Hamish MacDonald, right, pictured interviewing convicted murderer and writer Erwin James in a scene from his current affairs TV series The Truth Is.
Hamish MacDonald, right, pictured interviewing convicted murderer and writer Erwin James in a scene from his current affairs TV series The Truth Is. Contributed by Network Ten

Hamish MacDonald believes the truth is always best

CHANNEL 10's Late News host Hamish MacDonald is kicking goals with his irreverent and personal take on current affairs.

The journalist's three-part international human interest program The Truth Is wraps up this week.

He has received praise for the first two instalments, which saw the award-winning journo go to sniper school in the US, tour "sunny" Chernobyl, explore the bright and colourful world of Korean pop music and pull back the curtains on a private security school in Slovakia.

Rather than drag out the usual suspects - politicians, sports stars, celebrities for interviews about hot-button issues, MacDonald has found real, and sometimes larger-than-life, characters and immersed himself in their worlds.

The show is MacDonald's brainchild. He's the presenter, creator and co-executive producer.

"I've had a frustration for a long time in terms of foreign news," he told The Guide at Ten's Pyrmont studios.

"Being a foreign correspondent is about the most exciting thing you can do, and somewhere along the way we've lost the art of letting the audience in on that experience.

"Even in the most difficult places I've ever been, the experiences of them are not just the bombs and the guns, they're very human experiences."

Hamish MacDonald's The Truth Is - Ten - Monday at 8.30pm

The Truth Is also looks different from traditional current affairs shows. It's shot in a more artistic style by some of the war-zone cameramen MacDonald worked with at Al Jazeera.

"We wanted to create a show that had a sense of journey and momentum and felt like it was unfolding as we were experiencing things, but also make it look really rich," he said.

In this week's final episode MacDonald travels to Moscow to meet Russia's socialite-turned-political-journalist Ksenia Sobchak, and then goes inside Norway's fence-free prison where he meets a former journalist convicted of murder.

Where Ten missed the mark with George Negus's half-hour news program, on which MacDonald was a reporter, it has struck a bullseye with The Truth Is.

Let's hope Ten orders another batch of episodes.



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