Good morning. Here is the news. And here it is again
Morning Edition: in our male-dominated media, the new programme, presented by Keelin Shanley, includes the refreshing sight of all-female panels
TELEVISION: With her newsroom heft and an ease with features, Keelin Shanley is just the right person for ‘Morning Edition'
Somehow, flopping on the sofa when the kids have gone out the door to school doesn’t seem quite the guilty pleasure when you find yourself watching Leaders’ Questions from the Dáil, though happily for Morning Edition, RTÉ’s new daytime news programme, only got lumbered with that on Wednesday.
The Six One News/Morning Ireland hybrid got off to a confident and efficient start, expanding on the station’s news offering and the TV choice at that time of the day.
There’s room in the two hours for longer news items from the station’s reporters, followed by studio discussion, a typical example being Tuesday’s one on sex-worker trafficking, which included a sparky studio debate. And Keelin Shanley, with her approachable style, is the right person for the demanding job, as she combines newsroom heft with an ease for more feature-type items.
The content this week was mostly on the heavy side, as if Morning Edition in its no-frills-budget-looking studio was in fear of edging into breakfast-TV pastel-sofa territory. Maybe it will lighten up as time goes on. By 9am, pure news junkies will already have gotten their fix.
It is worth mentioning that in our male-dominated media there has clearly been an effort on Morning Edition to find – and it’s not hard – a range of female contributors, resulting in the refreshing sight of all-female panels.
Some rule somewhere must say that sport and weather have to be in every news mix and repeated regularly until you almost know the reports word for word. (Time for me to flick over to Homes under the Hammer, on BBC One, and the dreadful Jeremy Kyle on TV3 for some spirit-sapping trash).
The business coverage is repetitive if you’ve already heard Morning Ireland and not much more than radio on the telly. RTÉ admits it’s not entirely sure who the target market is, so, as well as being a brave move in these straitened times, it is a case of if we build it they will come. We’ll see.
Looking for a story that epitomised US boom-time excess, Lauren Greenfield, the director of the documentary Storyville: The Queen of Versailles(BBC Four, Monday), hit pay dirt when in 2007 she met the former beauty queen Jackie Siegel and her timeshare billionaire husband, David.
They ticked the predictable boxes: he was 30 years her senior, she was a surgically enhanced blonde with an annual clothing budget of $1 million and they were prolific, conspicuous spenders, in the process of building the biggest house in the United States. And they were willing to give the director access to their day-to-day lives over what turned out to be several years.