Newsjack Submission 10 – Episode Review

Like an autistic kid counting staples, I felt I needed to get this out of my system.

This is a rough breakdown of the episode of NewsJack that was broadcast on the 26th January, 2017.

Breaking News was the biggest number of individual ‘jokes’, with sketches coming next and Number Crunching falling in last place. In the broadcast there was only 1 round of Number Crunching but during the recording I thought that maybe there were 2 rounds of it. Perhaps I was mistaken, its been known to happen.

You can see that sketches easily take up the largest amount of time, second only to Angela with her monologue and  intros to sketches. Seeing as these aren’t stuff ‘the public’ can write, I’ve not included these in the timings.

When we look at the breakdown of the ‘topics’ that the one-liners and the sketches cover we can see that there was a bias to Politics and Arts & Entertainment. I’ve included the Trump stuff as ‘polictics’ so that probably squiffs the figures. Sport/Business&Economy/World News had less than Arts&Entertainment in total. This makes me think they don’t actually try to have an even spread of jokes but choose their favourites. Nothing wrong with that but if this trend continues then it suggests there is no more chance getting a ‘sports’ joke in than a ‘politics’ one so it isn’t worth writing something in one of the less-broadcast categories.

I did say I’d look at some of the jokes, especially the sketches, to see when they were ‘news’.

I’ll use the BBC (mainly) as the source as I can’t be sure where people got them from

Sketch 1 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38716191 – 23rd January
Sketch 2 – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jan/23/maria-miller-brexit-hindering-compulsory-sex-education-plans – 23rd January
Sketch 3 – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/richard-spencer-alt-right-punched-donald-trump-inauguration-a7538746.html – 20th January
Sketch 4 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-38677355 – 19th January
Sketch 5 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38702996 – 21st January
Sketch 6 –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T2_Trainspotting#Release – Released 27th of Jan but discussed all this week.
Sketch 7 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38666752 – 19th January
Sketch 8 – www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38691915 – 23rd January
Sketch 9 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38686626 – 20th January

Now there are 2 sketches from the 19th. Were these written that week and submitted or were they written by staff-writers who can get away with including stuff that isn’t ‘recent’? A lot happened after them so its strange that those two sketches were included. I wonder if they get lots of sketches submitted or whether they don’t get many and that’s why sometimes non-recent stuff is included.

There are 3 sketches with sources from the 23rd. That gives people 24 hours tops to write their sketches. Maybe I underestimate people but with a day job, writing a funny sketch within that timeframe is impossible for me. I’ve tried it, writing a sketch on the day of submission about something that was in the news that day (to keep in current). I wonder if the other people submitting have ‘day jobs’  because if they do, they are writing some excellent comedy! You can see examples of my sketches on this blog….its not so excellent!

So what have I learnt from this excerise?

  1. I’m only a little bit mental
  2. In a 35 minute comedy show, there are about 30 spots people are competing for
  3. Political jokes are the most popular
  4. If you write one-liners, there are 20 spaces available for your joke
  5. The ‘date’ of the story for sketches should really be within the past week, you still have a chance if it isn’t dated from that day

Was it worth it? I’m not sure. But I am glad I’ve now got this information – I just hope I don’t decide to do it for the next show.