Conservative Diary

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Whatever happened to The Telegraph's coverage of the Conservatives?

Telegraph backlit Guido has blogged that The Telegraph is losing £200,000 a week.  Ouch.

A little while ago I paid tribute to The Telegraph for its expenses-gate coverage. Although the newspaper sometimes failed to make adequate distinction between different examples of abuse I stand by my view that it was - on balance - great, public service journalism.

Overall, however, The Telegraph is in bad shape.

For a newspaper that prides itself on its digital vision its website is the worst organised and latest to update of all 'the qualities'.

The most depressing thing about the newspaper is its coverage of Tory politics. I could give many examples but please forgive me if I focus on my own recent experience. I had a number of good stories associated with the recent conference I organised with Jonathan Isaby.  There was the planned Downing Street merger of the offices of Cameron and Osborne; the political views of 144 Tory candidates; and the first comprehensive analysis of David Cameron's West Wing.  These stories have been covered by nearly every newspaper (Guardian, Spectator and Independent, in particular, but also The Times, BBC Daily Politics and FT (they took an op-ed today from me).

The Telegraph was once THE party of Tory coverage but no longer.  The only thing it covered from the ConIntelligence conference was a feature on women candidates (and, I am told, only because it would be accompanied by some glamorous photographs).  The Telegraph has abandoned its position as the journal for Tory news and at a time when coverage of the Conservative Party hasn't been so important for a generation.

By recruiting Ben Brogan The Telegraph took a big step toward addressing this problem but the loss of the very sound and well connected Iain Martin from its opinion pages has only weakened things again.

Tim Montgomerie


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