TELEVISION / Briefing: All the news that's fit to scan

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The Independent Culture
The newsreader Martyn Lewis thinks we should hear the good news, the TV producer Michael Davies thinks we should hear the news translated into poetry. So here comes POETS' NEWS (11.15pm BBC2), a fascinating-sounding, week-long project in which a selection of top poets, including Michelle Roberts, Benjamin Zephaniah, Roger McGough and Carol Ann Duffy will bring the daily news filtered through their special sensibilities.

The poets will work together with Anna Ford and the BBC news team as if they were actual news journalists - sitting through the morning conferences, deciding priorities, story-gathering with a camera crew, and editing, right through to an hour before broadcast, when they will set their verse to the TV pictures. Some of the poetry will be at an oblique angle to the day's events.

'Conventional news will show you a picture of 10 Downing Street and then discuss the Prime Minister,' Davies says. 'We might want to talk about the policeman standing outside the door.'

Some will comment directly and polemically on events. 'It's Reithian in a sense,' Davies says, 'that the general intention is to show that poetry can be accessible and enjoyable. Poets can have some relevance to our daily lives.'

Yes, but do those viewers sandwiched between Newsnight and The Late Show need any such persuading?

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