Lateline host Tony Jones will host a new politics program on the ABC titled Q&A. Although few details have yet been released, The Australian quotes jones as saying:
“In any given week it will give you a snapshot of where public opinion sits on current issues, as well as a way of gauging how the political elites and a range of intelligent people are engaged with those issues…If it comes off as we dream it, it’s pretty unique as a concept.”
The show’s early evening timeslot will showcase Jones, who is appearing more outside his Lateline role (most recently fronting the broadcaster’s live coverage of the Stolen Generation apology), to a much broader audience. While the show is going to air, he will host Lateline two nights a week, returning to four afterwards.
Before Q&A starts, producers will ask people to register to participate as part of its live studio audience, or from home. Audience members will be vetted to weed out party plants and zealots, ensuring a cross-section of real people who each week will be able to quiz at least two senior politicians and an expert panel on topical issues.
The new show is seen by many as the ABC’s replacement for the 2007 series Difference of Opinion, hosted by Geoff McMullen.