But in a letter Tory MP Andrew Bridgen – who had raised concerns about the appointment – Mr Katz said Mr Weldon’s ‘specialist expertise’ in economics was more important than his training as a reporter.
He said: ‘Duncan was one of several candidates we considered who came from an economics rather than a conventional journalistic background…we believed a deep knowledge of economics was more important than journalistic experience for this role.’
Given that most journalists, including most of those writing on business, economics and or politics, wouldn’t know a good economic argument from a plate of steamed rhubarb yes, it is indeed a good idea to hire someone who knows their economics and teach them the journalism rather than the other way around.
Especially since journalism itself is a craft, something that you learn by doing.
Putting this in a slightly different manner. Who do you want as an economics editor, someone with an MA in Journalism and a copy of Samuelson? Or someone who understands economics and would need a bit of direction on the house style on semi-colons?
At which point we might note that the chief economics leader writer of The Guardian is an historian. Which explains the other side of this same problem really.