Belfast Telegraph

Mixed reviews as Harvey edits Today

The BBC's special edition of the Today programme was met with mixed reviews as politicians and commentators took to Twitter to voice their views.

Guest-edited by musician and 2011 Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey, who chose to change the format of the programme through song and poetry, as well as subject matter, the corporation's flagship current affairs programme was not welcomed by all.

Conservative Welsh Secretary David Jones said on Twitter: "Today's @BBCrdtoday is apparently the work of a 'guest editor'. Have to wonder who extended the invitation."

The programme, which many listeners observed boasted a left-wing stance today, also drew criticism for its choice of guests, which included the controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as campaigning journalist John Pilger.

The BBC's own political editor Nick Robinson tweeted: "Pilger always thought-provoking, but was he really suggesting that BBC ignore Obama's Mandela grief as he is a hypocrite?"

He added: "Or Sunni Shia massacres in Syria as Blair & Bush's fault? Surely, John those are what we call opinions not facts?"

Labour's Diane Abbott welcomed the editorial change, however.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP wrote: "Really enjoyed @BBCr4today edited by PJ Harvey. She should do it every day."

Ms Abbott's views were shared by her Labour colleague Barry Sheerman, who described the musician's choices as "entirely refreshing".

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