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Read this: Who'd be a journalist?

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Who'd be a journalist?…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 has a Plucky startup in Leeds founded by a working-class women who rejected the Metropolitan mentality of London and who specialises in long-form reads solve the riddle of how to fund local journalism.

Oh, if only it was so simple but Robyn vinter is in a lead studio plotting this Revolution Robin nice to be speaking to you will be talking about your work later on but first.

Let me get your reaction to news.

Just in which is a Channel 4 has announced its new national headquarters or a new national headquarters will be in Leeds to go along with one that stays in London tell us why you think channel forward made an excellent choice in picking West Yorkshire or is everyone that she really chuffed about it.

I think there's so much talent up here and it's a real shame.

There's a lot of people just like me.

Who've had to move to London or had to me till.

Then empty can of make it in the media.

So yeah, it's it's really great news and yeah, don't be a lot of people who are very pleased about it about your journey from the National Council for the training of journalists is here Joanne at the awesome isn't an academic discipline.

It's a trade so is it the way to learn about journalism get out of the Classroom and being a journalist in accredited by the nctj then you're really make a head start in journalism presenter of trash podcast here and is nodding vigorously saying I read that your graduate but was jainism your chosen subject study history at University of York with the intention of becoming a lawyer and I didn't get onto any of the Redskins which would have meant that I could.

If training to become a janitor is expensive train to become a lawyer is even more expensive with like very little left of my student loan.

I was like well.

I don't really know what to do, but I have just just about enough to afford an nctj short course in in London which was like the closest because my I live in Kent with my parents so for me.

It was kind of like part of it was a financial necessity, but also I was just interested in writing and I did a bit of writing for my newspapers.

So just made sense give a Joanne drunzie a CCJ be honest quickly briefly was it was it worth it we went to Lambeth College and it was a really great course annoying when I will get on in this time.

We have to congratulate lunchtime in Lambeth College has been training journalist for many years and it does it inexpensively.

You don't have to pay thousands of pounds to become a journalist and Lambert this is a great way of there has been a great price.

Is product launch from the BBC for a decade in case you haven't heard BBC sounds is a new app that puts all the BBC's radio stations live music and podcasts in one place part of the rationale is that the BBC has a particular problem with people under 35? They're not listening to BBC Radio as much as issues do instead.

They're going to the likes of apple and Spotify increasing we can BBC really compete with the Tech giants and should it Bob shennan is the BBC's director of radio and music and his with us in the studio Bob shennan.

How much is BBC sounds costing it was costing a few million-pound 0riginal, NE33 million over the next 12 months or so, we will commit about 3 million pounds to originated content for BBC sounds.

That's not been on any of the network output.

So it says a significant amount.

It's obviously not significant compared with the

Petrol spend BBC Radio but it's a sensible significant investment in order to establish a really proper base from which we can grow BBC sounds as we learn more about what the audience wants from a what things really work for them.

It's for all audiences, but clearly the BBC has a challenge it has a challenge you say in in the intro to appeal to younger audiences and that sound down for the day Radio 3 minutes.

Good to have a specific number.

I don't know if we've been told that so it's nice to know what's been cut to find that 3 million well, how many it comes out of the baseline budget of BBC Radio obit from not to different places know that Civic services to its lowest life is difficult because on top of funding initiatives that are about future-proofing the BBC and that's what this is a bit like the BBC's investment in iPlayer it's really important for us to do that.

We've also as a corporation as you well know.

Got huge savings requirements by 2021 have to take an 800 million pounds out of our business and of course in radio that ongoing work across all areas about put so we're pinched in two ways, but the challenges are greater than ever before to BBC radio and therefore our response has to be really bold BBC playlister BBC music BBC iPlayer Radio all apps from your department or Once Upon a Time field of the future all now retired well BBC sounds be any different I think been a bit harsh Alan playlist was really kind of route finder to what is is the music element of BBC sounds and it was never intended to be a Final Destination that will BBC musical BBC iPlayer Radio iPlayer radio is it is very successful, but what we felt about iPlayer radio was that it was.

Very very heavily dominated by radio.

We want to borrow some of the really successful components of it for BBC sounds, but sounds is about a combination of a from the BBC the sound is about Radio podcast and music mixes thinking about forgiving interrupting.

I think about my friend at home.

She's listen to this in a kitchen think she thinks I keep your product launches.

I mean not long ago.

There was something not out of your department Mr Shannon call the digital media initiative which church.

What was it 100 million pounds of licence fee money down the drain of said he could get not part of your Empire to call that BBC store at that absconded and off load of people's money before shutting in ignominy there's an awful.

Lot of launches and giving an out of here what you're saying about playlist of being a colour root MacBook play.

This is no longer a functioning thing.

I play radio will be subsumed by sounds BBC music is Daisy disappeared the digital media initiative BBC store why is sounds going to work wear those things I failed.

You misreading it a mole BBC music will continue to exist as part of BBC sounds iPlayer radio core functionality will exist within BBC sounds so will playlist of functionality and actually it's a good thing that the BBC is trying things learning from things and building things not just sticking two things willing to stop doing things to start doing the best thing we could possibly company audience that's that's what I think the audience would expect us to do and in this as you well know in this rapidly changing technological environment.

That's something.

I think that we have to do to secure a healthy future for audio from the BBC by the competition.

You're clearly going after Spotify at the moment you can find BBC radio shows in Spotify for BBC sounds to become a genuine first Choice destinations clearly ambition.

Will you have to end that arrangements apps with Spotify I do will try different ways of

Have of offering our content to audiences, but actually it's a great advantage for us that BBC content exists in other spaces because it gets the BBC Two lots of people who otherwise wouldn't consume content for the BBC so they get they get value, but of course there's a Conundrum with that which is your building other people's platforms and other people's businesses with your content so we both win and we potentially lose from that.

So it's just really important as a BBC destination and to be honest.

I don't think we are trying to compete with Spotify if you look at what Spotify offers, how many gazillion different music tracks probably 4000 different mixes playlists that are offering to audiences is not trying to compete with that but ours is trying to create a platform a destination a space from the BBC that is user-friendly and its functionality and its editorial offer to order that the live who want to live in that space.

We live in an attention.

Order me where people's attention is fine.

I am there is a wall for eyeballs and there is a wall for ears and is a finite amount of time that people can learn that is to your product and Spotify as an incredibly powerful and effective product with lots of people are paying a lot of money for Spotify charges a monthly subscription How much money.

Do you calculate BBC sounds could make if it charge non UK uses a monthly fee? I haven't got that kind of number in my head too because you're talking about me what you know you know discusses at great length tiny holes should have consultation on the over 75 licences cause of BBC's under severe financial pressure got such a fantastic shiny app what I said it to be able to Singapore in Canada and China and India speak English launch.

It first of all let's not try and get ahead of ourselves.

Let's Create something that we know is working for audiences that we know add value to audiences and absolutely if we think that it's possible for us to export that to a non licence fee pay.

Territory of course we should explore that in in this day and age.

I think the BBC's is really mindful of its need to think about how to exploit commercial opportunity, but we've only announced that we're launching it now and we launched officially tomorrow.

So let's get it working in the UK let's iterate it and then let's see how marketable it is in the future.

I think it's funny or journalism podcast BBC sounds is going to host podcast about the podcast that you do.

It was one that I started with my friend a couple of years ago because I got rejected from a radio job and I wanted to prove I could do radio.

I'm at a really important thing when it comes to podcasts like the idea that is that is really good democratization of at least like radio production to a certain extent.

I make money now that we do with trashfuture which is what I'm one of the Coach House was full house on there.

We make money with patreon which is a crowdfunding.

Sites that lots of Connor creatives used as a way of connecting with audiences so for us.

We we we always knew that we had like a call.

We can look at the analytics and saw that we had a core audience of people who will I always tuning and that wasn't like a number that was just kind of under 2000 so we thought that ok if they're tuning in regularly emerging into a show about one-and-a-half hours long which is quite long for radio shows like in must mean that there's something there, so let's see what we can do.

So what we said on picture and was by finding us.

We can not only produce more shows but we can also invest in better equipment so in our case.

It was like we got ourselves enough as we got ourselves soundproofing in before we were like recording in our houses and that sound quality really matters when you're trying to groan or yeah, but more would you like you it? Would you like to BBC test your podcast? I don't think it would Host YouTube mainly because the content of No Country for Bramley maybe I think like you know when when were hanging out and he's the co-host on this when you.

Talking about this are we all like well, you know the BBC would be a really good place to host did not because of its audience per se but because it has all the resources available to make it a really good shout out there is totally right there now, but your sat next to the BBC's director radio think of this is the meteor shower can you smoke think of this as I won't you smiling a lot more than the other think this is me to show me Dragons Den you were 30 seconds Hussein kesvani.

Make your picture Bob shennan.

Why should BBC sounds hose when your podcast on BBC Asian Network we are able to get guests who are really interesting writers and thinkers and academics are people that the Asian Network maybe get but they can't necessarily give a lot of time too and that's why are currently we can do long form interviews that do you get numbers anywhere between like the time time time time.

Poems that mean is happening to do I need to think about I sometime I think one of the one of the opportunities with BBC sounds is for us to be a place that can showcase work that is made not just within the BBC that that's quite a departure for us to even contemplate of course because the BBC is always felt a bit of a bit like a Walled Garden but we know in this space.

We probably have to have a different kind of approach.

So you know this is a can of regulatory policy Challenge for people to get their head around not least in the BBC but it does feel to me that he is an opportunity for the BBC to work with a really really burgeoning part of the audio sector and and to share a platform to help showcase the best content.

This is a world in which which will be personalised where people will be able to make their own choices and and the richer the set of destinations the BBC can offer the better it is for people to consume, but the perennial complaints about the history of the BBC is that the BBC sizes car ends up distorting the market let me ask both of you in effect the same question who saying how I've written so I've read a piece that you were you out for the I newspaper about the BBC's approach to podcast has your view of the BBC Weather not it's a threat to commercial radio changed as a result of BBC sounds really write as in relation to commercial radio.

It was more to do with independent podcast production is BBC sounds good for use in the commercial sector or not is what I'm asking.

I mean it might be with the thing is like I do when I wrote this.

It was all very speculative.

I like it was announced that the BBC would be hiring a person who it specialising podcast and what would that mean as like independent producers and on the one hand it might be good because I'm with someone who whose job it is to can't pay attention to podcasts are it's easy to be connected.

I'm is easier to talk to them in a language that we both understand the potential downsides to that is you know if you're working for BBC for example.

You know you're never to be going to be limited in terms of what you can do about it.

Just like the nature of you know the structure any sort of BBC entity whereabouts in television or radio it might be the case that you don't think the thing that attracts lots of people to podcasting as the fact that you have like whole independence are hosting platform for the iTunes Spotify don't really know they have very low regulations in terms of what you're allowed to put on their platforms and obviously of BBC and BBC sounds is gonna be very different ok, but let me ask you phone me on this weather.

Not you by doing what you're doing BBC sounds which is getting independent produced and on BBC commission podcast undermining commercial operators like a cast like stitch alike podbean.

I really don't think I don't think we are don't I don't think I think I offer is is.

One that is quite an open offer and I hope that what the BBC will be able to do is actually stimulate an already exciting developing market.

It's not compulsory for people to come and work with us, but I think this this is a this is a very different creative environment from the traditional broadcast Media environment and we're working out how to have a really positive public service impact in this space.

We kind of instinctively feel that it's better for us to open up a platform and work with people like the same and share the opportunity rather than create a Walled Garden which is I suppose the normal BBC way shower things have been ok both know what you today with this.

Thank you for that.

We stay with us as we move onto a main theme of the day which is a subjective who would be a journey to be a podcast to be anyone entered this this profession is trade Joanne butcher is as I mentioned chief executive of the National Council for the training of journalists during just briefly what does the

Nctj nctj do Heavy Industries the media Industries charity and professional body for journalism we run the industry training scheme for journalists in the UK which caters for students trained to be journalists trainees apprentices and those who are developing their careers agency continues continuously this profession really happy for you.

Tell us your main finding what was your methodology in research? How did you come to your findings and it was an online survey report the first one was in 2002 the second one in 2012.

We were going to do the third edition in 2022 but things are changing so fast so we brought that forward we using data from government research the from the office of National Statistics and the labour Force survey as well as our own online survey for go to the moon final boss.

In terms of class while yet diversity and inclusion, is is still a big issue in our in in our industry.

It is disappointing because the industry is doing a lot to try and attract and support people from different backgrounds into journalism, how is it doing? What what's what's the picture? What's the current trend in terms of class in terms of other things gender representation ethnic minorities well in terms of social social backgrounds the report makes it clear that more than the majority of of journalists more than 70% come from homes where their parents are in the top 3 Higher Level occupation areas so you know it is elitist in that sense.

It's not the journalists are not necessarily representing reflecting their audiences so diversity and it's it's a white.

It's good there.

Isn't there are lots of initiatives.

The nctj we'll be working much more actively with employers to tackle those sorts of issues.

So just just read the the picture it as a class in terms of gender representation.

Des MOTs you're suggesting is actually changing very much to spite and berries edition the genus despite the fact that most people think that journalism is under some pressure will be surprised to hear that numbers increasing you got 73 compared to 65000 in 2012 a journalism isn't in decline.

There are great career opportunities, but it is dispersing away from mainstream publishing newspapers and magazines still an important sector but we've moved from 45% working in newspapers and magazines tonight 30% roller disco if it's growing over as well.

That's interesting isn't it? So they are dispersing to new sector.

And to the wider UK economy journalism skills so valuable now because everybody is your including that people have a journalistic training butter going into non journalist except.

It's like PR industry now.

I wanting people with germs and skills so that they can receive YouTube a mode of a podcast called No Country for brown men.

I mentioned a bit of work from Ofcom on last week's show that says is actually in the TV industry engineers manual field necessarily and is actually more people from ethnic minority backgrounds or more people who are lesbian gay or bisexual suggest that im part of the media diversity of a very particular kind is taking hold but other parts of diversity people from the North people who might be religious people from poorer backgrounds.

He hasn't yet taken hold I mean that he said.

Not I don't I haven't really worked in TV other than kind of local TV news in that's obviously you know Siri is different depending on WhatsApp to your in and TV is obviously very big.

I think you're right in the sense that you know in television and entertainment and movies and staff are very just recognition about like you know you need to tell diverse tourism part of artistic at kind of capture a larger audience part of that.

I think it's also because of a lot of pressure from people of colour who were Henry's industry is the say that you know to talk about not only representation but accurate representation telling stories that I'm not sure it's like not wholly stereotypical so I think a lot about is actually from the people in the industry who have been fighting for a long time to make roast changes and perhaps that isn't reflected in other aspects of the media like print where we're more familiarity is a good mood to bring in Robyn vinter will bring back rubber mint been sitting early studio Robin you're the founder of their website called the over.

Which is aimed at working class millennials living outside for London bubble, just tell us what your route into journalism was at Leeds Beckett University and I am for the first kind of few months after I graduated I done a bit of work experience that kind of local papers and things like that and trade publications and the first 3 months after graduating.

I couldn't get jainism job and I kind of thought I'd applied for everything that came up and I thought I will you know it's not happened to me again and then luckily one of the places that I don't work experience which was farmers Weekly magazine and agricultural publication called me and said do I want to come in for an interview because they were looking for somebody and thanks.

They got the job and that's how I got into German general and I was I went and business jennisims quite a while on different business publications and yeah for about 6 years was living in London

I need experience of living in London that inspired you to start the overtake.

Was it what does the overtake do a lot of the time I lived in London Eye for a lot of the time my partner with with living in Leeds so I was in my daddy is a lead and I was kind of a dinner long distance relationship saying and having family in the North and then later on my grandma.

Not been very well as well, so it's coming back to the north like all the time and I realise the kind of conversations that I was typing with my family and friends in Leeds will really different to the conversations that that was having with colleagues and people other friends in a medium in London and a lot of the things that people were talking about in Leeds when we're not you know not interesting and they and they was stories, but they weren't the kind of thing that I felt like it was worth even pitching to editors in London after the things I had tried to picture and you know it just wasn't a thing that people were.

Give instead give us a sense of so the only takes us along for Jones and gives a sense of the idea of the operation to do you have an office.

Yes, we have if you can call an office it used to be a church and the the short version of it is that the people who had the church had to move out because they were going to bulldoze the whole area and then they change their mind about bulldoze in the hull area and they've got any church by the authorities relating to make money.

How do you find what you're doing? Yes, we cover costs.

We're not profitable, but that's not really well.

Where are year in so you wouldn't really expect us to be making profit this point.

I don't think anyway no matter what type of business.

We work while trying to get his without you Robin of cracked this local journalism thing and weather not you reckon 3 or at crowdfunding model you can develop gotta get enough money to fund high quality joiners away from London and is there anything what you done so far this yes, you are.

Be able to be financially sustainable is £100 a month we pay everybody the lowest that we can everybody and that's unfortunate is how it has to be that's not doesn't really choice and we so we make a little bit of money from advertising and can I smash it up on the site at we've got a bit of crowdfunding with now got patreon because a lot of people asked how they can suppose so we realise that other source or just give us a flavour of the other two really kind of Jennifer mixture of stuff.

I probably am more successful pieces have been northern based and I don't know whether that's a coincidence or we did a piece would have a freelancer that you did a piece about what it was like to Grappenhall which was 1909 front of the crap towns of the UK and that did really well done some more kind of political UPC

School but we did a piece following fox hunt Saboteurs around the countryside deliveroo bring her because this is just a rubbing with very local of technological barriers to entry table to set up a website.

It's really sparked interest cheese using crowdfund to drive revenues.

Where does this leave during the sleep training and Robin.

I mean Robin has happened to study journalism, but we need an nctj when people can set things like this.

I think the bed and he saying a great examples of those new journalism jobs that are outside the mainstream Media that we are now catering for and that's you know that's the growth in journalism perfect examples, so we're actually sending we've got a new journalism Apprentice for sending one of our team to do you an nctj and that's going to be really cheap way actually have been of the train somebody and been off to pay them and then working for you as well, but showing you started out your boo secret in the regions.

Is it worth doing lots of stuffing local radio has that experience being useful is Yusuf come to?

Central London you now a major dirty to the BBC's that still relevant stuff of course I hope so, I think the best example in the BBC that we've got is the Movie 5 Live to Salford and the agenda that you were talking about that is so different when people are not living in the London Media bubble is really apparent and over things like the brexit vote 5 Live's antennae were very different from a lot of London based news organisations because they were hearing the way the boat was going to go and it's really telling and that shifting our journalism.

I think there's been transformational for for Radio 5 Live and is abbreviated you agree with Robin this idea that millennials and especially non-london millennials.

He spent time in New York at of the underserved audiences.

Yeah, I mean just in the centre.

Obviously, there's a huge concentration of reporters and journalists were based in London and the economics of how business works also means that even if

Green Lantern it's really difficult to actually get out of the office to do story because he want to follow them witches were Channel 4 moving to Leeds might be a welcome thing as you go to leave the house.

So sorry run out of time.

Thank you very very much Andy Roberts around saying and Bob shennan, and thank you to you guys for listening at home will be back at the same time next week.

Thanks for listening and goodbye.


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