Tag Archives: ann widdecombe

Paperhouse: Jon Snow is pro-privacy law – ‘tabloids are going out of business anyway’

Journalism.co.uk had this on its to-do list for this morning, but Sarah Ditum got there first and picked up Jon Snow’s comments from his reverse-role interview with Ann Widdecombe in the Guardian magazine on Saturday.

The Channel 4 News journalist – and Widdecombe reckons this is her scoop – would welcome a privacy act and says it wouldn’t affect the tabloids too much – ‘they’re going out of business anyway’.

AW Would you welcome a privacy act, Jon Snow?

JS I would welcome a privacy act, yes.

AW We have the scoop! Jon Snow says, ‘Bring in a privacy act.’

JS I believe that the tabloid media, in particular, have so intruded into the private lives of public people that they have brought it upon themselves that there should indeed be a privacy act.

AW I think that is absolutely right. I think…

JS Damn me, Ann Widdecombe, I didn’t think we’d have to sit here and agree.

AW And I consider that quite a coup, to have got Jon Snow to agree with me that we need to curtail the rights of the media. Thank you, Jon Snow…

JS I am totally opposed to, and would go to the gallows to prevent, censorship. But needless intrusion into the private lives of anybody…

AW Let me ask you this. Let’s imagine a politician – I don’t care whether it’s male or female, Jon, but let’s imagine a politician. You’ve got a politician who has never made any pronouncements about morality, who has a mistress. Is that the public’s business?

JS Not at all.

AW You’ve just put a lot of the tabloids out of business.

JS Well, they’re going out of business anyway, so that won’t mean much…

Paperhouse post at this link…

Low ratings for BBC’s Undercover Soldier

Normally, a young reporter’s first steps into the media world might be a stint of work experience; the dramatic peak might be an exciting court case.

Not so for Russell Sharp: his first job in the media was to enlist in the British Army and go undercover for six months, to report on the bullying, for a BBC documentary.

It made remarkable viewing last night. The film showed Sharp’s fear at being discovered by his fellow recruits and superiors as he secretly filmed them during training.

The racism and bullying he witnessed was shocking – it’s been documented here at the BBC website. As numerous papers reported, five suspensions of army instructors have since been made – it is unclear how many are a direct result of allegations made by the BBC.

Yet BBC1’s unusual documentary ‘Undercover Soldier’ got the worst broadcast figures for the slot since June 2006 despite its controversial subject matter. It started with 2.6m (10.1%) watching, and then slowly declined to 2.3m. Even Ann Widdecombe and the girl gangs, over on ITV did better than that.

Why the low ratings? Was it because they didn’t send out preview copies, or that it was a last minute addition to the broadcast schedule? Or was the viewing public just not interested?