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So let's get this straight! Newsnight is now being criticized for taking seriously member (s) of the public who accused important people and celebrities of a child abuse ring and yet the same show previously berated for NOT reporting a story were a person (s) were allegedly being abused by important people and celebrities? That ambiguity really irritates me when people attack the BBC and its integrity, especially those who rant purely because of the license fee. It cost you 50p a day guys?? Basic Sky is far more and if you want subjective news then that's the place to go. Journalists join and stay with the BBC because of its honest mandate and not so much for the money, commercial station paying much more, Sky and ITV building news around selling stuff in the ad breaks.
The problem for the BBC is nota new one. Their job is to provide the news and programming the commercial stations lose money on and it tend s to be dull. But they also have to justify their massive budget and so that contradicts their mandate. BBC news are fatally trying to do both and compete with the sensationalism of the internet, the news we secretly want and why it's popular, but the people berating the BBC doing just that to make themselves feel more morally superior. They click on the internet news site to. We hold the BBC in high esteem and they will perish if they don't keep our trust.
Since the Hutton Report the BBC have lost their confidence and fear if they do try to take on the establishment and report the often terrible truth they will be further downsized by the incumbent government. Any weakness like that means the lawyers take over and the great and the powerful are further protected and non accountable and the BBC lose their edge. Andrew Gilligan reported the truth about New Labor 'sexing up' the case for war, proved by the fact there were no WMD, yet he and the BBC, not Blair and his government, had to fall on their sword over the disgrace Iraq was for this country. Once you don't report what you know as truth and scared of censure its game over for news gatherers and this Newsnight thing could be the end of the BBC and the license fee as we know it. In fact the internet makes the BBC redundant now. I think Newsnight have mentioned the words 'oil' and 'Iraq' together once in a news report in ten years since the war. But they do seem to have lot more time for more frivolous stuff. When did we get to the point where the countries most prestigious broadcaster should be putting idiot content out like the One Show??? The BBC has been dumbed down by that fear to not question their viewers any more and so end up treating them like idiots.
The Newsnight debacle, of course, will be a stick for the Tories to beat the BBC with and coupled with the Levisson Enquiry and I fear the news media will have their wings clipped next year so they can no longer fly. There's nothing the politicians and big business want more than to gag the media from reporting their lies and greed, the nature of being a politician. I have done some bits for BBC local radio on cricket and sport and the guys and girls who work the regional stations maybe a bit 'local' but they want to work for the BBC because they want to be taking seriously as journalists. That is the point. You go there to be objective, not subjective.
I do some cricket and sports writing as one of my jobs and you have to learn to judge people there and then in front of you to work out if they are telling the truth. Often they are not and do what they need to protect their jobs and the sporting brand they are working for. Proper journalists have to make that call everyday and if they get it wrong their paper can be sued for libel. The big disadvantage is the person you are interviewing is allowed to lie and in some extreme cases lie to get the chance to sue you and hope you back down or they get paid compensation. The lesson you learn most is the public don't want journalist to have and opinion if it's not their opinion.
If you look at the Newsnight Savile story the BBC clearly knew he was on the way out in 2010 and so the BBC department who does obituary and tribute programming was getting their programs together whilst the news department itching to finally tackle the endless rumors about Savile. Problem is he died in the autumn and the BBC had already spent a lot of money on four tribute programs and was never going to can them and Christmas the time to show them. It's traditional not to attack people in obituary programs. Newsnight, sensing a big story, crashed on and prepared for launch. The Newsnight people must have known that they would lose out to the prepared and expensive Savile tributes but still pushed on. As it happens (excuse the pun) the tributes won and went ahead, painting Savile as a saint not a sinner, all this after Newsnight (and pretty much everyone in the business) were well aware he was anything of the sort and let down the brave victims who had come forward to report his abuse, who had to sit through the BBC Savile tributes. But here's the problem - how truthful were those accusers? Sadly, more timewaster, fantasists and chancers come forward than whistleblowers in life. They sniff compensation and minor publicity and before you know it you have 100s of people claiming abuse, as with the Savile case. When this all pans out I bet most accusers were time wasters. I'm not questioning the integrity of the people who originally came forward to accuse Savile of abuse but just pointing out that the Newsnight journo's have to make a call on how truthful they are. In this case they believed the accusers.
The prime witness in the North Wales children homes story is Steve Meesham, who I knew was questionable the moment I started watching his interview on Newsnight. I suspect the journalists knew but couldn't risk not reporting the story after they didn't, Savile. He was shifty and his eyes were darting everywhere so to not hold eye contact with the interviewer, a classic sign of guilt. But in this case it went ahead and a Tory politicians name was mentioned in an around about way. The ex politician threatened to sue and Meesham backed down. But what amazes me here is a simple background check on this guy (that you guy cans do now on Google) would quickly reveal he could not be trusted as a witness. He is the classic chancer I am talking about.
In 1994 he was sued for making libelous claims over a chief police officer just after the North Wales children home enquiry. Later he was accused of benefit fraud by not claiming his £45,000 compensation payout from that enquiry on his welfare claim. He then attacked his lawyer with a volley of punches in court after hurdling the witness box. He sued Private Eye when they sussed out he may be lying and settled for £4500 out of court, only because Private Eye would have to pay more in legal fees proving it. And finally he was charged with stealing money from a charity he set up called NOWAS for survivors of the North Wales children's home abuse although found not guilty ona technicality. Ok, maybe his time in care made him the bad egg he is now but troubled people like this on benefits have nothing to lose by making allegations in pursuit of tabloid and litigious payouts and so the reporters have to be right when they put them on TV, in this case costing a lot of good people's jobs at the BBC, including the Director General.
My number one news program will always be Channel Four News because its mandate is alternative and so appeals to its centre left wing audience. It runs great stories the other channels dare not touch and John Snow a brilliant anchorman. They do mention oil and Iraq. They do tell you the real reason Abul Qatada won't be allowed to face trial here. That twinkle in Snow's eye has lessened of late though as he is slowly being edged out by the younger and prettier ones, Cathy Newman clothes getting tighter every week as she eyes the top job. It's the same fete for Paxman on Newsnight as the stunning Emily Mattis drapes her pins over the side of the desk to bring in more male viewers. At the moment Newsnight pulls in around one million viewers as they objectively analyze the stories of the day with subjective guests and experts and, ironically, the recent Newsnight stories their best viewing figures for a while.
The show begins religiously at 10:30pm weeknight so it can respond to the day's news and fill in the gaps. The various presenters have their own styles and the irritable Paxman the most entertaining. Poor old Eddie Mayer from Radio 4 was dragged in recently as the presenters didn't fancy it on the night of the long knives but Emily is back and so the all important male viewers. I do like Paxman but sometimes he mauls decent guests and so they never get the chance to answer his questions. Of late some of those guests have been lightweight as Tory politicians increasingly refuse to be accountable by not appearing on the show. Newsnight is not immune from the television fundamental that attractive people should appear were possible, be it guests with little knowledge on the subject or the overly sexy presenters. Mattis is very good presenter though and puts Gavin Estler to shame when he hosts.
I enjoy current affairs and love watching whatever I can on television. In my view, there aren't enough of these type of programmes on mainstream tv, but I'm sure others would disagree. Certainly my wife does.
Newsnight is a current affairs programme that is aired on BBC2 at 10.30pm during the week. I usually watch this straight after the news and it is usually the cue for Mrs Stebiz to go to bed (I'm sure we'd have had more than 3 kids if it wasn't for Newsnight).
The presenters are Jeremy Paxman, Kirsty Wark, Gavin Elser and Emily Maitlis. The programme has been on air since 1980, with Jeremy Paxman having presented the show since 1989. The show usually starts off with the days headlines, and then leads with the main story of the day.
This usually means having a few guests talking about the topic of the day. If the guests can't make it live into the studio, they are normally streamed live into the studio, to continue with the debate. This is so much different than a News programme. Where the BBC News may bring the news, Newsnight dissects and debates the news, with those at the top.
Much of the debates centre on Politicians and there are very few MP's who have not been grilled by the presenters. By far the best in my opinion is Jeremy. He is so to the point at times. He won't be fobbed off easily. At times however he does appear to cross the line. Kirsty Wark can be just as bad at times. In fact both her and Jeremey have had to make apologies for their rude and dismissive behaviour, at times. Personally I think this makes the programme more exciting.
In the past when there was not a 24 hour news channel on the BBC, Newsnight would bring any breaking news when the BBC news went off air. Although it still does bring breaking news, this is also now available on News 24.
I remember watching Newsnight back in 2000, when they first broke the news about protesters gathering at Stanlow, Cheshire. This had missed all the main news bulletins and proved a major story in the days to follow.
Until recently Newsnight used to have a 35-minute consumer survey of the week's artistic and cultural highlights on a Friday night called Newsnight Review. This has now been dropped, and is part of another programme. It was never a favourite of mine, and I often switched off.
I would highly recommend Newsnight if you enjoy current affairs. The presenters take no messing about. They tell it as it is, and will often 'batter' the answers out of the guests. I just wish it was on longer:-(
Newsnight is BBC 2's late night news review. The program was launched in 1980 and has established itself as one of the nation's leading current affairs shows. Newsnight airs nationally on weekday nights and runs between 10.30pm and 11.20pm. Original presenter, Jeremy Paxman has become the face of Newsnight, though other presenters have also enjoyed long stints with the show, most notably Kirsty Walk. The program delivers in-depth reviews and analysis of major issues, as well as offering a platform for intense interviews, in which politicans and spokespeople can expect 'gloves off' treatment.
In my opinion Newsnight goes someway to single-handedly justifying the BBC license fee. The quality and depth of the news and analysis offered is rivalled only by Channel 4 News and a few radio broadcasts. In an age when news is being increasingly 'dumbed down' and reduced to sound bites and terror stories, Newsnight stands up for intelligent discussion and accountability. It significantly resists the forces of spin and pointless editorial attempts to make serious news 'entertaining'.
One of the greatest pleasures of Newsnight is watching the unwitting 'stumble into the Paxman thunderdome' in the words of Charlie Brooker. The now famous broadcast of Paxman refusing to let Michael Howard wriggle out of a hard question has been used time and time again to illustrate just how slippery politicians can be. Newsnight is a very decent program, which does not patronize its audience and does not accept sanitized and convenient versions of the truth. Democracy is safe provided we have the likes of Newsnight.
Anything that stimulates political debate is surely healthy for the country, isn't it?
Newsnight does what it says on the tin really. It looks at the days news, analyses and tries in true BBC style to remain impartial. The problem is that the BBC is less and less impartial these days and with opinions and bias comes a lack of quality reporting.
Even though the majority of bias is favourable with the viewers, it results in Newsnight lowering itself to poorer quality programmes and at times I cringe as I watch features that are more Tonight with Trevor MacDonald than Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman.
Another bone of contention is the lack of Paxman at times. Despite the Beeb's continual pushing of Kirsty Wark, she is not Paxman. There is only one Paxman. If the Beeb won't be impartial then they need Paxman to at least make the witch hunting of guests good fun. Wark doesn't have a bite even as fearful as Paxman's bark.
More current affairs issues and less pandering to the entertainment issues please.
TV Show - NEWSNIGHT
BBC 2 - 10.35 PM
Criteria - Current News Item Discussions
Titled - Fightnight
"Tune-in to current affair discussions, where battle-axes draw their verbal swords which stiffens the nights tension, thwart with illogical gaffs and caved-in careers"
You can bet that the producer of Newsnight is the zodiac sign 'Libra'. The show is all about balance. The show has an unique knack of introducing guests with completely different view points. Aired through-out the week Newsnight, tears apart news items with those who make the news and the policy makers. The format decapitates policies and makes a mockery of whom it involves. Careers in the public eye are ruined by whipping the words of logic into the fold. Point-blank questioning has guests reeling as if been hit in the lower regions. Presenter, Jeremy Paxman (1989 to present) is more than a handful when hosting the program which for the twisted is entertainment with a capital 'E'. Don't bother viewing if Paxman is not at the helm. Other hosts are inferior of the policy makers and always fall short at the main discussion points. Kirsty Wark (1993 to present) wants to throw her voice at guests as if that is all she can do, appearing to aspire to the might without the clout, or the knockout punch.
Gavin Esler (2003 to present) is not riddled with hardship or understands poverty. His agenda has somewhat lost me. I'm still not sure why his presence is upon us while hosting the show sporadically. He is not friend with the ever-ready workaholic Journalist Michael Crick. The body language does not lie. Robert Peston is slower than usual when confronted with Esler, obviously not in the same caliber as his own mega financial reporting self. Elser is not any of these; maybe he is too nice. - I just don't buy into his points. It is time to let the heavy weight host Paxman to bruise the over inflated egos of those in Westminster.
Paxman is the white version of an eloquent Mike Tyson; dream-on - Paxman's mono-toned voice pours scorn and contempt over his guests. One of his notorious quips actually was aimed at a Weatherman. - I know this is a personalized view but in a short interlude of exchanges; his pointed remarks made a Weatherman swim haplessly in his own rhetoric mannerisms. It wasn't Daniel Corbett as his exchanges would have been truly entertaining and would of made it to the final of Britain's Got Talent, as a double act; maybe another rendition of 'Singing in the Rain'. - No that'll damage the rogue spirit that so evidently lies in Paxman's psyche.
Forget the late night hot chocolate and the marshmallows with the melted edges that sticks so inconveniently to the upper lip, you don't need any sugar rushes when Paxman belts out fire-balls at the sorry authoritarians. The material at recent has been dreamy for Paxman; sleaze has enrolled a different past-time for these Westminster leaches, with the odd old-school Parliamentary constitution terms and the 'expenses' and the 'banking crisis' and then the 'credit crunch' and then the 'election that never was'. Now the poor boiler-room workaholic who is alone playing with his train- set without anyone to pull his 'The General hooter'. Paxman takes no prisoners and would ultimately destroy the tiny piece of track the premier has left; if given a chance in the ring. The fat lady is just about to sing, and it is not Susan Boyle, she spending License payers money in 'The Priory'.
Newsnight's viewing is friendly though, except for the policy makers. A collective number of highly enthused jumped up guests do make fascinating viewing. It gets personal but in the end there is always a conscientious respect to all views regardless of what odd tangibility they may contain. Journalists are as cliché as most. Quentin Letts has an intelligence that is quirky and even rallies a smile from predator Paxman, the same goes to Michael Crick whose body language suggests many types of Malt have been shared, after helping in dismantling MP's careers. - Something that Paxman does and not any other hosts do is wringing the necks for answers. His approach is as cutting as a butcher on a deadline; the approach then moves in for the kill when guests evade directed questions, he repeats the question, and he doesn't let go. Rocky Balboa would have been pleased, seeing Paxman in full flow is the equivalent of viewing a slow motioned Mike Tyson fight in his heyday. When the torment ends a wry look to the camera brings the viewer into his inner thoughts, eyes wide with utter confusion. I bet a high percentage of the audience is doing it straight back at him, or a sarcastic smile would make an appearance.
Newsnight, deals with a lot of issues that also can be tender and thought provoking. The piece on the US writer John Updike earlier this year was notably relaxing after grilling the 'Banking Chief Executive'. John Updike, died earlier this year and though not known by Paxman personally a fellow American writer gave a fantastic account of the kind of man Updike was. - A man who doesn't suffer fools, and with a quip or two of his own to engage his audience in the literature term. This showed to me the diverse material that Newsnight engages in. Items of news are focused by an interlude of film that is well presented and again embraces an incredibly balanced view-point. the interludes are no more than 3 - 5 minutes long and does not take away the programs content, which is packed full of material on a daily basis. You feel they could go on for another hour or so the detail is extensive and many discussions are saved by the referee's bell, to start another news item.
In the beginning Newsnight was regarded as a sound-bite for news and lacked any punch compared to today's offerings. On 30th January 1980 after a long awaited birth Newsnight was first broadcasted across UK. It took 4 months of rigmarole for it to be aired. The foundations were laid and the first host, Peter Snow entertained our screens. Long are the days of cardboard graphs emphasizing news items, but in 1980, it was imperative. The theme tune hasn't changed except for a little tweaking, and it alone is a striking piece of composing.
Today, Newsnight has become even more relevant than it was in the early eighties. The round-up of news items has its own favour. Thanks to the professionalism of Jeremy Paxman, I enjoy my dose of 'Fightnight'. A Harry Carpenter styled voice-over is needed when the bouts begin.
Thank you for reading 'Fightnight'
Copyright - 06 - 2009 - 1st2thebar
Newsnight is broadcast every weekday evening and takes a current news item or issue and seeks to offer a balanced view of it. Such is the authority of Newsnight that it often garners some of the leading figures involved in these issues to have them give or support their views and often to achieve that balance will interview an opposing figure to challenge that view.
The result is often a definitive position being identified by the programme which is at the heart of the conflict in the issue. In recent weeks dominating foreign news items such as the Middle East peace process and the latest Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the US presidential elections through to domestic issues like rail safety or the BSE/vCJD issue. News programmes do not often get the time to provide the breadth or depth within their bulletins. Newsnight does and uses the time well to provide a foundation to describe the issue, introduce the basic opinions or basis for conflict and then pursue each side to justify their position or view.
Newsnight has a core of three presenters, Jeremy Paxman, Jeremy Vine and Kirsty Wark. The work of Jeremy Paxman has a definite authority. He always appears well briefed and as well as asking the pertinent difficult questions always listens well to the answers and develops a path in his interviews which can find flaws in the victims arguments. Paxman penetrates the prepared defences of guests and can achieve statements from the guests which were not intended.
In comparison Jeremy Vine is very poor, his manner is always unnecessarily aggressive and appears to have a pre-determined script which he follows regardless of how the discussions develop. As a consequence it is easier for the guests to repel the questions. Kirsty Wark is similarly not in Paxmans league seemingly never getting into the discussion in any depth. On occasions Wark though summarise the position well though this can break the flow of discussion allowing the guests a breather.
Overall my view is that Newsnight is compulsive viewing for anyone interested in current affairs particularly when presented by Jeremy Paxman. Presenters of his calibre are rare and the Newsnight producers could do with others to support him. The programme suffers considerably when Jeremy Vine and to a lesser extent Kirsty Wark present it.
Newsnight is broadcast between the hours of 10.30 pm - 11.20 pm on BBC2 everyday from Monday to Friday. The major presenters are Jeremy Paxman and the still attractive Kirsty Wark with others.
The programme starts with a general introduction outlining the content of the evenings programmes reports they cover national and international news. In the studio the presenter sits behind a round desk in front of a screen to support presentations. Translucent colours appear around the studio.
Tonights main report concerns itself war and war zones, the Defence Secretary Des Brown MP is highlighted. Other items include Somalia, Israel, Iraq. Other items are presented later in the broadcast and include football & the English.
*** MY OPINION ***
The programme is rather like C4 news at 7.00 pm, its about an hour long and covers topical news items of a more political nature. The additional choice makes paying the TV licence all the more worthwhile. I think some of the filmed reports are a little too on the long side however most of the items are of interest. Its definitely worth considering missing an occasional night out at the pub and checking this out. Is Paxman better on University Challenge.
With all the things happening in the world, I have found myself watching a news programme- Newsnight for me has been a great programme to catch up with the days events. In my opinion it’s one of the best news programmes on TV. What makes it so good? Well, there’s the brilliant, no nonsense presenter Jeremy Paxman. We’ve all heard of him from the University Challenge, well he carry’s his rather abrupt style onto Newsnight-which makes no nonsense news and discussions. Other presenters include Jeremy Vine and Kirsty Wark who make a good team with Paxman. Newsnight has been an excellent source information about the ‘War on Terror’. It has some fantastic reporters and every night it has some top names on it programme from the world of politics. Great lively discussions, wit Jeremy Paxman firing all the questions you want to be answered. Many a times the discussions have erupted into arguments. One thing is for sure is that politicians won’t be given an easy ride what ever side they are on. Some of the reporting has been from front lines, where the danger is so you really have to applaud the journalists. However, at times I do feel the news is reported from a very conservative approach, although Jeremy Paxman may not be very status quo some of the guests can be. And unless you are actually aware of that many viewers may fall into the trap of thinking that, that viewpoint is the right or only one But, if you want a round up of the days news at home or abroad then Newsnight cannot be beaten. An hour of worthwhile viewing. It comes on every weekdays night at 10.30 p.m. on BBC 2. If like me you are to busy to watch the news during the day, Newsnight is an excellent news programme to catch up on the days occurrences. But, it’s news wit a different and that what makes it stand out.
On just after the Ten o' Clock News, Newsnight- a programme that examines news and political stories in detail. Good for political buffs like moi, it has good interviews and reports. Very much like Channel 4 News except for two words that make Newsnight second to none.... Jeremy Paxman. Jeremy Vine and Kirsty Wark are good interviewers too (more on Vine a little later), but Jeremy just has that cheeky, pushy edge to him. Unlike other sycophantic interviewers, this guy will not rest until he gets an answer! Some of the most memorable quotes: "With the greatest of respect Prime Minister, you're wrong." "What's it like fighting this election when you know you're going to lose?" (to William Hague) "Did you threaten to overrule them?" (asked this question to a government minister 10 times) Another reason I like this programme is for its election coverage. While BBC, Sky and ITN news went on images and soundbites, this programme took a welcome look into some REAL politics, taking a van round the country asking the people that mattered: the voters. Asking politicians questions what mattered, while at the same time, with a certain tongue-in-cheek-ness, asking questions like the above to add a bit of humour. Real in-depth analysis, not just Andrew Marr (Labourite) talking about how bad the opinion polls were looking for the Tories. Now while Pax was doing the interviewing in the studios, Vine was the one going across the UK. I cannot imagine Paxman doing this, but Vine fitted the bill perfectly, once again mixing humour with politics. My conclusion: Paxman = interviewee, Vine = van man. Newsnight has little or no bias towards Labour either, probably since there is no Andrew Marr (give the guy a break?), and this programme, although made by the BBC, is independent from the corporate BBC News that is on BBC 1, 2 and BBC News 24. Different reports, jour
nalists etc. One major annoyance about Newsnight, though, is the Newsnight Scotland opt-out. There are some good interviews/discussions about culture in the second half of Newsnight, indeed there was one about nationhood recently, and at the end the presenter said "pity Scotland weren't here to see that." The reason for Newsnight Scotland was to please a minority (SNP-ite) who actually cared about Scotland getting its own Six o' Clock News. Something I wouldn't mind, but not if it means interrupting another programme. Admittedly, though, Newsnight Scotland can be quite a good programme, looking at UK/World news from a Scottish perspective (ie not just another Reporting Scotland) eg what does the General Election really mean to Scotland now we have Holyrood? Have it on before/after Newsnight itself and not in the middle and we'll have a near perfect news and current affairs programme
The BBC's site describes it as "In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines", and says it's "sceptical and challenging"...."the audience's advocate"....and that it "asks the awkward questions". In common with an increasing number of other news programs these days, Newsnight falls into the dodgy ground somewhere between news reporting and entertainment. It doesn't just report the news, it actually takes a stance. Subjects chosen are usually right on the button - sometimes surprising in that I am sometimes completely unaware of the issues covered - and always ultra-topical. You can split the focus of the programme into two areas - the filmed/taped reports from BBC correspendents (usually intelligent, unbiased, informative and of a very high quality) and the in-studio interviews conducted by a high-profile reporter who actually ARGUES against a chosen person. Jeremy Paxman is a prime example of that reporting genre. Sharp and witty, authoritative and even daunting for his interviewees, but using the fashionable technique of embarassment, interruption and opposition - trying to belittle his victim in an attempt to "find the truth". How much of this is down to the interviewer and how much to the program's editorial team is unclear, but all Newsnight's studio "personalities" seem to have this style. Now I'm not saying there's no room for this kind of journalism. We would all, at some time, like to be in that position with those authority figures we dislike and distrust - especially armed with the undoubted skills of Mr.Paxman. BUT.... this style should be recognized for what it is - no substitute for news REPORTING. No spin, no bias, factual statements without pre-judgement. Mind you, there's the other side of the coin - the David Frost style of interview, in which the subject is the t
arget of a stream of inane shallow questions lacking depth. Surely there's a compromise - or is a direct, unbiased interview style not "good television"? The BBC have a section of their website devoted to this program in which transcripts and Real Video versions of their most recent reports can be downloaded (brilliant idea, Beeb!). I think it'd be good to get some of those studio interviews on there too. Keep this all in mind the next time you watch Newsnight (or Brakfast With Frost, or Channel 4 News, for that matter). Maybe you will disagree with me, but even if you do, critical analysis of what we watch on the box - especially if we're watching somebody who's supposed to be our advocate - can't be a bad thing.
I would highly recommend watching Newsnight to any AS or A level General Studies student, I found it very useful during the recent May examinations. It is an up-to-date and detailed account of the day's event with sufficient facts and opinions, allowing the viewer to make up their own mind on topical issues. I plan to continue my new nightly habit in order to increase my general knowledge for following exams and, most importantly, to widen my appreciation of current affairs. Although some may argue that it is hardly imaginative, innovative broadcating and the presenters can be a little overwhelming I feel the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
For those who haven’t had the time to watch the news during the day, Newsnight is the perfect current affairs round up. It provides a detailed analysis of the days news, but also produces special reports into contentious issues. But most entertaining (if you like that sort of thing) is when Jeremy Paxman gets hold of a politician. No one who saw him chew Michael Howard into pieces will ever forget it. Although there is more to the show than embarrassing idiots, it makes for entertaining viewing. The only problem with newsnight is, like most intelligent television, it is on stupidly late, but it is still worth watching.
For a look at the issues /behind/ the big news stories of the day, Newsnight makes for compulsive viewing. I've been an addict of the programme for at least three or four years now, and so many of the interviews and reports have helped a great deal with coursework over that time. One of the best things Newsnight has to offer is its excellent array of presenters, most notably Jeremy Paxman and his ever-animated eyebrow. The sheer arrogance he displays during an average interview with a politician is incredibly entertaining to watch as he refuses to take anything but the answer he wants. However, whether this can still be described as 'ground-breaking journalism' becomes increasingly debateable as we get the impression that ol' Jezza just wants to show the audience exactly how intelligent he is. Either way, he remains uniquely amusing. The alternative presenters, though, Kirsty Wark, Jeremy II (Vine), Gordon Brewer, Sarah Montague and Martha Karney are all excellent also and may just be the reminder that Paxo needs to keep that ego of his under control. The show's other journalists, amongst others Evan Davies and Mark Mardell, provide some of the best reports to be churned out regularly for TV, ensuring that viewers are thoroughly informed on all the issues that matter in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner. Newsnight has become such an institution at home on BBC2, it's hard to imagine life without it. Watch it, if nothing else for its election coverage - a five-yearly event which sees the dusting-down of Peter Snow as he swings for Britain with the aid of a few nifty graphics.
Newsnight is an excellent informative programme. Ok new programmes don’t really appeal to me, and I rarely sit down and watch a news bulletin, however I am quite happy to watch Newsnight, especially if there isn’t anything else decent on. It’s aired after at around 10:30 PM every weekday on BBC2 and tries to ‘add some meat’ to the bones of news supplied throughout the day. It takes most major stories from the day and tries to explain them, it tries to put in some background, it tries to look to the future, it looks at the meaning of a piece of news and overall is very in depth. It’s isn’t just politics and it isn’t just finance the show covers a broad range of news items, each item being showed with as little bias as possible supplying the viewer with as many facts as possible. To cap it all off Jeremy Paxman roasts the guests, usually politicians, which is a joy to watch. The only MP I have ever seen get out of one of his interviews intact was Anne Widdicomb. He is truly excellent at getting answers that the public wants, and he is backed up by his fellow presenters who do an equally good job. This is by far the best news type programme on terrestrial TV and is reliable, informative and a good laugh if Jeremy gets going.