Friday High Five – ‘never wrong for long’ and ‘the race to cut and paste’

When Sky News first started in the late 1980s it attracted the unwelcome and unofficial moniker of “never wrong for long”.

Such was their supposed propensity for blurting out speculation and half-cocked rumours in a breaking news bulletin that was quickly forgotten.

I’m from a magazine background. I came of age on a news weekly chasing tittle tattle about the television industry in the 1990s. I used to get giddy at beating the competition to a big story, but we had to anxiously wait until the papers were printed and dropped before that moment of realisation, which could equally have been a crushing awakening that it was us that had been beaten to a scoop.

Digital news in a social media age is very different to print, but bears many of the hallmarks of those early days of 24 Hour TV news.

I abhor what I call “the race to cut and paste”.

It’s not journalism and it’s offering a poor service to readers to pump out something and leave it at the four paragraphs of corporate waffle punctuated with “undisclosed”, “delighted” and “synergies”.

It’s difficult to find a single golden thread through the stories this week but there is definitely a consolidation going on in housebuilding (Barratt-Redrow) and business services (Deloitte, Cowgills and the Contact Company). And the rush to acquire assets by well-invested private equity funds (Morson and Cowgills).

The task of doing that this week has been great for both Neil Hodgson and I to probe under the bonnet of stories where we’ve been able to add exclusive insight, commentary and context. In most part this has been because of the trusted relationships that we’ve built up over our many years, but also because we are genuinely curious about the added details and quirks of a story.

Our relationships with our readers and contacts are of paramount importance to us, so keep the tips flowing. 

Have a great weekend.

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