Letter: Better to be late with the news

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The Independent Online
Sir: It may well be a sign of a broken spirit that little or no public voice is heard (report, 28 June) from the existing staff of ITN over the threat to News at Ten (NaT, as it is known internally). Dispirited they may be, but why no word from those who currently make ITV and Channel 4 news bulletins? Why no protestations from the editor-in-chief, or his staff?

Having spent six exhilarating years in the 'old ITN', I know only too well what NaT meant to the whole approach to news gathering and presentation. It set standards. A story on NaT was thought to be a credit to the journalist concerned. It made room for both background and comment, an approach cherished and appreciated by ITN staff as well as viewers. The prospect of an almost 'rip and read' approach to news is a threat to our understanding of the world. But that is what is surely on offer if ITV has its way and banishes its main news programme of the day to the early evening, where there is little tolerance of anything but the frivolous.

Am I the only viewer who regards the watershed as being 10 o'clock, when I can wind down with a synopsis of the day's affairs? Is it possible that the Independent Television Commission will allow ITV to compete with Channel 4 News at 7pm? Or is it that no one cares? Will the BBC's Nine O'Clock News have to suffice?

Yours sincerely,


London, N5

28 June