When is news not news? Channel 4 News – Monday 3 November 2014

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Having watched every bulletin over the last week (except Saturday), Channel 4 News seemed to be getting better as the week went on. However, because I missed Saturday, I decided to add Monday 3rd of November to make up my seven bulletins, and whilst watching this programme, I realised that Channel 4 News is not a news programme at all, it’s a magazine programme and it should be renamed Channel 4 La-La-Land Fluff TV.

19.00 – 19.02 Intros

19.02 – 19.08 The murder of Ann Maguire by Will Cornick.

19.08 – 19.10 Brief report on GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan.

19.10 – 19.17 Theresa May apologies in parliament for child sexual abuse inquiry delays.

19.17 – 19.20 Item about free movement in the EU.

19.20 – 19.23 Item on Rurik Jutting, ex-banker who appears to have murdered two women in Hong Kong.

19.23 – 19.30 Report on the crash of the Virgin Galactic test plane.

19.30 – 19.39 Feature about the difference in attitude between the over 60s and under 30s.

19.39 – 19.44 Studio discussion with Virginia Ironside and Katie Morley.

19.44 – 19.47 Story about the proposed Mayor of Greater Manchester.

19.47 – 19.50 A bloke in a blindfold on a tightrope.

19.50 – 19.51 Adverts

19.51 – 19.55 Russian debutantes’ ball in London.

The programme opens with another lurid report, this time on the murder of teacher Ann Maguire by mentally-disturbed 16-year-old pupil Will Cornick.

Then Lindsey Hilsum cheerfully repeats the blatant panic-mongering of Robert Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, about how the internet in general and US tech giants in specific are “the command and control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals”. I am sure Hannigan could not have been more pleased with that bit of prime-time propaganda.

Then there was an item about the child sexual abuse inquiry and Theresa May’s apalogy in parliament to the victims. In the studio Andy Lavery, a child sex-abuse survivor and activist, is polite whilst being interrupted by Jon Snow, but visibly irritated when he is cut off at the end.

Then we get back to immigration and free movement in the EU with a quote at the end from rent-a-gob Nigel Farage.

Then the juicy murders in Hong Kong.

After that, another embarrassing interview by Jon Snow with Richard Branson about the Virgin Galactic crash. I couldn’t care less about Branson’s day trips for the super-rich, but the accusatory nature of the questioning was extremely unprofessional. Maybe not for The Daily Mail, but definitely for Channel 4.

I don’t know if any strings were pulled to edit this online article (link below) about Philip Davies MP telling Jon Snow he “should go”, and I hate to agree with what any Tory MP (allegedly) said, but I think he should go. Over and over again, Jon Snow has shown himself to rude and unprofessional when interviewing.


After that was a feature of pure fluff about the difference in attitudes between the “over 60s and under 30s”, including some interviews with some over 60s and under 18s (?).

Then a studio discussion with writer Virginia Ironside (over 60) and journalist Katie Morley (under 30). Virginia Ironside was visibly frustrated by the stupidity of Kathy Newman’s questions. More filler and fluff.

Then a short report by “North of England Correspondent” Ciaran Jenkins on the devolution of power to Greater Manchester. But no mention of Sheffield or Leeds.


Tightrope. Fluff.

Russian debutantes’ ball. Fluff.

I will be writing an analysis of the whole week and will post that online later in the week.

This last programme is currently available on 4oD.



Coming up after the break, is the world really going to end? Channel 4 News – Sunday 2 November 2014

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Seeing as I missed Saturday, I will be adding Monday 3rd as well.

00.00 – 00.01 Intros

00.01 – 00.03 Rurik Jutting arrested for suspect murder of two sex workers.

00.03 – 00.07 Virgin Galactic test crash.

00.07 – 00.13 Climate change report published by UN.

00.13 – 00.15 – NIBs about feminist t-shirt faux pas, Alice Gross memorial, suicide bomber in India / Pakistan & Sunni Muslim massacre.

00.15 – 0.20 Ghonchen Ghovami imprisoned in Iran for attempting to gain access to a men-only volleyball game.

0.20 – 0.23 Sport

On a Sunday it’s a short bulletin at 18.35 and at least this had something important as the main feature, the new report published by the UN on climate change.

However, they lead with the lurid story of two dead prostitutes, allegedly murdered by a 29-year-old banker in Hong Kong, followed by a story about a pilot being killed in an air crash by a Virgin Galactic test aircraft. These are tabloid stories and hardly headline news.

Whatever, maybe it’s arguable that is a good way to sandwich the meatier stories, and at least Krishnan Guru-Murthy did his best to goad some outrage out of the seemingly stage-managed optimism of Professor Joanna Haigh, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change & Environment from Imperial College, London.

How environmental conservation has failed the British people. Channel 4 News – Saturday 1st November 2014

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Oops! We went out last night and I forgot to switch on the HD recorder to record Channel 4 News and it is not available on 4oD. For some time, we have had an energy saving policy in force at our house and this over-protective, nanny-state conservationism led to me not recording some telly that I wanted to see. I have the recorder set on a repeat programme so that I don’t have to programme it each time, but it does need to be draining energy in order to work. When all that fracked gas starts coming through I’ll leave all the lights on again. We won’t have much longer to live once our water is poisoned.

I’m not blaming Channel 4 News for that.

Never mind, the Saturday broadcast is just a 20 minute recap and I’ll add an extra day on Monday.

The Woolf Out the Door. Channel 4 News – Friday 31 October 2014

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Nothing about immigration, radicalised Muslims or UKIP on Friday 31st. I almost miss it. However, also nothing about the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire. They were keen to report on it when they thought UKIP was in the running but nothing now the Labour candidate, Alan Billings, got nearly twice the number of votes than UKIP.

19.00 – 19.02 Intros

19.02 – 19.15 The resignation of Fiona Woolf from the inquiry into child sexual abuse.

19.15 – 19.17 Crash of the Virgin Galactic test aircraft.

19.17 – 19.21 Overthrow of government in Burkina Faso.

19.21 – 19.23 Two deaths reported in a fire at a fireworks factory.

19.23 – 19.26 Report on the suicide of Rosie Whitaker and bullying.

19.26 – 19.31 US elections

19.31 – 19.35 Feature about the awareness campaign by the Royal Society for Public Health about the number of calories in alcoholic drinks.

I am disappointed that Channel 4 News has not reinforced my prejudice today. At least they are pushing the child sexual abuse inquiry story rather than having John Snow asking “what is it about these Northern cities?”.

I guess my campaign is working. Who would have thought that a nobody in one of “these Northern cities” would have any effect, even without being interviewed by their North of England correspondent and who voted Labour for the SYPCC.