Actor and comedian Miles Jupp, host of Radio 4's 'The News Quiz', and radio news presenter Kathy Clugston read poetry and prose about the news media, with music and archive clips.
From early morning radio bulletins and a daily paper, to TV and social media, The News is at the centre of our lives. It shapes conversations. It affects our mood. This edition travels from the 19th century, when newspapers were seen as noble messengers, to the 21st, with 24-hour rolling news on every screen.
Comical newshounds in novels by Evelyn Waugh and Anthony Trollope, populate the first half of the programme, and poets Carol Ann Duffy and Wendy Cope point a cynical finger at the tabloid press. Then the mood darkens as Siegfried Sassoon's WWI soldier humours a naïve war reporter, and Joan Barton poignantly recalls watching the outbreak of WWII on a cinema newsreel. John Adams wrote his opera Nixon in China, inspired by the president's 1972 visit and the mythology surrounding it. Meanwhile the gut instincts and determination of investigative reporters Bernstein and Woodward were eventually to bring Nixon down.
Music, poetry and archive clips reflect key moments in history, such as Paul Simon's moving Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night, as Dr Martin Luther King visits Atlanta and America anticipates five more years of war in Vietnam, and Roger Woddis's outcry against the UK race riots in 1981. 20 years later, Andrew Marr watches the 9/11 terrorist attacks unfold in real time on a 24-hour rolling news service.
We hear themes used for news programmes by Malcolm Arnold, John Williams and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and incidental music for plays and films, such as Samuel Barber's School for Scandal and Bernard Herrmann's score for Citizen Kane.
Newsreader Kathy Clugston and Miles Jupp, host of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, are the readers for a special edition of Words and Music exploring the evolution of how we get our news.
Producer Helen Garrison.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
THE NEWSPAPER (extract), read by Miles Jupp
Fleet Street, Read by Kathy Clugston
T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot
Airs of Palestine No. 2, Read by Kathy Clugston
Scoop (extract), Read by Miles Jupp
Carol Ann Duffy
Poet for our times, Read by Miles Jupp
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Yellow Reporter, Read by Kathy Clugston
The Warden (extract), Read by Miles Jupp
How to deal with the press, Read by Miles Jupp
And why not? (extract), Read by Miles Jupp
Editorial Impressions, Read by Miles Jupp
First News Reel: September 1939, Read by Kathy Clugston
Frontline, Read by Kathy Clugston
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
All the Presidents Men (extract), Read by Miles Jupp
Towards the end of morning (extract), Read by Miles Jupp""Added, go to My Music