Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News

Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News

The things that are said on camera are only part of the story.

Behind every interview there is a backstory. How it came about. How it ended. The compromises that were made. The regrets, the rows, the deeply inappropriate comedy.

Making news is an essential but imperfect art, and it rarely goes according to plan.

I never expected to find myself wandering around the Maharani of Jaipur's bedroom with Bill Clinton or invited to the Miss USA beauty pageant by its owner, Donald Trump. I never expected to be thrown into a provincial Cuban jail, or to be drinking red wine at Steve Bannon's kitchen table or spend three hours in a lift with Alan Partridge.

I certainly didn't expect the Dalai Lama to tell me the story of his most memorable poo.

The beauty of television is its ability to simplify, but that's also its weakness: it can distil everything down to one snapshot, one soundbite. Then the news cycle moves on.

Title:Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781405938341
Format Type:

    Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News Reviews

  • Paromjit

    Well, clearly Emily Maitliss, presenter of the BBC's flagship Newsnight programme, is no Airhead. but the consummate professional interrogator and interviewer. This is not really an autobiography, and...

  • Geevee

    Hugely enjoyable, funny and insightful. Airhead is not a biography nor a treatise on television journalism but more, as Emily Maitlis says herself, it's a look at how things happen in her job: how thi...

  • SueKich

    Maitlis, mascara and mastering the art of the tv interview. There’s no getting away from it: Emily Maitlis is ordinately ‘well turned out’! She’s immaculately groomed right down to her no-doub...

  • Lyndsey Jenkins

    I’m really disappointed in this. She makes so many important points about journalistic ethics, but the format - based around specific interviews - never allows a sustained analysis to develop. There...

  • Richard

    Whistle stop tour of some of the more memorable moments in recent years that has moulded and brought Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis to TV news and current affairs watchers attention.Elections, Donald Tru...

  • Sarah

    I thought this might be more of a memoir, but we only get tiny glimpses into Maitlis's own life - she mentions in passing that she was born in Sheffield, that a relative escaped from Nazi Germany, and...

  • Eoin McGrath

    Stunning collection of vignettes, which in a great way, is preferable to a full blown memoir. I feel some parts could go deeper, but that being said, it's understandably more of a journalistic account...

  • Graham

    Anecdotal account of some of the author's more memorable interviews. Provides an insight on the haphazard nature of reporting and the simplification that TV requires/ imposes. Mostly forgettable....

  • Rob

    I bought this because I liked Maitlis on Newsnight skewering politicians with her sharp intellect and curious mind and think this book is rubbish precisely because she seems to have been told to tone ...

  • Sid Nuncius

    I enjoyed Airhead. It’s more of a collection of vignettes that a full memoir, which means that I tended to dip in and out of it, but a few sections at a time make very good reading. Each section des...