Independent hails Bell Pottinger scoop as 'flying the flag' for British journalism

The editor of the Independent newspaper has hailed the revelation of 'dark arts' in the UK lobbying industry as a boost for British journalism's reputation.

Chris Blackhurst: Independent editor
Chris Blackhurst: Independent editor

The Independent published a sensational undercover investigation this week by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which taped senior executives at Bell Pottinger boasting about its access to the heart of the Government and the use of ‘dark arts’.

The newspaper’s editor Chris Blackhurst told PRWeek that the scoop was ‘flying the flag’ for British journalism, rebutting some of the negative headlines that have hung over the industry in light of the ongoing phone-hacking scandal.

‘We’ve had weeks of the Leveson Inquiry where it’s all been one-way. You’d honestly think that journalists were an abhorrent species,’ he said.

‘I would say that judging by the response from the story; this has gone some way towards showing the good that journalism can do and remains entirely in the public interest.’

The journalism industry has been put under public scrutiny following the phone-hacking scandal which forced the closure of the News of the World earlier this year. The Leveson Inquiry is currently looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the British press.

Blackhurst spoke to Media Week in October about plans to revamp the title. In the interview he stated that Russian owner Evgeny Lebedev and asked him to create a paper that is 'read by senior politicians and captains of industry'.

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