The Newsroom

Alastair Stewart to leave ITV News.

NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It is a very awkward situation and I’m also reluctant to comment further except to say it’s a cautionary tale of the dangers of social media.
Markymark and Media Box gave kudos
GR
griffinuk Central (West) Midlands Today
RDJ posted:
Here's Alastair on This Morning in 1998 with a fresh faced Philip Schofield. Alastair's comments about not drinking at all when driving after his first drink driving conviction are very ironic, considering six years later he'd end up being convicted for drink driving a second time.


... the second time whilst presenting "Police, Camera, Action". The irony continues!


Oh do exit right you bunch of people wanting to put the boot in to a man whose service to television journalism is hard to match.

Take your tabloid cr@p to a different forum.


Erm, well thanks for that ill informed little intervention there.

The point that RDJ was making is correct, and I followed it up with a further example. If you think making those points is "putting the boot in", then you're really rather naive.

Here's a quote from an article I wrote the on the subject last week;

Quote:
"One thing is for sure, ITV News is worse off for no longer having Alistair Stewart at the helm of its bulletins. A top class newscaster with very few who can rival his on air enthusiasm and ability, coupled with his passion for the job."
I do https://newson.news
LU
Luke
chris posted:
Bravo Pete.

absolutely
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
When was Alastair's final bulletin?

Unless anyone knows better, it may have been Sunday 5th January?
RH
richard h
According to the Mail Online "Mr Stewart had asked bosses whether he could apologise to his accuser privately, a friend told the Sunday Times, but they said this was not enough.
A friend also told the paper that despite ITV accusing him of 'errors of judgement' he had not previously received a single official warning from HR" - if that is true then it does seem unfair that he was not given a chance to change his ways

One on the UK's best known news broadcasters, who asked not be named, told MailOnline on Thursday: 'It's an absolute shambles and a disgrace.
'I don't know if this is cover for something else - if someone wanted him out anyway they should have allowed a more gracious retirement - but it gives our industry a bad name and a bad look. Intolerant, obtuse, disloyal and illiterate'. (I wonder who that was)
HO
House Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
If I were him, I’d be booking an appointment with an employment lawyer.
FB
Fluffy Bunny Feet
According to the Mail Online "Mr Stewart had asked bosses whether he could apologise to his accuser privately, a friend told the Sunday Times, but they said this was not enough.
A friend also told the paper that despite ITV accusing him of 'errors of judgement' he had not previously received a single official warning from HR" - if that is true then it does seem unfair that he was not given a chance to change his ways

One on the UK's best known news broadcasters, who asked not be named, told MailOnline on Thursday: 'It's an absolute shambles and a disgrace.
'I don't know if this is cover for something else - if someone wanted him out anyway they should have allowed a more gracious retirement - but it gives our industry a bad name and a bad look. Intolerant, obtuse, disloyal and illiterate'. (I wonder who that was)


I would not believe anything the DM or ST claim. If they are not beating up the BBC it's ITV turn. It's in the papers' interests.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today


I would not believe anything the DM or ST claim. If they are not beating up the BBC it's ITV turn. It's in the papers' interests.


Normally, yes, but in this case the Daily Mail and General Trust have a 20% stake in ITN, so it probably isn't in the Daily Mail's interest to knock ITN as much as the BBC.
RT
Rich Tea Anglia (West) Look East
Pete posted:

I have no idea why I'm wading into this but ho hum.

You clearly cannot of been following Alistair very closely if you do not realise why this has happened.

And let me clarify, I have always enjoyed his presenting style on TV and, from his posts, he is clearly a good family man who loves his family and is deeply proud of his sons.

Martin Shapland, having seen many of his tweets fly by over the past ten years, is someone I find irritating. But he is essentially irrelevant in this whole debacle as if he'd not been online that day it would have been someone else two days later...


This is not Shapland's fault, it's a problem entirely of AS's own making. Let's discuss AS's habits on social media.

Arrow Impartiality
Alistair is, as are nearly all UK TV newsreaders, a professional at being impartial on the TV.

He stated his opinion that much of the "as it happens" commentary on social media, and analysis provided by others was a danger to this tradition. This has been covered in depth elsewhere.

However he did this whilst seemingly oblivious to the fact that
- statements about quality politicians
- statements about the best quality governments over his lifetime
- posting photos of his going to endless conservative association dinners and so on

meant it didn't take a genius to work out which box he marked his X in.

This never crept into his TV work, nor did he ever support / oppose a political policy in a blatant way. Nor is it news that, for example, Nick Robinson or Andrew Neil are to one side of the fence. But taking a holier than thou stance when being oblivious to your own shortcomings is hardly professional.

Arrow Arguments

AS would never let a good argument die. He was exceptionally easy to bait and would then keep at it as long as the other side could. Given the nature of twitter and its notorious style, this should be something someone of his standing should learn to avoid. Have a discussion yes, have a disagreement fine. But it's how you conduct yourself and knowing when to stop. Which brings me to...

Arrow Pile ons

AS would use the quote tweet function of twitter rather than the reply. This meant all of his followers got to see whichever pleb was currently facing his wrath. This is a notorious trigger to pile-on culture and should be used sparingly and intelligently. You can see him doing this in the Shapland example.

But this happened again and again and again over months, if not several years. It was not a one off.

Arrow Snobbery

AS tended to exude the worst type of middle class snobbery. He would pour scorn on people's education and intelligence if they dared question him. The slightest thing could trigger needlessly harsh attacks on people's character. Similar to Stanley Johnson and his "people couldn't spell pinocchio" comment.

Again there are plenty stupid people in the world and its fine to give them enough rope with a poor argument. But the "you're not worthy enough to argue with me" attitude came out often.



So in conclusion, there were two sides of AS. One was a charming and friendly person, which by the comments of his colleagues I do not doubt. But the other side was easy to bait, an (oblivious) hypocrite, and a snob. It was this side, and his inability (arguably his choice) to temper it on a public website that has resulted in his leaving ITN.

This, as I have said, has been going on for a long long time and I would hazard a guess that his managers had several meetings with him, and indeed he may have been on an existing warning, when he got into his fight with Shapland. And if Shapland hadn't been there, someone else would have been along soon enough to trigger him.



As I went through this post I actually began to think I was reading Alastair Stewart's boss at ITN justifying their actual decision and issuing the formal reasons for his departure right here. Wink

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