Former Telegraph Editor Launches Coded Attack on Seiken

Former Telegraph editor Charles Moore has launched a blistering coded attack on the paper’s editor-in-chief and ‘chief content officer’ Jason “Psycho” Seiken. Writing in this week’s Speccie, Moore uses the metaphor of Horse and Hound magazine, criticising the countryside periodical for replacing its editor with a “content director”, and accuses other publications that have made up similar new digital job titles of “suffering an identity crisis”:

“Horse and Hound, my other magazine outlet, is to lose its excellent editor, Lucy Higginson. She is to be replaced by a ‘content director’ whose background is as a ‘brand director’. A cull of the section editors is expected… It is well known that most magazines (though not, interestingly, The Spectator) are suffering an identity crisis as the world goes digital, but why is getting rid of editors the answer? The editor of a publication is its maker’s guarantee. His or her loyalty is to the title and, above all, to the readers, even if this sometimes seems to conflict with the wider, short-term interests of the owning group. Readers trust the publication, and therefore buy it, because it is edited. If it isn’t, they won’t, so it will collapse. It is a strange thing that the current media culture, though obsessed by the idea of the ‘brand’, does not recognise that editors and titles are by far the strongest known form of branding in publishing. The trick is to find the best way of expressing this digitally, not to abolish it.”

Who could he possibly be talking about?



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