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Reinventing Local Radio…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, what does it mean to reinvent local radio to be honest, I don't really know but that is what the BBC claims it is doing in Leeds so in this week's feedback will be going there to discover the reality behind the slogan go outside walk into your city into your town.

Have a good look around at the people that are there and reflect that in your output to play the BBC should ban Michael Jackson's music rumbles on the BBC has ability to take a moral stand on issues such as this is music from the 20th century popular Canon is deeply problematic BBC sounds is set to replace the iPlayer radio before the end of the earth, but is it really fit for purpose?

I still prefer the iPlayer and do you have a smart speaker 9 million have been sold in this country alone many of us have shouted at the radio for years now it can speak back Alexa asked to BBC 4 the Now Show but first the English language has been under great pressure this week as fresh words have been sought to provide alternatives to incredible unbelievable unprecedented doctor say catastrophic.

Yes, it's the brexit nightmare some of our listeners are begging to be released from the never-ending coverage Michael David from Wolverhampton like many others I must be fed up with the brexit Debate for those who want to be so involved and this to me is mainly politicians and broadcasters.

Why not give these their own channel for two weeks and they're

The rest of us get on with our lives then after two weeks work out the listing figures.

I am confident the number of listeners would be minimal the headlines this morning MPs will vote on Theresa May's brexit deal this evening after she secured what she said will legally binding changes do it for the 13th of November remains unchanged Richard from Malvern days and weeks of crystal ball reporting.

I don't think enough is happening to warrant this ridiculous number of hours being dedicated and subjective brexit just shut up about it and report on all the other world events will contact you we listen to the same old nonsense the same old phrases same old rhetoric over and over and over and it's just deadly born.

I'm turning the radio off Marie Randall I have never heard anyone attempt to explain in Sim

Autumn's what is in the withdrawal agreement surely? This is exactly the sort of thing the BBC as a public broadcaster should be attempting to do it seems ridiculous that the only aspect discussed is the backstop.

What about the rest of it and peas who delivered a crushing blow to Theresa May's EU withdrawal agreement last night instead.

We are a general election in the people get my name is not Prescott is the BBC's job to educate and inform the public and explain jargon is failing.

It's how we've done two and a half years without anyone knowing will brexit even is why didn't occasions of the Northern Ireland backstop the so poorly understood and no deal is so often confused with no brexit.

Are we any the wiser about? What is actually going to happen the short answer no.

Well next week.

I'll be speaking to a winner Griffiths the edge of the PM programme about how she tries to save listeners from boredom and bafflement now for some time.

We've been asking what it means to or reinvent audio which The Corporation says is its ambition across all networks and podcast and one area that supposed to be in the throes of reinvention is BBC local radio can argue but it's never been more important as more and more local newspapers disappear and commercial local radio becomes more national than local the problem for the BBC is there is only look really audiences have been steadily falling in 2013 over 9 million people a week which Union to the local station according to the latest radar figures that audience has dropped to under 7.8 million.

That's a fall of almost 15% in five years hence the need for reinvention and increased spending of this seems to mean in practice is out of new content and podcast.

Has also been a hunt for new Talent via open auditions and searches for younger and more diverse presenters feedback report a road Crossing has been to BBC Radio Leeds where audiences have started to go up to see this so-called reinvention at first hand iMac BBC Leeds for managing editor St G42 and evening show producer Shahid Hussain have phoned something akin to a presenter detective agency their mission to find Newtown and their location well, let's stop smoking mirrors.

It's just an office above the studio Sanjay what are the current challenges facing BBC Leeds as a local radio station when we look at the kind of program so we're making our population we know that the population is changing and parts of population of January 1st.

So if I look at Bradford it's the youngest fastest growing city in the country.

It's also very multiethnic multi diverse so we.

Look at what's in Bradford why people are listening a lot of people not listening to Radio Leeds and we're always looking.

Have you got it right do we need to eat things I need to think we need to get rid of a a program do we need to bring something else in she had come to think of you is something akin to the head of a detective agency in attempting to find new Talent I think it's a case of go outside walk into your city into your town.

Have a good look around at the people that are there and reflect that in your output are there any particular audiences that you're hoping to connect with are there underserved audiences in the area under BBC traditionally don't feel too young people do that appealed to people on their feet minority groups so in a diversity the challenge is Challenge for all of us, so we've looked at how we can appeal to those audiences as well as the white working class audience the key thing here.

Is that a lot of the

Contact has to be local so if we are looking at CR Asian programme on a Monday night a lot of the music that's featured in it has to have been written or produced or performed by people who are native to West Yorkshire this is local shows by local people about local people Emily Woodcock backstage Nicole Raymond BBC Radio Leeds share a part of you that was tempted to just wander into a pub or a cafe.

Is there anyone fancy being on the radio and just see what happened? There was a lot of kind of speaking to people that I knew going to events going to see where people are gathering finding people that have that spark and Talent that has that something about them.

I mean it's not just a case of you know we walk around and there a ready-made Radio presenters.

It's such a nice thing to do.

It's a long process.

How long

You're talking about a good few months before you let somebody onto the airwaves and kind of put together programme.

There's a lot of support behind them as well.

How much do you trust your instinct from the first second of hearing someone that they're going to be brilliant there right? I want them you have to have a little bit of Instinct but there are people who you know you start off with the best intentions and and it's more the other way round in a people say maybe this isn't quite right for me.

I remember trying to walk to Monday and just said you need to listen to this and I just put this on and I heard a presenter Alice I just looked up and we just said yes, you know this guy sounds great when you to get Mum otherwise known as Raj or silverfinger Singh to his audience that presents an Asian Fusion showcase on Monday evenings.

I said out with him and Holly Woodcock presenter of the sea.

Which celebrates lgbtq life in West Yorkshire basically performed at an event in Leeds and the Shahid was there and they're here? We are you know like 13 weeks on now.

What does sounds remarkably smooth process of brilliant? I was here producing reporting and the feedback that I cannot be received from listeners, when I was reported into breakfast.

Would we want more we want to see more of him and prior to the scene? Would you say that the lgbtq audience was underserved or simply not served at all.

I feel we be with Radio Leeds because I've always been kind of be involved with reporting and producing.

I'd always try to go the extra mile with Diversity be to Dad's talking about a certain story or someone from the trans community.

How would always try and ensure that myself in the first transgender woman.

Working football Premier League no mean feat as club photographer, what's the biggest challenge the biggest challenge is to stay relevant to stay fresh as well insuring that were educating the listener, so as well as it being avena foxing on new music and new releases by Asian Fusion I suppose as well as putting the spotlight on to the originator's but I don't want to start a ratings War I guess you.

Let me put this on other way.

I want to start a ratings.

What has the most listeners out of you take something that I personally.

There's no rivalry yet.

I'm listening into presenter Stephanie Hirst who is just beginning of post child debrief producer Sarah Witham

You switch the radio on these days and there's someone going Texas now.

I'm trying to turn it on it said everyone else is doing that I want to do something different it be freezing.

So it's a brexit for his I don't talk about that because I go for slightly younger audience as well as BBC local radio shifted.

You know trying to put in that 45 + audience as well now.

I know it sounds a bit Partridge we've got the drummer on from a bad but honestly when this opportunity to come up to interviewing Kim are you concerned about the danger of attempting to be all things to all people and the output becoming a amorphous metal appealing to no one hour challenge anybody to say that we're what all things to everybody and that wear a mess but not we are very targeted with very clear in what we do.

I'm a firm Believer as are many others that one size doesn't fit all so what's appealing for my listeners in very urban, West Yorkshire is not the same for a state in the shires which has a different population which may be more rural.

Which may have an older population so therefore it's not a case of reinventing anything.

It's a case of just looking at who are the population who lives here and what should we give them and it gives us an opportunity to just not just experiment but to have a look at you know what else can we do with our programmes and that's exactly what we've done sounds.

You've got to hand in that report from Rob crossan and later in the series.

I'll be speaking to Chris Burns the head of audio and digital for BBC England she's overseeing the change in strategy, so if you any questions for her about the future of local radio with love to hear from you the last week.

We discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding the allegations of child abuse against the late Michael Jackson one of the most popular music artists of all time and channel 4 documentary leaving Neverland had explosive allegations from two men that the singer had sexually abused them as children claims they Jackson estate denies following that brought.

What's the record not least from feedback listeners for Jackson's music to be banned from the BBC but the corporations policy is never tube an individual artists a proper subject for debate on feedback, but the BBC declined to provide a representative to discuss their controversial policy instead last week.

They gave us a statement saying that we consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind so what does our audience think about that intensively his music the BBC as international broadcaster has a responsibility to take a moral stand on issues such as this we cannot listen to his music and say it doesn't matter it does Tony Johnston of course is music should continue to be played this trial by TV documentary is ridiculous shame on you giving it the air of publicity Claire James Bibby

See your response to this is simply not good enough.

Stop playing his music and start investigating the full extent of what he really was I hope you rethink your stance on the subject and start listening really listening to his accusers Elizabeth Folkestone Kent if he did in fact do those terrible things he is alleged to have done then.

That's obviously a horrendous indictment of his character however to eradicate his name and music from the 20th century popular Canon is deeply problematic because not only do we lose an understanding of what happened to Black music and the direction it took through soul into disco and pop but we close down a discussion of how popular cultural figures can be paedophiles too and we don't learn any of the lessons from it in Hinckley in Leicestershire the selection of music across all BBC stations should be avoiding the obvious easy choices from overplayed big head and artists why would is musically being played on the BBC there's so much musical?

Where the playlist Tuesday should be able to be choosing much more variety.

I'm always surprised when Roger says that no one from the BBC who is available feedback is there as part of the following response and interaction with the listeners and if feedback comes knocking really someone should be been made available your views on the question of whether Michael Jackson's music should be played on the BBC and if you want to get in touch with three bike you can email feedback you can tweet us at BBC R4 feedback.

You can leave a phone message on 03 333 4445 44 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks or you can write to feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ax office details are on our website now as you cannot fail to have noticed last year The Corporation launched.

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from a moment sounds exist alongside the BBC's previous app iPlayer radio but later this year that will be shut down for some listeners to go over to the new app is BBC sounds yet fit for purpose some of our listeners, do not think so sure about BBC sounds for the waste of time money and effort was Paul revere from Stirling I still prefer the iPlayer as far as I'm concerned sounds is still a work in progress.

I'm not as functional for my needs.

My name's Andrew Currie I live in abergynolwyn in mid-wales are used to be able to find an episode of a radio programme list of the new and yours relatively easily on iPlayer why has this now been made impossible do I first click the iPlayer tab or the sounds tab?

Use the search box what is channels or click on categories when I was able to navigate to you and yours I could then see a list of programs with dates now.

There are no dates given.

No wonder audiences are falling when changes are the opposite of improvements well do keep letting us know what you think all the app now for a growing number of listeners smart speaker has become an essential part of their daily routine Alexa wake me up tomorrow at 7 a.m.

To Radio 4 please on TuneIn my name is Andrew Danny I live near Derby I've had a smart speaker now for nearly a year and it does work really really well as a glorified alarm clock and it's very good at controlling the radio less good at giving me answers very often to the questions.

I have Alexa what are the BBC's plans for smart speakers?

Sorry, I don't know that already over 9 million smart speakers have been sold in the UK the most popular being Google home and the Amazon echo and this week's the government announced that they will be included in the basket of goods used to measure the movement of prices along with bread cars and other essentials as more and more people buy these smart speakers.

It's increasingly important for the BBC to ensure its content is compatible.

So what could I listening futures be like I headed to the core operations research and development center at White City and West London to find out this place is at the heart of the BBC's future as well as his present and wearing something called the Blue room and I'm with Michael David Shand who's executive editor of voice and AI and why am I looking into bed here and a fireplace and a few other things with surrounded by us what speakers computers and it's all set up a bit like the home of the future.

I managed to encourage us to understand the way that technology is changing and that people out there listening to this will have some of these devices or or will get them in the near future and so how can we make sure the BBC experience is the best for our audiences interested in this time in the markets deluded delivering all of these things you'll want to make sure you're there.

Is there any other reason you're particularly involved in this people at home are using this to access radio programmes podcasts radio stations and so we want to be there and they're increasingly offering interactions some of which will be with BBC content over which we have an interest so we are offering our radio and on-demand audio is children's services and news briefings.

This is going really fast we serve more than 200 million streams of audio of the last year over 20 million news briefings and so were paying attention to where we can improve that experience and that's what you can expect from us in the near future could use Devon

Straight to the attractions for example.

I missed the last edition of the Now Show can you call it up for me Alexa ask the BBC for the Now Show from the 8th of March 2019 forward 5-minutes Chris Grayling transport secretary loyalist and Frank Spencer with Ian McKellen the so-called blue Room it wasn't particularly blue by the way was George Wright head of Internet research and future services is BBC's research and development what has Michael specialises in editorial and content issues George's ahead Turkey I asked him what potential developments his soul for future listening when smart speakers first came along researchers in my team with very excited by them.

This was a way that you could talk to the internet without all the clumsy.

Sims of a web browser or mouse or keyboard on a mobile phone getting in the way so we think that would potentially just scratching the surface of these and they simultaneously very popular for traditional Media just listening to Radio but also new ways of interacting which we really haven't thought of you.

I'm looking at safety pack for example if we wanted an immediate feedback feedback if you like we doing as we want to know what the audience sticks to this technology give us a more instant feedback, so we done a lot of work even before these devices started coming out in the UK we did a lot of work around a project called talking with machines about how people might interact in one of the things that we prototype was how much people shouted at the radio when Katie's on the Archers at the moment.

I mean I shut the other people might applaud and it's a very different experience than it is if you're trying to impress your feedback in enough a web form or a letter.

It's it's much more immediate and you think you could register that is something we experimented with so what does this mean in practice?

Nicky birch is a producer working on the future adapting radio drama to add interactive elements for uses of smart speakers last year we worked with Radio 3 on an experimental piece about adapting a a drama that went out with broadcasting 2005 the order of the seams was randomised for this broadcast in Keeping with the novel which was published in luson bounce actions intended to be read in any order so serious the unfortunates by BS Johnson starring Martin Freeman probably symbol out of her as well over time or later.

Love of the dross.

How is like man repurposed it so it fits on smart speakers and so instead of having it in a linear form.

We then basically adapted it until you could listen to it in a random order so now if you listen to the audio via the skill on smart speaker you can get any one of 1.3 trillion version so that.

You could get so every time you listen.

You will listen to it effectively a different version of this place and what I was true.

What you said possible.

Why would I want to play around with the running order of players or why would I want to alter it sending out of them very very occasionally just for fun.

I think that's a really good points and that's something that we researching at the moment.

We're trying to discover how much interaction that audiences want so just to say put into context audiences radio audiences have never before been able to interact and shoes and the types of content and choose the way content developed in this way the some orders it might decide that she wouldn't do want more than just kind of listening back.

So they could do the ironing and drive a car and actually they don't want to interact too much or it might be the actually younger audiences people who are grown up with games and things like that do like to interacting.

That's all ways of testing.

That's one of the pieces of research that we doing.

With the risks I asked not of the beach and what happens to all the data that the speakers collect could it be exploited these devices have been there is a really live debate around data there a lot of issues and public concerns and we need to be really conscious of those as we operate in that space.

We make unilab best endeavours to sort of surface there the highest possible standards of data protection so we for example when we we offer services on top of these platforms when we do we ask us platforms to make sure they compliant with data protection in the UK or any other relevant jurisdictions.

We don't gather personal data.

We don't take the sound from from from the speakers.

We don't get a personal data unless you signed into the BBC and we don't share your data with anybody including these providers just because we're on the system definitely there is a live debate going on about I'm how does platform should handle data and you know what I watch it like you insure with great interest.

Andy keyboard speaking to me in the BBC's blue room and while smart speakers may be very smart they still something's they can't do Alexa who presents radio 4S feedback sorry.

I'm not sure why why should she be have been doing for long finally anarchic comedian Alexei Sayle has become something of a fixtures Radio 4 comedy lineup over recent years and is always unpredictable and idiosyncratic is latest series is well abnormal play now.

We have the next installment in a series of dark comic plays from Alexei Sayle the absence of normal continuous is a frightening place Howie to navigate the perils that look out there the absence of normal is written and mostly narrated by Alexei Sayle himself.

They've tackled subjects from murderous pensions in Liverpool to the perils of a friendship with starling.

How is the series gone down with you William Shaw

Alexei sayle's the absence of normal was an absolutely delicious black comedy does a really nice blend of sort of fairytale like conceits and almost Samuel Beckett term Peter Capaldi was absolutely fantastic as Stalin this brilliant sort of towering monstrous quality to him, but he was also projected in security really well Jane Kelly the return of hearty funny right wing comedy to BBC Radio 4 in the unexpected person of Alexei Sayle a cracking evocation of student life in the 70s West power stations mostly Chris Roberts you do need to sit down.

I think he just listens to me because it has moved the storyline.

it has its own internal logic that's quite beautiful Vietnamese pho Vietnam solidarity campaign my name is George kept in the latest episode the Minister for Death is particularly made me laugh or maybe think about our attitudes to older people in Society

Is Ronnie lady staring up at his new heals lampshade? He was certain.

I look forward to hearing more your thoughts on Alexa sale seriously absence of normal normal service will be resumed on feedback at the same time as next week.


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