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Read this: The lure of the obvious

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The lure of the obvious…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello the people in media ask me what they have to do to get on the show while effective technique is to publish something particularly clever and interesting and in the past week.

I've read to articles that meet that criteria and Lola hold the authors are with me in the studio Polly Curtis former editor-in-chief of huffpost, UK and that editor partner at tortoise has written piece for the Financial Times about what she calls the great unused this is the ever expanding section of the world's population who are the can't afford access to news or Tuesday get it from unreliable sources on social media and Helen Lewis is a staff writer at the Atlantic and last week in pok3r final act as deputy editor of the New Statesman at the cover story on why political journalists in this country consistently get it all wrong by the Welcome to the show in your school you talk about the news house and then you have not does that divide exist in the UK

Absolutely does but it in in different ways as new news has new news have not and then there's people who just getting a whole load of content on the internet and who knows what it is.

I people maybe 3 g of newsgroups incredibly boring well, Royston Street had research last week saying exactly that people were really becoming more and more news of Us in this country, but when you look at who's on news, that's why I thought get worried because there's a real class distinction there.

It's a very unequal News world.

We live in and I think that has really big and occasions full part Society not it's not that that's called if your subject is called going to talk about that and I'll prolly could to see Helen Lewis before you talk about your essay.

Helen sunshine is now feel very strongly that Boris Johnson should no longer be referred to his Boris as much to the Media's been doing for the last 15 years if his if his name should arise at any point of the next 88 88 know which was 8828 minutes.

How will you refer to him? I try and call him Boris Johnson

Argos please, tell me what we call the bar.

I swear jar which way you accidentally say Boris we theoretically was supposed to put money in why is it wrong to do that cos it's above it can familiarise him and I think I was on his appeal is based around a kind of cuddly chummy kind of conspiratorial persona when I watch the Tory hustings at the weekend.

He was trying to avoid questions about whatever happened to this flat last week and he did kind of all no one wants to hear about that and I'm trying to bring the audience into a kind of chummy club with him and Jenna's shouldn't be in a tummy club with their subjects are there to do with your way there to do a job.

We're not friends.

We are there to interview them with their to scrutinize them and that's what I mean.

They should be a certain amount of professional distance ok, let's calling Mr Johnson and Fraser Nelson the editor of The Spectator is also it Fraser Mr Johnson's main claim to fame obvious is that he's one of your predecessors in that post, how often are you in touch with them at the moment? I will not very often but this is actually incredibly Johnson please.

If you can't stand the idea of him me being Prime Minister called during the frequently have a bossy isn't one of these incredibly reclusive he doesn't really have that many confidence in forever frozen tablet Lawson's column and senators said he was a driven loner think that's where I think he's got very few people around him.

I mean very different other politicians normally crave that kind of attention.

You just won't find them in the bars.

You find other politicians in have you approach Harry Simons to see if she'd write a piece of The Spectator love her too.

She's going to this potato party next week.

So but which I hope will be a stepping stone to her writing a piece entitled the borders.

I really no rest assured.

It's not open.

It will types of you today because Cliff you and who's the editor-in-chief of attitude magazine is here attitude celebrates 25 years in print this summercliff congratulations also on your Media show at debut.

She's important note the life of any editor.

I'm have any of the toy leadership candidates.

Yes, they do an issue with attitude because ME20 playing David Cameron voted interviews with you in their time.

Yeah, we have done in the past and we thought about it, but nobody has really stood out in the last 203 years as somebody we feel has something to say to our readers because the retorik has changed a lot in the last 1015 years in a David Cameron been on the front cover of attitude was a huge statement cos he was a Tory leader for a traditionally left wing publication and at the same time.

He was talking about equal marriage which is a big step the Tories majority toys voted against equal marriage but these days it seems like a world away that those arguments.

You just can't imagine the UK without equal marriage.

Are you going to do us one of them one of who will Boris Johnson I've got better things to do than other.

Tell her Lewis' piece of a new Statesman last week out with the headline wiper little Gems and keeps getting it wrong especially timing timely Helen let's explore your thesis.

What have little jealous got wrong in this country of the last 4 years were the prime minister came back with the idea that we assume we know the result of the contest and then kind of work back and and really right or lie questions from that point so you take the Tory leadership race at the moment.

Everybody says well.

It's full gone conclusion buy something is Emily vaguely popular with the members.

It's going to be him that isn't reason assumption to make however there is entirely possible that some landmine could go off during this campaign and it doesn't end up being him in something Jeremy Hunt instead at which point actually there's a whole set of questions.

We haven't really probably asked or scrutinize do people wonder who's in his cabinet all that kind of stuff and that hasn't got airtime.

I think it was particularly obvious during the 2016 referendum debate where most of the Assumption was that it was going to be remain and therefore what is that flavour of brexit vote lever arguing for didn't really struggle to get airtime in the customs Union was barely discuss the idea of leaving or No Deal I actually don't of Fraser

Neither me, but I don't remember that even bring a possibility that anyone talked about it was so far off the picture 2015 General Election I was certainly guilty when I worked in newspapers of assuming that would be a hung Parliament do you think you've fall into the Trap yourself and your time at the New Statesman definitely? I mean I struggle to get my head around the idea that Jeremy Corbyn would come from absolutely no 102 1 outsider to being neighbourly don't know people might say will you look at previous selection for that post and actually Diane Abbott did really well, my name is members has the most left wing candidates so once the system the electoral systems that change in the powers taken away from the MPs to the members then actually Jeremy corbyn's candidacy becomes a lot more plausible, but when my colleague Stephen Bush son of piece about internal polling that showed how far ahead Jeremy Corbyn was there is sponsoring the rest of Westminster was a bit of come on.

He's this you know this guy's got an allotment.

It's not it's not going to be here and I think I kinda went along with that.

I think every we all saw that and you write about a gun called was just how out of touch me where we were so out of touch with the country where in life.

I like at the moment with Boris there.

There is a danger at the parts of the media could go that way again spending so much time focusing on his shortcomings that you call the confident postman problem.

What do you mean by that? Well? I think there is an issue where it's self-selecting journalism that actually people who end up working tickly in the lobby in his opinion, You know you have to be very confident person and actually in this country.

We tend to associate a closed economy class association with people who deserve to be listened to and I think you will find a lot of quite self-aware confident posh mentor firmount confident posture women to but just having ability to speak and everybody said in and they're kind of the iron hard projection at that.

They are definitely right.

It's quite hard to look behind them and look at the evidence one of them as I think the Fraser does really well as use Grafton use evidence and actually look and say it is not without people saying that's looking actually kick the tires when out there's anything to support this look at the date of Fraser what are you prepared to admit the Spectators got wrong over the last 5 years got moved during.

How to get things wrong the whole time I mean right now I mean see if I had looked at the day today with the data sharing what the bookmakers think is going to be the results of these things and you had you wouldn't it was never be more data before elections when there is now and the data before the 2015 election was David Cameron has a 0.2% chance of getting a majority that was in the Financial Times a popular sport very specific and of course he did get that so the funny thing is that it's not just journalist getting it wrong as the political scientists who think of it in this great kind of neat silver age of this is possible to predict the future by pooling putting it through demographic data.

They got it wrong the individual politicians who are campaigning on the doorsteps talking to 100 voters they got the last election completely wrong and journalists.

Who do we get our sources from the politicians we speak to the polls that we read through it with all of the anecdotal evidence and the polling evidence is pointing one.

It's a pretty or journalist is going to say actually I feel my gut is going to be the other way when we've gone wrong.

I think is placing a bit too much faith in him in the science and an expert opinion because we're living through.

Now with the unexpected is happening the whole time history of Spring surprises a month after month after month and it hasn't stopped but isn't it also the opinion polls.

I mean Polly if Helen in Frasier ride 20 centaur Pilling opinion polls to blame a rebel a Christopher Hitchens right over many many decades that what you call the opinion poll racket in which highly species poles are used to generate news in place a proper reportage and Helen wrote about the the TV logical problem in politics and implantable cabbage opinion polls seem to have the illusion of certainty they say this is going to be the outcome 20% of a hijacking the narrative that I think they're a symptom.

I think what's really changed within our journalism.

It is that we stopped reporting.

What's just happened and analysing what's just happened, and we say what's going to happen our readers want to know.

What's going to happen? I read as one another and so we're in the prediction game too much and you know rather than yellow 15 years ago and election campaign would be an announcement in the morning.

We would report it.

We would scrutinize it now.

It's the pole in the morning.

What's going to happen next and and I got you on their policy one of the people.

I was going to say it was always this war of facts against narrative and I think opinion was really playing tonight because it's so tempting to say I was so all the time on Twitter from the left and the right it's like Jeremy corbyn's 10.2 head in this pole and then silence about the other 5 poles in that we can actually show people on level pegging or him behind so what you can do if you decide what you know what you want to be true you can always go and cherry picking find evidence to back that Arms admit.

That is very unlikely scenario is probably less likely than the same about Macaulay Katie ball.

Sums up perfectly in a column in the magazine recently using the ruler politics now is nothing is so crazy it couldn't actually happened pick and that the rule of Volvo call it and that is a rule that.

Having to govern from Trumps election to brexit to Cameron's majority it happens all the time or the time Cliff are you an infirm attitude? Isn't one of the great problems with political journalism that the people doing it care infinitely more about it than the public and if you're in the lobby if you're up little jealous and Matt Hancock now sexy cause you other says I'm giving you a scoop.

I'm putting out of the race and back of Boris Johnson you think to yourself.

I could have great scrupulous sticker on page one was actually the public think you know who cares who is Matt Hancock what the problem is that we become celebrity driven with the new family comes to politics or in any other part of the world are minutes if you look at what's happen with brexit.

Let's become the news agenda for the last 3 years.

Just countries come to a grind and it's halted its it's not moving forward, so we're not talking about the other issues out there, so and you're not getting the investigative news right.

You know big expose exposes that used to happen all the time.

Review beharry weather reporter on events that happened in the nobodies making the news now, please there aren't the investigations that happened that I remember growing up with in German that I got excited about when I would read them.

That's his appetite for that.

I think the point I'm making in the work.

I'm doing it reuters is that it's unequal the appetite for that and we've not involved news to reach all parts of society, but I think certainly with tortoise with the rise of magazines and how well they selling at the moment.

You know was talking to book agent the other day.

He was saying fiction is dead everyone wants at once non-fiction books people want something that properly explains the world and how it's going on around them because the fast daily news isn't doing that.

I don't really want stories.

Don't my head in every we understand how to remove you understand things in terms of emotional narrative journalism is about narrative is the understandable that during this should favour drama.

I should want you know that you're the Raleigh Street phenomenon.

They should want the out.

There's a story there about the outside of the Unexpected if you can make it Tight you sell more copies.

Is my reasoning for Janice to do completely reason my thing and I think the others as a political version of nature abhors a vacuum which is that that Tory leadership race looked so so not for borrow something from the start.

There's actually huge amount energy and desperation destroy about something else forgot to say that as soon as Rory Stewart started doing strange videos on wondering round parks people Woodward desperate because it seemed interesting in Frankley new which is something that often the news is not been I mean I completely agree with Cliff there is a problem that has sucked all the oxygen out of the room.

I do the news quiz on Radio 4 car off and then my heart slightly sinks when it's brexit again right brexit jokes.

Are there any brexit jokes best women avoid the empathy for news like my friends.

No longer than educated friends of mine who intelligent will discuss things that he might have made told me he doesn't listen to news anymore because there is nothing that feeding are in IR sensor been any more it will not learn about anything other than this vacuum like you said of the last 3 years speculative.

That's the thing is I'm gonna come back to its all about what happens with Guy

24 in 11 rashers of to pretend they know what get 24 is and it's none of it.

You can't prove one way or another and anything was going to happen for a Weber trying to ban that that it would be rid of the show but we can't get away with a carry out phrases to work the other beware Boris Johnson and let's look at the level of scrutiny Jonas are applying to your predecessor as editor of spectator.

Can you imagine just imagine if they're working class black woman in her mid 50s who had a boyfriend Harpurhey draught Lee wedge 56 children by several different men but we weren't allowed to know can you imagine how the tablets would treat her don't you think there's a certain extent to which Boris Johnson is being indulged because he knows all the people in the media know I think I actually right now is the opposite to mean journalist of seeing Boris almost double that of better than going to number 10 and it drives a mat me quite right.

He's on is making quite.

He's just not being subjected anything like the race.

You should have to go through to get to the office.

So you getting this what you might call borderless derangement syndrome people are basically portraying him as being the

Most vicious velo person ever to walk the face of the Earth and we're getting lots of attacks on him and Max Hastings for murdered her.

It was very spirited attacking the Guardian recently got the first place is rid of that kind of issue a bit better things during the stinking Emma Boris Johnson was to be like me now is going into number 10 and it drives them mad of course.

I don't think was given the chance or it will be our souls of the difficult questions but you tend to judge these questions as well within my TRESemme but isn't it also to something soon as you say it one of their own.

I mean he goes jogging with the editor The Sun holidays with the owner of the evening Standard independent is a highly paid Telegraph columnist.

No sense in which he is genuinely socialise with his people so he's afforded a different rules apply and he happens to be an attorney anime be fluency and in-class count for something in this country.

I do think is chummy with them in the way that so many other politicians of chubby I can give me the names of five cabinet members to be spending way more ever a social life with journalists than Moira Stuart

What is mean the fact that he might do once right to the owner of The Independent touchpay fealty to him to you might do these things now and again but he isn't particularly chummy and leaving his merits or demerits of Prime Minister or a separate to whether he journalist right now.

I don't think is giving Museum right now as he questioned only thing is one of ours.

We were going to go easy.

I think the opposite is the case and they think it actually blind people to why Boris is quite popular because the image will being protracer you want to have this guy was ever elected twice the Tory Mayor of London city of a Libra City if he is just as bad as the profiles now make out I want to stick on the mediatization of politics, but you do look for Plex funny, if it if if so, tell me with all the media.

Why is he so scared of talking to anyone also psychologist Fraser before you come onto the body in the unused I go to ask you magazine and 2nd as well you better take.

Measures at The Spectator to try and change the demographics of the industry, what have you done? And why were we change the Recruitment so now we no longer ask for CVs we just says an aptitude test and anybody can earn to be able to test when the test come to husband names of taking away, so we don't know what the name of the person so we now will apply staff positions or insurance which is how we mainly recruit based only on ability know that has been a big change in my sort of people coming through our doors now.

We made them to hyeres last year formula in turns one before she joined.

This was a store manager at Lidl and the other before he joined this was actually a barman at one of the parties.

We had a year before who who replied and they're both completely brilliant journalist fired oven cliff and after I think it's wonderful I think it's actually a Great White her like it and bring in new ideas and new Philip Laden you people that you need the have to choose you need the love of it and I

Budgie people have got there and then somebody we didn't have a Sunday Times got it first was a 48 year old mother of three who was just her kids grown up and she was able to go back into the workplace and she was a fantastic journalist and now you see you're on Sky fairly regularly as a pundit and the little store manager Cindy you she's going to be on the on politics live on the BBC tomorrow, so you talk about guests on the show just a couple of weeks get your brings very nicely effortlessly into his research on the news in the news just before you get there.

We've got to talk about this and this picture that was on mail Online the estate of Mr Johnson and his partner ksimon, Helen melonlady.

Yes, it was a big journalistic issue, the week mail online as they with that picture of Mr Johnson and his partner sat at a table in a field.

Nobody knows where or when it's taking of total of journalists at those institutions to themselves that no rumours abound the-mail-online had a headline so much in love the most of the story later the day where they played they were played in the sense that I think they saw.

Stewie double driving in normal amount of traffic and they put it online which is what the MailOnline does I'd winner not to be rude about their their journalistic ethics of probably not in the business of saying I'm I'm going to not going to put them on because I really want to do some research into his picture came from first.

I'm in I think the fascinating about it isn't we've now got Boris Johnson hair truthers which is not a phenomenon that you have taken so seriously that was taken that head lice Emerald that's propaganda.

Owen Jones wasn't it is been exposed as that and torn apart of that.

I'm not sure if it was a great PR coup because they put in the print issue.

They were saying do they think you're so stupid as to believe this picture which represent and he was hold that by Nick Ferrari in his everything look at your hair to be obvious.

It was taking ages ago.

It has backfired.

Yes in January particularly MSP I see if he's back.

Do you think we do have to say the same time that if some if a leading candidate for a bit for the leader of the country was had got a weekly slot in a newspaper has Boris Johnson does in The Telegraph to write about basically their ideas and then almost automatically got.

face mask that was happening in Ghana or Nigeria we take all these onions developing countries and their undeveloped idea about you know who access politicians attitudes to power I think that has been extraordinary Roses the Telegraph him you write a column to say visions coverage of Boris not be the thing is everything everything the meal was was very fond of Theresa May when she was nothing freeform Gordon Brown as well papers will always have favourites the matter what political you there on it is represented telegraphs values otherwise he wouldn't be Telegraph who's reading all this stuff now you've done some research into poly what have you found about who reuters Institute report last week looked it's only 5000 people 38 countries was it found in terms of what's happening in terms of news consumption and why does it matter I've been thinking about is the fact that 20 years ago when the internet started we had this really utopian idea that was going to break down all the Barry

Gears and democratize information and bring people into the comfort conversation in some ways that has there are pockets of that but actually what have we seen since we seem fake news.

We seen the destruction of the business models that produce good journalism seeing a lot of problems and but the bit I picked on is this idea of the unused which determinants that's been used in America a bit about people who disenfranchise from use like people are unbanked if you don't have a bank.

You can't have a job you put out the economy.

You don't have news.

How can you be properly engaged in the Democratic process and part of civil Society do you think life is your your job is to engage people that made it worse things happening information is very hard for people to to speak to Brooke in Broad terms.

Previously and you said about the unused and I was thinking about the tournament.

Did they not exist before when you had to purchase a newspaper you had to engage with the TV and now I think they're more prominent.

Phone number also now.

They're not on informations like most people have access to information on their phone certainly in this country, so there's an inequality and quality of information people are getting I think that's the problem which will be really attitude magazine oversee which is full of Delight there, you'll be delighted that Cliff I could ask you out how to use change over 25 years lost to your public Avon interview where he said that once upon a time.

I if you put a hot is a quota hot young white smooth chested guy in pants on the cover you get a twenty-five to fifty percent band pop in sales.

I will get you that kind of pump out these days.

It's ironic a woman will always driven by celebrity.

That's the attitude made its name in 1994 when it launched it was a gay lifestyle magazine where lot of gay Media was quite news driven.

It was quite politically charged so it brought in that kind of elements of being a bit rude but also introduce the lifestyle element it like you know sky in the face magazine for a huge at the time.

So it was a gay version of those magazines and as time went on it magazines evolved and changed and under different editorship sits.

It's evolved and changed again.

I mean I've been editor-in-chief for a year now and I am extremely proud of what Darren Styles is there a new managing director zone the magazine for 3 years and we have done with the magazine magazine has stepped forward and mature it with his audience which I kind of didn't do for a long time.

They felt like it needed so it in trotwood words that mean cos he is going is what your alluding to the fact that years ago.

You would have a poor Nashua sex issue a naked issue every year.

Have you drop those orders that the board I mean you see in magazines FHM of Notre Dame kind of disappeared.

It's the tone of voice in media has changed.

Its is taken on a different level responsibility and impartially with those straight magazines for example.

They were objectifying women there is a difference to amend speaking to men so

You kind of a just that when you grow up a little bit essentially our readership has followed us for 25 years were not one of those magazines where people sort of dip in a dip out and even the summer months will have a bump in leadership in July and August people on holiday in the go to the airports and pick us up, but we have a very high subscriber base together very high loyal readership who followed us with this issue.

We got 25 covers yellow the various people from the community all engage in the case.

Where do you get new readers from essentially we try as much as we can to diversify.

Speak to new people one of the hardest things I've done in the last year or so is into his make sure that we do multiple covers now for example because you want trying to beat as many people as possible.

She did just because you're gonna wreck into her being asthma specialist magazine because it's you know it is because of its gay no DNA Frasier where do you get your conservative magazine? Where did you get clothes from 100000 subscribers?

Wie geht's M29 people with the website every month we want to convert a few thousand of them to be a subscribers a massive big change for us because previously been used and was it when you where you get subscribers from the had to go into Smyths pick you up and it will cost a lot of money.

So there should have been such a big driver for us.

It's about getting those loyal readers then.

He'll just renew every year and I just think it's quite pleased that you're saying that they just great unused figure suggests record traffic ratings for news channels app subscriptions to Fraser's subscriptions growing up Clifford saying he's subscriptions going up so does that imply series is great on news that there is the people who are consumer news a double down doubling down on it and getting ever more of it, but there's a huge if you like trump who aren't getting it while giving information to say no thanks this in France really about how we navigate or news habit.

So if you were committed newsreader you're going to subscribe you're going to pay you for being a member of a news organization, but if you're not you're going to just see.

Things flying past you on your phone and you're not going to check the sources as much for that.

That's the inequality that comes in then.

There's really strong evidence that that kind of fools long class and education line socio-political balance as well a lot of the three publications tend to be left orientating and the right wing one because they believe in capitalism tender charge and that is I think winder for the Conservatives longer-term that will be approached exility free media is making one set of arguments the ones making the argument sertorius quite like you have to pay quite a lot to get your hands on that because I just in use has become Danish we just want to know about what we like Hillary Clinton win tonight is that actually newspaper reader school older and Tory voters school old is so there's the question is about whether or not actually the Labour Party can kind of makeup through social media and Facebook and and N3 Media actually those news consumption habits the older people have got cos I get a paper if you're up.

You're just about to join the Atlantic as prior to the air that that's a highbrow pay for publication that progressively feel like or liberal Ince disposition.

That of our leases to be we got to pay because you believe presumably that if you want cos Chelsea going to pay for it in a magazine subscription guess what subscriptions during that time is Graham traffic has grown.

I think about 5 years ago.

You were getting a lot of people arguing that Facebook was going to be the savior of the news industry and just rain in traffic on ever on and then everyone realise that was very cheap drive by traffic people who had no loyalty to you and actually Evans now realised it's about getting your readers who like you very quickly tortoise of membership model is based on community and bringing people into influence our journalism and we Face a big problem of becoming a bubble on with this we can dancing a new network that will bring paid for memberships into our membership body to win much more than I have to come back until it's all about it cos we're gonna pop this Bubble Mania Show season crusade moment for me every week.

That's all.

I'm not going to Italy have time although it is the weather in Lithuania

thanks for listening and

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Thursday, 27 June 2019
Michael Martin

8:54 AM

This article is a waste of time, since it's impossible to work out what it means. I'm a highly educated polyglot and couldn't meaningfully translate this into any of the languages I know. If I translated exactly what is written, a reader of that text would assume the translator was fit for the job. This is clearly a computer-produced conversion of sound to writing and, if that's the best that can currently be done, we should use a human until the software improves vastly.

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Michael Martin's 41 posts GB flag

9:18 AM

Michael Martin: There's a link to the original podcast at the top of the article. Briantist added speech to text capability to this website a while back, there was an article about it in the news section a while back.

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StevensOnln1's 3,547 posts GB flag

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