The Newsroom

Newsnight

CI
cityprod West Country (West) Spotlight
I do have some issues with what Alistair Stewart says though. The first being his very first sentence.

Quote:
Was Emily Maitlis right or wrong to offer her views on the Dominic Cummings’s row?


Emily Maitlis was not offering her views. What she said was accurate, truthful, factual. She presented no viewpoint in that opening, nothing that was her opinion. That mistake does kinda undermine the rest of the article.

Nonetheless, he does make some good points.

Quote:
Impartiality is the pounding heart of ‘L’affaire Maitlis’. Her introduction to BBC Newsnight on Tuesday caused a furore: those who believe Cummings has done wrong cheered her to rafters, flooding social media with messages of support; those sympathetic to Cummings and, perhaps, the Prime Minister he serves, cried foul – in their thousands. Many in the second camp formalised their objections in official complaints to the BBC.


He's spot on here. That in itself highlights one of the big problems with complaints proceedures in general. Complaints proceedures these days tend to be where active campaigns by organisations with an agenda against a show or item within that show, will be focused on. As such, you tend to get a very biased view of what people feel about a show. It almost feels somewhat antiquated these days. If there's a better way of doing this, it hasn't been found yet, but it does need to be.

Quote:
As current UK regulations stand – Ofcom’s rules on impartiality and the editorial guidelines of all the major and minor broadcast outlets – it would not be possible to establish such a broadcast channel in Britain, that is overtly sympathetic to a particular political party or ideology. That said, evolution doesn’t tend to happen in single instances. It is a gradual process. So, too, I fear, could be the ‘Foxification’ of Britain’s broadcast media.


Again, spot on, but this misses one key point. News & Current Affairs coverage has always evolved. Look back at shows such as Tonight and Nationwide, and you'll see current affairs being presented in a whole different manner to how it is now. News back in the 70s and 80s was a very different presentational beast to what it is now. Coverage has always evolved with the times. It needs to continue that evolution.

I said previously on this topic that I value accurate, factual and truthful reporting, way more than I do being "objective" or "impartial". Presentation of differing views is important, as long as they are genuine viewpoints, not just lies designed to confuse the issue. Ofcom in their broadcasting code don't refer to "impartiality" and "accuracy", they refer to "due impartiality" and "due accuracy". Context is important in this, and that needs to not be overlooked. Editorialising news is something I'm very much against, but it's worse when the editorialising is done by presenting a lie as being equal to the truth, or when important context to a story is completely ommited. These days often "objectivity" is nothing more than presenting a pound of official propaganda alongside an ounce of counterspin. It's so very important that reporting is factual, accurate, truth, now more than ever as organisations with their own agenda use social media and other platforms to get their own messages out there, some of which are little more than propaganda.
DV
dvboy Central (West) Midlands Today
Only caught the end, where did Newsnight come from this evening? How come it’s not the Main BBC News studio?

Glasgow, where it has come from a few times Kirsty Wark has presented.
Hello, good evening, and remain indoors.
DA
davidhorman Channel Channel Islands
I do have some issues with what Alistair Stewart says though. The first being his very first sentence.

Quote:
Was Emily Maitlis right or wrong to offer her views on the Dominic Cummings’s row?


Emily Maitlis was not offering her views. What she said was accurate, truthful, factual. She presented no viewpoint in that opening, nothing that was her opinion. That mistake does kinda undermine the rest of the article.


It's not simply a matter of what she said but how she said it.

"The whole country can see that, and it is shocked that the government cannot" is not a pure, sober, statement of fact. She doesn't speak for the whole country. If there were nationwide protests over this it might be closer to it, but let's be honest - a significant number of people are simply sighing and shrugging over this whole affair - or planning a trip to Barnard Castle of their own - because it's politics as usual in the early 21st century.

Regardless of whether you think she brushed up against the line of impartiality, she definitely could have made all the same points in a more objective fashion.

Quote:
“The longer ministers, and Prime Minister, tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.


That sounds like she's talking to the government, not to the viewers. Given the current state of politics, it's just as likely that everyone will have forgotten about it by next week.

Quote:
"He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools"


And that sounds like the sort of statement more suited to be put to a government spokesman on the spot, rather than delivered in a monologue.
CI
cityprod West Country (West) Spotlight
I do have some issues with what Alistair Stewart says though. The first being his very first sentence.

Quote:
Was Emily Maitlis right or wrong to offer her views on the Dominic Cummings’s row?


Emily Maitlis was not offering her views. What she said was accurate, truthful, factual. She presented no viewpoint in that opening, nothing that was her opinion. That mistake does kinda undermine the rest of the article.


It's not simply a matter of what she said but how she said it.

"The whole country can see that, and it is shocked that the government cannot" is not a pure, sober, statement of fact. She doesn't speak for the whole country. If there were nationwide protests over this it might be closer to it, but let's be honest - a significant number of people are simply sighing and shrugging over this whole affair - or planning a trip to Barnard Castle of their own - because it's politics as usual in the early 21st century.

Regardless of whether you think she brushed up against the line of impartiality, she definitely could have made all the same points in a more objective fashion.


I get the feeling from what you're saying here, that you would have had a problem with Walter Cronkite's famous commentary about the Vietnam War back in the day, and honestly, that was one of the best pieces of broadcast journalism ever that the world has seen. That too lasted for just about a minute, though that was at the end of a broadcast, rather than the beginning. It was saying something that needed to be said, and it was way more subjective, than anything Emily Maitliss said in her introduction.



Quote:
Quote:
“The longer ministers, and Prime Minister, tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.


That sounds like she's talking to the government, not to the viewers. Given the current state of politics, it's just as likely that everyone will have forgotten about it by next week.


Journalism's most important role is speaking truth to power. Holding the government accountable. If Journalism can no longer do that, then it no longer serves a useful purpose anymore.

Quote:
Quote:
"He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools"


And that sounds like the sort of statement more suited to be put to a government spokesman on the spot, rather than delivered in a monologue.


That's a fair comment, but the more important thing, is the fact that the statement was accurate, factual, truthful. That matters way more than whether it sounded like something you'd try to use to put a government spokesman on the spot.
Hadrien, Night Thoughts and Luke gave kudos
MU
MrUdagawa Tyne Tees London
@DVB Cornwall - Disagree. The “loonies” congregate around accounts with high followers. It amplifies the “loonies” in my opinion. Don’t have an issue with a broadcaster tweeting out a news item under the broadcasters handle. It’s individual reporters using it as a personal platform that I think is problematic. Not saying that I’m right of course, just personal opinion on the matter.


I agree. There are also a lot of people on there whose careers are largely based around the traction their tweets gain - good or bad, and the journalists get caught up in that. For example. Iain Dale is constantly complaining on his podcast that when he tweets certain things he gets a barrage of abuse in response. He clearly knows when he tweets certain things that is going to happen, but it all fans the flame of publicity and fires the conversation.
Twitter have just introduced a feature where you can limit and select who is allowed to reply to a tweet (although they can retweet it) but I guarantee people like Iain Dale and others will never use that option.
It all feels a bit tawdry, and I think it would be good if senior BBC figures at least stepped back from it.
CU
Custard56 (previously Jay Lee) Recently warned London
Deleted.
Last edited by Custard56 on 1 June 2020 7:43pm
DO
dosxuk Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Newsnight is moving to another studio tonight...?

https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/1244570660216635392

Presumably sans Emily Maitlis...


That tweet was posted on the 30th March. Has Emily signed up for GMB yet?
BB
BBI45 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Newsnight is moving to another studio tonight...?

https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/1244570660216635392

Presumably sans Emily Maitlis...

That was tweeted on the 30th March. Am I being stupid, and if so, what point are you trying to make?
.... . ..- - .
CU
Custard56 (previously Jay Lee) Recently warned London
Newsnight is moving to another studio tonight...?

https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/1244570660216635392

Presumably sans Emily Maitlis...


That tweet was posted on the 30th March. Has Emily signed up for GMB yet?


My error.

Who knows? But I wouldn't be surprised if she had.
CU
Custard56 (previously Jay Lee) Recently warned London
BBI45 posted:
Newsnight is moving to another studio tonight...?

https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/1244570660216635392

Presumably sans Emily Maitlis...

That was tweeted on the 30th March. Am I being stupid, and if so, what point are you trying to make?


My fault. Didn't see the date of the tweet.

9 days later

ST
Stuart West Country (West) Spotlight
Newsnight have just described the UK as a 'colonial oppressor'. That's quite a political statement. Is Esme Wren trying to get the programme cancelled?
WW
WW Update
Newsnight have just described the UK as a 'colonial oppressor'. That's quite a political statement. Is Esme Wren trying to get the programme cancelled?


Is the notion that the British Empire was a colonial oppressor really controversial? I would argue that it is a statement of historical fact. Unless of course they were referring to modern-day UK, in which case, you're right, the statement should not have been made.
Last edited by WW Update on 10 June 2020 12:53am

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