X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Blogs

The unusual case of Matt Nixson, the hack with the big heart

30 July 2012

3:14 PM

30 July 2012

3:14 PM

This is not a great time to be a tabloid journalist. It is an even worse time to be an out-of-work tabloid journalist. Few tears are shed when red-top hacks lose their jobs and they are consigned to a discard pile that includes unemployed bankers and politicians.

This is why the case of Matt Nixson is so unusual. When the phone hacking scandal broke, Nixson had just moved from the News of the World, where he was features editor, to take the same job on the Sun. He was given the push last July amid a flurry of allegations about alleged payments to police and prison officers (Nixson was alleged to have authorised a £750 payment to a prison officer for a story about the Soham murderer Ian Huntley, although he wasn’t told this until five months later). It is now a year since he left his post at the Sun and the police have said they will not be pursuing a case against him.

[Alt-Text]


I don’t know Matt well. I met him once at a local newspaper reunion in north London (he worked at the Hendon Times with my wife in the 1990s). But I was struck by how much he clearly enjoyed his job, by his loyalty to his employer and his conviction that journalism, even tabloid journalism, could be a force for good. Unprompted, he offered to help with my youth employment charity and we were in discussions about how the Sun could get involved in New Deal of the Mind when he lost his job. Despite the shock (he was sacked just after he had just had his first child) he immediately offered to volunteer for us, something I intend to take him up on at some point.

My experience of Matt’s generosity is echoed by Liz Carnell, the founder of the children’s charity Bullying UK, which he and others at the News of  the World supported. She told Press Gazette Matt is a “lovely man with a big heart”. In a separate tribute Colin O’Toole, who was Matt’s news editor  on local papers, told Press Gazette: “I have never met a more hard-working, talented and breathtakingly honest individual”. His colleague on the Hendon Times, Ian Lloyd added: “To be left in the lurch by employers you have given so much to, and be deprived of the career you love for the benefit of a PR exercise must be soul destroying.”

Roy Greenslade has also written about the extraordinary way fellow hacks have rallied to support Matt Nixson. Such is his loyalty to News International that Nixson himself still hopes to negotiate an amicable return to his old paper. But his story is a sobering one. The reverberations of the moral collapse of the News of the World are still being felt across the profession.  If the UK tabloid press is ever going to rebuild its reputation it will need people like Matt to do so.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close