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Read this: 21/11/2018 Radio 4 Feedback

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21/11/2018 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts poem Andrea catherwood, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 British Media turned brexit into a pantomime why explain the detail of the backstop and transition period when you can run a mock up of William rees-mogg as Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army that's what many the papers have done this morning, but is it the reader is won't let me introduce some of our guests today Andrew Pierce is a columnist at the Daily Mail Andrew welcome.

Do you miss you a letter to a pool decor these days.

No not at all.

The king is dead long live the king.

We're still cheerleaders for brexit and have you been asked to change the tone of no columns.

No not at all the papers tone is different because you'd expect that for a different Ada to the last edited over 26 years, but we still support brexit.

We still support Theresa May and we support the Chequers plan.

We think it's pretty flawed but better than No Deal and that scan.

System consistent on that will come along to talk about that little bit more later on Maria Breslin is a senior editor for reach in Merseyside Cheshire and North Wales which includes papers like the Liverpool Echo Arena Liverpool voted quite strongly to remain your paper did as well it took a side.


We did we came out and said that we were supporting remain.

We thought it was right for the city and the City of benefits of not from an European funding and so we've been quite consistent that we thought that was right and how much do your readers want to know day today, but the rankings and Westminster the not interested in the Wranglers and that's something that we leave to the nationals and they do a lot better what we have to do is try and make brexit relatable to their lives.

It's a tough job, but that's what we're trying to do a Jack Blanchard is editor of politico, London PlayBook Jack you're very popular within the Westminster Bubble Butt explain to those who don't subscribe just what the London PlayBook is my

Unlucky, I don't have to translate brexit to anybody got the people that read my email already know all about it instead of an insider's email that goes out every morning.

It's free and it gives you a set of tip sheet on what's coming up in Westminister that day what's going on inside Downing Street and that sort of thing and so you're a newsletter certainly doesn't read like a pantomime on well.

I wouldn't go out for that sometimes.

You can't avoid the pantomime.

I think what we saw yesterday with rees-mogg encoder.

It would be hard to miss the chemical element of that ok.

Well will come back to all of that later, but first we took many times on the media show about the perilous state of local newspapers and the initiative to try and save the money Facebook has come up with a plan to Hell by the digital giant blamed by the industry for causing much of its problems is setting up a fund to pay for a t trainee journalist in newsrooms across the country will look when is Facebook's head of news partnerships in the UK Nick you're calling this a mutually beneficial partnership.

What's in it for Facebook with Russell thanks for her.

Show me on the show Andrea yes this this is a 4.5 million pound Grant over 2 years and I hope it's that the community news project as we're calling.

It will give people around the country relevant quality news information from where they live and to do that.

We are looking to collaborate with on a range of industry partners to hire a tea community jealous and embed them in newsrooms around the country.

We feel that we want to connect people around great informative content I come from a local news background originally in and you know I know the importance of local news to good quality local news to to local Communities and that's something we want to support it is the very fact that you're not giving cash to newspaper as an admission that Facebook has damaged US actor not quite giving cash to newspapers, so we setting up a charitable Grant which is going to be administered by the the nctj then I'd essentially you're giving you.

You're paying for a journalist for.

2 years and 80 journalist for 2 years.

But we're providing the money for them to be for that to be spent.

I'm not just hiring journalist, but also making sure that this training and and and I think it's crucial that do this scheme was done in collaboration with the main publishing organisations in the country and as we we spoke to them and ask them how we could work together and and how we could collaborate is a couple of themes.

Emerged that that they told us that they felt that they needed to better serve underserved Communities and also that they wanted to better reflect diversity in the country and in their newsrooms.

So there's a two of the key keep planks of this this project the government is currently carrying out an enquiry led by Dame Frances cairncross into the sustainability of quality journalism and some people speculate that this could result in a levy on social media giant like Facebook who is this the way to fend off title legislation for a minimal eye playing for?

.5 million is a drop in the ocean.

I really don't think with this this project will and Julie influence Bernice King Cross in and her advisory committee unit this is been in the works for some time would love to have done it sooner but we've had as we've grown the news partnerships team at Facebook working in the UK we've been able to spend a lot more time on working with local news organisations broadcasters and publishers.

So this is about a year and in discussions in in in the planning stage to get us where we are now.

Let me bring him Maria Breslin who's senior editor in Merseyside Cheshire and North Wales for reach was previously known as trinity mirror.

Are you looking for what you looking for some of these Chinese you expecting to get 102 on the on the Liverpool Echo I don't know yeah.

I don't think the details have been fine lights for office.

I hope that was Les grosses growth and it's a positive thing for a Newsroom

The new trainees are to be embedded in local Communities that are currently under served at give me an example of the kind of Communities under kind of things that you would hope they'll be reporting on if you get a couple of these training centres that says the area of motorcycle Sefton where we had a strong local newspaper presents and we have closed some of those titles down and so that's the sort of know because you couldn't afford to run them didn't make sense of websites as well and we thought that was a better offerings people but it doesn't mean that we know they wouldn't benefit from better scrutiny.

So it's so sort of areas where we once had presents and we don't have the same presents anymore that I'd look to use reported such as those that something we've already had success with with the local democracy schemes at we run with you the BBC and that's have fantastic result so far look what happens to these journalists at the end of the 2-year training.

When Facebook stopped paying for them.

So it is a

Pilot scheme and we very much.

Hope that it will succeed and grow in the hard work starts now.

I think the ambition in The Aspiration will be that we get feedback that this is working for the people.

It's giving people in communities more good quality news and it's valuable for the publishers will be looking to to grow it and scaling potentially take it to other countries, but it's very early days, but why not say now that look you're going to pay for these journalists because after after 2 years after a two-year training.

I mean clearly the live the newspapers aren't going to be able to take these people on because if they weren't able to take longer be taking them on now.

Well, they don't you need a commitment to say that we're going to pay for them forever.

We'll have to wait and see you in forever.

It is difficult in in our industry and it's important that the way the facilitator and the enabler of this we very much want the work to be done and the decisions made by the publishers and the nctj and and their the experts.

They're the ones.

Who going to be working closely with the journalists and we hope was one one of the goals of this is that these journalists will be trained on on using the latest technology they'll be very digitally savvy and we hope that this in turn will create efficiencies in the news gathering and production process in newsrooms, which will lead to indirect savings you can send that you're going to get 80 trained journalists who won't be able to find jobs because there are already lots of journalist being let go from exactly things kind of local newspapers my thing Katie try and turn this is positive thing for the industry when I just I just wonder what they're going to find jobs.

I think 2 years is a long time.

I mean we obviously hope that the project is a success that it works for us as much as it works the Facebook and that there is life beyond two years, but obviously we don't know if I can do you think they're going to go into PR knickers that there is not the best option for a young journalist with good training and death.

Any chance of sustaining a job and local news these dates will be speaking as someone who had 5 years in local news in and you know is an nctj graduate.

I think it's a fantastic career.

I think it's the best grounding and foundation for journalism that you can have and and I think it'll be good training and dirt and good integration with the newsrooms a big fantastic opportunities for four people from very diverse different backgrounds readjust final question on this.

How much damage has new media done to your business over the years I mean the circulation figures for the Liverpool Echo for example of been decimated from 128000 in 2004.

I think it's time to fight 35010 up rate of decline is accelerating that must be a worry for you.

I think there's no we have to admit the way people are sorting them and information that users changing in that has that a massive impact on the printing industry.

What is important for me is that the Liverpool Echo as a publisher on whatever platform continues to exist?

Very many years to come so there has been an impact obviously but I don't see Facebook as as the enemy and anyway and there's there's many other big tech companies are operating in space.

That was once I expect we have to evolve we have to diversify and this project is part of that.

I think I'd like to bring in Chris Williams know who is the Daily Telegraph deputy business editor Chris what's your assessment of Facebook's initiative the publishers who are going to benefit from this.

I'm going to say publicly that this is a bad thing of course.

You know they're struggling a lot financially and anything that helps them pay for things that they should be paying for their own.

Revenues is a good thing from their point of view privately they know that this is charity and it doesn't change the fact that they are losing revenue precipitous rate and are in some trouble in the longer term lets look at some of the other and media business news this week at the weekend.

You broke the story that Johnston Press owners of the ID Scotsman and over 200 other local titles have gone into administration.

Then it re-emerged as jpi media the CEO has that reassured staff of a brighter future, but just tell us who aren't jpi media and why do they take it on so jpi Media is a company owned by the lenders to Johnston Press a Johnston Press went bust because it had 220 million pounds worth of debt that it couldn't afford to pay the interest on any more the lenders were a Consortium of hedge funds and financial institutions.

They are necessary long-term holders of these assets.

They've bought them basically for nothing and yea, but jobs have been saved yet.

You say that they're not long-term holders.

I mean the nuj has come out and said that they are very concerned about the long-term intentions others have a fear that they will carve up the group and it will be motivated by asset stripping rather than a commitment to journalism and publishing is that a real concern for the nuj? I don't know that yeah, I mean there's no doubt.

He's a financially motivated.

Owners you know they're not in it because they they have affinity for the Communities that serving or anything like that their goal will be to maximize their return from this investment and that probably means selling on in one form or another that could mean a breakup it could mean selling it as up as a whole thing they can digital media crispy blamed for Johnston Press as troubles and I just looking at their classified ad Revenue and it's plummeted from 177 million 10 years ago to just 22 million today.

I mean classified ads advance if you're not going to come back either.

I mean that's what we do know we look online.

That's not going to change a plane to go round and have to press to a company's debts on an assumption that was fundamentally flawed that business was going to continue as it was forever.

They have lost a lot of money to digital platforms, but they've also struggled to capitalise on opportunities online as well.

Just press is just in the front line of this actually intend know all the local and regional public she's going to face these kinds of

Problems, they're losing 10% of revenue year that can't go on for long Chris at the other end of the publishing spectrum edit additional titles like The Scotsman and Yorkshire post you've got BuzzFeed no it's fine day has come out this week and giving an interview to the New York Times suggesting that BuzzFeed could merge with it's online rivals to create a giant publisher that the likes of the BuzzFeed refinery29 vice Fawkes is that that a logical move a rheological in the same way the emerging regional newspaper publishers as logical you get cost savings and what it what it tells us that they're having a similar set of problems to paper publishers those business model family on the idea that large-scale and huge distribution on platforms would lead to riches it hasn't and do you think that this is similar then to the top, shake.

I'm gonna lose titles, but we'll end up with a more robust are the ones that win will be more robust in the end.

I mean arrange to be seen you don't even the very largest digital publishing.

Platforms in a mail online for instance doesn't make very much money and so it's really open to question whether any amount of scale can help you not been yet another crucial week for the government brexit plan, so we thought we take a look at the tone of the media coverage and Theresa May's Media strategy in selling the deal.

I'd like to come back to to Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail Andrew there has been a change of direction in the mail since Geordie Greig took over I know you say that you can accept it a consistent line on being pro-brexit and pro Theresa May do you think that your reader's notice a change in editor? There was a giant in journalism with the greatest post-war editor.

We've had and he was editor of The Daily Mail for 26 years.

He was a very authoritative figure anybody who knew him out.

You were never in any doubt with his opinions were on anything if you wanted to lead a conversation new what if you like the colour of your tie or your socks.

Hey, when did never any confusion at all at the colour of your phone as having been added for the Mail on Sunday as you know the Mail on Sunday was pro-remain.

We will pro-brexit.

It's not unusual for national papers to take a different view.

It's the same at the time there pro-remain the Sunday Times has pro-brexit so Geordie has a different tone, but the fundamentals have an altered Andrea we are still a brexit paper with supporting brexit and the leading article today.

We said were backing the Chequers plan with a particularly particularly like it.

It's flawed but it's what the best stats on offer because we don't want no deal now and that's the same with the prime minister.

We've said we actually said we question the loyalty of those people who are plotting against it and we did say if they lost the plot and frankly when we saw the Dad's Army carry on yesterday.

I think we got that right.

I just wonder and I seen comments.

Angelus and rival newspaper saying that your reader's are angry and even that editors at the mail or deleting the hostile comments at the bottom of articles that appear online is there any truth in that will let me tell you that I still look at when I bother to occur what people write about me and my articles it still as colourful as ever and I've not noticed anybody editing it at all.

They still love me and loads me in equal measure and and I can tell you and your on Saturday for instance this will be in the figures audited figures the cells were up 61000.

That's a huge ride on a Saturday so the sales of pretty good and the newspaper is still hugely influential apparently was said of paper every 14 seconds of the day and MPs still want to be in the paper.

They want to write in the paper and they want to get their views across with Tom Watson writing your paper.

We did the deputy leader of the Labour Party talking about his weight loss pretty dramatic 7 stone.

He looks pretty good on it and and it was an entertaining read.

Jack Blanchard politico, London PlayBook you out your daily digest of the latest political news delivered via a website that something that it's obviously quite different and we talked a little bit of a top of the programme about hi you are actually but you've sent essentially preaching to the converted your writing to people who already very interested, but I wonder what you think is it just journalist too obsessed with Paul Dacre and the influence of the Daily Mail do we over play the role of the male The Express and the Telegraph in winning public support for a leave vote no, I don't think so, I think it's hugely influential because although the readership of newspapers is is declining because of the to the pressures you talking about earlier and newspapers still drive the national conversation or it in this country in a way that they don't in lots of the country.

Is think they drive what's leading the BBC's headlines the next morning.

I'm in a way that that doesn't happen in other countries as well and Ann so I think you can't under play How influential papers like Andrews are can certainly if you talk to David Cameron about what?

Happened in 2016 with the referendum he would tell you in no uncertain terms about how it how influential the brexit press was week of the statues night.

I had a scoop on this story about hi Nigel daycare.

I went to see David Cameron and I think they and David Cameron wanted him to try and tone down from that brexit coverage exactly record Jack Andrews been very clear about the fact that there hasn't been much of a change of tone that really are the male has remained pro-brexit proteza my would you agree with that? I think what time do certain anonymous represented has been a change of position, but there has been attained and what I would say is that is that don't underestimate how important that Tony is determined from the male used to be on Thursday to use the word shrill, but it was certainly very very very loud indeed in one way and that has changed dramatically helpful has that been for Theresa May I mean hugely helpful and the other thing to say is that it's coming.

I did with the change of ownership at the Daily Express which was the other very very pro brexit newspapers which is also now owned by watching our called which has a new editor and just like that the Daily Mail is still pro brexit, but the toner swing dramatically back closer to the centre ground and what that means is that if your prime minister who's trying to get through a compromise agreement on brexit as she's doing now instead of having these newspapers really yelling from the sidelines that it must be a hard hard hard brexit.

That's not happening anymore only really the sun has been left isolated in that position them and if you speak to people inside Downing Street about this.

They will tell you that they know they no longer facing that critical mass of very powerful very hard brexit newspapers.

Do you know the song The Voice on its own does not carry the weight of three or four newspaper print with the Chequers plan to that was published when pulled a crystal editor of The Daily Mail and although there was a lot of angst over it the paper supported it and so again.

I said we are consistent on the fundamentals or

The way we express express it is is different and some readers might not be so keen others will be seen that there wasn't there was nothing that demonstrated it better than her own agree with that the name the famous Daily Mail front page about brexit Crush the Saboteurs when the prime minister came out and called that disastrous election last year that was the Daily Mail headline and the Saboteurs were the remain supporting appears in MPs were going to try and stop black brexit this week.

We had another front page Daily Mail attacking the Saboteurs but all of a sudden the Saboteurs and now the brexit supporters and the Tory Party he wants to try and and and and stop Theresa May's plan and and that total swing you would never have seen under the previous night.

Jack you even talking about to number 10.

Do you talk you talking directly to number 10 and they're telling you sources.

They are telling you that they really think that this is very helpful The Express and the males changing tone Irene they are they know it's something that it that is in their favour that wasn't.

If you make that comparison with what David Cameron was trying to do two years ago, they know they don't have that as I say that critical mass of newspapers against them but they might otherwise have done.

We don't know how Paul Dacre would have reacted to this brexit deal if you were still editor of the paper, but I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't be calling Boris Johnson and Jacob rees-mogg, Saboteurs on the front page data supported the election of Theresa May as prime minister and I cannot believe he would be supporting these Tory MPs how many are there? Is it 25 to 26 were not sure how many of the number keeps going down or up in their attempts to overthrow her at such a delicate point in the negotiations and I think Jacks right number 10 will be more becalmed because of the atmosphere because she's got quite enough on her plate without newspaper shouting and I'll ring and I think that was really interesting is that the fact about having this conversation? Is you still see how how important this this these newspapers are internet in Estonian

And I'm part of the town that they've been setting actually is talking about Sir Jacob rees-mogg as Captain Mainwaring in their Dad's Army it was a throwaway comment yesterday is been carried on almost all the papers today.

I wonder if you think that there's a danger sometimes that these colourful characters of brexit Farage Boris Johnson Jacob rees-mogg, get more coverage because they're basically entertaining and sometimes you know when brexit becomes very dense and and perhaps someone take tedious actually do have somebody that adds a little bit of light and shade newspapers jobs is not just to inform and entertain as well people want to want to be entertained.

I don't have any readers exactly and and there are great characters and you're going to write about them and Boris it's a great character it happens to be most of the great characters are on the brexit side, but the moment somebody made in Dad's Army yesterday and Jacob rees-mogg's.

I thought this is going to be a disaster for him.

It's going to be lots of jokes about they don't like it up.

Em don't panic don't panic and then you like you said you like Captain Mainwaring

The script writers and the cartoon that's at the Liverpool Echo you know we all know that Boris Johnson aka troubled relationship with pool to rent Liverpool Echo dot display there at all.

No and I think if you take a picture of him around town.

I'm not sure that many people would identify him.

That's not really they wouldn't they wouldn't actually recognise him.

I don't think maybe misrepresenting people but I don't think so no, it's not our domain that at all ours is very much trying to explain the technicalities of quite a difficult scenarios while readers and we just leave that to your you guys really want just that we focus on him and because they love the way that Parliament is now Parliament these conventions have a huge amount of power.

They are influencing the Direct direction of this country potentially for the next 20342 years in a way that wouldn't be happening if Theresa May and one the big majority she wanted and so because we have.

This real balance of power and no one really with any authority that means these sort of figures you know we do have to pay them attention we do have to listen to I suppose The dup Who product outside of colourful, but they are having a lot more.

It's quite colourful, but your dad right.

I'm in 3 years ago hardly anybody even new Frankley in England to the dup were and now they're they're pulling all the strings.

So you don't think this is turned into a pantomime you think they're actually they're getting there that the right amount of coverage.

So I think anything to inject a bit of colour and life into the brexit conversation is urgently needed.

It is such a tedious detail heavy story most people are sick to the back teeth of backstops on the entrance in front of your they want a bit of Colour in a little bit of life into or else.

You know people know it's important.

They know they have to get their heads around the detail but you could this mean that most readers of the Daily Mail just say this we just want it sorted.

We just want it fixed.

We want to leave and get on with it and then we can move on with our lives and I think that's the bit.

I think that's probably funeral of the country but certainly what Daly married to say when they write to me get on with it Mrs May

Get the job done and then like goes on to talk about a bit about Theresa May and her strategy because she has had what I would consider outline of a front foot Media strategy has been plenty of social media and even promoted tweets and I'm getting them on my phone and appearances on Talk shows lots of coverage in the mail is that strategy working Jack what do you think well? It's a it's a slow process.

You know if you look at the polling people are pretty sceptical about the deal.

Just as as MPs are and so she's got a few weeks to try and change the view and change the conversation on this deal and if you remember a couple of weeks ago.

We had a leak of an early version of number 10 of big PR blitz plan for this moment and sure enough they they started to put something like that into place and she's going to begin to do with the male and she's been on TV shows and she's done speeches and she's done press conferences.

You never normally see the prime minister have the pressing to do a number 10 press conference we saw that last week as well.

Does it work? It's too early to say is this your Santa

And it is working actually because there was a poll in the times today and you got poll which showed last week 33 33% wanted to stay when we thought these 48 names are going to go in today that false 45% as a huge jump in a week and I think it's a tribute to her strategy.

She is remarkably resilient that woman and she has gone on the front foot the interviews with Ferrari on LBC in the Daily Mail and I think particularly women that poll showed support for her monks women's gonna particularly cuz I think they sent not men who beat her up because let's face it most of the people from Jacob rees-mogg's group of been criticizing her.

I meant Maria looking at the Liverpool Echo coverage and and local newspapers coverage.

You obviously this is a key issue and yet.

It's not an issue that affects at the moment affect the daily lives of your readers on a daily basis.

Do you look for ways in which of the story is actually applicable to to people's daily life? How do you do that? Yeah? We do I mean festival.

We try and explain it so

We have a nice Cool Runnings weekend about jargon busting exactly, what does it mean because if you don't operate in that world then you don't necessarily know what hard brexit means so we try and explain things obviously one of the resignations Esther McVey with her a local politician so we do trying to happen to it, but it's very different style of coverage than you would find in the national Media I meant do you think gajac we need a little bit of light relief on this was as we can possibly find I'm in analytical we do a lot of the explaining his stuff as well like that try and explain what the backstop means and and all the rest of it, but you know people can't just read that stuff everyday gets incredibly tedious after a while, but hopefully we provide a little bit of light relief today.

Thank you.

All very much indeed and don't forget that you can subscribe to the media Show podcast you can find it on the BBC signs out.

Thank you very much to all my guests today with Nick run from Facebook Chris Williams out of the Telegraph Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail

Raspberry tiger poaching Emily Breslin from the Liverpool Echo and the Jack Blanchard from politico and will be back sometime next week.

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