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Read this: HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen

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HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 often say this is the show where the biggest beasts in the media Jungle come out to play and today is no exception let me introduce you to our guests Lydia polgreen is here the editor-in-chief of huffpost Lydia welcome to the show what brings you to a few different things one very exciting thing is today.

We just announced our new editor-in-chief of huffpost UK Jimmy Leach a former colleague of yours from the Independent provider and the new executive editor of places, where is Jess brammar? Who is a fantastic also BBC weather in there was at Newsnight for a long time so really excited about those you know it's a bit of a flying visit to come see my team here, but I also had a great honour of interviewing the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on stage at Adwick yesterday.

That was a lot of fun.

It's not a Great Britain is great.

He's got the funny misfortune of them being very much beloved outside of his home town, but that's the Fate of Mirrors everywhere hand politicians in the exotic Lily a very very good to see my dad have dinner parties.

Hey Google director of news ecosystem development and its a grand total of what does it mean? What do you do for a living I work with some of the things that Google does with news publishers in the UK and globally and yes, we have some silly titles.

Do you refer to the guys in California as your folks? I know I got any university in Texas I don't use folks that much and your manager who's the latest winners of your recipients of your benevolence or ability to program a good to see you all.

So here is David Austin the CEO of the BBFC that is a cause of British board of film classification that that's your graduation responsible for deciding what classification films and DVDs get take me to win.

I'm sat in the cinema and the slide comes up before the movie saying what the rating.

Is is that your signature that I see.

Meta Italy several times to get it right but in the end, I got it right so who's the president of the most viewed signature in the UK or after Patrick's 9/2 of them after the cashier of the Bank of England who do you think I mean? We did the name change back in the 1980s and we we basically classifying and ensure that families can choose continents like for them based on the age rating as I say we give and you watch lots of movies with a notebook and Pen to get you to immerse your notebook and pen with later.

David is gonna be talking about a deal.

He has done with Netflix which will see and automated rating algorithm disable certificate film gets interesting stuff and come onto it let's start with the editor-in-chief of huffpost Ladywood talk about your editorial role in a moment.

I'm take the seven issues raised during this week by the Christchurch charity.

Let me ask you first about the business of huffpost, what does huffpost offer that you can't get from other news sites.

We think of ourselves as being the premiere People First News organisation in the world for us that means really putting our audience and frankly just ordinary human beings at the centre of all of our journalism.

I've heard that before I've heard that before.

What do you do the other people do I think it's really a question of putting human stories at the heart of everything that we do so and n.

Frankly taking signals from her audience to Guide Our editorial coverage so for example in 2017 in the US we did a Tour of death of 26 citiez we went around and ask people.

What are you care about and what really matters most to you and used what we heard from them and we ended up interviewing close to 2000 people as a blueprint for what are covered should be so based on that feedback.

We decided housing we heard a lot about the crisis of affordable housing in the United States and so we put someone full-time on it people care very deeply about Healthcare that's nice.

Prices in opinion polls and things like that but people are also really really worried about intolerance and extremism so we beefed up our coverage there so far as it's about being in a constant ongoing conversation with their audience and being of service people think of service journalism is being help me figure out what type of toothpaste to buy what sort of dress to wear but we think of services being applicable to every aspect of people's lives naturalism should be based index.

Argos using digital tools to listen, which will I will come onto how do you make money make money from advertising and profitable today.

We do not break our profitability as an individual a property report of most profitable companies do airport early this month saying that there's been at around about 2300 job cuts in New York Media you know a lot of people affected you live with some of you were making some of those redundancies is your business model sustainable.

I believe that it isn't it and it certainly it's certainly a thing has new possibilities of being sustainable in the future.

I mean here's the reality do we want a world in which only extremely well heeled people who are well educated and well informed and are going to lean forward and use their credit card to pay for a subscription to The Times of London or to the New York Times to be the only ones for getting access to high-quality information or do we believe in a world in which advertises supporting journalism informs the people who think we need the information the most to make real practical decisions about their lives so I've been out.

I'm having a lot of conversations with them with brands with journalistic leaders and others about the absolute core centrality of journalism to the world and how global stability requires that there be free and easy to access journalism for everyone that really speaks to the lives of ordinary people that I think you know from brexit to the election of Donald Trump to you know.

Is this crazy man in Brazil or seeing a rise of authoritarianism which is absolutely linked to the the the impoverishment of newsgathering across the globe so I've put a challenge to every cmo that I meet night.

I look you think about yourselves as running to create as a business wine to create a stable environment for your business and your bottom line you spend money to support sustainability you for the environment.

What about supporting the sustainability of the overall information climate and that I think is a really really important argument that we should be out.

There is Brands making I'm very thrilled for every company that you got a paywall strategy that makes sense with them, but people's are right for everyone and you've got a strategy to grow grow internationally huffpost ill have to post so that my Ariana huffington as a kind of New York is actually liberal and globalist organisation will the new additions of huffpost that you launch around the world all share that liberal.

I think the Liberal is liberal is hard to define because it really changes based on the based on the market liberal mean something different hear that it does in the United States and pure heroine Indian auditions live believe in equal rights for gay people absolutely.

I think we have a core set of Progressive values that really guide who we are as a news organisation and that's not gonna change around the world and it's extremely important to us and very important to our audience this talk about those values in the context of something very very recent.

I want to talk about last week's terrorist attack in Christchurch because the power of tech companies in the ethics of journalism two things we talked about a lot on the show and that story combined the two of them, how did huffpost under your leadership approach that video so have you free sample you should have global ban on any of your auditions even using stills from it.

We did not use stills we certainly did not use the video.

We have a general policy of not doing a stand-alone piece of journalism about the perpetrator we don't attempt.

To pathologize or understand, you know who this person is a with their biography is our approach to covering mass shooters is really actually informed by a lot of the research that has been done by mental health professionals around covering deaths by suicide and really the goal is harm reduction.

Nobody wants their journalism to you inspire or motivate encourage anyone to do anything terrible, but what about the argument forgive me? What about the argument that your job is a journalist is not too sensible to show and analyse I don't think that it's a question of censorship by means of for example.

We have we have a number of people and I think I really strong track record of covering radicalization in online extremism in the growth of right-wing extremism so we certainly had people who were analysing and reading and describing and contextualizing for audience.

What was in this crazy person's Ridings out.

I won't even credit them as being a manifesto think that important news substance.

The people need to know about can you on the prisoners face their biography.

I I just I'm not sure how important that it's ok Louie brilliant overdose on the British board of film classification David in your words.

What is it wrong for publishers to distribute such materials possible Tesco having to classify that 17 minute GoPro footage because it was the legal reason to see what legal consequences could follow from from that and I can't imagine he and I will speak at the weekend.

I can't imagine the most professionally challenging thing to do but I don't even worry classified as objectionable which means it will be legal to distribute so on the basis of that to the police and other parts of the New Zealand structure content context.

Let me ask again.

What was it wrong? Do you think the publishers to distribute such material? It's not something that the baby asleep.

He gets in.

I think giving a mouthpiece to no such a disturbed individual.

Is is a problem and I've been a fully endorsed but my New Zealand Holiday Inn in classify.

The content is objectionable.

Ok, my love is worth saying just to clarify.

This is me.

You do not work for to YouTube which Google owns, but it's true the saying you're obviously of you on the ethics of wide is why do you think is right the googles created a platform with such material can go online without preemptive moderation.

That's really the ethical issues.

Why is it right that we could even create a possibility that people can put that stuff into the public domain think it's broader than that.

I think they did technology allows that's not want anyone single platform.

I think you saw that through this horrific.

Horrific.

Terrorist is weirdos on Facebook as well and yeah, and I think that your mum waiting you know as I said, I don't work for you too, but you know I think we look at that.

You know things like this in two ways one is around their policy sea noises that you were talking to them.

What is well and then there's implementation and you know the policy is actually quite clear that material.

I would agree ISM objectionable and has no place on YouTube and that's very very clear so the policies is there and then there's the implementation this is where the complexities of the technology come in and in as soon as we were able to detect out with systems that detected and that try to keep that down, but it was an ongoing battle as people tried to re-upload it, so we've took it down battles and sometimes we don't talk down the accounts that people trying to re-upload it as well, but as the systems actually learn than the other even the people who are criticizing us realise that as the systems caught up then actually we were able to do that to keep it off the platform from the point if you would it so it's a question which is really that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and to me the biggest challenge that I would put forward to the technology platforms is not how do you like this kind of material run wild on the internet but rather.

How did these platforms become the primary way in which people?

Come radicalised in motivated to commit these kinds of Acts that to me the threshold question so if you were being radicalised on Facebook through manipulation of oversharing and algorithms if they're being radicalised by being taken down a rabbit hole on YouTube that to me is the real question is worth a lot of organizations including and and again like I said I'm not a YouTube expert but I don't work with the prevent programme about how to actually when people are searching for these things to show them alternatives as well to counter radicalism.

There is where can I get is what kind of Internet do you want and what are the things that Google trips out to do is just organise the world's information make it useful is to have an open web is it the price of democratizing the weather do we have to sieve build it into the price of an open web.

This is a material will reach lots of eyeball.

Did it or not to reach? I think it's a society were grappling with these issues of wrong and how do you make the balance? That's right and I think we're learning as a society as we go through.

These issues and I think what we need to do is it is deeply think about this look at these issues and think about the colour unintended consequences of an action versus the other but I think he's a very very important question ok, just before we come onto the Google News initiative sticking with Christ Church Lydiate New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern they said she won't answer the terrorist name.

Do you think news organisations should follow suit should always take their around queues based on their ethics.

I don't think politicians should be our example of what we shouldn't shouldn't do but I think it is well past time that we have a deep reconsideration of how we cover these cut these types of individuals.

I think there have been tragically because there have been so many more of these types of atrocities.

We've had lots of opportunities to learn what's wrong and what's right, but it'll work in progress in maths and editorial judgement presumed.

It's not the kind of judgement the Google news with make mad at night.

I think it was quite rightly individual news organisations that make those choice.

Susanna Google as a search engine we reflect what's out there on the legal weapon with all the things that people do that way innovation fund what is it so I get the Google News initiative is actually York on a platform for engaging with the news ecosystem in the UK and and globally as well.

It's really designed to try them a play our part in our working on products are partnerships and programs around the sustainability of the news industry overall and today in particular and the innovation side are happy to announce that we've had our the last 3 years.

There's been about 13 million pounds of investment.

That's gone in and in this last round we've had 12 projects in the UK funded for innovative project because we're really trying to try and work on stimulating innovation, but also working more broadly on.

What are the products that are useful for new zorbas? I cannot give us the Scoop who's getting your money.

Come on.

Let's this funny one.

Does 12 + 12 in the in in the United Kingdom and I don't want to choose between them it'll be like asked me to choose between my kids, but I really like these include Archer newsquest and reach University of Sunderland Media a really interesting thing with the local and regional publishers that were saying they've really kind of really engage with the at the innovation funding so you see different things from each other's company as you've seen Archie and to our working very much around the kind of the archive element of it.

You've seen other things around audio and all based around can of the the reader revenue side of the so, how do you know not just innovation for innovation safe for very much around monetization, but then of the other other other end of the spectrum.

You've got you got something that I think very interesting enough Solent University right where what they are trying to do is how do you tackle the problem of court reporting you know because court reporting is difficult and really important you may sit in a quart 4 days upon days.

Mega the story may not get the story.

How can you use technology to actually I ease that the court reporting.

How can you get access to the documents? I can you pause this document and then make that were easily accessible to journalist who can then do the journalism it? Isn't there a contradiction the heart of all this and I know my various do that with an apostle work in the newspaper industry would want me to ask you this on the one hand use drugs you say they can't make any money from advertising in part because Google is Google is eat much of a luncheon Google or Facebook would get lunch together in this way the very different companies, but on the other hand you're giving out handouts those very same publishers say to an outside.

It kind of doesn't like your compensating for this tripping.

This is what I think this is all about the wider.

We why do we do this right then as I see you as soon as we care deeply about journalism front two main reasons one is gonna buy principles and values based on which is you know as you said earlier the two are we have a mission to make the world's information are universally accessible and and use information is a huge part of that.

You know we had the same values as news organisation.

That way but also strategically as you said were part of the the overall web ecosystem and the health of that ecosystem is important to us or company that works as ecosystems and we're only as good as the ecosystems that we try then then the question is are you two dominant and a lot of people have the news in Strood say you're too powerful in use the eu's to they find you 1.5 billion years because you're dominance in the online advertising industry isn't Google Now so big dick and did it's ended up making effect large part of British Media act and subsidies from the memories unimaginable 20 years ago when I was thinking about going into journalism that you'll have a Californian company funding all these regional publishers.

Let's be clear about war funding her funding innovation specific projects and I think that's the important part because that's about that about stimulus.

I think the other point is to really understand Googles role in the ecosystem in the business of it in our as lady has made the case for ad-supported journalism much more eloquently than I could but actually if you look at Googles role in an in publishers business that in the display advertising business.

Sending the display advertising business we are a supplier and you know we provide you know if there's an ad on a website and will either helps or statutory may help servants and we operate off revenue shares to actually in in the display advertising business which is court news publishers.

We only make money one publishers make money but are we near the end of the year of three news I'm losing all the evidence.

It's approaching us that actually free news is getting harder and harder to stay in Tyseley I wouldn't put it past half price if in a year's time late.

I don't know announcer membership model isn't actually should pay for a bit of have post does content mean isn't it? Isn't a truth that basically all the evidence suggests that if you wanna make you send it.

Why you gonna ask you all these to pay.

I think there is part of that it is a definitely accurate rights and that's why you no one the other things that we've done that under the Google News initiative is launch something called subscriber Google which was all about trying to take the friction on a subscription for by publishers and uses and interestingly with you know the thing the feedback that we got with our friends at the Guardian was can you can extend beyond subscriptions into the contributions of membership stuff and so were working on that.

I think if you can pick what's going on here is that with most publishers what they're doing.

Is there trying to diversified their revenue streams around and you know actually if you go back to the pre-internet days.

I probably just had actually a series of different revenue streams and what people looking at me when they went on the way they started with an advertising model and now they're actually doing a lot more other ones as well.

So people are making money on at as well as soon as well as subscriptions as well as membership and lots of other things that were saying they did you see Google is a friend of the news industry.

I see Google is a giant immovable object.

I don't really know I don't call something that sucks up the vast majority of growth in the industry.

That is sustained your livelihood as a friend.

I certainly don't consider them an enemy however.

I think the money you know it depends on for what it depends on what for write anything.

Unit 2 - PT yes, you are preyed on a revenue share, but the whole story of the digital transformation of everything has been one of a ruthless efficiency that essentially Lidl's prices down prices for advertising prices for labour prices for things you buy off of Amazon so lucky.

It is a it is an incredibly difficult and complex relationship that journalist have with the platforms.

I personally was a huge evangelist for the digital Revolution is a foreign correspondent working in I'm in India in the later.

It's right.

I mean to me.

This was this moment of Extraordinary transformation that felt like it opened up the world.

I look back on it now and it feels a little different than David Austin the CEO of the BBFC the British board of film classification David perhaps part of your remit is to bring in new business.

Are you actively lobbying mad having his colleagues at Google to put age verification on YouTube videos but we were.

So happy to do that we had we did that you think you should you think like your remix we have created a tool to enable crowdsourced age ratings of videos on YouTube and we we created in partnership with the Netherlands and colleagues in Italy and Ireland is an EU initiative and we tried it in in Italy a couple of years ago went extremely well and enables members of the public to fill in a really short fun questionnaire identifying what content is in a video only produces a nationalist sensitive age-rating send UK produces a red Amber Green for children teens and adults and we would love Google to try it any good.

We talked about issues.

They know about that smoking has Isis crosses in box before you've made a deal with Netflix to help guide families and young people particular to choose content films and videos of the right for them and avoid what's not right for them.

So wherever however and whenever they do you earn in the past that was cinema DVD

Increasingly people are feeling content online and Netflix is a huge platform which many millions of people watch and there's a huge demand for from teenagers in particular, but also parents to have the same age ratings online that they get offline.

It's a trusted guide they know what the age rating is mean and although Netflix has been the biggest biggest customer for the past couple of years than bigger than any of the customer 160 history.

We only tried age ratings for about 6% of the content on Netflix so you see our age rating next to something that might say mature or guidance plethora of other waiting and we're Netflix won't UK families to have a single experience a trusted guide whatever they choose on on Netflix how I can an algorithm possibly be as effective as an actual human being have you any other bits a human with an a human with an algorithm? So what we've been working with Netflix with last two years on getting as close to perfect as we can these algorithms OA Netflix tagger will tag.

Mythical content on in in a film or video that's on the Netflix platform for the UK and that will generate BBFC age rating and content advice and we've been feeding in our policies and guidelines to help make sure there's algorithms are accurate but it still requires human input at some point to identify certain content increasing we looking at using AI to support human input in in a in a Netflix Netflix is extremely yet famous for some extraordinary graphic luxury things like narcos.

What she's got some astonishing scenes in it has British public's tolerance for that kind of thing changed might have film rated 1830s go now be considered a 15 watt they think's acceptable the different age categories.

Have it like to have to classify sex violence language and we see shifts, so it would refer to this in 1999 think you're fascinating research project see how.

British societal issues of change since 1999 but in the most recent iteration we published our guidelines in January got a copy here for you to understand that if you intend to be a difference than that if you each time this what this time it was sexual violence and the public said you know what we are concerned about the depiction of sexual violence in films nom videos and would like you to be a u BBFC to be absolutely explicit and clear and how you will classify sexual violence so we now have for the first name of the separate category and we list what are the aggravating and mitigating Factors in any particular scene and one of the things that the public policy with very occasionally if passed a film at 12 that features a rate for example to do you like the Duchess with Keira Knightley from 10 years ago and what people told us in this latest researches.

It's ok for a 12-year-old to know the rapist taken place.

They don't need to see it.

No matter how brief unlikely shot so we're going to be tightening of standards and we have to understand somehow we classify sexual.

Ok Lydia what you mean when you talk to me about the story of digitisation more broadly right when David phantom organisation was founded in 1912.

It was much easier to be a kind of custodian a public decency because you were The Gatekeepers it's one of the effects of the internet on journalism that basically it's much much harder to control public standards to control.

What taste is perhaps.

We shouldn't assume dad gatekeeping is always a net positive and is always a horse for for Greater decency right.

I mean I think I think assuming that a body that is a no decided upon by a group of elites that that's the one that's gonna be passing judgement on what ok and what's night.

I think there have been many things that have caused us to doubt that that's the wisest way to do things now.

I don't think we have the surname against David's job we speak to 10000 members of the public the length and breadth of the UK they tell us how they want us to classify with airserver not deciding in an Ivory Tower

Referring to you, but I guess I'm I I think it's it's probably a good thing that we've become a little bit more sceptical of that kind of gatekeeping that said I think it's great that you're typing the standards on on sexual violence.

I mean game of times.

I think was a really big watershed after the conversation about the gratuitous use of sexual violence in entertainment and mother very briefly Google so kind of dried are going to get Sky Q wasn't it because you want everything to be free in organised.

We want everything to be a you know that it's legal to be accessible, and I think you'll see that through all the things that we do you know we send more than 10 billion quick some Monster News publishers, and we think that's a good thing because people get access to information and they can access more information know if they've had before I wish I got more access to the media show because yet again.

It's nearly 5 which means we don't have to finish our conversation.

She's always incredibly annoying.

Thank you so much to you guys Lydia polgreen half posts global editor in chief by their chin about Googles director of news ecosystem development which understands the title better at the end of the shows and I did at the beginning and David Austin and CEO of the British board of film classification.

Forget to subscribe to the media Show podcast it's free in the BBC Sounds app.

Just search Rust and click subscribe.

See you next week.


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