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BBC Newsnight presenter questions interview styles; IN BRIEF.

TELEVISION current affairs interviews do not give enough time to "properly get into things", according to BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis.

In a talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Davis also said that he believes there is a "danger"that an adversarial approach by interviewers can lead to "a more defensive posture" from interviewees.

"I don't think it makes sense for there to be one language of interview which is entirely from the premise that the other person is a crook and you're trying to catch them out. I think it's possible sometimes to just ask questions and get answers, and in my view, you want a mixed ecosystem of interviews."

He also told a sold-out session at the Book Festival that he encourages his colleagues to have fewer discussions on Newsnight "because I often think if I had just one side of the argument in the room in front of me I can actually interrogate their argument, but as soon as you've got two, or God help us, three participants, by the time everybody's had a time just to spell out their basic point, there's no time left to interrogate.

"A typical discussion is five minutes, it's barely enough to get anywhere...I feel frustrated because we don't have time to properly get into things."

Davis was discussing his book Post Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It.

Davis said he remains an optimist."Bullshit is a shortterm phenomenon," he said. "When it works, it works, until the truth becomes so compelling that it stops working. Mostly the truth will out, mostly we will observe the truth, so I think essentially I'm optimistic the truth prevails in the end, and I'm optimistic that you [the public] are bright enough to see bullshit for what it is most of the time."

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Publication:Insider Monthly
Date:Oct 3, 2017
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