Thursday, January 24, 2008

Can I Have my Blog Headlines on Newsnight Please?

The readership of my blog is bigger than the Morning Star. Should this mean that Newsnight carry my headlines on its programme? No, of course not. But I'd love to know the editorial justification for including the front page of the Morning Star in their paper previews. It's not a conventional daily newspaper. It provides readership for a cult, whose views are no longer relevant, if they ever were.

So here's a message to Newsnight's editor Peter Barron: Peter, do drop the MS from the paper review. It makes your programme look outdated and adds fuel to those who believe the BBC to be institutionally leftist. Surely the Mirror, Guardian and Indy are enough to keep your left of centre viewers happy!

PS Dizzy's also on the case. Tim Worstall explains why they bother with the MS.
UPDATE Fri 4pm: Peter Barron has emailed a response: "We only very occasionally run headlines from the Morning Star - although I'd never say never. It has however popped up a couple of times recently - due to a new system for putting the front page images on air.
Always happy to put less mainstream headlines on the programme when appropriate - no reason why that shouldn't include blogs too."


Anonymous said...

Let's see if we can get Peter Barron to answer this one in his blog!

Anonymous said...

I'd have had some sympathy if it had had some particularly interesting take on the Peter Hain story, but it didn't. Recall it was something along the unimaginative lines of 'Peter Hain Resigns'!

Chris Paul said...

It's a once in a blue moon thing Iain. Perhaps they were let down by one of the bigger papers. Every now and then they do get a scoop - like the hilarious one from the pub in Brighton where they eavesdropped the security czars who had chucked out Walter. But not much going for today's example. As Kate says.

I think it must have been a lack of other papers ready to show?? Strange in this day and age.

Readership figures are not even remotely comparable btw. People pay for the Star.

Anonymous said...

The Morning Star uploads its front page into the BBC database, along with all the other nationals, every night. Not sure why; everyone in my bit of the BBC tends to ignore it. I suspect it's someone on Newsnight taking the piss, in their own very odd way.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The BBC ARE left wing thats why they show it.

jailhouselawyer said...

Is this sour grapes for Guido's poor performance?

Anonymous said...

guido was soooooooooo boring on newsnight. but i guess he wasn't excruciating like he was on his last appearance.

Anonymous said...

I disagree entirely.

It's a daily newspaper that does provide a full newspaper service, with: news; comment; sport, tv; horseracing; world coverage; uk coverage.

Whilst it is certainly much less read than other papers, it does represent a large constituency of interests.

If you ever actually read it, you do see a side to the UK that is very much not covered by other newspapers: industrial disputes, work accidents, court cases relating to employee rights, and so forth. It is surprisingly low key in much of its coverage.

Indeed, I actually like it for its fairly straightforward coverage of the news it does cover and it is a fairly tight operation all in all.

In some ways, it is very much like the FT - which is my daily paper - in that it covers those stories of interest to its segment of the newspaper market in a crisp, matter of fact, manner.

Unlike other papers, it is light on soft stuff like female sections and travel guides etc. It is very much a newspaper in the old style. I like that. I also like the fact that you can read it in less than 30 minutes.

No matter what your political views, reading it broadens your outlook and that is to be welcomed. Surely?

Newmania said...

Readership figures are not even remotely comparable btw. People pay for the Star.

Those who pay for the Star do so exclusively with other people`s money so its not that different .
This proportionality thing has other dimensions though.What about the coverage the tiny Liberal party get. Should it not be about the third of the Conservative Party at elections , if that. I and why not a bit of time for the BNP likely to garner a noticeable segment . What are the rules?

I think your blog is certainly far more influential than the Morning Star . Well I think mine is and its finished ... (that was the faintest praise since Brown defended Hain wasn`t it.)

Newmania said...

No matter what your political views, reading it broadens your outlook and that is to be welcomed. Surely?

There is the minor problem of it being full of shit . Its not another world its the same one refracted through the mind of another planet. Its a joke it should come in a cracker. I expect you are the sort of person who enjoys actually asking the Jehovas Witnesses in .
You have missed the point . There is more than adequate coverage of wierdo doctrinal collectivist cults In the Guardian , Mirror and New Statesman. The Morning Star with its Marxist outlook , is a historical oddity and by including it the BBC are implying that the spectrum of opinion starts there.

It does not. It is not on the spectrum . It is not resting , it is not `avin a nap , it is a dead is a dead philosophy.
(Same sort of thing went on with Moonbat academics for Years and that clown Eaglton is still doing it )

Anonymous said...

jailhouselawyer said...

Is this sour grapes for Guido's poor performance?

JPT says....

Guido is a blogger and not a performing seal.

He certainly exposed Hain for what he is and was instrumental in his departure.

On the other hand, the only departure that you have been responsible for is that of an innocent elderly lady.

Remember? Yes, that's right.

She departed as a result of you planting and axe in her skull.

Some performance.

National Benefit Fraud Hotline:

0800 854 440

Give 'em a call. You Know it makes sense.

Swordsman said...

Back in the 80s it used to have the best horseracing tipster around. I wonder if some Newsnight type feels a loyalty to it because of that.

Heck, it's as good as any other theory.

Anonymous said...

My local railway station's newspaper shop (Winchester) seems to carry it, but - like Newsnight - only once in a while.

I wonder whether it is really ordered officially with the other newspapers, or whether some true believer on the coffee shop staff will occasionally put a few copies on the stand when no one is looking.

I've certainly never seen anyone buying it. Although I expect a few people walk off with it without paying. All property is theft, right?

Roger Evans said...

I bought the Morning Star once, when they quoted me in an article ('Tories Hijack Protest March' - I recall). The girl at the till in Sainsburys looked shocked and told me that it was the first one she had ever sold.

The content was very odd - like something out of a museum of socialism,or a prop from Life on Mars.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I think the Morning Star should be on the headlines... as then it gets a step closer to getting my fav newspaper on Newsnight.. The Daily Sport...

Might give Paxo a reason to stop moaning about a lack of support in his undergarments...

Paul Burgin said...

I'm certainly not a fan of the Morning Star, but unfortunatley it is offically a daily newspaper :(, I suppose one could find ways of ditching it tho.
And admit it, it would be nice to see a daily look at some of the blog headlines ;)

Anonymous said...

Jailhouse lawyer, you're right! Guido was pisspoor on Newsnight and any newspaper headline must have seemed a better bet than an elongation of that discussion. Morning Star is a newpaper that at least takes politics seriously, unlike much of the tabloid junk that we see reviewed, so reviewing it (which Newsnight do only rarely) is perfectly acceptable.

Reviewing blogs would be ridiculous - they are one-man opinionation operations, and hardly rank as serious newsgathering efforts, whatever everyone is trying to claim for Guido's Hain campaign!

Curbishly said...

An old boss of mine, a stockbroker, used to regularly read the Morning Star because, in his opinion, they had the best horse-racing tipsters going.

Quite amusing to see him on the train coming into Waterloo, in his pin stripes, reading the MS.

Paul Walter said...

"Those who pay for the Star do so exclusively with other people`s money so its not that different!"

Well, I bought it with my own money last Saturday and it was an entertaining read - I even blogged about it. They had an excellent cartoon by Martin Ronson.

It's been going for donkeys' years as a daily national newspaper, so it deserves the occasion glimpse of publicity just for sheer tenacity. Full marks to them. But comparing a blog with a long established newspaper....? As they say, comparisons can be odious.

If your new magazine sells as many copies as the Morning Star on a regular basis for as long as they have been going, then yes, it will deserve to be reviewed on Newsnight, Iain.

Man in a Shed said...

But the BBC is institutionally leftist.

The only way to change that is to change the way its funded.

Using the token righty human shield approach by getting people like yourself in or employing Jeremy Clarkson is fooling no one.

Anonymous said...

Come on Iain, play fair - they're only trying to find something a bit more moderate to balance the Independent! :¬)

Anonymous said...

I once had a letter I sent to a number of papers published only by the Morning Star. I am very glad it is there & if it doesn't get the distribution of other papers this may be our loss.

The letter was about the undisputed role of the commander of the Moslems in Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, in the genocide of 3,800 Serbs in surrounding villages. These victims have become unpersons in the reporting of the Bosnian war. I do not think the Srebrenica story can honestly be told without mentioning Oric's prior genocide. Having had letters published in a number of papers I can confirm that, of all the subjects I have written about, the Nazi antecedents & actions of our allies in the Yugoslav wars is the subject about which letters are least likely to be published. I am far from agreeing with the economic policies of the Morning Star but it is needed.

Manfarang said...

I used to deliver one on my paper round,of course it was called the
Daily Worker in those days.

Me vs Maradona vs Elvis said...

I've being saying this about the Morning Star coverage on the BBC for years. You're quite right Iain - why should any attention be paid to this crackpot publication which can, in the 21st century, only be read by a handful of socialist fruitcakes.

Anonymous said...

All newspaper headlines should be shown, the more the better. I'd like to know which po-face denied us a laugh at the end of the day by deciding to stop showing the Sun headline.

Anonymous said...

Under this logic can we also drop the BBCs 'Royal Correspondent'. talk of looking ut of ate.

Institutionally leftist my *rse.


Anonymous said...


It's really NOT that bad at all.

Its a competent and tight production.

And no: i would NEVER ask a jehovas witness in!

Gosh, its not even THAT political!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the BBC are institutionally leftist so much as institutionally big statist. They are essentially an extension of the civil service & share their empire building procivities.

Anonymous said...

The Outrage! BBC covers story in one of the only two left wing daily newspapers left!!!!! Shocking, what bias!

The Morning Star is no more left wing than the Mail, Express and Sun are right-wing. This means it supports strike action and criticizes private companies instead of making up stories about migrants.

It's doesn't do soaps, celebs or human interests stories which would make it a far more adult newspaper than most.

As compared to your blog not only do it's reader pay for it on the cover price price but they raise money to keep own cooperatively.

It now follows a more general left wing approach and has many quality contributers and unusual stories. The image of it as a communist party mouthpiece is out of date.

It seems to me that the BBC is adding balance rather than favoring the left.