In this month’s episode of Sacrifice & Success, Electric Glue Chairman and podcast host Sir John Hegarty sits down with Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE. The pair dissect journalism, politics, football and more.
Finkelstein is a renowned British journalist, politician, author and was previously the executive editor of The Times, for whom he writes a weekly column. Finkelstein was an advisor to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 2013, sitting as a Conservative, a party he joined more than 30 years ago. He is also a passionate, lifelong Chelsea fan.
This podcast episode features Finkelstein at his wry, informed and brilliantly funny best. He ranges from journalism to politics, mentioning his experience as a speechwriter for Prime Minister Theresa May, the importance of reformation within the House of Lords and what it was like to be in the midst of huge journalistic and political moments - being “in the room”, as he puts it.
Hegarty asks about how journalism has evolved over the years: in Finkelstein's view the accuracy and depth of journalism, and The Times, has never been stronger due to the sheer quality of content and editing power that the Internet and technology provides. He believes this depth offsets the greatest challenges the Internet comes with.
Finkelstein gives listeners a unique insight into decision-making at The Times, recalling how the paper opted not to break the story of Daniel Craig and the Queen’s Bond skit before the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, despite finding out well in advance.. He quotes a colleague saying in the paper’s editorial conference: “There’s not a single reader we’ve got that would thank you for running that story.”
Finkelstein touches upon his family's history as Holocaust survivors, shining a powerful light upon how these experiences shaped both him and his career. Of his late mother Mirjam he says: “She was a person, a teacher, a housewife and a parent first, and only then a survivor.” Finkelstein is currently writing a new book which explores the story of his parents, their survival and remarkable escape from Nazism.
Simon Orpin, Co-Founder of Electric Glue says: “Daniel Finkelstein is an outstanding journalist with a wealth of experience across news, comment, international affairs, sport and more. We are excited to welcome him to our Sacrifice & Success series as we continue to champion impactful audio storytelling in new and different ways.”