Wednesday, October 11, 2006

18 Doughty Street's First Night

I was out debating North Korea and then drinking last night but I have since managed to 'Stream Again' the evening's programming and am very impressed.

The first programme was a little faltering. I wasn't quite convinced that the two speakers really had much to offer on the subjects at hand. Also, I agree with whoever e-mailed in that the palms were a little intrusive; a little pruning might be needed. Still it was nice to see the first evidence of an interview technique which was based on listening to the interviewee rather than showcasing the interviewer's cynicism.

The foreign policy section was excellent. Oliver Kamm proved as brilliant on TV as he always is in writing and the other guests all had something to contribute. I was a little dissapointed that the speaker against neo-conservatism couldn't do a better job explaining the conservative challenge but given the quality of neo-con thought on display he was facing a hard task.

Vox Politix was also good. It wasn't as high minded as the foreign affairs piece or the John Howard interview but still interesting. The one change I would hope for in future is that it feature a little more disagreement. At times it seemed that they would move on, out of some sense of politeness, when they hit issues they seriously disagreed on and Iain would have done well to encourage them to debate.

The interview with John Howard was brilliant. The set up with two speakers commenting after his discussion gave interesting perspectives. It felt like a love-in at first accustomed, as I think we all are now, to the Paxman style but it was informative, made the most of the opportunity of the interview and gave us a great insight into his views. It trusted to a grown up audience to decide what they disagree with for themselves.

The final programme was a nice, informal end to the programming. They remarked that it had been a right wing evening; I hope they don't panic at the right wing balance of this first night. There is nothing wrong with being balanced towards the right wing so long as you remain open minded and engage across the ideological spectrum.

I think it was a hugely promising first night and, if some of the rough edges can be ironed out, points to a great future for the channel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

liked seeing IDS actually allowed to speak and be listened to.