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Read this: Interrogating the producer of Line of Duty

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Interrogating the producer of Line of Du…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I'm Andrea catherwood, and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4.

What do you think is the best way to leak top secret to a journalist without getting caught I asked because there is a mole Hunt underway in Whitehall at the moment to find out who's been leaking to the Daily Telegraph if you were zuleikha.

Stay tuned because we'll be giving you some advice from Two of the country's top investigative reporters also in the show the biggest shoes been going for nearly 30 years, but as more and more of us no longer carry cash, how does a magazine sold by people without bank accounts adapt to this new reality and also let me introduce you to our panel because there is a woman here.

Who is behind the biggest show on TV at the moment Priscilla parish is an executive producer of line of duty the Sunday night drama about police corruption.

That's currently the most watched TV programme of the Year facilities at Priscilla is it true that you actually wanted to be a detective yourself and you were growing up.

Following are very fun school trip to the local police station and then and addiction to the bill and Prime Suspect and cracker the biggest shoe airport is the magazine covering line of duty next week of God Stephen Graham on the cover and Jed mercurio the creator of line of duty and bodyguard is talking.

And I've made sure that the staff of totally nothing.

I don't want any spoilers revealed until then, is it that isn't that's in.

That's in next week's magazine.

Is it it's in next week's ok? Ok ok, so if you want to find out you've got to buy the magazine and I Jane Bradley is their investigations correspondent for BuzzFeed and Jane received the Pulitzer nomination last year for her report into mysterious deaths in London linked to Russia janos looking at your Twitter feed my notice that you tweeted my editor.

Just asked me to turn down some of my interview questions all I can say is I've been watching a lot of line of duty lately.

And I've lost my life because of line of duty her myron.

Jones is investigations editor for the bureau of investigative journalism.

I think you're actually looking into real life police collusion at the moment.

Yes, we've been running a story today with the BBC and the times are one of their reporters.

Spend a year looking into the way that police forces protect domestic abusers her in their own forces and it's really quite shocking or they get up to your they wouldn't you know they wouldn't work as a list of villains in line of duty, but they might BC Leicester wins at life imitating.

Art yeah, we're going to hear from Priscilla and Paul in a little bit but no let's stick with their myron and Jay and Jane are two investigative journalists.

I did mention this inquiry into the person who's been leaking to the Daily Telegraph last week the paper reported that Theresa May had approved a role for the Chinese tech company railway in building at the UK's 5G telecoms network.

Who was made at the top secret national Security Council which means that the Telegraph swords might have been a cabinet minister all the prime minister's chief of staff as wondered if the leak was identified.

They will be sacked whoever.

They are and criminal criminal investigation hasn't yet? Been realized and we did invite the Telegraph to take part, but they declined Jane just tell me a little bit about the nitty-gritty of a leak like this.

Will it have been given to a trusted journalist someone at the politician already knew well at the Telegraph what do you think? What's your instinct? Yeah? I would certainly imagine so leaks at this level in government do not just happened by someone let me know sending a random email to the Telegraph all the BBC whoever this will be someone that they've got a trusted and built at relationship with because it's extremely risky.

There's now the sleep enquiries you mentioned and the government seemed to be more outrage that someone is dead leak this embarrassing fat then there are very real concerns the leak erased Murray

Secrets of this magnitude hi were they actually leaked real or how should they be linked physically should it be written down with a brown envelope past at midnight and Westminster Bridge of it like Line of Duty or is it done electronically? What's the most likely something like this will be a face-to-face discussion right.

It won't be electronically handled.

It won't be a piece of paper sometimes.

It is.

I mean I can think of her Westminster like I had where are somebody wanted to lick a document which show that a government contractor who had hundreds of millions in contracts.

Hadn't done the job.

What they did was they contacted me? I went down to Westminster someone that I'd never seen before came out with a brown envelope.

I took the brown envelope.

So they could say they haven't given me the document.

I could say I didn't know who to give me the document also can I genuinely didn't know who the person was he came from Westminster in gaming brown envelope, but I think the key thing here.

99% of the time when we say we have an anonymous leak we know who it is.

It's a convenient fiction that journalist say this was an anomalously to me in that you know damn well.

Who it is almost all the time you know that thumb drive that comes under the door.

You know who's put it under the door even if you didn't see them dirt in this case though.

It's not that sort of thing this is gonna be a face-to-face discussion the other and thinking about it is it's not just a quick angry cabinet minister coming out and saying you won't believe what happened.

We get the vague story there.

We wouldn't get exactly how many ministers raise their concerns that is a much more calculated and careful decision to leave those precise things in the belief that the government is in such a shambles at the moment, but nobody's going to do you freaking any out the investigation into this it is is ongoing Jane and they will presumably be looking at phones at electronic Trail

How easy is it to cover your top tracks I mean that I think obviously these days though the government the authorities have much more to a disposable to track communication, but also he even if that was thinking even if the conversation was done face-to-face presumably don't have to have been an electronic message to say can you meet me I'd like to talk.

I would imagine so generally when I organise meetings with contacts even if the actual passing on of information will happen face-to-face.

You know we text message will be an email something to saying let's meet for coffee as generic as that that isn't incriminating but there is usually some kind of trail not always but usually but these days.

There's lots of technology that you can use the kind of and Hyde you communications of the want to keep it private so example for example of BuzzFeed we signal encrypted messaging service that's like WhatsApp more secure.

We use PGP via email which is all encrypted.

We have a secure tips on GP stone for privacy.

Tongue in cheek because it is but it's just a more secure way of emailing basically.

We have kind of the electronic equivalent of what my room is talked about about the brown paper envelope.

We don't know it's come from which is something a lot of genus use called secure drop which is basically allows a source to come in drop a document it could be anything and for us as a journalist not even to know where that sources come from because it has that IP address and all of that so there's a lot of technology that allows you to hide, so when someone comes to you and says I want to tell you something but I want you to guarantee my anonymity.

Can you really do that?

Am I think it depends? What are coming to you with if it's something in the public interest that's important and they're coming at it from the right place.

You know if a criminal comes to me and say I want to reveal that I murdered somebody of course you're not going to Grant them anonymity, but we definitely fight the end of the end of the Earth two kind of promise and limit to a promise to protect a sort it was promised them anonymity of wizardly with no name them in an article if the authorities the police come forward and say right.

This is an issue of national Security give us your thoughts.

We still refused to give him that they can take us to court and we would fight that to the ends of the Earth Marion isn't you feel the same way that you put it out of sorts, but I do feel so exciting sauce, but I don't think we can guarantee the source it.

What would if you are not that it would depends Who Tardis so over the next year the bureau's planning to target some very serious organisations which would have the capability to get into NEC

Do we have any system the BBC has any system that you have so once you at that level you can't guarantee that you can find other ways of doing things and yes, you say absolutely everyone in my team would go to prison rather than sacrifice sauce in the BBC for instance you had a problem on Ice with an BBC that managers might feel obliged to go along with Court orders.

Etc.

Are used to get round that was we would hide the documents from our editors fill it depends on how you not very many people know I mean.

I just wondered going back to the Telegraph Story how many people would you imagine that the Telegraph actually know who leaked that information will be the judge of the Snow's the additive story wouldn't run unless they just a new imagine that Chris hope knows he's a subject political correspondent people like that would know but it wouldn't be widespread.

I don't think when I think the interesting thing about that is to cabinet minister.

Did something which is very dangerous which is a major did not it was am I the only reason you would do that was if you've been seen with somebody from the Telegraph perfectly innocently perhaps but they would have been seen they know that they were around somebody from the Telegraph and therefore they Gonna Come under Suspicion you talked about their hiding information.

So that's perhaps bossy.

I didn't see it to that they would they they wouldn't be able to to give that information in a court order.

Where do you hide that kind of stuff? Well? It's classic thing if you look for a forest so in the BBC there are thousands of filing cabinets all over the building you find a filing cabinet in an area.

That's nothing to do with you and you fill it with all the stuff that you don't want anyone to find your protecting your answer by doing that because he understood come on see say I don't know who that is I don't know where those papers came from.

I haven't got those papers.

Suspected Russian assassinations, we were dealing with intelligence services in the US and the UK and France we dealing with organised criminals Matthew group police forces, so basically we had two more than any other story.

I've worked on be so careful about where we store the information that we have trustory.

So what we did for the first time in my career was we took everything offline.

We usually use Google Documents Michel things, but we basically bought this like £100 rubbish old laptop which we use as a banner laptop, so it could it connect to any Wi-Fi networks we never once connected it and we kept all the documents there we kept that that those documents outside of the office kind of in a random location that has nothing to do with BuzzFeed layoffs.

It's cos what myrings head is right.

We can never promised absolutely we will protect you know you will remain anonymous what we can do is promise.

We will not reveal their name but you know I've had sources that we've worked so hard to protect their identity and you.

Taken out the age where they live and then they get into a Twitter fight with someone eating themselves as the source so there's only so much Dennis can do and I'm just speaking for Martin Spectre that we were try everything but we can tell if someone's blocked someone do you ever consider the reasons why someone must be might be leaking to you in presumably want something comes to you with with a piece of information.

You've got to think ulterior motive for not simply as you know.

I'm not simply expose that information without checking it.

Obviously that is one of the very first question is that we ask kind of what is a source of motivation incoming and speaking to her as it coming speaking to a sorry because the first thing often gets whistleblowers gets accused of that there a disgruntled employee or somewhere the gender and a not speaking out about something truthful or in the public interest so that is why I personally I know a lot of Dennis feel this way would always feel more comfortable and if I've only ever used all his wife knowing their identity.

We may not reveal that to the public but I want to know who they are because I want to be able to verify how credible.

There evidence is some information is do a background check to see if you know them.

I have a criminal record.

They might have been fired and that's really important for checking out.

You know what they're agenda is in that leads to how to their story is often more and you're nothing alone.

I mean we had only one story in the last year where we didn't know who are so Swallows and in that case they were leaking us material about herb public relations company that was planning to do dirty tricks for a foreign government and in that case we put it to the public relations company until our amazement.

They admitted it.

Otherwise you wouldn't be able to use a different if you are if your sources for example cabinet minister that knows the dangers or if your source is perhaps a Whistleblower in the NHS who might have something that's very interesting and very important in the public interest but you know that they may be might come under North lot of pressure if they find out you feeling more of a duty of care towards that and someone like the Bureau is much better for that.

National lease Piper because you know we can say and we'll side people we would rather you are protected than we got the story does not been paid but that story out we can say in these circumstances.

It is not in your interest to go on the record on this however what you told us.

Maybe that's the way and another way that we can find this story which doesn't appear to come from you Marion and Jane that for the time being thank you very much indeed cos I'd like to move on to another story that says it's around in the news today.

There's a rapid decline in the number of free ATMs cards contactless payments are now much more popular than cash the biggest shoe is a magazine.

That's been hugely dependent on people in the street paying with the coins that are in their pockets and Paul McNamee is its editor we get a lot of magazine editors on this show and and the actual distribution of their publication this isn't something that we usually talk about but was the biggest you it is a good place to start a Holly responding to the fact that people just don't carry cash like that used to worry.

I'm a bit this.

I've been something has been around for a number of years and we with a few years ago.

We look to try another juice and card readers for and then dress but the problem and I think was technology hasn't quite caught up and people were a little cautious more cautious in there are no it wasn't just tap and go you might have to put your card in and get in your PIN number and people will love love them to do that and as the technology has accelerated so's people Desire not to use cashew last year we teamed up with an organisation called izettle who produce mobile card readers since the generated but also contact list and we work with 2030 pandas in different locations around Britain major cities in at transport hubs, and we we we give them the card readers and sit right here we go we were going to let you try and change the way that your am selling the magazine and other thing is.

Is just one part of it because a lot of our vendors are outside the normal sphere of life that you and I and the listeners may not be banked.

They may not necessarily want to be bank.

They did they do want to give over the details Radley suite then have to find a way to bring the unbanked into the signs like a terribly dry explanation, but it's bringing the unbanked underbanked world and that is a big part of the so, it's not too it was just a matter of us going to wake up me b1510 any one time in Britain has just given it to them a card reader we would do and we work with organisations to help fund that but it's more than that so we have to find a way that enables those people to be able to become a fight with the technology to catch up at some point because that they're going to want the ready and also for people to see that that this is a viable means of them like an 11 again.

Tell me a little bit more.

But the business model of the biggest human, I think many of us are a very aware of it and we think that mainly it's homeless people that are selling the big issue.

That's not necessarily true these days.

Is it no I'm at that's another interesting thing.

I think we're meeting earlier today about who is selling the magazine night.

I when am I getting started it was really Street Homeless abundantly.

How's that? We can't people who risk of falling in the policeman.

There are a number of people who are in temporary accommodation near also selling but we're finding that because of universal credit a lot of potential vendors coming in who predicted worked in the retail trade and because those jobs are just been hollowed out and people are having a present then and look for benefits that 5 week gap and people don't have savings and they don't have family the full back on it's incredibly difficult for them and to the biggest unite is providing them a means to make 11 to bridge that moment when they've gone from normal work to perhaps with the going somewhere else or I'll make up this change in men.

Even if I do it for a short period of time how easy is it for them to get on board and physically if you decide to day that you'd like to go and sell the big issue.

Would you do you go to one of our distribution points and they are in cities Across Britain and if you go online on fight with you.

Just find the vendor on the street.

Don't be able to point you in that direction you go in you say I am I fear for my future.

I'm homeless.

I am here.

I'm at risk of homelessness and in that mediate moment your organisation will give you 5 magazines to start and that's the only time.

You will get anything for free you go out and sell them.

You'll be helped you be encouraged and then ideally you will then come back and because the vendors of making it a leap of Faith thereby and their hand like their cash or tapping it card reader and they pay half a cup of Price and then they go out for a 125 they sell it for two points about the biggest you've been very famous in the end of different build front pages.

Tell me you thinking.

Find out because when people only buy a magazine or newspaper.

They can they can browsers that say they've they're not obviously gone digital first but if they going to the shop they comprise they can pick it up.

They can look at it.

We don't have that and frequently also were fighting against and received notions of what the vendor isn't people won't necessarily want even to make eye contact with a van der Sar cover has to be a billboard on the street has to drive from distance it has to make you want to look at it it has to something and it you think I'm I want to read that there's something else that I want and also has to be different than the week before the vendor ago.

What people said I've had this one the previous week so a lot of magazines can say hello this is our coverstyl were doing this one this week.

This we have to have a coverstyle is identifiable ERS but identifiably definitely to see editorial message of the magazine is it's a hand up not a handout.

It is it's helping find a solution to poverty.

Through some business means but within that with the magazine we wanted I like people who don't necessarily have a voice to have their voice heard that was interesting listening about investigative journalism, because we we we do is investigating of a short people come.

Who feel that their wits end something has happened within and the care system or within benefits and they asked us to advocate their behalf investigators were there to give them a voice and also to have some really cracking interviews and a lot of electricity that is absolutely jam-packed.

I can't I can't go on full think you very much indeed for no no, do you know you're ac12 from your ic3 or your ocg from you you so if you do you will be a fan of line of duty.

The finale is this Sunday night in the series opener got a total of 13 million viewers making it the most watched TV programme of the Year let's remind ourselves of what all the fuss is about and I do have a spoiler alert if you're not up to.

Put your fingers in your ears for the next 17 seconds easy 12 failed to bring him down NOW TV company that makes line of duty, and she's also the producer of their other big hit bodyguard now prefer that I'm not going to ask you who he is.

But you do have the right to be questioned by an officer one rank superior for the purposes of the tape.

I'd appreciate it if you did not reply no comment ok anyone with now.

I think everyone's looking forward to finding an executive producer one of your Job's is actually took two factually check the show and I think many of us watching a constantly thinking could this really happened is this hired all works and is that dialogue?

Realistic tyre centre gizzard, I think I feel so fancy having people in think that it is authentic because we spend a lot of time researching it.

We have a lot of advices ill see their names in the credits the ones that we can credit.

There are a few anonymous ones.

We have a retired detective Chief Constable who was formerly of Ted Hastings figure on anti-corruption unit trickle national standards.

He is becomes to set TV to script he comes to the read-through.

We have an anonymous surfing Detective Sergeant we have a cyber crime police officers firearm police officers explosives officer mentioned that at your company world as well production line of duty as a such a huge hit for BBC one, but the company is it in itself, but mainly owned by ITV2 BBC executives actually take part in the creative process or do you just present the series to them as a fait accompli? I'm in is there is there any we have a very very?

Good relationship right BBC executives have been working with an hour since 2011.

I joined the show in 2012, but they are great they let us get on with on the Hove BN3 3LA read all the scripts they give notes and they're very helpful to the plant of the show now.

I'm sure he does look at the success of the show I'm going to wish they had it for themselves.

What do you think it is about line of duty and indeed The Bodyguard for that matter that's made.

It works, so well.

I think people love drama the vets on the edge of their seats and I think there are lots of people watching it.

They don't want to miss it because they might hear the spoilers all together because it is it does seem to be designed for for once a week viewing I mean with many big shows these days all of the episodes are released once and so therefore if you want to you can colour binge watch them another 12 are cycle or whatever you're not doing that though.

I know obvious.

After the programs of being broadcast you can watch them you catch up, but they are coming out once a week and bodyguard was the same.

How did that works that wouldn't that works to kind of build-up that tension I think the type of the storytelling event itself very well as this weekly viewing so and then actually how we develop the show Jed mercurio rights issue, and we develop with him mirrors the experience of the audience in that he writes them 1 Episode designed as an outline of the draught and the second draught and then episode 2 outline draught draught and I don't usually that's not the way it's normally.

Lizard more common is the whiteboard version where everything is mapped out and planned as an Endpoint and this is how we going to get there and you have an overview of episode 126 or 128 this this allows us of dynamic development process and a spontaneous response to do.

So we're on Whitwood on series five nights.

Oh was was finding i20.

What was the plan from the beginning or is that something that happened organically that he said he or she is taking a big role in in the series? What are the last us that those that there's another series them in the pipeline this certainly a lot of speculation about another series after that.

Can you enlighten us about hi-fi? You are a long is definitely series 6 and that's alright.

We're talking at moment.

Ok? I suppose the big for your for a lot of licence fee payers would be that Netflix like sweeping and and take it away.

Is is any of that speculation something that you can give us any hints on.

I think it's it's a BBC say that's not forget that and it's doing brilliantly that the audience responding to it.

I don't think we have any need to move housing executive producer.

Loss of finding locations and actually the program is filmed in Northern Ireland in Belfast you don't have minutes.

It's not like Game of Thrones is it that's a fantastic advertisement for Northern Ireland spectacular scenery which we all know is there at that is it do you work quite hard to make it unidentifiable.

I'm always slightly wondering if it was supposed to be getting where it isn't it supposed to be somewhere in the New Inn in the middle of England like Nottingham something.

What is it? Is it supposed to be a place that doesn't exist a bit like Hambridge in The Archers in Birmingham it's not sit setting up a fictional Midlands town ok and that means early not home.

It's not that not fine but but but until Northern Ireland you're looking for locations that looks pretty and urban, but that don't really look like somewhere that you can you can put your finger out careful to avoid any location markers.

It's A Very British drama feels very British how does it do globally and it is all on Netflix is not how does it get on globally? I think the audiences around the world respond very well to it as well.

I think it's the storytelling and these local stories these British stories.

Did you very well around the world? I have same goes for bodyguard.

There's no great advantage and making in international transatlantic drama necessary people respond to this very good storytelling really good characters brilliant performers great writing January huge fan.

What do you think it is about this that absolutely grabs you know it's true.

I am and I'm actually very late, to I only got into it 2 weeks ago when I watch Horse Heroes in that time and I think it's like the seller said it's something that keeps you on the edge of your seat the characters are so complex and well-developed and it just keeps you guessing you just don't know where it's going to twist and turn and if you're someone is angry kind of it the world then Hanukkah

Copper carpets very quick before we go are we are we in for a treat on Sunday 90 minutes? Thank you very much indeed.

It is afraid.

That is always got time for but I'd like to thank all my guests so Jane Bradley Marion Jones Paul McNamee and Priscilla parish at who is there haven't leaked 2 R20 thank you very much indeed everybody for listening will be back next week and of course you can hear all the media Show podcast on BBC sounds.


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