Tuned in, and out

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - OPINION -

Re Meet The Na­tional’s New Max Head­room For­mat (Arts, Nov. 11): I was dis­ap­pointed by John Doyle’s ar­ti­cle, largely be­cause it struck me as a sus­tained sneer rather than an in­sight­ful, con­sid­ered analysis of the strengths and wob­bles of the new CBC Na­tional news pro­gram.

Avid watch­ers of CBC news are bound to miss Peter Mans­bridge et al and the fa­mil­iar for­mat, but from what I’ve seen, we have gained more than we’ve lost.

The four an­chors are all poised, pol­ished pro­fes­sion­als, and the new for­mat of high­light­ing and go­ing deeper into fewer sto­ries is a re­fresh­ing take th­ese days on de­liv­er­ing news in our two-sec­ond-at­ten­tion-span cul­ture. I say ku­dos to the new kids on The Na­tional block and to the cre­ative minds at CBC who have once again rein­vented pro­gram­ing in an ad­mirable way.

– Mar­jorie An­der­son, Win­nipeg As usual, John Doyle hits the nail right on the head with his com­men­tary on The Na­tional’s new for­mat. The cob­bled-to­gether pre­sen­ta­tion of bits of news, dashes of doc­u­men­tary, lots of heart­string-tug­ging, and some friendly chat­ter is ex­tremely frus­trat­ing.

But what dis­turbs and dis­ap­points me most is what Mr. Doyle de­scribes as the “There you go, eh?” mo­ments; the quick ex­change at the end of each seg­ment that seems to say, “Gee, who’d a thunk it?” From four highly in­tel­li­gent and sea­soned jour­nal­ists come re­cur­ring mes­sages that we are not play­ers in any of this; we are sim­ply be­mused (if some­times weepy) ob­servers.

I was hop­ing for more analysis from th­ese four, and some in­sights into our con­nec­tions as Cana­di­ans to events in the world.

But on one point I must dis­agree with Mr. Doyle. Please, please do not bring back Pas­tor Mans­bridge. Let’s find a bet­ter way for­ward than that. – Elaine Bruer, Ot­tawa

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