Between the lines

Andrews Marr of the BBC gives tips on what papers to read – and who to read in them.

If you find a reporter who seems to know the score, particularly in an area you know about, cherish him or her. In the trade we generally know who is good. If you are interested in social services and the welfare state, Nicholas Timmins, currently writing for the Financial Times, is essential. If you are interested in think-tank reports and the cerebral end of Whitehall then Peter Riddell of the Times is about the only reporter worth bothering with. But if you want investigative journalism that covers Whitehall, never miss David Hencke and Richard Norton-Taylor, both of the Guardian. Books? Robert McCrum of the Observer writes a weekly column that almost everyone in the publishing world will read. The funniest restaurant reviewer in London? Certainly, the Spectator’s Deborah Ross. Best Northern Ireland correspondent? David McKittrick in the Indy.