Tag Archives: Radio 4

Sarah Hartley: BBC offers experimental programming format – too soon?

Sarah Hartley takes a look at R&D TV a new offering from the BBC that allows viewers to watch and ‘mash iup’ BBC footage.

“Trouble is, only one such mashup has so far taken place despite worldwide access and awareness of the initiative is very limited,” writes Hartley.

“Is this just early days for something ahead of the curve , or is the mighty institution smothering its fledgling participatory offering before it can get out of the nursery?”

Full post at this link…

Meanwhile, over on the BBC Editors Blog, Jon Zilkha discuss Radio 4’s recent experiments with ‘visualising’ the Today programme by introducing cameras and live video streaming to the studio.

“Experimenting with what is grandly called ‘visualisation’ is hardly new. For us, the idea was to see whether the cameras could capture something of the intensity of interviews, as well as to give an insight into the working of the programme,” writes Zilkha.

UK press regulation discussed at the Frontline Club

At the Frontline Club tonight: a discussion of press standards, self-regulation and public trust on the question: Is the press accountable enough?

The debate features:

From the Frontline Blog:

“According to a report published by the Media Standards Trust, the current system of press self-regulation is not successfully protecting either the press or the public. The current system is not, the report claims, effective enough, accountable enough, or transparent enough, and does not reflect the transformed media environment. So should Britain’s system of press self-regulation be over-hauled and if it is, will it do anything to restore public faith in the press?”

Radio 4’s Today programme on Metro’s 10th birthday

To mark the 10th birthday of UK freesheet Metro, Steve Auckland, head of the paper’s free division, and Roy Greenslade, journalism professor and media commentator, discussed the impact of the the free newspaper on news consumption and the print industry on this morning’s Today programme (available at this link until March 23).

Steve Auckland, head of the free division at Associated Newspapers, succinctly explained the paper’s remit as a commuter’s newspaper.

“We’re there for a 20-minute read,” he explained, adding that stories outside of the lifestyle section are kept to around five paragraphs to facilitate this.

“I think we’ve just brought in a fresh group of readers who had been lost to the industry before. Those paid-for papers hadn’t been attracting younger readers,” argued Auckland.

What the paper isn’t doing, however, is helping to encourage these younger, freesheet readers to switch to paid-fors later in life, as Greenslade suggested:

“What is dificult to divine is whether they are converting to paid-fors (…) They are stuck on the idea that all news is free (…) and they are not graduating, as was thought to be the case, from a free newspaper to a paid-for newspaper later.”

While Metro has had a negative effect on sales of regional dailies and tabloid titles, he added, it has helped, but is not the major reason for the long-term decline facing the newspaper industry.

Greenslade said he sees free titles, such as Metro, as part of the news mix for future consumers, with short, sharp news ‘bullets’ in print supplemented by news, opinion and analysis online.

“As far as I’m concerned we will continue to grow Metro (…) many of the [other paid-for] papers are well-resourced operations and they’ll ride out this recession,” added Auckland.

Radio 4 Today’s ‘viral’ ad

Embedded for your viewing pleasure: the new ad from the folks at the Radio 4 Today programme, which gives us valuable insight into the presenters’ costume and make-up choices. Self-proclaimed as ‘viral,‘ a definition already disputed in the Twittersphere, it’ll be interesting to see how popular it is and whether their attempt to create a viral ad works. The background to the project at this link.

Radio4Today: Would Orwell have been a blogger?

Radio 4 Today takes a look at politics and blogging. Yesterday saw the announcement of the Orwell Prize longlists, including its new award for bloggers.

“The power of the internet to shape politics – from Obama’s campaign to online petitions – is widely recognised. But blogging has now become an intrinsic part of the political process,” it is reported on the Today programme’s site.

So, would Orwell have been a blogger? Charlie Beckett, director of Polis, says yes.

“He was a contrarian, he loved a row and he didn’t mind people having a go at him,” he says.

“George Orwell would have blogged. Fact.”

Full story at this link…

Follow this link for a discussion with director of the prize, Jean Seaton, and longlisted blogger Hopi Sen, of the ‘from the Backroom’ blog, on whether blogging ‘has become as respected as novel writing or journalism.’

JamesCridland: BBC Radio 4 reaching out

James Cridland takes a look at BBC Radio 4’s blogging efforts.

“[…] the clever and charming Mark Damazer, controller of the radio station, has caught the blogging bug,” he writes.

“Why does Radio 4 repeat a fair bit of their schedule? He [Damazer] tells us frankly:

“We simply can’t make more programmes with the money we have. We have several ideas for new programmes/formats – but I can’t afford to take out repeats and replace them with these news ideas. We’d go broke.”

Full post at this link…

Meyer slams Media Standards Trust report – it’s ‘statistics of the madhouse’

Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme, chair of the Press Complaints Commission [PCC], Sir Christopher Meyer, has disputed the Media Standards Trust’s new published research, labelling it a  ‘shoddy report’. (Click through end link for full transcript)

The report has found that the PCC [as reported in Guardian, for example] lacks transparency and ‘commercially significant sanctions’.

Interviewed this morning, Sir Christopher Meyer defended the work of the PCC: ‘the way we organise ourselves is transparent,’ he said.

“They [the MST] don’t come to PCC and they don’t take evidence directly,” Meyer said.

Sir David Bell, who chairs the MST, said “We are more expert on their website than they [PCC] are themselves.”

Bell said the MST will consult the PCC in the second stage of the research.

“There’s a revolution going on in newspapers, the PCC needs to be reformed,” Bell added.

Meyer labelled the report’s findings as ‘statistics of the madhouse’. “We now have record numbers of people coming for advice,” Meyer said. “This has to be seen as a vote of confidence,” he said.

Full audio linked here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7878000/7878472.stm

0845 (Today Programme) from the website:
“Newspapers are regulated by the Press Complaints Commission, a body set up and run by the papers themselves. A report by the Media Standards Trust, an independent charity, says existing press self-regulation is not working. Sir David Bell, chairman of the trust, and Sir Christopher Meyer, chairman of the PCC, discuss the report.”

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BadScience.net: Goldacre has the last word on Today programme argument

Ben Goldacre sets the record straight on a claim by Nas Amir Ahmadi that he had misquoted a detox website on this morning’s Radio 4 Today programme. After the show, he checked the detoxinabox.com site and found the original quote… which has now been removed.

Rusbridger: Major cities in the UK could be ‘without any kind of verifiable source of news’

Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, and the Independent’s first editor Andreas Whittam Smith, expressed their concerns, as well as tentative optimism about the current UK newspaper climate.

“I think we have to face up to the prospect that the first time since the Enlightenment you’re going to have major cities in the UK, in Western democracies, without any kind of verifiable source of news,” said Rusbridger.

“That hasn’t happened for two or three hundred years and I think it is going to have very profound implications,” he said.

Whittam Smith referred to an ‘extremely tough’ environment and said that he was once again being asked on a daily basis whether the Independent will survive.

“The risks to all newspapers are very great,” he said, “[but] the Independent has always been innovative.”

“It has to be innovative again in these circumstances,” he said. Moving into the Daily Mail building ‘is an example of that’ he added. Like other businesses, newspapers will have to ‘share the facilities the customers don’t see’ he said.

He said that people still liked to read print, and that if free newspapers were taken into consideration circulations in the UK are only down by one million: from 14 to 13 million a day.

“People do like the stuff on the printed page – what they don’t like so much any longer is paying for it,” he said.

Rusbridger said that newspaper companies with paternalistic or maternalistic owners would fare better than those ‘with big debt’ and other types of ownership structures.

The Scott Trust [the Guardian’s owner], he said, ‘to some extent protected [the Guardian] from immediate effects of the market’.

Both agreed that there would be newspaper casualties in the near future.

Listen to the clip here.

BBC Radio 4 Feedback looks at the BBC News blogs (audio)

When they started, the BBC didn’t know why or what it was for: Nick Robinson tried out one for the General Election in 2001.

Now Robert Peston is getting a half million hits per day.

Here Louise Adamson from Radio 4’s Feedback programme looks at the role of the BBC’s News blogs.

The BBC journalists interviewed stress that the BBC voice has to be considered, and that blogs still go through careful checks.

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