Tag Archives: Simon Cowell

Who is an investigative programme for? ‘The people in it, or the man presenting it?’ asks Roger Cook

This week, Roger Cook was the latest journalist to publicly bemoan the state of television investigations in the UK.

Speaking at Coventry University on Thursday, as part of the ‘Coventry Conversations’ line-up, Cook expressed anxiety for the future of investigative journalism, the craft which made his name.

“Many investigative programmes can’t afford it now, the management and the commissioners seem to think that it is too much like hard work, and that it takes a lot of backing up.”

Asked about current investigative reporters, and the approach they commonly use, Cook answered

 “I think audiences aren’t stupid, and they very quickly recognise who a programme is being done for.”


Is it for the people in it, or the man presenting it?” he asked.

“We are going up into the ether where there are no regulations, so you will have to believe less and less of what you see,” he said, in relation to potential issues arising from making internet-based documentaries.

Cook also expressed his disapproval at this week’s cost-cuts and recent editorial direction at ITV. “In my view they are doing the wrong thing” he stated. 

”Take money out of programmes and fewer people watch it, compounding the downward cycle.”

Cook, who has been a journalist for over forty years, remembers a time when ITV would invest vast amounts of money into factual programmes, such as his very own Cook Report.

“It was once a great institution,” he said. 

”There was very high quality production in every area, but factual just about disappeared; the last remaining regular factual programme was mine.”

ITV should ‘spend more money on programmes and less on personalities,’ he said.

How many programmes could you make if you didn’t employ Simon Cowell or Ant and Dec?” he asked.

New media types among Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners

Peter Mandelson had to be a last minute addition to the list because the magazine had already gone to press: being offline seems to be a recurring theme for the London Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners list, out this evening.

Can we get an online version? Can we heck! After time wasted going round the editorial houses through the Evening Standard switchboard, Brighton-based Journalism.co.uk is getting sent a print version.

So in the meantime (till the print copy arrives) here’s the online media and general media types we’ve spotted on the list of 50 that are featured on the website. And it looks like new media gets a fairly good representation.

The little ‘see new media’ under the names almost had us thinking we could click on links… no chance. Well, we’re not in London; we don’t really exist, clearly.

Shiny Media’s three founders are included – and quoted as being “highly influential in the UK online world”. They aren’t among the very top 50, but you can see a scanned in bit of the list on the Shiny blog.

Media/Online types from the top 50:

  • Nikesh Arora, GOOGLE, EUROPEAN VP: Boss of the internet giant’s most important base outside California, bringing in close to a billion pounds a year in advertising revenue in the UK. Landed Google job after 17 interviews. (New Media, TV & Radio)
  • Jonathan Ive, 41, APPLE, DESIGN GURU: The world’s most influential product designer, involved in the iPhone and iPod. He is returning to British roots, buying a £2.5 million retreat here. (New Media)
  • Mark Thompson, 51, BBC, DIRECTOR-GENERAL: From deception scandals to swingeing job cuts, Thompson has had to weather many storms while rival broadcasters pitch for a slice of the corporation’s income from the licence fee (Television & Radio)

Outside of the big 50 we’ll have to rely on the Guardian’s Media Monkey for information:

“…chief exec James Murdoch, Ashley Highfield, chief exec of the Kangaroo on-demand TV project and, drum roll please, Evening Standard owner Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT! Who’d have thunk that thisislondon.co.uk was such a groundbreaker?

Other media bods on the list were Paul Darce, Rebecca Wade, Ed Richards, Mark Thompson, Simon Cowell, Simon Fuller, Nick Ferrari, Emily Bell, Eric Huggers, Evan Davies, John Humphrys, Jay Hunt, Peter Horrocks, Alexandra Shulman and Gok Wan.”