Talk about Newsnight


Blogging - a new era

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Apr 08, 05:49 PM

blog203.jpgAs many of you who've used the BBC's blogs will know, it has for some months been a deeply frustrating experience, not just for you but for us too.

The point of blogging about our programmes is to have a swift and informal conversation with our viewers. That's impossible if it takes hours to get your comment or our response through.

I'm relieved to say that as of yesterday we have a new system which should be much more robust and which I hope will usher in a new era of blogging for Newsnight.

One change is that in order to comment you'll need to register by filling in a simple form.
Once signed up, you'll be able to comment on any BBC blog using the same login.

Many of you have already commented on how it's working and one or two have suggested it's designed to introduce more censorship.

That's certainly not our intention. The aim is to encourage much more open discussion about the programme and much more interaction with the programme-makers. I'm sure it isn't perfect and that you'll let us know how it could be improved.

Thanks very much to all those contributors - the Bob Goodalls, Barrie Singletons, Mistress76UKs and many others - who have persevered through all the blog problems. Apologies for all the Error 502s, and welcome to the new era.

Blog fix imminent

  • Newsnight
  • 16 Apr 08, 04:32 PM

Blog closed temporarilyFrom 1800 this evening (UK time), we'll be doing some essential maintenance to the blog. As a result of this, you won't be able to leave any comments on our blog posts from that time until Thursday morning and the comments function on all old posts will close. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The work will fix the very frustrating problems we've encountered for some time now with the whole comments system.

From Thursday a new system will be in place - this will mean you will need to complete a simple registration form in order to post a comment on the blog. Once signed up, you will be able to comment on all BBC blogs using the same login. There will be more details in the morning. In the meantime - if you wish to comment on the programme you can email us via

Blog problems - a solution is nigh

  • Newsnight
  • 10 Apr 08, 11:40 AM

blog502error.jpgAnyone who regularly reads the Newsnight blog will know that we have suffered from a series of technical problems for some time now. Comments disappear, the dreaded 502 'not available' message appears, and multiple copies of comments get submitted in error. (More on the problems here.)

Well, to much relief (not least here at Newsnight), a solution is about to be unveiled.

In the very near future the comments system that causes all the problems is being replaced by a BBC-wide system.

Under the new system, anyone wishing to leave a comment will need to sign in - a relatively swift and painless affair that comes with the added bonus of enabling you to leave your thoughts on blogs and message boards across all BBC websites.

Finally, we hope to revamp and relaunch the whole Newsnight blog shortly, with more bloggers, more variety, and the odd bit of video thrown in. But one step at a time...

We'll update you on the changes next week.

Thursday, 13 December, 2007: Boozenight

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Dec 07, 05:28 PM

We're devoting almost all our programme tonight to Boozenight.

booze_203_100.jpgThis is not an attempt to put you off your Christmas cheer. Most of us in the Newsnight office like a glass or two. Or three. Or more. And that's where the problem comes.

Many of us have been shocked how our own drinking consumption appears to mount up. Shocked too at the state of our streets on a Friday and Saturday night.

And surprised at the findings of our opinion poll, specially commissioned for the programme, which demonstrates clearly that as a nation we are worried about booze - indeed we think it more harmful to our society than heroin or cocaine, and a majority of us want the drinking age raised to 21.

It's all very interesting, provocative and disturbing, and it kicks off with the award winning film maker Paul Watson going back to the four alcoholics he filmed seeking treatment in hospital. What has happened to them in their difficult journey - they hoped - towards sobriety?

All week we've been debating many of the issues concerning the country over alcohol - click here to join those debates or leave your comments below.

Who should pay?

  • Newsnight
  • 12 Dec 07, 11:36 AM

The third in our series of debates this week ahead of Thursday's special programme, Boozenight:

boozenhs203.jpgDoctors have warned of an alarming rise in the number of patients they are seeing with alcohol-related diseases.

We spend more on treating drug-related illness than we do alcohol. But the NHS nevertheless spends a huge amount of money in this area.

Is it time to cut back or do we need to spend more? Should the NHS be paying to treat people with alcohol-related conditions at all? Should the drinks industry play a part in this treatment?

And does a patient in need of a liver transplant because of alcohol abuse deserve to get one?

The third in our series of extracts from Rain In My Heart is now online. Click here for more details

Time to change the law?

  • Newsnight
  • 11 Dec 07, 10:25 AM

We continue our series of daily debates on alcohol, ahead of Thursday’s special programme, Boozenight.

Today we want to focus on whether the government has got it right with drinking legislation. Consider three areas:

drunkwoman_203.jpg24 hour licensing, which is now just over two years old. Has this brought us any closer to the drinking culture of our continental cousins, or merely aggravated the already high incidents of binge drinking and anti-social behaviour?

Consider also whether the minimum drinking age is still appropriate? In an effort to tackle teenage drinking, should the age be raised from 18 to 21, perhaps? Or should it be lowered?

And what of advertising? Should there be a threshold of, say, 9pm before we see alcohol being advertised on TV, or should it go the way of tobacco and be banned entirely?

Is it time to change the law?

You can now watch the second in our series of extracts from Rain In My Heart, Vanda’s story. Click here for more details.

The price is right?

  • Newsnight
  • 10 Dec 07, 11:26 AM

offlicenceshelves_203152.jpgBritain’s love/hate relationship with alcohol has led to many headlines over the past 12 months. 24-hour licensing has been a reality in England and Wales for two years now, binge drinking stories are often in the news, and doctors have been alarmed by the rise in the number of cases of alcohol-related illnesses.

With 15 drinking days to go until Christmas, Newsnight is making ready for Boozenight. In Thursday’s programme, we’ll debate many of the issues that have been shaping our perception of the nation’s relationship with alcohol.

But we start the discussion today. Each day we’d like to address a different area of debate online…

Continue reading "The price is right?"

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites