Saturday 17 March 2018

Hatgate (2)

Jess Brammar

The acting co-editor of Newsnight responds to Owen Jones:

Jess Brammar:

  • Ok, it’s Saturday & I’m in the hairdresser but my phone is having a meltdown so I’m going to address this - I’ve been staying out of it because I haven’t been in the office since thurs afternoon, but here we go...Newsnight didn’t photoshop a hat.
  • Our (excellent,hardworking) graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been colour treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens. If you look you can see it’s same hat in silhouette.
  • Apparently (forgive me for passing on tech details I don’t understand firsthand) some detail might also have been lost with it going through the screen and then being filmed back through a camera, again the standard effect on images on that big back panel.
  • And finally, the Russia background was a rehash of one Newsnight used a few weeks ago, for a story about Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary
  • By all means criticise Newsnight. That’s healthy, and we will always welcome people like Owen Jones coming on the show to criticise us from our own studio. But no one photoshopped a hat.

Owen Jones:

  • Hi Jess, firstly lots of respect for you. The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear. There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.

Jess Brammar:

  • RTing you in interests of openness! Don’t want to get into a twitter spat, and need to switch off twitter now, but happy to give your views a full airing. And you can say what you like about NN, you certainly will be invited on again.

Owen Jones:

  • In addition, the photo of Corbyn has clearly been touched up, making it look Soviet poster-esque in a way Gavin Williamson did not. You'll be aware, too, of a context of Corbyn being demonised all week as a Russian stooge. Which this background clearly blatantly reinforces.
  • (Finally I thought you'd left already but massive congrats on your new job!!!)


  1. Makes him look like a Russian stooge? Oh well, as they say - if the cap fits, wear it...

  2. The truth is out there.

    Trust no one.

  3. Her twitter bio is a bbc classic.

  4. (Finally I thought you'd left already but massive congrats on your new job!!!)

    Off to Huffpost as Head of News in case anyone is interested. Meanwhile, Esme Wren, who started her career at Neesnight, returns there to take up Jess's post after spending the last 12 years BBCifying Sky News.


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