Dan Wootton scandal: What is The Byline Times? The publication who aims to shake the British media

The Dan Wootton scandal has brought to the forefront The Byline Times. Let's look into the publication: its history, its founders and more.

Dan Wootton scandal: What is The Byline Times? The publication who aims to shake the British media
© Bank Phrom / UNSPLASH
Dan Wootton scandal: What is The Byline Times? The publication who aims to shake the British media

TW: mentions of harassment, bullying, sexual assault

Discover our latest podcast

On 17 July, The Byline Times published an article about GBNews presenter Dan Wootton. In their exposé, the publication announced that they had been conducting a three year investigation about the presenter concerning catfishing, harassment and bullying accusations.

Following the first article about the catfishing of former colleagues for sexually explicit content, the Byline published another article on 20 July, this time accusing Dan Wootton of misconduct, harassment and bullying. And the publication will not stop there.

In the article published on 20 July they write:

As part of a three-year special investigation into 40-year-old Wootton – details of which we will continue to publish over the coming days and weeks

Before the scandal, the Byline Times wasn’t in the spotlight. The wider public wasn’t aware of it. But now that it is, thanks to the Dan Wootton scandal, let’s look into the publication.

The Byline Times: 'A new type of newspaper'

The Byline Times was founded in 2018, with its first issue coming out in October 2018. The newspaper comes out monthly but it is attached to a free news website.

The Byline Times was created by Peter Jukes and Stephen Colegrave. Before being the founder of The Byline Times, Jukes worked as a playwright, screenwriter and fiction writer. His career in the media started as a book reviewer in The Independent. Stephen Colegrave started his career as an account director. He then transitioned into publishing and into creative industries.

When they both founded The Byline Times, their aim was clear: they wanted to create something new. On the website they explain their mission like this:

No oligarchs, no government bungs, no adverts.
Just journalism. Funded by our readers.
Outside of the system.

Read more:

Dan Wootton's scandal bigger than Schofield and Edwards' as shocking new details revealed

Just journalism

While their catchline makes it their goal clear, what does it actually mean?

In practice, The Byline Times is a completely independent publication. They solely rely on their readers in order to keep surviving.

Moreover, not having sponsors or ads means that they are free to write about anything and anyone in the most thorough manner. They choose what they write about without always having to think about profit or conflict of interest. They simply follow the story. They explain:

Byline Times does not report the daily news cycle. Our aim is to concentrate on ‘what the papers don’t say’. We will follow the story wherever it goes, without fear or favour. Our integrity comes from our editorial independence.

No political agenda

If that sounds like The Byline Times aims to be neutral, then this couldn’t be further from the truth. Openly, the founders of the publication admit that while ‘the newspaper is not politically partisan, it is not neutral and stands against corruption, injustice and the erosion of truth and the rule of law.’

In practice this means that The Byline Times has a clear set of values as an organisation but also that their writers also have their own. What appears to be crucial for The Byline is to have their work relying on ‘facts.’ Indeed, because of their editorial choice, they are acutely aware that basing their work on facts protects them from entering a debate centred around opinion. On that, they write:

although everyone is welcome to their own opinions, facts cannot be debated.


Finally, what sets The Byline Times apart is their goal to do a better job at being representative of all communities that make the country. They argue that in their search for accuracy, they have a duty to ‘report our country more fairly.

They express they aim to offer ‘a voice’ to the communities who do not have a platform in other media outlets.

The Dan Wootton scandal

On July 17, The Byline Times published the first installment of what they announced to be a multi-part series. In it they will focus on allegations of misconduct aimed at GBNews presenter Dan Wootton.

In the first article we learnt that The Byline had been conducting a three year long investigation. This investigation is led by Dan Evans and Tom Latchem who both are former colleagues of Dan Wootton.

At the time that this article is written, part 3, is set to be released in the evening of 24 July.

But the publication doesn’t want to stop with the GBNews presenter. This is just the first part of a bigger investigation they have planned.

Read more:

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: This Morning hosts could be reunited sooner than expected

Piers Morgan believes that Phillip Schofield will make a comeback: 'Maybe he will write a book'


If you go on The Byline Times website or if you follow them on Twitter, you will find a particular hashtag: #MediaToo

It is evident what this hashtag is reminiscent of. The #MeToo movement took off in 2017 with millions of women around the world using the hashtag to share that they had been victims of sexual abuse.

The hashtag the publication uses hasn’t yet reached the magnitude of the MeToo movement but they are not going to stop. If you go on their website, in the crowdfunding section, you will find a page called Help Us to Keep Exposing Wrongdoing in the National Media. On this page you can give money, as the publication is funded by its readers, but you can also read what the publication has in mind for the coming months if not years.

They write:

We have a number of other stories that reveal unscrupulous actions from people within the national news media. Despite being fully aware of the allegations (...), the established press decided not to report on the shocking findings from within its own ranks.

They also add that this goes way beyond the Dan Wootton story and that they will not stop.

It is a story about the toxic culture of the national media itself. And we want to keep telling this story

This also fits into their pre-existing beat: Crisis in British Journalism.

The Bylines Networks

The Byline Times is not an isolated publication. Indeed, it has a sister organisation called The Bylines Network which also sees Peter Jukes at its core. The Bylines Network was born in 2020.

The aim of these publications is to ‘to publish well-written, fact-based articles and opinion pieces on subjects that are of interest to people in our area and beyond.’ The goal is, like for The Byline Times, to give a voice to regional communities and to ‘hold elected representatives to account.’

Just like The Byline Times, The Bylines Networkis fully independent. However, The Byline Network has a clearer political stance than The Byline Times and it is important to highlight that the two are separate entities.


Bylines Network




Forget Schofield and Edwards, the Dan Wootton scandal is the most controversial yet Forget Schofield and Edwards, the Dan Wootton scandal is the most controversial yet