Private Eye's Ian Hislop recognised for outstanding contribution to British Media

Hislop has edited satirical magazine for third of a century and counting.

Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, has received the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Media at Campaign's British Media Awards 2019.

Hislop became editor of Private Eye at the age of 26 in 1986 and has now spent one-third of a century at the helm of the satirical magazine and remains as enthusiastic as ever about its future. 

"I don’t think print is dead. It’s alive and kicking. We’re actually selling more papers than we did, say, 10 or 15 years ago," Hislop, who first joined Private Eye in 1981, said as he accepted the award. 

"Satire is as necessary as ever – that’s not dead either," he added. 

But Hislop, who also has been a team captain on the BBC's Have I Got News For You since 1990, said satire "is harder when the real world is trying so hard to compete" in the era of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.

Hislop credited Private Eye’s "combination of jokes and journalism", its insistence on charging for its editorial content – chiefly in print – and giving little away for free online for its commercial success. 

"You just have to remind people it’s worth paying for," he said.

Hislop was chosen primarily because of his editorship of Private Eye, but he was also recognised for his broadcasting career, which includes making TV and radio documentaries on immigration and the First World War.

His work has received numerous awards from the British Society of Magazine Editors and Bafta.

Hislop received the Outstanding Contribution to British Media from Campaign at the offices of Private Eye as he was unable to attend the awards dinner, which was held at Park Lane Hilton. 

In his acceptance video, Hislop joked that he hoped the BBC "won’t pull this video", after an episode of Have I Got News For You was abruptly pulled just hours before transmission earlier this month over fears about impartiality in the run-up to European elections.


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