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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 12:40 GMT
Feedback - January 2006

What do you think of the stories we have covered? Do you have anything to say about the programme or the issues of the day? You can read January's views from this page.

  • Click here to be taken to the feedback index

  • This month:

    PART ONE
    General comments
    Taking liberties
    100th British soldier killed in Iraq
    Hamas victory
    Simon Hughes
    Google in China
    George Galloway
    Radio 4 UK theme

    Design a set

    Click here to read more of January's feedback

    The e-mails published reflect the balance of opinion received.


    GENERAL COMMENTS

    Thanks for some great programmes recently - those of note include the Crewe Polish story and Paxman's interview with Colin Powell
    Paul
    I would like to say how refreshing Newsnight is in its tongue-in- cheek irreverence, Jeremy Paxman especially. I think your coverage of stories is excellent and one of the crown jewels of the BBC. I think your way of dealing with stories, and politicians, is very idiosyncratic - a certain amount of deflating of egos, shall we say, which I think sometimes puts a more honest perspective on the issues you cover.
    Nick, Anglesey

    Thanks for some great programmes recently - those of note include the Crewe Polish story and Paxman's interview with Colin Powell.
    Paul, Manchester

    I am quite pleased about the coverage of Newsnight. It is indispensable and deep for those who are interested to know more than the headlines.
    Nizar Abboud, London

    I find this programme very interesting because it keeps me well-informed on a regular basis. As a mass communication student, regular news update helps me greatly.
    Peter Pablo Bainda, Freetown, Sierra Leone

    I love Gavin Esler's emails - he always makes me chuckle at the end of a mad bad day in adland. I quite like the mix of news with contemporary culture although remember being surprised seeing Pete Doherty interviewed by Kirsty Wark. Although I think the popular culture element needs to be chosen carefully - Chris martin would have been better - I do think the mix broadens the appeal of Newsnight to a wider audience by essentially broadening the definition of news - which many people still blindly switch off. So I say stick with it.
    Imogen Stott, London

    TAKING LIBERTIES [31 January 2006]

    I think there is room for a more detailed programme in the future on electronic surveillance by government
    J Bradley
    Great programme last night! I thought the views from the National Theatre representative were particularly cogent and fresh. I think there is room for a more detailed programme in the future on electronic surveillance by government. Cutting-edge visual recognition technology will make it possible in the next two years to identify individuals on CCTV - an unrivalled network of CCTV cameras and mobile phone records will provide an unprecedented trail of data under each individual's unique ID card serial number. These are certainly technologies that we could export very lucratively to the Chinese Government... is that something we want to be associated with?
    J Bradley, London

    I wish Jeremy Paxman had challenged John Denham when he said that the protocols around demonstrations had broken down. As Jeremy mentioned in the introduction to David Grossman's piece, this government has legislated against an astonishing number of things. This, I believe, has led to a complete feeling of disenfranchisement in certain, previously solidly law-abiding, sections of society who now feel direct action is the only option. How many votes does it take to elect a Conservative MP compared to a Labour one?
    Stephen Slack, Yateley

    You could live in a far worse country. There are lots out there!
    RG Paget, Liverpool

    100TH BRITISH SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ

    It's almost reached the stage when nearly everyone agrees the Iraq War was a terrible blunder, and it's obvious that as a nation we were lied to. We are where we are, blunders have happened before! What has not happened before is that the leaders who created the blunders are still at the helm!
    John Mason, Falkirk

    HAMAS VICTORY [26 January 2006]

    We must work with Hamas, because I think that the rest of the world has pushed Palestinians towards Hamas
    Eric Le BoŽnnec
    From the Haq party (in Turkey) to Hamas (in Palestine) Muslim voters put their weight behind a new set of credible, competent and consistent representatives to replace those who are at worst corrupt and at least inept. Now, are we to reject the results simply because the faces are not of our liking?
    Jim Zackey, Croydon, Surrey

    I do believe that a comparison with Sinn Fein is valid, but that is where it might as well stop. Sinn Fein never claimed to aim at sinking Great Britain, as far as I can recall. I do foresee positive things out of the current situation - if elections were fair, then the rest of the world has to accept the fact. Saying that Hamas should have been banned is denying democratic principles. It is time to participate at world level to the game of negotiation. We must work with Hamas, because I think that the rest of the world has pushed Palestinians towards Hamas.
    Eric Le BoŽnnec, Amsterdam

    SIMON HUGHES COVERAGE [26 January 2006]

    As far as your report on Mr Hughes is concerned, it would be wise to consider why so many Canadians are fearful of our future with this new Conservative Government. Our new PM has publicly stated that the first thing he will try to do is repeal Canada's same sex marriage legislation. This has always been a country who's culture celebrated difference, and now we must watch as Canada is turned into a plain square box, in which everyone must stay inside of if they want to be included. My heart is heavy, for the hurt that is sure to fall upon our fellow human beings once again.
    Mrs CK Dauphinais, Thunder Bay, Ontario

    GOOGLE IN CHINA [25 January 2006]

    China's version of Google

    After last night's pathetic attempt by Google to justify their sanctioning of state censorship by China of their service, I shall from now on be using another search engine. I have emailed Google to tell them I am doing this, and urge anybody else with a sense of decency to do the same.
    Dom Green, Brighton

    GEORGE GALLOWAY [25 January 2006]

    George Galloway
    I thought that the Big Brother report on Newsnight was well done and informative and provided a little light relief. I think Newsnight journalists should be on BB more often - perhaps we should put Paxman in the Big Brother house and watch the vicious battles that would ensue. Watching him verbally maul some wannabe celebrity would be amusing.
    Alexander Pritchard-Jones, Coleshill

    I think Mr Galloway has fallen on his own sword and may not be able to recover his career
    Roderick Parks
    George Galloway pushes the boundaries, asks us to question established norms and thus annoys the Holy and Good who would rather we accept everything we are told. I prefer to see George struggling against the tide of public opinion than see Jack Straw snivelling yet again with his dishonest claims, which we cannot question.
    Alfred Bouch, Tunbridge Wells

    Go George! It doesn't matter what you throw at him, George always has a way of coming out on top.
    Jordan Krielaart, Carnoustie

    I had a lot of respect for George Galloway MP as he took apparently principled stands on many important issues and appeared prepared to accept the consequences. However, with ample previous series of the pressure cooker that is "Big Brother" to serve as forewarning, it is clear to me that Mr Galloway made a serious error of judgment by appearing on the programme. The humiliation he faced during the set tasks, and the savagery of his pointless attack on Michael Barrymore have destroyed his credibility. Unfortunately, it begs the question that if Mr Galloway can make such a glaringly obvious error of judgement, then has he made similarly serious errors of judgment in the past that have simply survived scrutiny because they were in domains that the public knows much less about? I think Mr Galloway has fallen on his own sword and may not be able to recover his career.
    Roderick Parks, Bracknell

    It's hard to believe that the UK has such low election voter turnout when the BBC and others have such informative and engaging political programming
    TT
    It's hard to believe that the UK has such low election voter turnout when the BBC and others have such informative and engaging political programming, and Newsnight is leading the way. I love it. The media, perhaps with the exception of the tabloids, is one of the best things about Britain.
    TT, London

    I have just watched the Galloway item on Newsnight. It lasted for about 20 minutes. This item should never have been the lead and never for so long a spot. I am a news and current affairs addict, aged 50, but with a broad range of interests. However, the Galloway stuff I can get elsewhere. All I can assume is that Newsnight was in fact following Galloway's own lead idea: to try to reach a wider audience by lowering the tone and quality.
    George Collie, London

    It is a sad day when the BBC and Newsnight have lower standards than Celebrity Big Brother
    Tom Berney
    I believe that many people share my view that Mr Galloway's antics in the BB house have been disgraceful. His intention to "re-engage" youth with politics has clearly fallen flat and will, if anything, have been counter-productive given Mr Galloway's conduct which made him appear laughable and makes his important position seem farcical. Thank goodness he is not standing again, although now I doubt there is much reason to.
    James Kerry, Cape Town, South Africa

    There was nothing at all urgent about the George Galloway reports tonight. It therefore struck me as extremely cheap to run a blatant attack on him at a time when he clearly would not have been aware of developments while he was incommunicado. It could easily have been done any time thereafter when he could have answered the charges. Channel 4 apparently censored much of what he said to avoid accusations of lack of political balance. Political balance clearly is not a consideration for you. It is a sad day when the BBC and Newsnight have lower standards than Celebrity Big Brother.
    Tom Berney, East Kilbride

    A lot of the time I just get so turned off by your obsession with "Westminster Village" and your obsession with politics - "Politics Night" might be a more honest title. Why don't you report some "good news" - news not concerning some self-seeking, snide politician - rather than the stream of depressing stuff about the village? Love some of the things you do - but I'm getting more and more turned off by the political bull.
    andy whiteman, Portgate Lewddown Devon

    Big brother is "road crash" television and should not be gawped at. The BBC should not, in an otherwise serious programme, be encouraging it with the oxygen of publicity. I really am appalled at your editorial taste in news and current affairs. Please resist dumbing yourself further down.
    Ian, Kenton

    RADIO 4 UK THEME [23/24 January 2006]

    Am I the only one glad to be rid of the abominable Radio 4 theme tune?
    Patricia Taylor
    Ending with the Radio 4 theme? Except for viewers in Scotland, of course.
    James Stewart, Edinburgh

    Am I the only one glad to be rid of the abominable Radio 4 theme tune? Yes, I'm white, female, over 50, an insomniac, and it grates on my nerves at the crack of dawn. It's bombastic, pompous and not at all "in tune" with modern Britain! Let's finally move on - it's about time! Well done, Mark Damazer - I'm proud of you!
    Patricia Taylor, Chislehurst

    Sailors enjoy waking up to this before the inshore forecasts!
    John Bourne
    I grew up with the Radio 4 Theme, which was the BBC World News theme worldwide - we woke up every morning to this beautiful sound which was particularly wonderful when we could only rely on BBC World Service for our news on events happening in countries where we were caught up in internal strife!
    Chips Westwood, Sarlat La Caneda, France

    Congratulations to Jeremy Paxman on opposing political correctness in the scrapping of the UK Theme. Sailors enjoy waking up to this before the inshore forecasts!
    John Bourne

    Please, please, please play the programme out every night to the UK Theme
    Jane Jones
    Let me add my support for the Radio 4 theme to continue to be played at the close of Newsnight. These great patriotic melodies draw all the regions of Great Britain together in the love of our country. A superb aspect of the character of the people of these islands is not nostalgia for past glories that these tunes might imply, but their role as rallying calls to unite and face our present and future with courage. Rule Britania!
    Robert Swallow, Oswestry

    Well done Newsnight! Please, please, please play the programme out every night to the UK Theme - it is an absolute disgrace that Radio 4 proposes to axe it.
    Jane Jones, Scaldwell

    These seemingly small things are also important to the quality of life
    Mark Kelly
    Good on you, Jeremy - keep the pressure up on the absurd decision to axe the UK Theme on R4. It's been my friend for many years and both wakes me and alerts me to the forthcoming shipping forecast. Mr Damazer is just out of touch with his listeners.
    Tom Eckhoff, Petersfield

    Well done, Jeremy. We, out here, are fed up to the back teeth with BBC political correctness. Radio 4 "theme" - play on, lad, play on.
    Tess Nash, Helston, Cornwall

    If you play that music every night I'll try to stay up for the whole programme
    Romy Dunn
    Thank you so much for raising the issue about the Radio 4 UK theme and the idiotic decision of Mark Damazer to scrap it. Well done. These seemingly small things are also important to the quality of life.
    Mark Kelly, London

    Thank you so much for playing the Radio 4 UK theme again tonight - I do hope it continues. I am an up and coming Baby Boomer and, like many others, will have literally grown up with this theme as well as remembering its composer Fritz Spiegl at the Liverpool Phil. Surely this composition is as much a part of our national heritage as any stately home, and this music certainly does not need any restoration funds! Anyway, I've now had my say, so long live Newsnight and all who sail in her!
    Veronica Cuthbert, Merseyside

    I am only 18 but do listen to Radio 4. My mates and I feel it is the least patronising broadcast from the BBC and for them to remove the UK theme because it is too patriotic is silly. Don't ditch the tune, it ain't too patriotic - and even if it is, so what?
    Peter Brown, Chelmsford, Essex

    Way to go. If you play that music every night I'll try to stay up for the whole programme every night. Glad someone has the guts to fight for Radio 4.
    Romy Dunn, York

    Radio 4 isn't a rolling news station - it's a wise, comforting and sometimes provoking and irritating old-fashioned companion
    Andrew
    Congratulations to the brilliant Jeremy Paxman for his comments on Mark Damazer's barmy decision to scrap Fritz Spiegl's wonderful "UK theme" from the Radio 4 early morning schedule. Fritz was a fine man - a refugee from the Nazis, he understood a thousand times more about Britain than Mark Damazer will. Damazer and his ilk despise and patronise Radio 4 listeners. No wonder the feeling is mutual.
    Simon Richards, Cheltenham

    Thanks for supporting the UK theme. Let's keep each of the BBC radio stations distinctive - not have them all the same. Radio 4 isn't a rolling news station - it's a wise, comforting and sometimes provoking and irritating old-fashioned companion.
    Andrew, London

    Oh, yes, Jeremy, YES! PLEASE do let's have "Rule Britannia" for Newsnight's signing off music. A great send-off to bed! You're right - whoever it is must be completely bonkers to do away with that wonderful medley that makes such a rousing start to the day. Hmm... maybe he's just suffering from the saddest day of the year? Anyway, you tell him!
    Jenny, London

    Do please keep playing the music that Radio 4 is now refusing to use after 33 years. It was a wonderful ending to Newsnight. I hope to hear it again.
    Charles Hill, Corfe Castle




  • SEE ALSO
    Feedback - December 2005
    04 Jan 06 |  Newsnight Home
    Feedback - November 2005 (page 2)
    25 Nov 05 |  Newsnight Home
    Feedback - October 2005
    05 Oct 05 |  Newsnight Home
    Feedback - September 2005
    06 Sep 05 |  Newsnight Home
    Feedback - August 2005
    04 Aug 05 |  Newsnight Home
    Feedback - July 2005
    15 Jul 05 |  Newsnight Home


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