Telegraph silent over pro-Gove article attribution concerns

The Daily Telegraph has refused to comment on concerns that an opinion piece backing Conservative minister Michael Gove's attack on "left-wing" teaching of World War One, written by a graduate, did not disclose the author's employment with former Tory adviser Nick Wood.

The article defended Michael Gove's recent criticism of left-wing teaching
The article defended Michael Gove's recent criticism of left-wing teaching

Jago Pearson, a 21-year-old history and politics graduate, wrote a 1,300-word article for the newspaper last Saturday (11 January). He defended Education Secretary Gove’s recent statements that left-wing academics had skewed the reading of the history of the First World War by painting "Britain’s role in the conflict as a misbegotten shambles perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite".

The Loughborough University graduate described most of his former teachers and lecturers as "rabidly left-wing" and part of "a profession dominated on the whole by leftist figures".

But after political blog Pride's Purge picked up on the fact that Pearson's employment by Wood's PR firm Media Intelligence Partners was not mentioned in the piece, PRWeek has established that Pearson is known to Telegraph journalists.

Matthew Walsh, director of corporate affairs at Media Intelligence Partners, confirmed that a number of Telegraph journalists had met Pearson during his work for the company.

However, Walsh argued that any attribution was "up to The Daily Telegraph" and insisted that Pearson had written the article in a personal capacity.

He said: "He’s not writing in his capacity from Media Intelligence Partners, he’s talking as a recent graduate with direct experience, and [the Daily Telegraph] has published the fact that he is a recent graduate, but what it publishes is up to it."

The agency has republished the introduction to the piece on its website with a link to the page hosting it on the Telegraph website.

Pearson has since clarified his position on the article, taking to Twitter, where he posted: "Seems I’ve been ‘rumbled’ by the left. Or as others would say - ‘Googled’. They’ve found out that when I left uni, I got a job. Hilarious."

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