Just been reading an interview on a special closed website for personal finance journalists. The following is (reproduced with its kind permission) from one of the regular features interviews. It’s with Patrick Collinson, the personal finance editor of the Guardian where I have my new column
“Any other new columns?
On the back page it’s going to be Martin Lewis – we’ve negotiated him out of the Express.
How much are you paying him?
Not much – though he probably won’t like me saying that.
But he likes the publicity
Yes he does – he’s getting a very prominent position.
So he prefers Guardian readers to the Express readers – unless he thinks he’s now milked the Express dry…
Maybe – you’re putting all these words into my mouth. But I’ve got a lot of respect for him: his website (moneysavingexpert.com) has inspired me with regard to where I want to go with the Money section. A lot of money sections are still bathing in the glory from years ago when they were growing rapidly on the back of a stock market boom. I think we’ve got to reappraise where we’re all going now that investment advertising has fallen away – and even mortgage advertising is quite iffy at the moment.
What impresses you about Martin Lewis’s website?
What Martin is providing is, in a way, what Ian Cowie (INSERT FROM MARTIN – Ian is the pf editor of the Telegraph) describes as “news you can use”. People just haven’t got the time to read 1,000 words on what the Sipp rules should or shouldn’t be. They want to be told to get this or buy that and want short, snappy and useful stories. So our new columns like Money for nothing and Having a laugh are taking themes from Martin’s own website. It’s all about engaging with readers. What Martin has achieved is that all his readers have become his researchers. ”