Kuenssberg used to be ITV News’s business editor. Last year, the Guardian made Anna Isaac its city editor – after she previously worked at the Daily Telegraph.

Then you have the corporate media’s watchdog, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This is, you guessed it, chock-full of former corporate hacks – like the ex-Metro editor who recently joined. Plus, three companies own 90% of the UK’s national newspaper market.

We still need a revolution

Overall, as the Canary‘s Curtis Daly previously wrote:

Media pundits sit in their nice comfy chairs, in their fancy studios, lowering the political discourse to utter babble.

They purposely distract us by attacking wokeness and cancel culture, all while throwing minority communities under the bus.

They won’t talk about their mates’ tax-dodging, undisclosed political donors, or the rigged financial system.

Without a functioning media, our politicians, including opposition parties, don’t feel the need to address the problems.

Allegretti’s job move sums up the problem. When you have journalists who are happy to move from a left-wing to right-wing publication, it’s clearly just job to them. This means money – not public good – is these people’s primary motivation. As one Twitter user summed up:

The corporate media in the UK functions only to serve the rich and powerful, and to line the pockets of the journalists working within it. We wrote in 2016 about the need for a “media revolution” – and nothing has changed since.

Feature image via Michael Brunton-Spall – Flickr, resized to 770×403 under licence CC BY 2.0

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  • Show Comments
    1. Not too much of a surprise. During the Corbyn era 6 or 7 Grauniadista opinionisers could have slotted seamlessly across to the Daily Fail or the Distress or the Times. David Aaronovitch and Melanie Phillips before him, left for the Murdoch haven for right-wing journos.

    2. The article is basically correct in its assessment of the trough that is the print media in this country, but come on – the Grauniad hasn’t been left wing since long before it betrayed Assange. They might as well be owned by Murdoch for all the value they bring to the media landscape.

    3. Personally I have found Polly Toynbee’s incapacity to find any fault in Starmer the most disappointing element of the Guardian over the past year or so. She has bent over backwards to find justification for every abandoned pledge or policy commitment and every petty dictatorial act or statement.
      He can do no wrong in her eyes. You might have thought that reflection on Blair’s governments would have made her cautious about going overboard on the protege but she is full on in her admiration without a moments hesitation. She is writing a fanzine rather than anything that approaches journalism!

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