Malcolm was a journalist for more than 60 years. He was trained by Kemsley weekly newspapers for four years, then spent a further four working his way around the world with posts in Canada, the West Indies, Australia, and then a further year as a freelancer in South East Asia. On his return in 1964, he joined the Reuters bureau in London before taking up a fellowship at Ruskin College, Oxford. From there he won a Harkness Fellowship to the US, the first year at Chicago and the second working in Congress as a speechwriter to a senator, then a Congressman who put him on his full-time staff.
Returning to the UK in 1969, he joined The Guardian where he worked his way up from roving reporter, to social affairs leader-writer and then associate editor, having launched the paper’s hugely successful weekly society section covering all aspects of social policy.
During this time, he met Michael Young who enticed him to serve on some of his project boards, some of which had been launched in The Guardian. Malcolm retired from the paper in 2006 to take up a fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he stayed under various titles, fellow, associate, academic visitor for 11 years.
His first five years were spent writing his opus on the media’s influence on politics under the title ‘Democracy under Attack — how the media distort policy and politics’. He has served on numerous national working parties and was chair of a Joseph Rowntree Foundation commission on older people.