George Pitcher: No conflict of interest in dual journalism and Jericho role

George Pitcher has said there is "no conflict of interest whatsoever" in him being both editor-in-chief of the International Business Times and chairman of strategic communications agency Jericho Chambers.

New role: Pitcher (left) with Jericho Chambers colleagues Christine Armstrong and Robert Phillips
New role: Pitcher (left) with Jericho Chambers colleagues Christine Armstrong and Robert Phillips

Pitcher, who co-founded Jericho Chambers last year with former Edelman EMEA chief executive Robert Philips, is taking up the UK editor-in-chief role at the US-headquartered business news publisher on 1 August.

The former religion editor of The Daily Telegraph said he would not have a client-facing role at Jericho Chambers and his position at International Business Times would take up the majority of his time.

"My [Jericho Chambers] colleagues are old enough, mature enough and have been around the block long enough to know they’re not going to compromise [clients] that they’re talking to by sharing with me sensitive or confidential information. However, I can sit as chair of this partnership and continue to stay in the vanguard of industrial development."

Pitcher declined to reveal Jericho's clients to PRWeek but said he had disclosed them to the International Business Times despite not being contractually obliged to.

He contrasted Jericho and his position there with his time running public affairs and PR agency Luther Pendragon, saying there would be a conflict of interest were he to be working at the latter and the International Business Times.

"Jericho is not a PR agency but the antidote to PR," he said. "I’m not working in PR – what I’ve been doing is public ethics and what I’m going to carry on doing is new journalism."

When the International Business Times announced Pitcher’s appointment its global editor-in-chief Peter Goodman said: "George’s digital savvy, authority in the business world and old-school journalistic values will dramatically accelerate our push to win new readers and markets."

The publication has a monthly online audience of five million in the UK and 50 million globally.

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