Friday, April 25, 2003

As the Evening Post speculated on an interview between the editor of the Bristolian and Jerramy Paxman, I wondered how one between the Evening Posts editor Mike Lowe and my version of Paxman, aka Paxman606 might go...

[fade in]
Paxman606: Good evening. I'm speaking with Mike Lowe, the editor of the Bristol based local newspaper 'The Evening Post'. Mr. Lowe, if I can start by asking you a little about the past history of the news group you work for. In the 1930s they were very supportive of Hitler and the rise of fascism weren’t they.
Lowe: That's past history and I don't think relevant in the 21st century.
Paxman606: I see, but recently you attacked the editor the only rival newspaper 'The Bristolian' on his past, as I recall from the 80s, which is also not in the 21st Century?
Lowe: That article was a legitimate piece of journalism on the political arena in Bristol.
Paxman606: Speaking of politics, your newspaper totally failed to report that Sir Nicolas Hood, a major figure in the disgraced Enron corporation was the go-between for the now bankrupt company and Prince Charles, why cover one political event and not another?
Lowe: If I can just answer that by talking about..
Paxman606: Please answer the question Mr.Lowe.
Lowe: I don't think there is enough evidence for such charges against Sir Nicolas.
Paxman606: [raises eyebrow] So your investigative reporters, looking at the millions spent on a failing private project, @Bristol, with Sir Nicolas Hood on the board uncovered nothing?
Lowe: I can't say what we did or didn't find.
Paxman606: Did you investigate it at all?
Lowe: I can't say.
Paxman606: Hmmm. If I can ask you Mr.Lowe if the purchase of your company of the only other news source in the area, Venue, is good or bad for democratic accountability?
Lowe: Good, we bring valuable resources to the magazine.
Paxman606: Prior to your take over, Venue did run stories that ran counter to yours, how ever, now you both seem to be going in the same direction?
Lowe: I refute that. What evidence do you have?
Paxman606: I'll give you two examples; before being owned by you Venue ran a story about how a homeless man featured on your front page felt he'd been unfairly duped. Whereas now both you and Venue seem to be attacking the 'Bristolain' Party.
Lowe: Our defence is in our loyal readership.
Paxman606: Is that why your sales figures are dropping? I repeat the question you've been ducking; how does all the print media being in one set of hands impact on the local democratic process?
Lowe: Media ownership is a question for the government, not me.
Paxman606: A government who's local election chances are aided by your attacks on the Bristolian Party?
Lowe: I refute that.
Paxman606: Right. [looks despairingly to camera] Now, the most damming evidence you can level at the editor of the Bristolian is that he once wrote a controversial piece of fiction, are you planning to also expose other political parties shady past. I’m thinking for example the fact that the Tory party grandee Kenneth Clarke makes money in conjunction with the brutal military dictatorship in Burma?
Lowe: That is a national issue and not a local one.
Paxman606: What about reporting on the fact that the Labour and Tory party councillor passed a £500 million development in an astonishingly short amount of time despite widespread local opposition?
Lowe: I don’t think our readers want to be bored with planning issues.
Paxman606: Hmmm. Well, Mr. Lowe, thank you for your time. Next on the program we take a look new research that shows how local economies can be undermined by corporate development. I’m joined by..[fade out]

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