Here's What Welcomed Daily Telegraph Journalists To Their Offices Today

    "Cringe," one journalist texted BuzzFeed News.

    Handout / Paul Grover/The Daily Telegraph

    Multiple sources say that when journalists arrived at the London office of the Daily Telegraph on Thursday morning, they were met with a giant screen on the way to the newsroom showing the new UK prime minister saluting them.

    "Congratulations to Boris from The Telegraph," the caption read on the screen. "The Telegraph's own columnist becomes Prime Minister today."

    "Cringe," one Telegraph journalist texted BuzzFeed News. "That about sums things up."

    Supplied

    This image was beamed from a screen in the Telegraph's office.

    Johnson has been the newspaper's most famous employee for several years, with the right-wing broadsheet paying an eye-watering £275,000 a year for his weekly column.

    The Johnson-Telegraph relationship goes back many years. As a young journalist, Johnson shot to prominence writing about the European Union as the newspaper's Brussels correspondent.

    In recent years, the Telegraph has become a cheerleader for Brexit, attacking Johnson's enemies and promoting his causes.

    But there are some at the Telegraph concerned about what happens now that Johnson has been elevated to Downing Street.

    One Telegraph source likened the situation to how far-right news outlet Breitbart had an identity crisis after Donald Trump became US president.

    "It reminds me of Breitbart after Donald Trump was elected," one Telegraph journalist said. "None of the writers knew what to do because their default position was opposition for so long."

    The "Telegraph congratulations" image was also posted by company CEO Nick Hugh to an internal Facebook group for journalists called Telegraph Insider.

    As first reported by Press Gazette, Hugh's post included this message: “Boris is the first Telegraph journalist since Sir Winston Churchill to lead the country. Boris has written for the Telegraph for the best part of three decades and in that time he has built a legion of devoted readers. On behalf of everyone at the Telegraph we send him our warmest wishes.”

    Others shrugged off the Telegraph congratulations of the prime minister and its aggressive pro-Johnson editorial line. One journalist said it's all part of the UK newspaper tradition of being partisan.

    "British newspapers have always been partisan," the journalist said. "That's what they do.

    "Rich people own newspapers, and it's the most vibrant newspaper market in the world, but it's always been partisan. The UK newspaper market is a bit like American cable TV: You have your Fox News and your MSNBC," they continued.

    "There's a lot of self-righteous hokum about the way Telegraph treats Boris. The Guardian tells Guardian readers what they want to hear, just as the Telegraph tells its readers what it wants to hear."

    There were different scenes over at the Times, where Johnson began his career as a journalist. The Times' Patrick Kidd tweeted an image this week which showed a sign in the newspaper's office.

    We’ve not yet changed the text on this photo in the gallery of @thetimes alumni by the loos in our office.

    The text reads: "The Major of London (2008- ) was sacked as a trainee by The Times in 1988 after falsifying quotes attributed to his godfather, the historian Colin Lucas. He was editor of The Spectator and became a Conservative MP in 2001 until assuming the mayoralty."



    Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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