'NS agenda will remain rigorous'

By Alyson Fixter

The new editor of the New Statesman has pledged to devote more space
to investigative reporting while continuing to “challenge government in
the biggest sense of the word”.

John Kampfner, previously political editor of the left-wing weekly,
has been appointed as a replacement for outgoing editor Peter Wilby.

Wilby
resigned last week after seven years at the post and has claimed he was
pushed by the New Statesman’s owner, Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson.

Wilby,
a former editor of the Independent on Sunday, caused controversy at the
magazine over some of his front covers, including one which portrayed
Tony Blair as Stalin. Critics have speculated that Kampfner is likely
to be a less controversial editor.

Kampfner said the suggestion
was”utterly wrong”. He added: “We will stick to the very rigorous
agenda of the New Statesman that is asking the difficult questions that
make people sit up and read.

“The plan is very much challenging
government in the biggest sense of the word through getting stories and
unmasking malfeasance.”

He also said he was planning an overhaul of the title in the summer, looking at all aspects, from design to content.

“For
the foreseeable future it’s very much business as usual, building on
the editorship of Peter Wilby and the very dedicated staff,” he told
Press Gazette.

“At some point in the summer we will undertake a review that will look at all aspects of the magazine.

“We will continue to have our controversial columnists but we will also have a greater emphasis on investigative journalism.”

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