Sky News is beating the broadcasting ban on the Hutton Inquiry by reconstructing the proceedings using actors. Sky claims it is the first time that a 24-hour news channel has broadcast a reconstruction of a public inquiry.
Reconstructions, using the official court transcript, are filmed each day and broadcast at 9pm, 11pm and the following day at 9am. Actors speak the transcript and the reconstructions are filmed at Sky’s Millbank studios. Sky said the actors were sourced via an agency and selected according to their acting ability. At the weekend, Sky News broadcast a special programme reconstructing the key evidence from week one of the inquiry, on Saturday at 7pm, and on Sunday at 8pm.
Nick Pollard, head of Sky News, said: “The public’s understanding of the Hutton Inquiry and the way they might have followed it would have been far easier if the cameras had been let in. Instead, Sky News has reported it comprehensively, and, in addition, run reconstructions every night.
“Reconstructions are difficult, because on some days the court has only released the official transcript of the morning section at tea time – about five hours after it’s finished – but they have been a revelation. Actually seeing the evidence, admittedly in a dramatised form, gives you an understanding of the flow of what a witness was trying to convey, that you don’t get in snapshots.”