As promised I’ve listened to Archive on 4’s ‘What Has Media Training Done To Politics?’ so you don’t have to.

Nobody comes out of this programme particularly well. Politicians, interviewers, media trainers, it’s a 58 minute plague on all our houses. (“We’re media training politicians into a bland mush”).

“I think the right word is armour…but when it become a way of controlling not just a narrative but stopping any discussion of a more truthful version coming out…that’s when it becomes detrimental to democracy.” Emily Maitlis

I don’t media train politicians. Not on principle, simply because nobody has ever asked me. I’d love a crack at it. There’s a familiar rhythm to a media trained politician accepted within Westminster as “the right approach” that I’d love to try and change.

This rhythm centres around the pivot, which there’s nothing wrong with in principle – the problem is it’s rarely done effectively. (Incidentally the analysis of the Ed Miliband pivot is worth the license fee alone.)

There’s also a recognition in the programme that journalists must change their approach. The fear of interviewees saying something accidental – the obsession with the gotcha moment – is what drives a reliance on media training.

The impact of rolling news is maligned, the death of the long form interview (Walden, Day etc) mourned. It’s a pretty good listen. Brimming with big hitters and some lovely archive. You just don’t really come away with any answers about how to improve the situation.