Today’s guest editor of the “Today” programme produced a series of items where she required the interviewee to speak or sing or recite poetry as they wished to get their points across without the tedium of having to respond to a probing interview. This might have been interesting if the items chosen had shown range and different viewpoints, or if normal journalism had required a right of reply or an alternative voice to follow the monologues. Instead we were treated to a series of her prejudices.
Government was given no right of reply for alleged torture in a past decade, nor was it cross examined to see if it were true and why it happened. No-one was asked to make the case for running the risk of some soldiers being badly injured because the national or international interest required military engagement and more lives could be saved – and I speak as one who has often opposed us using military force as often as we do. No-one was brought on to expressly make the case for the City of London and the tax revenues and jobs it brings after a piece knocking it. Instead the Business slot had to be taken over in a poor attempt to provide a little balance.
I doubt if any Eurosceptic or free marketer will be offered a Guest editorship to provide some balance to PJ Harvey. If they were I trust they would wish to observe the rules on balance, and would interview people who disagreed with them to explore their different position, and would submit themselves to independent interviewing by a professional journalist. This was a new low for the Today programme.