I don’t wish to turn our blog into a Kelvin MacKenzie fun-athon, but his decision to instruct his lawyers to demand an apology from South Yorkshire Police – with the implicit threat of further legal action – for the ‘vilification’ he has endured since Hillsborough simply beggars belief.
MacKenzie, lest we forget, has long claimed that his news sense is second-to-none. In his most recent statement, he has claimed
Amusing though it was to watch, Channel 4’s doorstepping of former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie added little to the debate about the mistakes made at Hillsborough and the way it was reported.
If you need the key to Kelvin Mackenzie’s attitude to news, the best document I know of is his speech to the Leveson inquiry in October 2011. It is entertaining, combative stuff, full of the usual bluster – I would recommend reading the whole thing, media recruitment tips it does not offer, quite the opposite really. It contains this passage about a story he ran in 1987 – two years before Hillsborough:
“Question seven basically wanted to know if an editor knew the sources of many of the stories. To be frank, I didn’t bother during
Shock news: there are a lot of dinosaurs in the media. And Kelvin MacKenzie is amongst them. Is anyone surprised?
MacKenzie said last month that you learn nothing from journalism courses: “It’s a job, a knack, a talent. You don’t need a diploma… There’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.” He would “shut down all the journalism colleges today.”