Ben Hammersley, my Davos roomie in his Guardian days, has undertaken a new project with the BBC, showing how shows are made, behind the scenes, with video and online notes and everything short of his expense account:
My expense account! Good idea!
What is needed is not behind the scenes look at news production but rather behind the scenes look at its hiring policies.
I am truly puzzled as to why the BBC would choose to start such a project with an inexperienced broadcaster/journalist.
I have no doubt that Mr Hammersley is a talented photographer, a dynamic thinker and a witty speaker on the conference circuit. But the eagerness and almost childlike jubilation we have seen in his early posts on such things as hiring a small staff, getting fitted for an earpiece and getting “on the phone to Istanbul to my fixer there” are cringeworthy. And despite growing out his hair and trading kilts and tees for a crisp white shirt, I’m not convinced he has the experience to deliver this project to its full potential.
The Turkish political situation is fascinating and under-reported. I really hope this project is able to deliver deeper insights into this story and not just an inside view into Mr Hammersley learning the ins and outs of broadcast journalism. Early indications point to the latter but I will keep my fingers crossed that things will improve and he’ll adjust his approach and demeanor.
It would be also nice to see this project use some of the techniques you’re employing with the US presidential election. A bit more interactivity and a bit less Hammersley might go a long way.
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