In December 2016, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, who was then the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, was delighted to announce the appointment of Nick Hodgson as Media Manager for the Royal College.
Almost two years later Nick Hodgson shared this message from the current President, Professor Wendy Burn:
Before being employed as the Media Manager for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Nick Hodgson was the Associate News Night Editor for The Sun newspaper. More than a year into his role as Media Manager for the Royal College of Psychiatrists he said this in sharing an image of the front-page of The Sun:
“When I read headlines like this, I feel terribly proud I used to work for The Sun newspaper (and a bit sad that I no longer do)”
[1st March 2018]
Here is an example of Nick Hodgson’s outlook when working for The Sun [as shared on social media]:
“Tits or rats? . . . . This is why we’re the greatest newspaper in the world. Brilliant.”
[21st January 2015]
I have written this post as it is my concern that tabloid approaches have come to dominate the narrative presented by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Might this be “soft power” in action?
I would suggest that the language used in this current Job advert is worth reflecting upon [I have highlighted certain areas]:
It is disappointing that there is no reference to College values in this job advert.
My wife recently reminded me of Andy Coulson who was the editor of the News of the World from 2003 until his resignation in 2007, following the conviction of one of the newspaper’s reporters in relation to illegal practice. Andy Coulson subsequently joined the Prime Minister’s personnel as communications director, until announcing his departure on 21 January 2011 because of continued media coverage over the illegal actions of the paper that he had once edited. The overall impact from his tenure came to be known as “the Coulson effect”.