Evening Standard drops Roy Greenslade media column as press retreats from scrutinising itself

The Evening Standard has dropped its weekly media column meaning that commentator Roy Greenslade is without a regular print platform for the first time in more than 20 years.

It means that The Guardian is now the only national newspaper which still has a weekly media section in the UK. The Times and Telegraph have long-since dropped their dedicated media sections and The Independent, which had a weekly media column, is no longer in print.

The Standard will in future cover media on an ad-hoc basis and Greenslade will continue to write for the paper as required.

Greenslade has written a weekly newspaper media column since the 1990s: first for The Guardian and Observer, three months for the Daily Telegraph in 2006 and then for the Evening Standard since then.

He continues to blog for the media section of The Guardian website.

In November last year he wrote about the importance of journalism about the media in the British Journalism Review in response to an attack on him from Peter Oborne who described the role of media commentator as a "pathetic self-indulgence".

Greenslade wrote: "Journalists cannot abide being the subject of the journalism they practise themselves. It is fine for them to hold every institution to account – Westminster, Whitehall, the judiciary, the police, the church, banks and businesses – and fine also to berate and ridicule everyone in public life, be they politicians or celebrities.

"But woe betide those evil 'commentators' who treat their own trade to similar scrutiny, who regard media, and especially the press, as an institution that should itself be held to account in the wider public interest. "

He added: "If newspapers are doing their job, they should hold other newspapers to account. That isn’t treachery. It is not “self-indulgence”. It’s about transparency and, ultimately, about fulfilling their role in a democracy."

Looking to the future in his final  Standard column, Greenslade wrote: "Whatever happens, this I know:journalism, the trade I have practised for more than 50 years, must survive. Without it, democracy itself is imperilled."

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