The sense that the Media Guardian 100 list of the most important and influential in British media is a parlour game is reinforced by the picture of the selection panel in today’s paper. The decision-makers are sitting around a candle-lit table, each with two wine glasses and a water glass. The knives and forks are still there so it looks as if they had not been fed but the wine bottles had certainly been opened.
So what did they decide, this group of four women and two men (there is one extra man at the table and one space seems to be vacant, waiting, we can only assume, for another man to make up the numbers)?
Like all such lists it will provide endless hours of fun and argument as we pull it apart. First, surely a group with women in a two-to-one majority could have come up with more than 18 women for the list.
But then some of the women who were on the panel might have made the list themselves. Lorraine Heggessey, chief executive of Talkbak Thames is one of them and Emily Bell, editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited should be there among the rather sparse new media entries.
Craig Newmark of Craigslist gets in at number 65, one supposes for scaring the shit out of newspaper proprietors rather than for the impact the small ads site has had in Britain. But where is Ed Williams, group managing director of Rightmove, floated on the stock market this year and taking an increasing share of estate agents’ advertising spend?
The list does seem rather London-centric so what about including someone like Tim Bowdler of Johnston Press, based in Edinburgh?
Ranking editors is enjoyable. Paul Dacre of the Mail is in at number 10 followed by Rebekah Wade (Sun) at 12 and Andy Coulson (News of the Word) one place on.
For the up-market sheets we have to wait for number 35 before finding the Guardian’s own Alan Rusbridger. Robert Thomson of the Times is six places below while John Bryant, of The Telegraph, the only upmarket paper that is still a broadsheet, has to wait until number 52. He is immediately followed by Simon Kelner of the Independent and Lionel Barber, of the FT languishes at 79.
There are hours of fun to be had. You can play here.