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Read this: Explaining Brexit

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Explaining Brexit…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello is turning into a seemingly endless journey, how hard can it be to cover it simple up to a point broadcasters have been telling their hair out feeling they have to cover the subject but desperate to find new and interesting ways of doing so BBC News editorial director Kamal Ahmed thinks he's found one but you the audience in charge.

The world has changed hugely and the audience have an expectation and we have a need to involve them more closely in what it is.

We do.

Also this week dear Future Radio 4 controller first priority for the new controller top of the list for the new controller Radio 4 listeners have some advice for radio Ford next controller and the perils and possibilities and mixing drama with studio discussion, I was working away head Radio 4.

The backgrounds are he can't pull me away from my work at the place or when I started listen to the story and why Radio 4 that's commissioner doesn't worry too much about making his listenership younger sometimes you can get hung up on thinking who is this mythical 28 year old as if a 28 year old is the same as a 17-year-old 25/30 three-year-old.

I'm afraid we can't help covering it again brexit brexit brexit brexit brexit brexit continues to dominate the headlines this week and it's been ever present in our inbox cristian filled with interest rated by a lot of the BBC's coverage of brexit particularly, because it seems to dominate on use on a daily basis trying to make every opportunity to paint brexit is the worst thing that's ever happened to this country.

My name is Kathleen Thompson I have been better served by radio for rubbing the type of knockabout politics of television overall Radio 4 of Luminous podcastard items.

I think Sarah of the educational remit of the BBC well.

Hello, my name is Wendy Davis although 48% voted to remain with hardly hear any Ramon vs for arguments and that are the boats they will seem to be between soft brexit and hard brexit is good coverage, and it always seems to be negative to those a one-to-one continue with the verdict of the referendum the explanations that turn people try to give a quite good, but I say don't really upset that it seems that whole thing is bias people called in just because they're actually don't really understand the side of things less mediated squabble between two passionate people and more authoritative inside our stories.

Today programming across the BBC The Corporation has promised to throw open its doors and that the audience in on the decision-making the man whose idea this is is Kamal Ahmed BBC News is new indeed first editorial director.

I think what you and I go back a bit in journalism and termism traditionally walls we worked away in our Ivory Tower castle, and then once a day I used to work in print journalism wanted a wee through the news over the Castle walls to the audience and then got on with annexe days work that clearly the world has changed hugely and the audience have an expectation and we have a need to involve them more closely in what it is.

We do.

We want to be more porous.

We want to be more transparent and also we want to listen to what the audience wants to understand about this very complicated and important subject that is present the mission in the sense.

Failure that in the past you haven't listened enough the BBC had become to a degree disconnected.

It's only not an admission of failure.

Is it an understanding that the world is changing auditors expect that we are more transparent so that audiences can understand the way we work so we we don't seem so mysterious too many people who are listening or Reading or watching.

I don't suggest for a moment that we got it wrong as Yusuf Russia is about thinking about how can the audience helpers.

How can your audience help us make the choices and and think about covering issues in a way that helps them make sense of the world.

That's why we're journalist.

Isn't it were there to help audiences, so happy like yourself know so much more about finance and economics and I will ever do it most people in this country.

You don't need help from ordinary people do what we found from having our first editorial meeting with the editorial.

Set up for this day of the audience your story is that for example they really wanted to know about the practical effects about as consumers travelling to Europe things like pet passport things like her would it affect the cost of food being imported? We may have expertise in certain areas, but we don't have expertise in where the audience might be and what they want to ask.

So let's talk specifically about this day when you let people in if you like him to the news editing process such a fundamental change you know in the past of frustration with the owner's organisations are we will talk to people and this is a controversial issue.

What do some vox pops so we go out with somebody for we have somebody against and he come back and that demonstrates nothing and arguably eats a valuable time.

Is this really different to that it is it is not a kind of Vox but we're not asking your audience to come on and tell us what they think we're asking them to influence.

What we cover that is a very different thing and I think the cake I'm not suggesting from over.

This is a massive Revolution but it is a new way of thinking another one off.

You don't exactly it's not a one-off.

So what it links into we're doing what we call in pop-up days in the first will be in Bradford in the middle of March I went and sort of hosted and editorial meeting with local people in Bradford about how they wanted us to cover the city and we going out with reflecting on that a free sample lot of people were complaining about NHS services in Bradford now gonna do a piece because we listen to them Bradford is the first one we have the second will be in Middlesbrough linking with Radio 1 and the big weekend and also these ideas of the audience your story days where they come in not just on brexit.

They might do that.

It's one hell, II sample or on the environment and the audience will buy some only some of our story choices in those areas we heard listeners.

Talk about less mediated squabbles if you like and more analysis now.

I know you want to do that.

Is very practical problem as you know backwards news is about excluding as much as including the more time you give to an explanation the fewer stories are going to be in the bulletin.

I think we have done a huge mad at explaining the issues rather than simply reporting on them if you look at our BBC1 new specials.

We've had explained to the audience whole days that go from the Today programme and Radio 5 Live and Radio 2 Radio 1 in the morning right through to the evening output with explanation absolutely at its heart.

That's been driven as well online and on social media.

So not saying fewer stories at greater length the things that we want to cover we know that the audience also want to have explained so reporting the news and explaining the news is one and the same thing and we are certainly looking more and doing more of explanation as well as reporting do you?

Nice that there is a need to change the principal you didn't 2 years ago do enough about what brexit actually meant 2 years ago.

It was less clear.

What brexit may or may not mean and all I would say is that we did a huge amount of coverage before the referendum about what some of the effects of brexit could be as economics editor at the time.

I know I did lots and lots of coverage and of course Roger what we are doing is it's not just about the programs that people listen to it's also about online if you go to a online or the app or a digital services.

There is huge amounts of explanation of the key issues.

We started that process Roger well before the referendum.

I know we did because I was there doing the audience didn't pay attention attention doing this for a moment.

It is not the audiences job to become.

Their own expert it's our job to explain of course Roger you're absolutely right.

We can always do more and do better what we found is been really important is just making it clear everyday.

We cover something like the Irish backstop or what would world trade organisation rules mean we have very simple jargon busters for audiences.

So they can just follow and understand the criticism is at times in the coverage.

They feel their joining a story in series 5 episode 6 and they have forgotten what episode one was about we want to allow audiences to always have that straightforward explanation in front of them and a lot of that will be via digital and we have worked very hard and making sure we do that our thanks to Kamal Ahmed editorial director for BBC news now last week.

We discussed the upcoming departure of Gwyneth Williams controller of BBC Radio 4 after 8 years in the

Shop the advert for a replacement is now available on the BBC website the next controller will not only be responsible for Radio 4 and 4 Extra but will also be a key part of the senior team leading BBC sounds influencing its overall strategy and delivery with a particular emphasis on contributing to the editorial plan for sounds ensuring that young listeners make BBC sounds at their destination for audio entertainment and cultural and intellectual insight younger listeners.

What do you think I'm Martin behrman from Chineham near Basingstoke top of the list for the new controller Radio 4 should be dealing with the eye-watering series of Big name presenters and Correspondents I used to be a mega fan of Radio 4 but I'm fast losing my enthusiasm Caroline colijn.

The first priority for the new controller must be to improve the Today programme 28th of February listeners switch channels to avoid today and they never switch back again.

They are losing you listeners that program.

My name is boo.

I would like to ask the new controller of radio 4 to stop all the music programs sings the song because the Beginning facing almost like the opening scene of a film.

It's so it took radio music belongs on the profusion of other music channels.

I find myself switching off or switching to several other good talk radio's.

My name is Stephen fever dear Future Radio 4 controller.

I think the BBC is way out of date the BBC is still chopped off.

Into geography and history and English at the moment there's stuff far too big a gap between news and features so is work to do so please keep your thoughts come again.

You can email feedback and tweeters at BBC R4 feedback.

You can leave a phone message on 0333 444 4544 standard landline charges applied, but it could cost more on some mobile networks or of course you can write to feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ax all those details are on our website now Radio 4 documentary this week asked whether current cultural pressures and the me too movement in particular are bringing unexpected challenges for young males in #r boys as well on Radio 4 presenter Emma Kingsley looked at how these surgeon discussion of male behaviour and

Toxic masculinity has affected boys she was motivated in part by thinking about her own Sons whom she interviewed for the program is making a city in generalization about how boys could turn into these people it's good to teach you now while you are children so that you absolutely don't do any of these thing Claire Middleton I found it helpful and refreshing to hear the experts talk about the differences in the sexes as something to be mindful of when in the position of caring for kids the program seems to be encouraging boys to be the best version of male, they can be and I love that more.

Please all the insults we use to tell men they are negative less or we hi my name is Tim Coleman I found this program to be really thought provoking questioning the term of toxic masculinity.

And whether it's helpful particularly for young boys who sets of gender identity is still in managing.

This is the side of the Debate which I've not heard head publicly perform and I found it all the more affecting because in Emma Kings the we had a female document area that navigating this complex issue your thoughts on hashtag are boys as well, and student discussions were two different rules and can make uneasy bedfellows one such as for dramatic and emotional truth and is often intensely personal the other is more usually concerned with facts analysis and balance notwithstanding the risks and difficulties the producers of test case on Radio 4 did both they made a 45-minute drama tell him the story of assisted dying campaign and Debbie Purdy followed by Studio discussion featuring Debbie's husband Omar Puente a solicitor sign MotorHog and lord Falconer the barrister and labour peer good campaigned on assisted dying in Parliament

Is there a permanent have assisted dying the hybrid generated rave reviews from our listeners, my name's Debbie Debbie Purdy sorry.

I'm not normally like this time normally very upbeat Mark Phillips I was working away had Radio 4 in the background and I actually can't pull me away from my work at the place or when I started listen to the story in this particular case I thought it's incredibly inspiring are we like the tone of the actresses that were present in the drama.

They depicted the struggle very very well showing me someone showing me as a confident competent person who wants to live.

Deanne Taylor I was so pleased to see the test case programme return to Radio 4 the first of the two programs was incredibly moving showing the joys and pain in her life and following discussed in Part II was informative and really presents the outcome of the case in an accessible way, just brilliantly done.

Hello just like to say that the test case Debbie Purdy programme on Radio 4 recently was excellent the dramatization of the Love Story between Debbie and Omar really brought to Life the personalities and dilemmas involved in assisted dying the subsequent discussion between the lines and Omar and presenter also added tremendously to the Debate approve of how she appeared in the drama.

That is gonna be really good.

Stop now.

So how difficult is it to do this story both in drama and discussion it's? Oh to the Producers jonquil panting cremate the drama and Beth Eastwood who produced the discussion that followed it's the third edition of test case that they produced and I started by asking Beth how they'd selected this particular story well.

It's always in conjunction with and Deborah Bowman the presenter who is a font of knowledge on all things ethical and legal and we obviously look at a range of cases.

We think we'll walk would be a really interesting story the probably actually have his day when you start to look you might have sort of 10 Cases using wonderful it would be wonderful to tell it all of these it becomes one of access so happy I was wrong with you.

Feel simply don't want a story told some people don't want their story told if you think about what Omar perentie has gone through in the case of Debbie Purdy he has been to hell and back so for him to agreed to take part in a panel discussion.

And indeed give his consent to a drama being told of Debbie's life in which he features is frankly fantastic and amazing that he would do that.

I drank or did you have to say to a Mile Oak we going to represent you in this way, are you happy with it? We're gonna use this music in this way, is it something where you have to have the living person agreement not only did we feature Oh My by name and Debbie by name but we think it is music which is as much as voice as anything else and they need to have it a trusting relationship with you and you need to earn their trust by working in detail listen to what they say and representing all the realities of everyone your depicting in the programme fairly and being cleared with them giving them access to scripts and listen to their note so it all free test case we have the solicitor of each case on board now.

That was pretty important because I have a very big story to tell behind the scenes in terms of how you know the case was perceived when they met the end of a

For the first time you know so much.

I had never thought about assisted dying as an issue until Debbie Purdy walk through the door.

So you learn all sorts of fascinating as you need thereby and in order to be able to do the second part of the discussion and really put Flash on that drama understandable a little like censorship.

Is there a danger that you have to leave as you were to favorably towards them because of the cooperation you require.

Do you know that doesn't happen, but it would be a danger but I think because the intention of the program is clear.

It's to put you in the bin the situation of an ordinary person to him something medical happened, which then totally complexify the lives and loves them to the law we have an ever been asked by people to leave it in or take them out or change emphasis.

It's always been a very positive and cooperative process into a service if you were approaching this from the current first point of view you would say that debate was entirely unbalanced.

I'll be there was no

Attempt to represent the often principled opposition didn't get much of a look in the day when it was the series 3 setup Tesco to set up to look at a single medico legal case and its Legacy this one was on assisted dying and in fact that is very much a Love Story looking at Debbie story we did indicate in the discussion that there are other views opposing views Deborah Bowman did that in her presentation so we made it clear that that was the case however I think the wider debate can be explored across Radio 4 in another setting the other thing to mention here is given we were looking at Debbie Purdy case and her Legacy and the people involved as I say we could go elsewhere for the wider debate but also you have to take into account the fact that these cases are Ordinary People Who find themselves in extraordinary situations in this case Debbie and her husband who lost their be 4 years ago when she died we have.

Duty of care to him and we invited him to tell the story of what happened from his perspective and he did so for the very first time to do a broader debate you would need the involvement of people beyond Debbie Purdy story now the counter view they're just there wasn't the place in this particular program.

So there is ample opportunity in the schedule to do so and I welcome it if we do our job correctly in Tesco's and we try to do this for all the cases that we talked about what we doing is trying to put the listener inside the head and the ears and the heart of an individual who is for the various reasons going through a difficult experience and a complex experience which is very difficult to understand from the outside their vulnerabilities and fears and heart-stopping decisions that people all around these issues take every day and if the drama test case can help people get a little bit closer to the fee.

Kings of someone that they're not to imagine the reality of a position they've never been in then.

I think we're doing our job jonquil panting and birth Eastwood producers of test case to additions which are available via BBC sounds find me last week.

We had the first part of my conversation with James Ramsey radio for part-time commissioning editor for the odds.

What is paid to work 2 days a week during his tenure Liverpool vs.

Long-running midweek series has been axed.

It was replaced by only artists Saturday review was also cancelled and then retrieved in a sudden you turn in the second part of my conversation with James Runcie I asked him whether the reinstatement of that series that come as a relief that needs to be on Saturday review quite a lot and so I haven't sort of novelist as a novelist.

Yes, I was relieved yes, because I think there is a place for criticism an absolute home and with the joy of Saturday review is that it's a one-stop-shop.

It's your cat.

Chat program for the arts now to look back over the last going to head to the next month Tom cyclist.

Does a brilliant anchoring job of send what's important and trying to find ways in which thinking bringing critical consensus and disagreement into the front as a proper forum for criticism of the outside here for on a regular basis on a weekly basis, and it was it was cut because Radio Forth budget is being cut and continues to be good and you are answered continues to be cut a rather difficult it's not easy.

No, but if it was easy everyone would be doing out with me.

I don't want to come here.

Please is about balance budgets and everything but you know you do if you want to do an ambitious international program, then you have the balance.

It was something that's a bit cheaper.

You have to work out ways in which working out some programs can be intimate but you and me talking and some can be a bit more explorative and take more time time is the issue actually because actually few want to spend a lot of time on a program that does cost more money so I am acutely aware of the need to buy.

Budget so need to cut Spital somewhere opportunities with the advent of sounds that it's normal opportunity to expand their were we doing as much as contract.

What sounds when it took to be subjected in as soon as to form sodium radio all the time has the young audience which is not switching on to the commercial networks hence sounds hence the money investing podcasts and so on are you as worried if you like as your boss is about that or do you have more confidence that people will come have some little later in life to worry bank or more conventional pregnant about the Arts because I work in the Arts I don't always do what people tell me to do what I'm really I know my one job absolutely more important than anything else is still deliver brilliant interesting programs and to find interesting young producers to make them as well as the established old hands and and the really good people to have put us Ranger program is more important than the audience the BBC's responsibilities to maintain the standard you hope lots of people become well if they don't.

Who bad with maintain to standard depends what you mean by the standard of course because I think that you can have a highbrow program.

That is long as it's are explained clearly and introduce cleared and has proper signposts in it.

I mean Hilary mantel doesn't dumb down in her novel she isn't right for 50 year olds in Woking as your rights for everybody and that's what the Archer do I did not mean then that you shouldn't be over preoccupied with young people.

Yes, I do think that because I think sometimes you can get hung up on thinking who is this mythical 28 year old as if a 28 year old is the same as a 17-year-old 25/30 three-year-old.

I think that what you have to do is have some feelings the temperature the cultural temperature in the nation across the world and try to deliver on fat and obviously if you want the 20s mythical 28 year olds you are get some 28 year olds to make these programs.

So they make them knowing that territory, but it mustn't be the exclusive to that well.

Just as he must make our program is entirely you know about I don't know Fair Isle sweaters and folk music 100.

Just people to say did you hear that you know that's why I did hear that my God I'll catch you up on Saturday now with sounds you can listen to Ten in a row if you like if you really have the appetite for it.

Sleeping never to send people to sleep Rodger describe three seven days a week 24 hours a day and yet officially 2 days a week officially 2 days is that mean you get paid for 2 days and you work 5.

Yes, it does not happen.

If you don't mind.

Thank you very much.

I mean as a writer.

I live in the world.

I mean that's what happens at yes.

I do I get paid too and I work all the time but I work in a kind of general way.

I mean I'm always working.

I mean you have to watch party people because there's I'm always working.

I'm thinking you know I'm in the park, but I'm still working because I'm thinking I mean it's nonsense you can have took a lot of absolute.

Yeah, I mean as a high danger of people in the Arts talking nonsense and I don't want to sound like one of them, but obviously I am artistically engaged in the world and in the creative process.

Some of that is directed towards radio for some of that is directed to my fiction somewhat stretch two-player writing at work in the theatre and hopefully to use a fantastic little fashioned term that's totally inappropriate.

I'm trying to be a man of letters in the 21st Century man of letters hohoho but that is what I'm trying to be alas.

I'm increasing the amount of emails and texts not letters sound like James Runcie but we still have to receive letters from you.

Please keep writing that's all from feedback for this week, but we leave you with some of my point is wonderful music for his late wife Debbie Purdy which was featured in test case goodbye.

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