Review: Sir Martyn Lewis at the Auden Theatre, Holt

Sir Martyn Lewis hosted a lecture as part of the 2019 Holt Festival. Picture: Simon Finlay

Sir Martyn Lewis hosted a lecture as part of the 2019 Holt Festival. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The first afternoon audience of the 2019 Holt Festival in the Auden Theatre were thoroughly engaged and challenged by Sir Martyn Lewis who presented his lecture called 'A Constructive Future for Journalism'.

In what could have been a dry subject for what was presumably an audience made up of non-journalistic people, he explained how our news today is made up of predominantly negative stories and the impact this has on our everyday lives.

He did so in a very relaxed engaging way. For the past 26 years he has been on a personal crusade for these stories to also contain a counterbalance of how to address whichever issue is being reported. He gave real life examples of the benefits this has had when this approach is taken.

He also extolled the virtues of leading with many more positive stories which he believes outweigh in real life the negative ones but currently never get the same amount of airtime.

Sir Martyn was a polished professional and smooth presenter.

Even during the obligatory Q&A at the end, his answers seemed to have been pre-scripted rather than off the cuff.

This was a good start to the festival living up to a promise of delivering cultural nourishment from recognised performers.

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It was both thought provoking and entertaining at the same time.

Like most of the audience I left with a deeper understanding the subject matter and genuinely hoping that Sir Martyn succeeds in persuading 'the powers to be' of the benefits of this approach across all forms of the UK media.

I wonder if someone should also come with 'A Constructive Future for Politics' which could hopefully have a similar positive impact.


For more about what's on during the 2019 Holt Festival, see here.