Jeremy Paxman on the future of telly

“Let’s spend less time measuring audiences and more time enlightening them.”

“We need to be open…..We need to admit when we make mistakes. We need treat our viewers with respect, to be frank with them about how and why programmes were made, to be transparent. We need, in short, to rediscover a sense of purpose.”

“And the problem is not going to be addressed until senior people in this industry have the courage to come out and state quite clearly state what television is for…..What’s needed is a manifesto, a statement of belief. There has been a catastrophic, collective loss of nerve.”

“Sometimes you want to sit there and say, ‘Not much has happened today, I’d go to bed if I were you’”

“But, no, the pretence must be maintained that 45 minutes’ worth of discussable material exists. So, we all shout. Right now we could do with less hyperventilating and more deep breathing.”

If they had any sense the BBC top brass would get him to draw up the first draft of the manifesto. Then they would significantly increase the Newsnight budget.

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