Friday, February 24, 2006

Which 24 Hour News Channel Do You Prefer?


Fresh from its success as RTS News Channel of the year, BBC News 24 is becoming increasingly aggressive in its battle with Sky News for the attention of us news junkies. This week's Press Gazette has a front page article on the fight for supremacy. Sky had its own way for many years, but since Peter Horrocks took over as BBC Head of News News 24 has had a very successful relaunch, increased resources and fresh new presenters. Sky also had a very expensive relaunch in October with new studios, new presenters and new programmes. The BBC thinks this has been a disaster. I wouldn't go that far, with the one exception of James Rubin's international show, which goes out weekdays at 8. He is incapable of reading an autocue and is wooden beyond belief. But the half hour newspaper review at 11.30pm is required viewing now, and has prodded News 24 to introduce two paper reviews, one to beat Sky at 10.45 and a second, longer one at 12.15am. Emily Maitliss and Ben Brown will be presenting a new weekday show at 7pm on News 24 and they are trying to persuade Huw Edwards to present a 5-6pm how every day too. One thing which hasn't worked for Sky is the innovation of three presenters on screen at any one time. It destroys the chemistry that build up between certain duos and with them wandering around the studio like lost ducks looking for mother the viewer is left slightly confused as to what is going on. However, there is a degree of informality, which News 24 has yet to emulate - and some would say a jolly good thing too. And Sky have the consistently excellent Jeremy Thompson (news presenter of the year), Kay Burley, Steve Dixon and Martin Stanford. I never see either of their breakfast coverage so I'm not sure how Eamon Holmes is doing. Sky's political coverage is also very good - does Adam Boulton ever get any sleep? But it's not just him - they also have Jon Craig and the ever entertaining Peter Spencer. News 24 has beefed up its political coverage with James Landale taking the lead role. So, which of the two do you normally switch on? Take part in the poll...

Free polls from Pollhost.com
Which 24 hour news channel do you prefer?
BBC News 24 Sky News

5 comments:

Tim Montgomerie said...

I don't like the new Sky studios. I certainly agree that Rubin is awful.

I voted for the BBC, Iain, because of its quality. The resources it has to call upon - courtesy of the poll tax via which it is paid - will always give it an advantage.

Sky has to compete by offering something much more different. I only wish the UK had something like Fox News where conservative perspectives were given a much fuller hearing. I don't believe that any broadcaster is capable of real impartiality. I'd rather have programmes like Fox's Hannity & Colmes where presenters clearly have biases but the biases are transparent. On H&C one is a conservative, one a liberal... one a hawk, one a dove etc.

With the Littlejohn programme (now axed) I had hoped Sky were heading in that direction but I think the UK regulatory environment makes such opinionated broadcasting difficult. The internet will come to our rescue...

Anonymous said...

I have voted for the beeb as I don't think that Sky is as impartial as it used to be.

Anonymous said...

Sky's makeover is not good, and rest assured Iain you are missing nothing in having so far avoiding Holmes. He spends practically the whole show talking over people and interrupting.

AnnaK said...

Sky has gone down since the makeover. Holmes and popplewell are terrible

David Taylor said...

I voted for Sky, but only just. I used to have Sky News on all the time but now I flick between the two.

Holmes is a disgrace, he thinks he's still on GMTV. Sky used to be the only channel that offered proper news at breakfast, as opposed to a chat on a sofa, and constant requests to "text in your views".

Now I just have Five Live in the morning.