Should the report of a Prime Minister’s speech be 42% journalist talking?

That’s how Nick Robinson’s piece for BBC TV on Gordon Brown’s speech to Labour Party conference broke down. The 4 minute 50 second piece was 42% Nick Robinson speaking, and only 58% Sarah or Gordon Brown speaking.

Add to that the preceeding and suceeding segments – more BBC journalists and presenters talking about the speech – and what you are left with is reporting largely made up of journalists talking about what someone else has said.

Some context and analysis is certainly useful and interesting – but should Nick Robinson have really taken up 42% of the core piece of coverage rather than actually giving us more of the event that he was reporting on, especially when he was both preceeded and suceeded by other BBC staff talking to camera about the speech too?

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6 Comments

  • Was he pro-Brown (a la Marr) in his report?

  • neil bradbury 24th Sep '08 - 11:59am

    I would have to say that I disagree with the comments posted. Maybe in the past journalists were too reverential to politicians but now I think the media assumes all politics needs to be spoon fed to us.

    Rather than listening to what people have to say, we hear more and more about plots and backstabbing. I wish I was allowed to analise the speeches myself by listening to more of them. I know that at times the analysis is written before the speech is even published and at LD conference I am sick of journalists “analysing” speeches with very bizarre stories.

    A few years ago, I remember Sky News doing a piece to camera after a rally that was portraying us as giving the leader a muted reception when nothing could have been further from the truth.

  • Of course 42% Nick Robinson was appropriate !!!

    Haven’t you realised that the presenters/ analysts ARE the story?

    And that the role of News is not to tell us things that have happened, but to speculate what MIGHT happen; and then when something DOES happen, to speculate on what MIGHT happen NEXT !

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