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Newsnight a la carte

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Peter Barron | 11:32 UK time, Friday, 2 November 2007

This week on Newsnight we've launched a new experiment in which, instead of simply sending our morning prospects list to our producers, we send it to anyone who wants it (you can subscribe here) and post it on the website (you can find today's here).

Newsnight logoThe idea is that you can let us know what you'd like to see us tackle or the questions you'd like asked at 10.30pm. The response has been large and overwhelmingly positive, but there have been one or two quibbles. First, that it's our job, not yours, to come up with programme ideas. "Hey, I'm out all day slaving to make a living while you have nothing to do except watch the wire services to see what's happening," wrote Mark, "You think it's easy getting those sausages in those casings?" We don't want you to do our job, we just want to know what you'd like so we can do our job better. To continue Mark's culinary theme it's a bit like a restaurant. We'll still be slaving in the Newsnight kitchen but instead of simply serving up what we hope you might like now we're showing you a menu and asking how you'd like your eggs.

Another concern is that we're going to start reading out viewer e-mails on the programme. Don't worry - we aren't. Your e-mails are simply instant audience research so we can check that our ideas about what to put in the programme and your expectations aren't completely at odds, although we reserve the right sometimes to serve up dishes you might hate. We also hope that some of our viewers - who after all include the health professionals, the economists and the scientists on whose work we report - will already know the answers we are seeking. Are you ready to order?


  • 1.
  • At 02:28 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

Mmmm.. Can I gave a steak and chips with a glass of red wine, please ?

Or will this no longer be allowed under the Government's 'health' [aka we don't want to be paying your pension until you are 100] guidelines..

  • 2.
  • At 02:54 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Harriet Hamster Hampstead wrote:

I don't like when you close the programme and leave Jeremy alone with the camera on him for ages, once you did it and there was a man reciting a poem simultaniously.

The bond between Editors and viewers has to be interactive where brain-storming is so very important. It doe not really matter where the good ideas come from: what is important is that we all evolve and learn from the experience.What everyone wants is a fantastic site where there is a free-flow of ideas, discussion, real pleasure out of learning: editors' knowledge,experience and humour being ever so important. The more professionals you include the more authoritative the programmes.

  • 4.
  • At 03:21 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Harriet Hamster Hampstead wrote:

Radio 4 PM programme are also going to do this next week as a trial

  • 5.
  • At 04:02 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Chad Henshaw wrote:

@ Bedd Gelert:

If the Goverment doesnt want to pay our pensions until 100, then they'd be encouraging us to eat like that... No vegetalbles and high fat chips will surely lower your life expentancy, not increase it.

@ Harriet - I totally disagree!!!! MORE Jeremy time on camera please - whether he's standing up, sitting at his desk or on the couch :-)
The new experiment is fantastic and makes viewers feel as though they too are part of the show. Peter - you came up with a brilliant idea. :-) and we love it!!!!!!

  • 7.
  • At 12:03 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • chris bland wrote:

Dear Mr. Barron,
Could you please inform me why that Jeremy Paxman is such a miserable bugger when it comes to innovative ideas ?
His sarcastic comments at the end of the few shows he presents are most unsettling. Kirsty is so much more comforting.

  • 8.
  • At 01:36 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Lilly Evans wrote:

Not great choice of 3 most important items of the day tonight - 2 about London and third a British concern. What about the rest of the world today?

  • 9.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Harriet Hamster Hampstead wrote:

@ Mistress76uk
"aucun vous mal comprenez"

It's fine by me any pose Jeremy adopts I just think under Pierre Baron's *Federico Fellini* direction sometimes- just sometimes Jeremy cuts a lonely figure as he is left in studio alone lights dimmed not even a weather report to keep him company.

  • 10.
  • At 01:01 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Alex Swanson wrote:

Mm, I wonder if this is going to produce Question-Time-Syndrome: you ask the audience for questions, you cherry-pick the ones you wanted anyway, then you claim you must be unbiased and representative because you asked what the audience wanted!

  • 11.
  • At 04:15 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Dan T wrote:

Why bother with this? If you're going to be audience-led, you'll end up presenting shows of celeb gossip and shock-stories.

Do your jobs yourselves.

  • 12.
  • At 07:00 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Emily wrote:

Dear BBC - please use the responses wisely. My biggest concern would be that the quality of the journalism could suffer. News in the US has been reduced to gossip and fear mongering. Please don't let that happen to the BBC by always listening to what the people want!
Long live Jeremy Paxman and his biting sarcasm.

  • 13.
  • At 07:32 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Ms Debate wrote:

So it's okay for BBC Programme presenters to air their comments and opinions in multi column inches within the "Media" likes of the
Daily Mail,Daily,Telegraph,Spectator etc and then be vociferous about the BBC ,they are already creating their own form of Celeb gossip.

But God forbit the public be given the same platform to comment on the content of a programme on a web-site.

Interesting concept ..

  • 14.
  • At 12:31 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

To mirror the previous posts, how about something international? The build up to next months big environmental talks? Or the current state of international development and how the G8 countries in particular are doing on Millenium Development Goals?

  • 15.
  • At 10:41 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Oh, for goodness' sake, grow up. You're highly trained and experienced journalists. Have the courage of your convictions and use your own judgement to select which stories to cover.

  • 16.
  • At 12:07 AM on 07 Nov 2007,
  • Mike - Northumberland wrote:

7. At 12:03 AM on 03 Nov 2007, chris bland wrote:
Dear Mr. Barron,
Could you please inform me why that Jeremy Paxman is such a miserable bugger when it comes to innovative ideas ?
His sarcastic comments at the end of the few shows he presents are most unsettling. Kirsty is so much more comforting.

Sensitive soul aren't you?

  • 17.
  • At 12:45 AM on 07 Nov 2007,
  • Andrea Encinas wrote:

Dear Newsnight

I was very concerned tonight about your report on the lead up to the US elections focusing on Culpeper Virginia. Considering that this is the bicentenary of the parliamentary abolition of the slave trade and it is a well known fact that Virginia was a slave holding state since the 17th century, in the brief intro into the town there was not even a mere mention of that history. In the choice of people to interview about the elections, there was not even the voice of an African American. I enclose a link to a Washington Post article written in Jan 2007 by Colbert I King about the tensions that continue to exist in Virginia:
I am very very disappointed that the BBC presents a very white history of Virginia and persists in the conspiracy to ignore the British history of slavery throughout 'normal' programming. We should not have to only view that history in special programming.
It is important that European- Americans and those reporting on behalf of the BBC in those areas represent a balanced view which includes voices of ALL its citizens.
I would a response from the BBC concerning what it will do to correct that report and to ensure that African-American's history is not written out of reports especially as coverage for the US elections increases.

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