Journalism

The hypocrisy of our politicians’ support for press freedom

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Cynical old hacks like me have been amused by the chorus of establishment applause for the Mail on Sunday’s great…

Sports journalism in Britain is being attacked by an American predator

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Forty years ago the football transfer market went crazy: the British record was broken four times in 1979, more than…

Where were you when you read John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Of how many magazine articles can you recall where you were and what you felt when you read them? If…

Why would anyone in their right mind choose to be profiled by Janet Malcolm?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

God, I wish I was Janet Malcolm. Fifty or more years as a staff writer on the New Yorker, reviews…

Mary, Mary, quite contrary: Mary Quant and fellow-revolutionary Vidal Sassoon in 1964

My ringside seat on the Mary Quant revolution

30 March 2019 9:00 am

I think I probably qualify as the oldest fashion editor in the world, because in spite of my advanced age…

Slow-moving tale with a strong echo of Brideshead: Alys, Always at the Bridge reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s new show, Alys, Always, is based on a Harriet Lane novel that carries a strong echo of Brideshead.…

Left: cartoon of Hector Berlioz published in the Wiener Theaterzeitung in 1846. Right: the composer in 1863, aged 59

David Cairns explains how we learned to love Berlioz

2 March 2019 9:00 am

According to his friend and fellow-composer Ernest Reyer, the last words Berlioz spoke on his deathbed were: ‘They are finally…

Mesmerising: Rosamund Pike as Marie Colvin in A Private War

The film makes you ashamed to call yourself a journalist: A Private War reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

A Private War is a biopic of the celebrated Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin who was, judging from this,…

Tracey Thorn performing at the Palace, Los Angeles in 1985

The day I woke up… to hear that only Tracey Thorn loved me

9 February 2019 9:00 am

It’s unusual for musicians to become writers. The trajectory of yearning is meant to be the other way around. When…

Auberon Waugh when standing for the Dog Lovers’ Party against Jeremy Thorpe in the 1979 general election. Credit: Getty Images

Auberon Waugh — a demon on the page, an angel off it

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Auberon Waugh was happy to admit that most journalism is merely tomorrow’s chip paper but, of all the journalists of…

Investigative journalists: new crime fiction reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Despite being well-travelled as the BBC’s world affairs editor, John Simpson doesn’t roam far from home in his spy thriller,…

Critical injuries: the perils of book reviews

15 December 2018 9:00 am

A decade ago, a publisher produced a set of short biographies of Britain’s 20th-century prime ministers, which I reviewed unenthusiastically.…

Why journalists should boycott the Comment Awards

3 November 2018 9:00 am

Shortly before his death, the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that capitalism crushed the integrity of artists and intellectuals. Assessed…

Sharp practice: Olivia Cooke and Claudia Jessie in Vanity Fair

Bad news for fans of good TV drama – there’s three more corkers to keep up with

8 September 2018 9:00 am

This week was bad news for fans of good television drama series — mainly because there’s now three more of…

What will Katie Hopkins do next?

9 December 2017 9:00 am

In her memoir Rude, the former Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins reveals her true self. She does this by accident,…

Adam Gopnik (image: Getty)

Art and aspiration

21 October 2017 9:00 am

When Adam Gopnik arrived in Manhattan in late 1980 he was an art history postgrad so poor that he and…

The right kind of dumbing down

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Thanks to meteoric advances in computational power, it is now possible to take abundant data from a wide range of…

A feral, all-powerful press? The Whittingdale story disproves that

16 April 2016 9:00 am

For weeks, Westminster has been full of rumours about the private life of a certain cabinet member. It was said…

Why I feel compelled to defend Boris

2 April 2016 9:00 am

I got Boris Johnson into trouble once, without meaning to. The two of us had been driven hither and thither…

Virtual reality news is coming - and the implications are ominous

5 March 2016 9:00 am

John Humphrys staggering around in a piece of ‘virtual reality’ headgear that looked like binoculars and made him feel sick…

Nimoy and Shatner in ‘The Man Trap’, the first episode of Star Trek (September 1966)

Close encounters on the starship Enterprise

5 March 2016 9:00 am

For a show with a self-proclaimed ‘five-year mission’, Star Trek hasn’t done badly. Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon train to the stars’…

Always prone to depression: David Astor c.1946

David Astor: the saintly, tormented man who remade the Observer

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before embarking on this book, Jeremy Lewis was told by his friend Diana Athill that his subject, the newspaper editor…

Two big hitters leave the crease: Brendon McCullum and Hugh McIlvanney

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Two great men have just bowed out from their chosen trades and it is bloody sad. The New Zealand cricket…

Keith Moon’s wedding-night abseil and other marvellous false memories

27 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s the only thing Bianca Jagger and I have in common: we’ve both been victims of false memory. You almost…

Children in the bidonville du Chemin du Cornillon, Saint-Denis, 1963. (From Luc Sante’s The Other Paris)

Paris: a beautiful, damned city

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The much-lamented journalist and bon viveur Sam White, late of the rue du Bac, The Spectator and the Evening Standard,…