An evening in the company of the British editor of The Week, Jeremy O'Grady, and his American counterpart, Bill Falk, was held at London's One Marylebone last night, as the two respected journalists discussed topics as varied as Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the difference between the two countries' media outputs.
Attendees were treated to an evening of Transatlantic entertainment hosted by American Airlines. Chairing the conversation, John Humphrys – host of BBC Radio 4's The Today programme – was in a mischievous mood, setting the tone of the conversation early with the question: "Which is better the US or the UK media?"
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US editor Bill Falk was quick to establish what he saw as the main differences between America and Britain: "In the US there used to be a general consensus of opinion like there is here, but now we can't even agree on the basic facts. Even the Pope is a controversial figure because he has said he believes in climate change."
The discussion touched on a range of topics – from how many people in the US know who David Cameron is to The Week's position in the changing media landscape.
Jeremy O'Grady, who founded The Week in 1995 along with Jolyon Connell, explained why he thought the magazine had been such a success. "In retrospect, the great idea with The Week was tapping into the public's appetite for reading an opinion not just of their own."
Highlighting the great importance of subscribers to The Week, O'Grady said: "I think the reason that our subscription base has gone from strength to strength is that we provide a considered, reflected opinion in contrast to the instantaneous news elsewhere."
The night's big laugh was the result of an American voice in the audience who declared: "The difference between Americans and the British, is that we take life seriously and you guys don't!" The proposition garnered a general murmur of agreement from panel and audience members alike.
A spokesperson for American Airlines said: "We're proud to be able to facilitate The Transatlantic Conversation which everybody who was here seemed to very much enjoy. Our relationship with The Week both in the US and the UK is very important."
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