Doughty Street - the new Newsnight

BRITAIN'S first political Internet television channel is being launched today.18DoughtyStreet Talk TV will broadcast for four hours a night, Mondays to Thursdays, from studios in London's Bloomsbury with a mix of live and pre-recorded programmes.

BRITAIN'S first political Internet television channel is being launched today.

18DoughtyStreet Talk TV will broadcast for four hours a night, Mondays to Thursdays, from studios in London's Bloomsbury with a mix of live and pre-recorded programmes. It aims to break the mould of current affairs television with a mix of opinionated and controversial programming.

In a groundbreaking initiative, the station is building a network of 100 nationwide and worldwide citizen journalist reporters, each equipped with their own camcorder, which they can use to film reports for 18DoughtyStreet to broadcast.

At the heart of the station will be a website of blogs and daily votes. Comments left on the blogs will shape the content of the programmes and the daily votes will help determine which news stories headline every programme.


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Programme presenters will have access to the blogs during live programming, with the viewer seeing the blog next to the live streaming screen on their computers. All programmes will be available for download after livestreaming.

The channel's founders claim that conventional political television has let down its audience by dumbing down political debate to the lowest common denominator.

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The mantra of 18Doughty Street is that no political party truly understands the electorate's disappointment with the current state of politics. Its aim is to be an anti-establishment channel - championing rebel opinions in all of the mainstream parties and constantly questioning authority.

AS the party conferences fade away, the one overriding impression from attending the Labour and Conservative gatherings was the huge proportion of under 40s in Manchester and Bournemouth.

Although Labour has been streets ahead of the Tories in attracting younger delegates, this year in Bournemouth there was certainly a higher proportion of youth on show than is normal.

The blue rinse brigade and retired colonels are not on the decline - far from it - but the election of David Cameron, who turns 40 this week, has certainly seen the Conservatives attracting a new generation of conference goers.

Mr Cameron says he wants to turn the opening session of next year's conference into a family occasion, which would allow delegates to apply for a day pass and to bring their children. Their may be two obstacles in the way of this laudable aim - given the delays in issuing credentials, people are unlikely to risk driving all the way to Blackpool to find they cannot get in to the conference.

And secondly, Blackpool - it may advertise itself as a family resort, but not the type of families who inhabit Holland Park and the Surrey stockbroker belt.

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