Two of my former colleagues at The Economist have just started blogs. It is quite funny to see The Economist struggling to reconcile this most personal of mediums (egocentric, if you are being uncharitable) with the magazine’s obsession with maintaining the anonymity of its journalists.
Why, I am sometimes asked – is The Economist still anonymous? I think there are three possible reasons. First, it keeps the place more collegiate. Second, it allows the paper rather than the journalists to keep all the “brand value”- and this is a bargain,the journalists are increasingly happy to accept, in return for a regular salary and a warm place to sit, neither of which can be taken for granted elsewhere in the media. Finally, there is the “if it ain’t broke” principle – The Economist has been a huge success story over the past thirty years, so why change?
Still, now that I have left the place, I feel no compunction to respect their silly rules on anonymity. So whilst directing your attention to the new blogs by Charlemagne and Bagehot, I would also like to take the opportunity to blow their covers. Charlemagne’s name is David Rennie. I’ll say that again: DAVID RENNIE. Bagehot’s name is ANDREW MILLER. Read more