Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has spoken out in praise of women journalists and the editorial independence of Mail Online.
The presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain writes a column for the website and was editor of the Daily Mirror for a decade until 2004.
In an interview with the business news website Compelo he said: “Most of the best journalists I have ever worked with are women. The media industry has been great for women.
“At The Mirror I employed more women, in my ten years there, than in totality of the entire history of The Mirror. I’m very proud of that. I gave them the same money I gave the men.”
He said that he does not miss being an editor and that it was sad that printed newspapers are losing their influence.
“As we have seen in the recent election, the national newspapers are losing their power and losing their influence. This is because they aren’t selling the same numbers. It’s as simple as that.
“I have three times more Twitter followers than I had readers at The Mirror. I have more people reading some of my columns on Mail Online in America, sometimes over 2 million, which is more than The Sun and The Mirror sell together.
“Journalism has all changed. I now talk to a bigger audience on an hourly basis than I ever had in newspapers.”
He said that Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke gives him “complete freedom” as a columnist: “I can write about whatever I like. People bang on about the Mail being this publication with a bigoted, right-wing view of everything. But actually I quite often write the complete opposite to what the Mail writes. They really have no problem with that.”
Morgan also revealed that ITV’s lawyers “were a bit freaked out” when he joined Good Morning Britain but he said he is relaxed about the prospect of being sued.
He said: “I pointed out to them that I spent ten years at the Mirror. I do know the libel law very well.
“I had an MP threaten me at Good Morning Britain and he kept saying he would sue me and I said ‘go on then, where is the write?’ It never arrived.
“I know where the line is. It’s a delicate line that you learn after years of being a journalist at a high level. I’m not worried about people suing me. They can come after me if they want.”