Jenkins on Davies: 'There was no golden age of the press'

Former Times editor and Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins is the latest commentator to challenge the assertions of Nick Davies in his book Flat Earth News.

Jenkins defends the press against the comments of Davies, published in a two-part serialisation in Press Gazette ending this week, and also those of former Number Ten spind doctor Alastair Campbell and the Financial Times’s John Lloyd.

“After a week in which the press, and the press alone, revealed the MPs’ expenses racket, the prison bugging scandal and the antics of the London Development Agency, I wonder what sort of press these gentlemen would prefer,” he writes.

Jenkins argues that “there was no golden age” of journalism to hark back to and that newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s were “dreadful” compared to today’s.

The Times media correspondent Dan Sabbagh also looks over Davies’s book today, and asks whether the chief targets for criticism were given enough chance to respond to claims.

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