such the anti-globalising Medialens website, already exist to detect and correct what they (in their very biased way) see as bias. This is all to the good, and there are several conservative bloggers who attempt to discern the tiniest example of pinkness on the part of the BBC. But the debate needs to be bigger. Journalists have real power,
often more power than politicians. Internet criticism, naturally, is in its infancy. But there is, for example, no programme currently on TV that scrutinises either the press or television itself. That is an appalling and remarkable gap. One which this journal, admirable though it is, cannot ﬁll on its own.
David Aaronovitch is a columnist for The Guardianand The Observer.
My ﬁrst encounter with Cecil Harmsworth King, Northcliffe’s nephew, was some time in 1961 after his International Publishing Corporation group (IPC) acquired Odhams Press magazines and newspapers, including its national daily, the Daily Herald, on which I was industrial editor. A group of journalists was invited to Holborn Circus, then the home of the Mirror Group, to sip wine with the great CHK, chairman of IPC, and his “ﬁrst violinist” – as King fondly called Hugh Cudlipp. It was an unforgettable evening.
King stood with his back to the famous coal-fuelled ﬁreplace that he had installed in his room on the ninth ﬂoor of the Mirror building. His looming 6ft 4 ins ﬁgure with its Romanesque head towered above me as he held out a hand for me to take. The moment is engraved on my memory: it was like collecting a dead ﬁsh. Seconds later I felt the hand slither away. The tower that was King looked down on me as it might have on one of its anonymous hirelings working with the Nigerian newspapers IPC then owned.
The grey eyes moved only slightly as they quickly lost interest and moved on to on to the next victim in the homage line