Gary Smith

A great post from the BBC’s out –going political editor Gary Smith on his nearly ten years at the heart of the British political machine. He quips that he outlasted Tony Blair and has seen four Tory and (almost) four Liberal leaders as well two general elections, five deployments of the British armed forces (it’s like we never lost the empire sometimes) and countless scandals and resignations.

But it’s the pop quiz he leaves for the next occupier of one of the hottest seats in British Journalism I enjoyed. Here it is but go to the comments section of his post for some lively responses from some of the legions of BBC watchers.

• When is it ok to turn up at 0630 with a camera outside a politician’s home?

• When is it legitimate to investigate a politician’s private life? For example is it right to broadcast a story about a Labour Cabinet minister sending his or her child to a private school?

• On short TV reports on policy matters should we always include clips from all three main parties?

• Why do the best political stories tend to break in the newspapers?

• Is pre-briefing on government or party announcements a good or bad thing?

• When the BBC uncovered a story from good sources that a senior politician had a serious drink problem – but the politician’s spokesperson totally denied it – should we have gone ahead and run the story?

• Should political correspondents get out of London more, or is their job to report on what’s happening at Westminster?

• How do you tell a political correspondent they need to brush their hair, or wear a better coat?

[tags] BBC, Gary Smith, British Politics [/tags]

Categories Technology

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