How Has Journalism Changed Since The Brexit Vote? | A Q&A with Sonia Sodha

16 December 2019

At the October 2019 Knowledge Guild, we experienced the incredible insights of chief leader writer and columnist at The Observer, and deputy opinion editor at The Guardian, Sonia Sodha.

We caught up with her backstage to chat about how journalism has changed since the Brexit Vote.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a journalist. I work as the chief leader writer at The Observer where I write our editorial column which sets out the view of the paper every weekend. I also work as the deputy opinion editor at The Guardian. I’ve worked in Journalism for about 5 years. It was a bit of a sideways view for me. Before that I worked in think tanks for six years. Started working on public policy, thinking about the world and how we’d like it to change, and I obviously spent some time working for Edward Miliband when he was working for the opposition as well.

Media is in a turbulent time now, how has reporting changed in the time of Brexit?

In one sense, covering politics this time is incredibly interesting and exciting and there are a lot of very high-octane moments. Everything feels very high stakes every time there’s a big vote in the house of commons, it feels like a really important moment. And then on another level, it’s also a bit boring because we’ve been talking about Brexit for so long and you have so much happen, but often it’s about detailed Westminster procedure that probably most voters aren’t particularly interested in. So you have to find a way to make that interesting and relevant, but at the same all of the big questions are still the same and we’re still rehashing the same big debates we had three years ago.

What do you think is the most pressing thing facing the media?

How you respond to populist politicians. Whether that’s Trump in the United States, Boris Johnson, is really playing from the populist playbook, setting traps for the media, for opposition politicians. You’ve got government sources saying things that just aren’t true. How does the media respond to that, is a really big question that’s going to shape our political reporting in the years to come.

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