Middlesex Journalism students at The Agenda recording

Middlesex journalism and media students were in the studio for a primetime TV programme that made headlines in three national newspapers.

The Agenda is the flagship current affairs programme of ITV, the UK’s main commercial television channel. The programme, launched in 2012, is hosted by ITV’s leading newsreader, Tom Bradby, and has attracted guests such as former Prime Minister David Cameron, his former Deputy Nick Clegg and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

 

 

Twenty Middlesex students, accompanied by Journalism & Media Programme Leader Dr Sophie Knowles and Senior Journalism Lecturer Frank Shennan, were invited to be in the audience for the recording. The location was Pinewood Studios, famous as the home of the 007 James Bond film sound stage. 

 

The newspaper headlines followed an argument over immigrants between two members of the programme’s panel: author and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman and Suzanne Evans, candidate forleadership of the UK Independence Party. Paxman accused her of lacking compassion. 

 

 

There were also disagreements with the other panel members: former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan MP, author and Telegraph columnist Alison Pearson and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones. One student said afterwards: “We have nothing like this in Norway. It was very intense.” 

 

 

Next day the programme was the basis for discussions in Journalism Foundations and Contemporary Journalism classes, about what was said and how television selects panel members.

One student said: “Some of what was said would not have been allowed on television in Germany.”