John Humphrys in his Sun article last Friday, supporting paywalls and the need to pay for good journalism, stressed: "And let's be clear: We have the best papers in the world. Full stop. I want to keep it that way."
His former editor on Today, Kevin Marsh, now executive editor of the BBC College of Journalism, disputes the claim calling it "utter tosh."
Without naming Humphrys, Marsh writing on the BBC College of Journalism site states: "Of all the arguments in favour of newspaper paywalls, one is utter tosh. It is that we - the readers - must pay online to preserve what one tabloid editor [Paul Dacre] once called "the best newspapers in the world". It's a description that's reared its head again this week.
"Now, as a general rule it's always a good idea to reach for your revolver when you hear anyone say any country has the best TV/health service/newspapers/football teams ... anything "in the world".
"Not because we/they don't, necessarily. But because life's more complicated than that. But one thing we absolutely, certainly, assuredly don't have here in the UK is the best newspapers in the world. Full stop.
"If we did, a quarter of those who used to buy them wouldn't have stopped doing so over the past 20 years - a desertion that long predates the web, incidentally. If we did, our press wouldn't be one of the least trusted institutions in the land and our newspaper journalists the least trusted in the world."
And that's just the start...
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