Episode 35: What the Nigel Farage ‘debanking’ saga tells us about British journalism

Much has been written and said about the Nigel Farage ‘debanking’ story. Thinking a client is a ‘disingenuous grifter’ or a xenophobic racist is not supposed to be a good enough reason for a bank to deny someone an account.

But what about the journalism involved in breaking the story? Was the BBC’s Business Editor Simon Jack right to have broadcast a story based on the word of a very senior figure within the bank?

Yes, the Three Old Hacks – aka former BBC Sports News editor Mihir Bose, Sunday Times Economics Editor David Smith and political analyst Nigel Dudley – are unanimous that he should have been able to trust the word of the chief executive Dame Alison Rose, and yes he should have published the story.

The British public wouldn’t know the half of what went on without such leaks to journalists. But how does a journalist know when they are being led up the garden path?

The Three Old Hacks have broken many stories and all at some time or another followed that well-trodden path.

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