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Read this: Why everyone wants a news channel

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Why everyone wants a news channel…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello once upon a time there were just a few international news channels CNN BBC France 24 and so on but today are ways of come alive with a barrage of news outlets all of them international in Focus and many of them dedicated to advancing the interests and worldview of specific countries.

Just don't call it propaganda.

Wherever you may be chilling in from right around the globe are welcome to my name is Eugene O'Neill

I'm having my heating into how the top stories on Al Jazeera so that was RT from Russia trt World from Turkey Al Jazeera from Qatar and cgtn from China all competing with their own take on the news and all of them funded at least in part by government these are significant operations glitzy graphics from state-of-the-art Studios during this placement Bureau all over the world producing thousands of hours of programming which are broadcast to the whole world China global television network has opened a new Hub in London finance by the Chinese government and star by several journeys will be broadcasting Around the World in English part of China's mission to tell China story well, why are so many states launching or funding a new news channel? What sort of content are there producing who is watching and how worried should we be about it a panel of experts from around the world can help us answer this.

The way we can structure this program is will get into the detail in the Mechanics of the operations first and then come on to some of the ethical issues later.

Thank you.

All very much lead coming in Jamie Angus is the director of the BBC World Service Group form editor of the Today programme BBC World Service Group broadcast in over 14 and 2 and it's is it 346 million Germany facts right at the Beginning program director at the reuters Institute for the study of journalism at Oxford University mirror congratulations on your debut on the media share, thank you very much for coming in until that is executive producer of trt World London that the Turkish state broadcaster, let's start off by I'm asking why so many states oki toner news channel what they're doing Tim use it help set up the London Bureau of trt.

World.

Just texted about the size of your operation here.

How many days how many staff we have to use herbs in addition to or Istanbul base Istanbul we have about 300 journalists in addition to that we have a London news.

We are broadcast for 4 hours out of London and we make two programs in under scratching programs and we replicated out in Washington as well so again another 4 hours forecast at Washington and where can I watch TLC you can pretty much watch it anywhere we are broadcast in nearly all the countries of the world that makes I think 190 there are obviously enormous cost for a new broadcaster for example in America we've been very strategic in that we are available on cable in Washington and New York the rest of the country is relying on online service and Europe were on the Sky Satellite for Sky platform, so that's very comprehensive and their different deals around the world and who's finding it is funded by the taxpayer in Turkey they have rubber string system in that all broadcasting comes out of a percentage of every Turkish citizens electricity bill, so it's a percentage of your electricity bill with your an individual.

For a business and it goes into trt.

Trt.

Is like the BBC in Turkey so I have a sports program and they have all sorts of their dramas, but in addition to that Arabic pot.

They have lunch trt.

World Good Morning Coming to Meera selva.

Who is smirking at the comparison with the BBC why use Mercury that mean because he is very different from a direct Levi for electricity bill.

There's also issues about the charter the Independence under which people can operate loads of the media systems in the countries where there beso the BBC is operating in a liberal democracy with a relatively safe free public space Turkey isn't and Turkish journalists and it certainly opposition journalists have faced a huge clampdown in Side Turkey and outside Turkey and so it's hard to see that there's can fair comparison in in how they operate domestically will come onto that I want I want to respond.

Just do you say to your tea is an extension of the Turkish government.

Yes it away.

Jamie XX do you see the BBC's extensive the governor do you think he is anywhere Cena's absolute licensee money or of government funding its holy commercially funded could actually evening parts the world service that are funded by the UK government and some of our language services.

We completely independent operationally and additionally from the UK government into you by comparison of a contrast say that the Turkish the trt is part of the Toast government is funded by the Toast, nor do I know if you put the emphasis on taxpayer funds and runs to your tea, I can tell you the term t RT is funded by the taxpayer because that's how it's done visit a branch of the Turkish government.

No, it's not a branch of a Turkish government but what you will find in The Newsroom in Istanbul is that what is a civil service and you will find out that there are jealous that he's thinking is very much in line with their government so

They will bring those thoughts to the editorial meeting each morning.

I can tell you that we have done fairly robust and polite conversations about what constitutes a story and what is fair and balanced and I would say the trt world is a pretty good job of being balance.

I can come on to the O2 and she's only Attax which you mention Mary II married China Russia Qatar they're all doing versions of this soft poly might call it.

Why are they what sports the strategy was to think it's political influence and kind of Express the message of the document more specifically in the case of China it's to amplify their trade objectives be done bad things in themselves to BBC I'll give you that exactly the same kind of amplify the British worldview and promote good relations with neighbours by explaining Britain explained in the world expensive perspective the other reason is there is a sense that the Western media is dominating the global conversation and with that comes to certain set of prejudices against certain countries certain religions.

And some people feel very strongly that there ought to be alternative voices and again.

That's a perfectly valid objective during austerity the BBC World Service Group just to pick up mirrors final appointment last point that this feeling the lot two countries do have which is the global Media stew dominated by Western thinking is that fair? No, I think you'll have to look at the output and judge it on its own merits.

I mean it was a really good example in recent weeks of the Terrible a cyclone catastrophe Mozambique wear for the received Wisdom is well Western broadcasters.

Haven't covered this properly because the BBC's covered it.

I think it is exemplary fashion and it goes to show the BBC in another list of broadcasters actually do continue to take stories about the global South seriously and arguably that has been Part 4 challenge from the new generation of state-funded broadcast of tickly from Al Jazeera that made to succumb of explicit point when they set up their were going to cover different parts of the world better.

I believe that the BBC's being able to do a better job that both because of the long-term commitment to the licence fee to find the world service and also from a dish.

UK government investment in expanding the the world service in recent years which is huge.

I'm just for your comments that how big is the World Series how many staff we probably got around just over 3000 staff about half of humour in the UK for overseas and how much money do you not get from the British government 85 million pounds a year and the BBC licence fee contributes about 260 million pounds a year.

What is a government putting 85 million lbs into your operation.

I think because the government the BBC when we discussed it through four years ago agreed that the only way to expand the number of different language services was through the government funding there's no viable commercial model to create new language services for Nigeria or additional TV services in Somali for the horn of Africa or a Korean service for the Korean Peninsula and I think that's right.

I think if you want to expand the number of love language services that we do that it had to be done by governed investment but of course the BBC has taken garment money for the world service on and off throughout.

It's her very long time another call France this but I know as well Jamie

You feel a little bit queasy about the idea of taking money from Govan no, I don't at all and I think the operational editorial independence that it relies on its is present identifiable approval and I think the big difference the fundamental difference between the BBC and other operators in this space.

Is that we can point to concrete measures that demonstrate our editorial independence specifically the existence of the BBC charter and open an independent complaints procedure and independent regulatory oversight a broadcast of admits when it's made mistakes and correct things when it gets the wrong but absolutely crucial in this discussion the BBC is a broadcast internationally that covers his own backyard fearlessly and independently and the big deficit in the other models that were discussing both in trt and also for cgtn and China and very much for Al Jazeera and the golf is they do not and cannot cover their home story independently and rigorously and that is the defining difference between the different operators Tim Miller

Catholic faith first of all why do we have their other countries launching international news channels, it's mostly about frustration frustrations of a different point of view or a different angle isn't breaking through the Airways I always think back to the creation of France 24 that came after Iraq 2003 where I'm pretty sure the French were frustrated that their voices were being drowned out by the Anglo-American ones and it has to be an enormous frustration because the cost to launch.

These channels is enormous.

It's not just a setup cost of a staffing but to sustain it at that point.

I want is that in order for another country to express itself or put its other views around the world and in order to be digestible and sharable.

It's got to be an English to have to be very good news for this country right now because I did Millie business worth a lot of money and supporting all of that Jamie just lines s03 pillars of editorial independence.

What can you

Going to the proves you're not just a mouthpiece the Turkish government have to look at a product.

You know and its inception to your tea was designed to cover international news not domestic news things have obviously changed in Turkey I don't think in the Wessex fully appreciated what a shock to Turkey the 2016 coup was not just a shocking that it happened and a shock of the violence 200 + people killed in the streets, but also a shock of the lack of audible support from the West and sew Ankara and Istanbul decide they want to get their opinions out there the progress a Pig stories and how's the editorial meeting work and is there ever any Govern involving whatsoever is there a tattoo understanding iPhone calls made.

We have a fairly regular setup.

We have an early morning editorial you look at the stories in front of you.

You look at your resources you decide what you're running orders going to be how you're going to dress it up with it.

I live is it a graphic whatever?

That's very standard, but you know to answer your question, is is there a Turkish influence well of course there is cos the other Government influence not Turkish is there any influence of the government? Is there anyone making a phone call to advance people is it ever any tacit understanding that there are certain stories that are off-limits.

I have been on the call this happens with her 530.

London time.

It's 8:30 Istanbul time and I have I have never experienced that what you do.

Get are people in The Newsroom whose thoughts are very much in line with the government and and they will bring that to the editorial meeting and and it will be discussing Jamie Angus tacit self-censorship.

Isn't it with with the state-funded model so for example.

It's very difficult for Tim and his team to he mentioned the coup there to put on that range of gulenist voices the voices who recorded the Turkish government supported the coup and if they put those voices on our interrogate them.

They will be in serious trouble with the Turkish government because the Turkish government sees any representation of those voices as undermining their.

Security sofa an organisation based in Turkey that is an extremely serious issue and exactly same is true for cgtn coverage of China and for algeciras coverage of the gulf and he doesn't have to be made explicit does the implication of that if it's true and if it's accepted into my right to reject it if it's not true is that you and your journeys understand.

There are certain things you should not cover and you never text me to practice not doing certain storage other people would take some time to do with the how you phrase things for example.

You know we are always looking at South to Syria it's a civil War rating over 8 years and the ypg partners of America that is difficult so you know whenever there is a house style in in presenting ypg, because they are seen to be supporting the PKK the Kurdish workers party who are an internationally recognised terrorist organisation so we make that point we're not denying.

And I don't think you have to pick the height if there is a Turkish Strand in how they view the world and that will always playing Adele style just before I bring me Rebecca Jamie it's it's I hear what you're saying that the three pillars of editorial independence but the fact is a strong world service is something that British foreign policy promotes because it's a good thing for the Foreign Office in for a British off power and he listened to the commonwealth and someone if they're well so strong so you and the government which you say your editorially independent off.

You are fundamentally illini.

I would say that it's a consequence of a strong world service but not the purpose of a strong world service the purpose of the strong-willed service is to provide impartial independent and trusted news in multiple languages particularly to audiences who don't have whole bunch of other choices who's watching these programs are watching does it matter if anyone's watching it's very hard to get clear viewing numbers and to find out where these viewers are certainly in the case of CCTV of gtn.

Which we look at a bit more.

It seems that most people who are watching a Chinese for you as either the

Diaspora and I'll come to that in a moment or people inside China who want to improve their English version of the diaspora their constituencies that the diaspora at the time with your very critical of the Chinese government's infections were massive voice in the world and what kind of representing and Chinese viewpoint so part of the strategy of CCTV has been to reach out to those people to bring the messaging of the government back out into the diaspora as well too much you know but you already is happy.

They are who they are.

I have got numbers on TV and it's always easier to look at your digital views of which there are tens of thousands a day globally on museums it it's a volume thing and it says he wants as many as possible started Turkish diasporas concerned that was never the intention, but of course it's a bonus what I think it was really a bonus if you can get yourself in front of the decision makers of the world businessman and politician.

I remember 15 years ago.

When I was working at Sky News it was high fives all around when we had a confirmation that the US state department were watching Sky News so it's a bit of that you want to know you want the volume but he also wanted people decide things globally to be watching and that's why you no to your tea, will do the the usual thing which is you know hotels airplanes as much as you can do this lady different to your party wear your Morris cow again.

Yeah, I'm in BBC world music commercial channel as obviously commercially valuable audiences matter to world news of secure commercial pay TV channel is advertising but we also have a maths reach mission, so actually it happens World News reaches around 100 million people weekly not measured audience not just potential households, but for the world service more broadly particularly for the language services and World Service English radio the goal is simply to reach the maximum number of possible and we're all trying to get to reach target of 500 million in the year of the centenary of the BBC Match Of The influences.

paint witch is dead part of the opportunity or the rescue pending on which side of the question is there fat the People's viewing habits are getting very unbundled so the sea clips of videos on the internet posted by some of the follow-on Twitter or Facebook page of a lobby group that they have exposure to and they don't always see where this clip is coming from so the gilet jaune protests in France for example RT had a huge amount of coverage and it's part of their kind of wider and capitalist coverage and so the ceiling clips of this village on protests were being spread usually people who didn't know where they were saying that the clips and I think this is an area where clever state broadcasters wanted to go into this field can provide high-quality good visuals that are widely shareable on social media social media because there is a security normally isn't there where you are taking be regulated by Ofcom as a channel as trt would but they can have a huge impact on it many I

Through social media laughing at Britain where you can have very strict regulations around and what you can broadcast on channel 136 on Freeview or whatever it might be but then the same material can go viral in the same country and no one can see who I don't think laughing.

I think of calm.

It's a very kind of stringent assiduously exploiting her to be regulated by Ofcom huge number of complaints raised against it the one thing about them if they do engage with every single one so it's an ongoing conversation and press TV for example lost its licence when when a line which is the Iranian state broadcaster with no exists only on the internet so to keep a licence in the UK broadcasting licence does require a certain level of Engagement with the authorities here and that is arguably better than just being online and being of broadcast you what you like with no regulations we discuss the journalistic ethics of these broadcasters and many people have expressed concern about the journalistic standards among some Stata line, media.

Des Humphrey is a British company investigator working in China in 2013 he and his wife were arrested and later sent to prison.

He says that whilst he was in prison.

He was forced to make a confession which was filmed and broadcast by the Chinese state broadcaster.

He told me to show about his experience.

I was removed from my soul in the morning and rather strangely.

I had actually been given a sedative about an hour before I was taken out of the cell.

I didn't know I was going out with the cell that morning to face the so-called media as I was escorted into a large interrogation song where there was a podium a tribune with a lot of uniformed police officers sitting on it and I was ambushed by a crowd of of Chinese carrying cameras, and I was then forced into a cage of steel cage with thin Steel Bars that had an iron chair in the middle of it and I was locked into that chair.

I was also in handcuffs, and I was in this prison vest and

2 hours in a total state of shock and trauma and I was also drowsy from this drug and the cameras were pointing through the bars of the cage and one of the policeman who was actually my daily chief interrogator was standing outside the cage with a clipboard and a list of questions and answers on it, so he pretended voice wise to be a journalist asking me questions.

I had enough in a consciousness to know that this was all wrong and they were trying to get me to say things that I didn't want to say because they were trying to get me to incriminate myself for crimes that I hadn't committed and I was trying to navigate between saying something that would get me out of there and saying something that wouldn't incriminating me.

I never got to see what they did with this footage until after I was released nearly 2 years later.

They had cut and pasted heavily additional information and material and distorted and mistranslated Fraser

An AdWords here or there which were totally untrue Peter says the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV released his confession to its international arm cgtn and it was aired in the UK and it was this broadcast that has prompted him to complain to Ofcom I think based on the conduct of CCTV and cgtn in the UK in the last few years.

I think with their licence should be with revoked and that they should have no place in our broadcasts and community until they demonstrated that they are prepared to follow the law of this country where country under the rule of law and they have to respect it well.

That's Peter humfrey.

The British company investigator we did ask cgtn to take partners program that they turned out a request both for an interview at Andy's a written statement me what you make an attic forced confessions earring any kind of confession by someone who is in prison is its problematic PressTV fell foul of this as well with Ofcom that's not why they lost their licence quickly, but it was some.

I think cgtn will have to look at the seriously if it wants to keep its credibility and it off, is investigating this as a matter of urgency, but that still doesn't mean that anything has happened yet.

We mentioned at the top of the program and the capacitor between the BBC and trt in Britain and Turkey how do you say me that we're talking about the Chinese approach to media how would you characterize turkeys approaching immediate the moment cookies approach to media? I mean Turkey Has Fallen so far down the press freedom index in the last 4 years if I delete delete again quite terrifying and opposition journalists have faced a huge amount of legal threats and imprisonment and again a kind of very heavy commercial pressures.

You know lots of jobs.

Lots of advertising revenue government using every method possible to put financial pressure on opposition Media 33 polarized environment we do a kind of special pull-out section on Turkey in our digital news report and what it shows there's that many people trust the media as don't trust the media and people are very pro-government or dare.

Anti government tenders there's not much conversation between the two either as levels of society or in journalism, if you work for one you don't work for the other ever but it's not a great place to return this against the government is it mean to start recording this in newsweek from September 3rd since I fell cure July 2016 150 journalists have been jailed 2500 lost their job over 180 Media outlets have been shut.

This is all Saints Day July 2016 and took his now 157 out of 180 in the world press freedom index, which you mention mirror I mean Tim hacking self-respecting journalists want to work for the Turkish state in any way shape or form when it's systemically assaults during this in this way.

Well.

I can only speak to you after the world and I will I can say on trt world at these issues are discussed right now and turkeys to going through regional elections and as far as turkeys concerned and from the people that I've got to know the last couple of years, they are aware.

Proper difficulties are encountered difficulties in her.

So what do you make of it personally? Hope your hack your report you ever Sky for a long time you work on the field you work with foreign producers.

What do you make like the idea? That took is an environment where if you one of these hundreds of people was your life could be endangered in your work way of work certainly endangered if you don't come down on the right side of the government land is that we should talk about it and you'll find that you get up opposition voices on a discussion programmes talking about these things.

What do you think about it? I think it is a difficult situation which will be improved, but it's going to take some time so are roller trt world and people do watch trt.

World in Turkey and I hope the extremes that you talk about extreme polarized progress with the opposition Media it's fairly uniformly under attack play you're welcome.

Play a role in saying there are ways of discussing all of these topics together that our generation.

We campaigning for press freedom shouldn't you I would like would we feel we are doing our best to get all those issues are there until you're too well, so if you watch newsmakers if you want straight talk.

You will see them being discussed and I think that is the best way to approach.

Have you had any pressure put on YouTube of these issues that as I just said that appears in programs made in Turkey so for me to do that for Izzy Europe editor.

No I haven't but as I said if you watch newsmakers if you watch straight talks and take the time to do that you will see that.

They are discussed and that has got to be a good day.

Jamie Angus well.

I think it is what we were talking about earlier.

It just goes to show that as for the cgtn as fast as 4th RTR there is an implicit understanding between the funding governments and the broadcasters themselves about what they will and won't cover in their own patch.

Do you know you have a lot of respect for Tim and their arguments that he is making but I believe as a fundamental difference between the organisation that he works for and the BBC a particularly even more so between us and our team.

We haven't spend a huge amount of this time talking about hearty but we've got to be absolutely clear that the reason governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on English news broadcasting on television is because it works it reaches audiences and it shapes the conversation which is a phrase that you will hear RT using all the time they understand that isn't effective way of trying to manipulate me the conversation globally am not in a helpful way.

Are we going to see these sorts of channels growing in influence and in reaches? We look at the next 510 years.

I think probably the answer is yes to get an international Parisian together is expensive we said that however I think technology is making it cheaper so I see more rather than less.

Well, yes, maybe because the traditional business models for Media is failing so without state backing is expensive and nobody really knows how to pay for it anymore.

There's a lot of advertising revenue vanishing into the ether into platforms.

So if you are a young journalist graduating from journalism school trt world comes with her excellent package offers to post you to Kenya with a foreign travel budget is a tremendously exciting proposition and frankly the Independent of the Guardian can't afford to match the terms or Jamie Saudi takeover of the government is that the future I think only really the BBC and CNN and trkb Sky News the making of fist of making international TV pay commercially and I think the commercial challenges that you've alluded to there are part of what's driving the influx of state money.

It's a guaranteed model but as we just been discussing over the last half hour it can come with stream.

The unpleasant strings attached.

Jamie Angus thank you very much and thank you to my other.

Tim Miller and mirror silver we're back at the same time next week.

Thanks for this thing and goodbye.


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