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Read this: How journalism exposed an atrocity

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How journalism exposed an atrocity…

Hello, I'm Mr Rajan and welcome to the media Show podcast this week offered a prime example of how the latest technology can help reporters get to the truth in a report.

That's gone viral journalists from BBC Africa uncover the identity of the perpetrators of an atrocity on the Cameroon Nigeria border border earlier this year that use satellite images and crowdsourced investigators from the internet to solve.

It will get inside the Mechanics of that remarkable story shortly also try sees the launch of a brand new identity for BBC2 Patrick Holland the channels controller is here Patrick if you had to describe your channel in a sentence, what would you say? I would say that is a channel.

That is challenging mischievous and engaged with the audience and engage with the stories of modern Britain today that sounds about right now if you're BBC TV drama interrogate that and I'm packed it in a little while.

I'm ok and manori ravindran is also here from the trade publication telebizz television business international minori 21st Century Fox has just now.

Did it selling its 39% stake in sky to comcast for people keeping up with this story broadly speaking is this Rupert Murdoch throwing in the towel.

We can have to see how this all plays out this definitely end of an era for him.

I was the only 30 years sociation Sky this organisation that nearly bankrupted him.

It's now world-class company that 3 Americans who doesn't want and Sonny With Murder it's not going to anything to do with it with it is where x is very very unusual in that report by BBC Africa and it is really grab the attention of people around the world it was an investigation into an atrocity that took place in northern Cameroon a viral video of the murder of two women and two children by a group of soldiers which circulated on social media that Cameron's government initially said it was fake news and denied it soldiers had anything to do with it the BBC has now been able to prove otherwise by analysing the video frame by frame the location date and the soldiers involved have all been identified.

Here's a clip of the report showing one of the techniques that was used as these women and Isles cast Shadows on the track a simple mathematical formula tells us the angle of the sun in comparison to The Horizon we can also see what direction the light is coming from when we add this data to our location we can get a precise time frame for this event the killings happened between March 20th and April 5th 2015.

What are you on the road is one of the Chinese who worked on the story one of many Jones who worked on a story and Heathrow BBC Africa eye which is the investigative Strand that covers the continent for at the BBC is here now and I'm on plants the coming in and what I know.

It's been a busy week.

Just before we talk about the Mechanics have you been taken aback and surprised by the response to this with you? Yeah? Yeah, we did annexe.

Take me to do to you there when she have such positive responses from from return on social media on Twitter on Facebook people saying thank you for for such great journalism and for such mixing collaborative projects.

I was amazed by its.

How many times has it been seen mean if it on Twitter Alliance around 55 to Twitter thrillers, been treated more than 50 k and 57 and then on Facebook spending more than one point disco 1 million viewers or something and then nearly 1 million weeks so sweet very great and also do they come in such as so positive about it that start with the commission whose idea was it to look deep into that particular video? Am so it is just came up and naturally because because of the fact obviously of the atrocity of the Crime you know that that you can see in the video the fact that goes to children and and two young children to woman.

That'll be I've been killed by by those so you're so that there was one reason then also as soon as he went viral meaning of July 2018 you had as she can you use to bake debate there was parked on the line.

People seeing you know what happened in Mario they were saying no that's not true was in Cameroon so you know we had to establish the facts and history important that there was a job and even more so by the fact that Saturday after we went viral sound you like you given and the government of Cameroon and the ministry of communication dismiss the video of fake news so really you know we had to choose Tobi to the truth weather in D&D was figures or whether know you did happened on the Communist soil was done by coming and Saudi which after all and her investigation this will be able to prove ok and we'll come to the technology this the moment it seemed quite sophisticated technology involved but the basic principle of doing this through open source journalism.

She's collaboration internationally it something has been taught about lot what from your point if you just opened sausages and actually mean so in The Nutshell it's a crying and sort of scientific forensic analysis through information.

That is publicly available so in a way.

It's just you think so.

Sometime traditional methods of thinking of joining is Amina when you try to impact the facts org.

See it in the police.

You know what the police force when they would get your question because I think what's good with this case isn't that where we had we had a crime scene and when we approach it where brushes in a very scientific manner where transfer question simple question where it happened when it happened and who are the perpetrators.

Maybe why in the who were the victims as well, that's how we approach it.

That's so the mentality of Investigation but when it comes to the expect of open source open source mean is Fi that all the information is publicly available in any one can of accessories and anyone can use those tools and Resources which will they could discuss in the beach and those thoughts and some of those tools are free on their things like Google Earth so interested in terms of the technology used how much how much of the technology used was expensive stuff and how much more stuff than anyone in this room anyone in this building could use access for free for the investigation of its what was previously there was just as I'm selling imagery, which we obtained from a cellular Jamil imagery provider and where we normally had to pay but some new no organisation can agreement with them but most of the get saved.

Triple g of the tools we using resources anyone can use them for free to do people worked on this story.

We are going to talk we started about 8 people total of 20 so that is really important to stress that collaborative aspect of this investigation so the way is that just BBC4 guide they were tunics from BBC of regarding visitation was produced by busy BBC Africa eye, but they also are we worked with investigators from amnesty International work from a set of open source and is coming you know they slept with her community of open source and a East online so we are working with them people around the world as well.

So not just in London to Africa but people in other parts of the world has Craig so we were basically she BBC3 based in the UK but we work with people based in Netherlands are there in Switzerland and some of them.

I don't even know the real name is not I don't know their face have never met them In My Life by the ethics of that in the second biggest Switzerland helping you to identify some Killers of Cameroon what they actually contributing so who do you why do you speak to be in Switzerland what they doing how big are some of them, so they be on to that open source community where they?

Work education you know they're very good at this depth of those trained himself to do this in the very active in the known for that's on Twitter ok.

Let's talk about something actual techniques involved cos I'm quite specific stuff quite look what you did you say crime scenes and types of which was identified locations just explain how the techniques used to identify where this happened and when it happened through it.

So if if we if we jump into the into into the when we one of the tool the only two wages for 44 Westway happened.

That's the one I want to transfer first is a Google Earth satellite imagery and so what we had in the video when you when you watch the video the of the Crime of the King as you can see there is a specific montane ridgeline and so we had a bit of public information saying we know where to specially happened in the Fallen the width of Cameron now the phone awful communed is I can cau treatment so when we decided to do is put on Google is the farthest into separate zones and assign each of the person who was working on the project is a sort of area of research to look into you and to see whether they could find a month in red wine.

In in English because when you press yourself and Google recipe can actually see the progress E20 you let me talk about someone sat in front of a computer on Google Earth who is take got a region within North Cameroon and is basic touring digitally virtual reality touring that looking for mountain range it fits the shape.

You've got that's that's what we did for that two weeks until and it'll get the others to know until we had a tip-off from a source who said maybe you should go cats.

Are you not on Google Earth you should look at the area near the town of cigarettes and with minutes when we work there.

We found the month in which kind and I was here so syncovery sauce that source was from coming OK that's interesting what legal resistance.

Did you meet to publication of this story.

Can you identify and Killers yet? So we went for the for the identity of of the of the three men who actually Portugal we obviously need to get it as much as evidence as possible using goes to the comment you had a didn't reach out to them, but what days is serious when you go to identify some of the Killer

You know on the BBC have to go to hell and hoops what network do the lawyer say about whether you could have come round this story so they say we could do it because we had enough evidence to GU22 forward to one of them one of the mental is important use USB charger that's name in the report.

You know we had to he was name in the in in a statement issued by the government of Cameroon which they had made the governor come with animate arrest and months after the video went viral, so that his name was in there, but we also from the profile on Facebook and we are also a source who confirmed that this was indeed a total CRB test we had the three-level evidence at 3 years of age and should be able to publish it and just always find me in this is the squad of 21 people work on this you've got some people are trying to be Google Earth some people spend it all day on social media looking for potential killers and some people were also in the region work in contacts.

How do you distribute the kind of workload all working together as some other winning the timing you know the one.

And all in all of us were trying to reach out to a contact to get as much information as possible to help us and you doing that in your bedroom.

Hope it is a 24-hour thing I doing at work.

I mean yeah.

It's a bit of the romance in this investigation.

He was a very beautiful nasty event but health course go this is going to go down a lot to be well as a very modern type investigation and there is his kind of folklore idea people in there night x on laptops where literally were you doing the work so I was doing my work between the BBC office and then coming back at home.

You know Sitting at my desk at the table until maybe midnight and then you know you enough to the bed, but you still so attracted by the investigation than you know the way to the winners to find truth that you will pick up your computer and then you go on until 2:03 a.m.

To people that these guys in Switzerland who didn't know you don't know the identity, but they're involved in your cooperation efforts at we paying any that some of them.

Yes, because one of them was so involved with the project that we decided to take him on board a retainer pay him, but were there anyone who's involved in this who wasn't paid yes.

Yes and is a kind of free check-in.

Trains from the internet yeah, it's important to pay them in the future lean over this is important.

We don't sell them as 3gg to the rest of the world.

So there are some people who involved in this investigation.

You didn't get paid yes there were Wigan chichiwa.

Happy to do the job for free because of their passion for for open source investigation daughter Claire Wardle is here and Dr level does research fellow at the shorenstein center on media politics and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School Claire jealous.

Got used to it using material posted by members of the public on social media, but this is a whole new game isn't actually getting involved in the investigation.

I think it's worth pointing out that this kind of work has been done by Human Rights organisations like amnesty in the last 10 years.

There's a recognition that actually you can use video as evidence and actual processes have come on board the people of agreed even at the international criminal Court level to say we will take that as evidence so I didn't what's interesting here as we've seen this crossover where Africa I was working with amnesty and was working with other analysts on.

I do most of the time of doing this for human rights purposes, so I think that im being so pleased to see this kind of move into the mainstream because really they shouldn't be I don't think this area division.

Would you have to think about some the Ethical challenges, but yeah, but this can go horribly wrong can't it? I mean they've been examples where this kinda technologies being misused after the Boston marathon bombing in particular isn't this is something when you hear that there were people in Switzerland work on this don't even know who they are with the Genesis account would say hello in a second half.

We trust that person which came about because the government said this was fake news is a reason that politicians call-out mainstream.

Media is fake news and actually it's important to say professional journalist.

Do you have ethics codes? They do have editorial standards.

They do go through legal and ethics training before they're allowed to press publish the guys in Switzerland and girls amazing but I think there is a challenge here about because these tools are available and people can collaborate and the outcome is wonderful in this case I do think sometimes we can have a situation.

Where people together as a crowd go off without think about the implications just remind us what happened after the Boston marathon, so you may remember that a photo appeared of the two men with a rucksack in some imagery and read it in particular became this place.

Where people were basically swapping tips and sharing names.

We had some really damaging examples of the wrong names being circulated and it was a moment where he said will hang on we see Twitter and read it and he social media tools have been revolutionary.

They are but and I think 20 2013 with that moment when we realise that there was some harm.

That could potentially come of this ok.

Love young people listen to podcasts which is very few look online for the miniature podcast hit subscribe and they will be listening to something it hang on a second.

I know about open source ecology.

I know that Google Earth this could give me a competitive advantage over the people that have been working for 20 odd years.

What's your advice to young people about how giving the seven seas out then? It's free.

They can use this to catch put themselves into the consciousness of here.

It might have jobs like Patrick Holland or anyone else working at BBC News

Around the world and I know how you're my nose is work.

There are amazing people who have come and actually know the reason got a job here for the BBC is probably because of all the amazing work.

You've done it online if you have noticed that the other thing I'd say in an era of Media literacy and b's terrified about missing formation the great thing is that I would hope this comes investigation shows anybody online here are the checks that I can do before I reshare an image after breaking news event.

Who are the checks? I can do to ensure that when I'm sharing his true talking which isn't there a profound risk that people all governments with an agenda attempt to manipulate this kind of information and leave false information.

I mean over the last two years which is this the weaponization of the term fake news is exactly this which is we're going to pass regulation which in Western Europe we might say that's for the good of society.

That's not necessarily the case in a number of other regimes globally but see this as an example to crack down and this was a classic example of actually the cameroonian government said we don't have to investigate this.

A lot of people who looked at this for you found it shocking there was a warning but you know this video did linger on a baby who's on the back of Mum which I've done extremely hard to watch and there were quite a few shots in it.

Would you care to admit weather not you guys did push the boundaries of decency in order to shop people and say maybe there is a place for shock enjoying this so I think the aim was into shock the anymore because we'd we'd to be fair.

There's indeed.

They are very distressing in difficult images in the video but I can tell you what happened after where we stop the video is this to a certain level they have never seen in my work before so we didn't go on a video of a child that is about to get shot for quite a long time.

He did have a lot of not only getting shot in we did hear a lot of rounds of and we do indeed those I think there is a sit-in in such cases sometime there is you can say that you know where we check it with the with the with the poem ego here whether it was ok to do that and we did think everything about this serious discussion about it, but there is the atrocities such and the

Famous socialites think it was important to show a bloody atrocity but you bring it to the man of the people of how horrible this event was for this to children this too young woman.

I am and Claire thank you very much for your time.

So it was a big at Media Ventures good to get behind that story let's turn our attention to television.

I'm going to pay you a little clip and the chances are that you've heard this one also.

You've heard this found hundreds of times over the last twenty-five years as the famous BBC2 dog ident.

You know the one the fluffy toy dog that does a flip in between programs when it's all changed because as of tomorrow The Dog and the tin of paint the duck in the bath and remote control car.

They're all going instead.

They're going to sound a bit like this the new BBC

Two identities a press release will refresh the channels identity.

They are reflective of its commitment to specialism challenging and complex programming creativity alternative Outlook live not clear Patrick holidays are controller BBC2 Patrick simple question why after 25 years plus of the previous idents the and their much-loved and they've been an amazing part of the channel architecture for the last 25 years, but we've been working to to modernise BBC2 we've been working to re-engage BBC2 with the stories of our time with pieces like hospital.

We've been working to re-engage the best writers like Hugo blick is amazing black earth rising or mother father son from Tom Rob Smith coming to the Channel and we've been working to re-engage the channel with you know what it's commitment is to science and history programming so we really feel that the identity of the on-screen identity of the channel need to catch up.

The content GCSE Drive new viewers to that is you can help you achieve more ratings growing audience.

I think that the the way that people watch television has changed.

I think that the way in which the role of a channel is um is still as important as ever I think the role of BBC Two within the channel landscape in terms of it being the place where the audience can come and know that there will be something which will be outside the tent Cena did the unorthodox DNA that BBC2 has at its core the having that curatorial role of BBC Two having these identities are these new idents as a way of signalling to the audience that this is your channel.

These are all of the qualities that that that you'll find on BBC2 a really important part of their channel story but the most important thing is the programme see you there if the programs are right, then.

There's no amount of window dressing that's going to make them when they were only 4 channels the premise of users who was very simple what's BBC2 for these days?

Just now that that that what you have is that more than ever you need to be able to do with just talking about.

How do you call out fake views were talking about.

How do you speak truth in an age where where the truth is being so and contested and BBC twos role is to engage with complexity.

It's nap time out the bumps in the world.

If you look at this out of upcoming series.

I'm on BBC2 about the Assad Dynasty am a very dangerous.

Dynasty the storytelling the exploration of the complexity of what's been happening the tragedy of what's been happening modern Syria tourism mazing documentary storytelling that say BBC Two show BBC2 is about bringing amazing storytelling bringing a real sense of quality but about bringing a Focus that is about the stories that matter to the British audience but with an ambition which is you don't terms of x of the storytelling in terms of the production values are mizuno global quality.

A lot of your hip chosen up on BBC One Bake-Off Peaky Blinders your smoking at this point Patrick be on your question them often as a proof of the successor BBC Topeka is really going to be to get snipped but no no not the average age of your viewer mainstream.

Just a finish that point with a mainstream channel but we are committed in the in the heart of peak to all of these specialists discipline so science programming history programming you will find that on BBC2 at 9 in a way that you will not on any other channels, so that's that with mainstream battery deep dive into the specialist and it is really good goes over to BBC Weather what's the average age of visa24 you so I mean there's lots of talk about in a what they have the meaning of the average age of all terrestrial channels is pretty Elddis you know it's in his 50s is a number for BT choose and it is late 50s.

I thought your 6259 ok.

Is it gone up since 2010 have got public records?

Anbu TCS it was 58 and 20 10 16 20 14 and 62 now even if it's lower than that.

It's rising isn't it? And it's so I mean what you been doing on BBC2 over the last 2 years has taken with BBC2 is not a channel.

That is within the BBC portfolio that is actively just saying right.

We need to try and find younger viewers.

It's not its role, as I've been saying is is much broader than that as a channel for everyone it's for the whole audience as we make the channel more contemporary as we make pieces life hospital the forthcoming series school which is about what's happening in our education system told from the point of view of teachers and pupils that what you then have is that a younger audience will come as well as a broader audience you look at Louis Theroux you look at the and misadventures of romesh ranganathan.

They bring younger audiences to really complex subject matter but with brilliant storytelling so but just to get back to my point is that the year over the last 2 years we've taken them the amp age the average.

The share of an under 45 grams of the child's increased so you know there is a this approach a shower that isn't the so-called death of linear TV slightly overweight doing this some programme about call bodyguard which about his done alright on trestle TV and isn't a recent evidence slots reports going out adjusting actually that the shift away from linear is slow and people do still like a curator channel to Patras argument of course but you know ultimately I think you know that but I think just looking at that demonstrate BBC Two are quite telling and then you've had heard you say that you know you're not here to get the here to get the young audience, but why not really you know I mean the average wages as you said 59.

That's quite.

I think perhaps you know for BBC2 maybe it's a matter of of hiring younger commissioners.

You know why can't we see Stuart Murphy you know that somebody of that ilk coming back to the Channel

Unicorn Stewart's I miss you and love Stuart Murphy button and then went on to run sky so you've got a couple of a couple of hours.

Does it shows an interior forgive me on to come back to you take the Victoria Derbyshire show this one lots lots of Awards having a big impact online but not many people watch it on BBC2 why should it be on a linear China Washington just be liberating told me a digital service.

I think it's about the role of the schedule and it's about the role that that what you have is that there is there is still in terms of audience habits.

There are ways in which the audience can now you know BBC's page on BBC2 page on iPlayer is a brilliantly curated space on iPlayer audiences of finding BBC2 content and BBC content in general on iPlayer and that is a brilliant the development of iPlayer was brilliant way forward in sister find our content but the linear channel is still an essential part of that ecology and the fact that there is a

A regular schedule and you know you can say is traditional and you can say that younger audiences don't watch television that way when in fact they do you know the fact that the younger audience that comes to watch motherland or watch Philomena cunk on BBC2 is as great in in in picas it yet as greater than in the Live Aid acts as it is on the on consolidates Newsnight for in 2018 Newsnight is in the central part of the news agenda of the BBC News agenda is an essential part of yunus emre more important.

I don't think for BBC2 as I said is a place where we engage and grapple with the big questions of the world Newsnight is are sort of bizarre is our front door each evening where we saw to take on the big questions of the of the day.

It's instability give me a picture of the sixties that was launched in 1980 the internet has happened politicians use social media the don't put the cells that III interviews in the way that used to the 9:00 news is moved to 10 that was extended for a while this isn't.

Structural environment pretty tough for a program that tries to be ambitious as it's that time of day.

It's not trying to tell you the new is not trying to be another new show Newsnight is a deep dive into the big question of the day and to do so with bye bye bye engaging with really am powerful journalism.

You know those politicians and the cold to call them to account about those big stories of the day but also as Newsnight shown over the last 2 years that with the rohingya brilliant research and reporting into the rohingya Massacre grand oasis on the ground fault if you know that it's also it says that medium size medium term I'm diving to those stories then it's an essential part of the manorial been giving Patrick a hard time about the point of a miniature in the age of streaming weary bodyguard is done really well.

What's your take on why that's happened and the enduring appeal Street out of linear channels, if there is any look at who is fronting bodyguard for the person since it's Richard Madden obviously huge Game of Thrones star you know somebody.

Meeting somebody that young audiences are familiar with its an interesting can seem and it's got of Z I'm an amazing slot.

What is really interesting.

I think about bodyguard is a Netflix actually came onto that show at script level meaning that somebody over there has been able to be notice either the potential of that show years before it actually has even has has even gone and it was made by ITV sign in pair production company for ITV Studios shown on the BBC in shape by Netflix this is incredibly complex kind of ecology of modern programming.

It is very complex also pointing to the Increasingly consolidated nature of the broadcasting industry right now.

I mean I also need the ITV This Morning to IPS everything vertical integration is everything so ITV is looking to university Leeds it's bad wolf Productions now which is the maker of of line of duty as well end and the bodyguard and they does that because it wants to distribute that show.

And that's why you're seeing it on Netflix because I'm from what I understand Netflix basically made ITV Studios global entertainment and after they simply couldn't reviews for that program and if your child mercurio The Creator and writer of Bodyguard you.

You might feel end attached to the BBC BBC do line of duty, but you're quite a bit of strong position to hang on.

I made you think if you were here you go off to Netflix and say how much can you offer me for this? I mean from one interesting discussions are taking place right now but from what I can tell the BBC does have the option on the second series so I might be a bit of it might be difficult to it to get out of that one, but I mean absolutely am I mean even Patrick to be honest the last Kingdom that was your shower on BBC2 why is it gonna go on a really Netflix which is actually expended the order now like initially was white BBC2 own beer and we run out of time.

I can't ask questions on his 10 seconds to go to terrible things through the live.

I would say mother father son Tom Rob Smith it's the reason we know that is that so you get to scale on BBC2 amazing drama amazing writer tatin.

We've of the plug guys we gonna leave it.

There is thank you so much for listening weird back at the same time next week.

Thanks for listening and could I have got a favour to ask if you enjoyed the podcast please? Would you give us a rating and possibly even a review wherever it is that you download the podcast if it's on iTunes or where we might be because that helps other people finest podcast which of course is the idea? Thank you so much.

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