This weekend we in Britain, yet again, hear stories of mistakes on the BBC’s flagship current affairs series Newsnight and wonder if the new Director General, George Entwistle can really survive his bumbling management style where, as so-called Editor-In-Chief even stories about senior politicians being accused (wrongly as it appears) of paedophilia aren’t referred to his desk and he, apparently, doesn’t even read the newspapers.
This worrying decline at the top of the BBC set my mind working this week after I spent a lot of time watching American TV’s coverage of the Presidential Election. I know all nations have their bad television programmes but, with some careful selection, I was excited by the energy, confidence, erudition and lack of pomposity of some of the best American political programmes. It was a relief too not to be patronised or spoken down to.
I’m thinking, in particular, of Christiane Amanpour’s intelligent, passionate and brave interviews on her nightly CNN show and by another classy television journalist, the very direct and very bright, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Here in Britain, we have always crowed about having the greatest television in the World – well maybe that is no longer true and even if it is, we have a lot to learn from our American cousins.
I was very happy, of course, to see President Obama re-elected this week and I was excited by the level of journalism too.
Rachel Maddow took a moment after the election results, great this, to say it as she saw it. I love this and I love those two impressive women. I hope George Entwistle’s successor will take note.