Tuesday, July 18, 2017


It must have been an entertaining Newsnight editorial meeting yesterday, presumably chaired by editor Ian Katz. "What's the diary looking like ? Brexit talks, HS2, re-jigging of education spending, right-to-die stuff - looks like plenty of room for a 15 minute special on whither politics from - er - Ian Katz."

Ian pondered the question "Has politics changed in a way that many of us have failed to grasp ?" To sharpen the point, Ian's 18 year-old daughter came on camera to say she would never trust her dad's political predictions ever again. So Ian consulted with fellow Olympians Robert Peston, Rod Liddle and Tony Blair to discuss why they were all so out of touch. 67 seconds were devoted to a young student from Nottingham running the Evolve Politics website, who claimed 17 million hits in the close run-up to the election. He was presumably insufficiently Olympian for a follow-up question or two. (Among Newsnight's most watched YouTube videos is an old clip of Don MacLean singing American Pie, which has racked up 615k views).

It's an editor's job to make sure that expensive, time-consuming think pieces do more than pose questions - they should answer them. If Evolve, The Canary, Momentum, Facebook groups, Twitter circles, Snapchat and Instagram are doing it for Corbyn, we should be told how, by whom, and with what sort of funding. Come ON, BBC.

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