According to multiple media reports, U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail has axed its editor Paul Dacre. While Dacre’s departure may be big news in the U.K., the consequences might be greater for the country’s media landscape. What’s the significance of Dacre’s departure?
Dacre’s departure was “expected,” said independent media commentator Alastair Campbell, “as he is only the second editor to become editor in succession to replace his predecessor in 40 years.” While he added that the results of the British elections in 2017 “helped” in Dacre’s favor, his decision not to leave earlier was also a move of “strategic repose.”
Another commentator remarked: “At some point you have to recognize that some editors – including Paul Dacre – have different priorities,” said Blair Witch Project author Heather McGhee. “There have always been editors who ran their newspapers for their personal ideology, and, sometimes, for their professional financial self-interest.”
The writer and leader of the Change Britain group, Decca Aitkenhead, speculated that the fact that Dacre was “now 79” may have influenced his decision. “Age may have contributed to this, but this decision is nevertheless a blow to press standards and a personal victory for a group of younger and more politically engaged journalists, who were going to try to take his job anyway,” she told CNN.