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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the media game I'm here in San Francisco on by Dave Lee Silicon Valley reporter for BBC News with more than a decade experience of The Corporation he is covered sports and breaking news as well as Coed eating the BBC internet blog since 2015 is lead the BBC's coverage of technology stories from the US for TV radio and online use as a personal blog notes from Silicon Valley where he discusses the media technology and robotics Dave thank you for joining me thanks.
Dave you must have one of the best crucible of global power and Influence did you really feel that there's no shortage of stories.
I mean I feel I talked to a lot of other correspondence the BBC and often did they say life is battling to get on it, but with certain things I feel like my dad's a life lately has been sort of battling to stay off it sometimes because this is a never-ending supply of stories we could have.
Yeah, something that me and and technology is still such a wide area that we will never quite define it so I think I think what it means is lots of things can be considered technology used to what is whether it's something happening now in the health sector or in education or in politics or UK music industry there so many things wrapped up into that that yeah, just absolutely fascinating this know I've been here for years now in this it on this patch but in the last two in particular.
I think it's really ramped up because you are feeling about what technology is and what it does now it changes that has really changed in their own dinner time.
I've been here.
So yeah, I minutes before I left of the job my editor at the Times Simon Henry said I had the best job for the BBC and and I think he's probably right we got tons of questions and I will get to some of them in a minute, but I'm am I interested in a house over 4 years in Seven Sisters changed you was a person.
I mean you're a really big on sleeper.
Do you go to bed at like 9 at night?
Do you only have like a glass and a half of red wine and have you become sort of San Francisco lysed? I don't think I have I got to have another few reasons that one I feel if anything.
I've tried to become more British is being here overcompensating also operates at times when I meant to be asleep here so the idea of an early night when you're on the Today programme at midnight soon sort of disappears the so now.
I don't think I don't think I've changed all that much anymore outdoorsy then I was at home.
You know you I spend my weekends now hiking and kayaking and attempting to sell that kind of thing but that would I certainly didn't do back home but now I like to think I've I've I've retained my my britishness since we hear what she Jenny then.
How did you end up here? How did you end up doing this? Did you always want to be a tech reporter? Yeah? Will my first ever paid piece.
As a reporter was for the Guardian and I'll star still University when I got it you want to be I want to be journalist.
Yes, yes why I I had a bit of an epiphany while I was at school.
I was in sixth form in are studying my tea and I just like in picture the day perfectly are sat in one of these classes all the computers along one side of the wall lights when I can't do this and it was at this moment of late.
I just didn't like the idea of learning how to use computers in order to use computers.
I I feel like I needed to do something with that and handwriting was why I enjoy the most that said right.
I'm going to be someone who writes the knows about computers and there seems to be that would have ended up if you haven't heard that epiphany David level 3 tech support it would have been exactly that let me know that was the journey on an Alba si si can't realise that yeah, that's what I wanted to go into and then in my first year.
I think it was it yeah University and I did a journalism course so I was hoping to do this but I had a part-time job.
Working at Staples store nice to sell computers to people and one of the things.
I was there when I look back on that.
I think you know that was the Genesis of of being able to explain technology to people who wanted to be interested perhaps felt intimidated by it or don't know what they were talking about really and so are you know I was very good at pulling out metaphors that all your hard drives like a filing cabinet and that you can memories like a table you put the files Mac Allister and I wrote a piece for the Guardian and Charles Arthur was the editor of The time.
He has moved on that of various other things which I wrote a piece of him about how people shouldn't criticise computer sales people for being annoyed not absolutely right what you know what that was that was my way and wrote this piece picture of me going in there in my uniform looking like an idiot but from that day on I could say or guess what I'm a journalist who threaten to the Guardian and I just died down now as long as I could leave still going out with it now.
Anthony dream at that point to be printed you have Innervisions of moving into broadcast strange thing is my tutor so I'm still close with now some of them the way the course was set up for my course.
I did at Lincoln University it was you had to pick two or four areas and the TV and radio with two of the areas and I eat the first chance I chose not to do everything I I I went for print and went for online because I thought that was something I was more suited to type.
I hate it broadcasting.
You know I was embarrassed by it.
I thought the old joke of not having a face of television which still believed to this day, but thankfully you know the journalism is takes precedent in Lancing fire station down that road, but I just had this idea of this is what TV person looks like yeah, this is how a radio person sounds and this is something I've always buy now used to my vantage.
I thought was a big hendras is that I've got my brains working class my dad's from London's.
I have a bit of a sort of joining of that when I grow up near Cambridge but there's an accident in there the real you don't sound like an old LP that it's different and that's something I've had a constant reassurance which is been good this time.
I don't want to do it because things that she had about the BBC particularly with with my type of accent because I think it was one of the accents that they've can taking a bit longer to accept and I think I think there's certain accents like a strong Northern accent for the BBC spin very good at earlier saying we need those voices.
There's a tendency I think of working class accent in the south, but people just to assume are Yorkshire men who is their partners pancakes mate? Yeah?
What the person is about and flat whippet the whole lot so I just think of you as a generic.
They wouldn't even like we only think of you know a lot of British people anything this to American accent isn't this the North and is the South is that the same here today? Just think of Daphne from Frasier yeah? That's that.
I've heard specifically definition phrases as an example for an extender similar to my lovely but I think the Americans have great respect for the British accent in a way that I think is so this is quite cute Tralee navigate the lady American Satan naturally elevators to higher levels of of intellect on account of our accent.
So you know that's a good thing we have the peace in the Guardian what came next why I graduated in my first couple of jobs.
I was very lucky that while I was studying I did so I had a blog with press Gazette then I didn't internship with them for a couple of weeks and then they want me to write about.
Student Media blogging about how I've been doing kind of just by myself then don't say I mean Dominic was it I think was interested about watching Prescot and saying how they operate is seeing how a Newsroom can be small but Focus than elective for it and that and I think I like to think that's that's something you can take from there and we all read press Gazette let's be honest without such that strong Focus from Dominic it went through so much financial trouble you know there was a danger that it could have looks like representing in an industry that can I left now because for a while it was seen as very focused on the local press and I was like stopwatch the printed product spaces of putting out but I think he's he's he's modernised in a way.
That's really useful and and and it's necessary rating is This Is Us desert it feels like it's a it's a publication of for people that are working hard in the Indian history as opposed to the boss.
will be industry actually the other places can so I went from there when I was there a man called Martin Starbuck who then you got the BBC and then this guy Nick Reynolds of the BBC who I owe so much that when he he was the person who edited the internet blog which was kinda like a Blog that looked at the R&D that was happening within the BBC and it was so blogging about that so writing about technology but put Fallout 4 out for a public audience and he was just wonderful you mean you'll be put me on training that had nothing to do with what he deleted me to do for him, but was all about what I'd like to do it in the future, and he was you know the BBC hasn't greater mobility sometimes for people in certain jobs, but Nick was a standout example of allowing someone to go to something quickly that would cause him problems like he hasn't had to fill a position that wasn't an easy one to feel actual selflessness will absolutely absolutely in and you know next just one of those people that IM
The only example of this that he's done that to in as soon as I said I fancy doing something new he had me in meetings.
You know the very next week.
So so then that will lead to various everyone in most the BBC has this strange journey that they have this weird patchwork of work.
They've done a man.
I've been on the spot discovered on their own used as I've been doing overnight election statistics always kind of stuff was perhaps going to be going to Salford didn't do that in the end up on the techtesters social media desk all this kind of stuff and it brings social media you doing social media BBC News so I was part of the early team that began the social accounts so the Twitter accounts mainly so at BBC breaking it was set up, but it wasn't the round-the-clock operation of the is now and I see one of the most difficult moment so I had in my early career was either that I was doing as a freelancer could ever seen as like a side part of the newsroom.
Very much and the when they decided to make it more permanent they tried to hire a few people to do it and I accepted a job.
It's being one of their first full-time breaking news people in it would have been promoted.
It would be more money than I was and I said yes, that's fine and I accepted the job on a Friday and by Monday I just sank into this depression of you know those jobs to me that they're even the very important jobs and and it's the best way to get big stories out to an audience quickly, but I just felt it would forever be me working hard to promote the stories the other reporters were working up and to me it felt that it wouldn't have been satisfying enough to do that and he's a thing I'm I'm shamefully one of those people that if I feel it unless I'm really excited for a job.
I justed mediately stop bringing my best my best effort to it and then and I fill up the role needed more than someone who was going to have committed.
Incredibly hard, but I'm actually genuinely quite lazy just that I'm just really passionate about my job, so it gets me out of bed, but if I was doing something else had to go back to my natural default laziness well.
It's I think I sent out of people that work best on it and excitement for something other people who work hard because it's the right thing to do you know is this work is what you're doing because it when you don't do it as work if you do it anyway, then it's adjacent to my New York what you're doing is incredibly exciting you can see that as just want to consume as your journalism is the thing I've always thought I join the same as as one of those that's basically human desire to share information for everyone is a journalist to some degree for some people.
It will mean just going home and talking to their wife about something has happened at work.
That's essentially inactive professionals do that to a wider audience with more hopefully more credibility and and and and professionalism but essentially that.
Human need to stick get information and then be excited to share that information.
I mean that isn't a job.
Is it that's just something we do is as natural as breathing so I think you mean it's one of those jobs.
That's just phenomenally enjoyable and motivating and the stress that comes with journalism is often stress this in turn lights because you're so desperate to get that information out that you should YouTube create stress.
We've got to have the analysis as well.
I mean when Paul royal on the podcast recently you you know ze2 the to get Acid to get a sense of what he wants on that shout yeah, I have that really struck me which in hindsight was obvious but you needed to spell out for me is that everyone watching about to watch the 10 news already knows the new when she Wedgwood is about to read the headlines.
Let's be honest.
We all know it is about to say where time is Amelia gay guy more interested in what's going to be the order and you don't help.
What's the angle? But he was saying that even as a viewer people want the news and the explanation.
Jamaican the contextualization there and then and that's the things I mean it.
I listen to you a lot of year old starting with wake up to money and I already know the key headline of what Facebook has done or not done but I'm looking for you to explain it to me how much have you do you put into that cos you love to have an opinion as to whether there is overset the mount when did not do enough for them too much at how do you give the analysis without stepping into sort of giving your personal opinion you're having a really tight line.
Isn't it? And I've I find it much more difficult now in this job then anything previous to this back in London because when it comes to technology companies and how they operate they are spinning as much if not more as someone on the political Bates wood panelling.
You know have to enjoy your answer you when I when I hear a political reporter.
Talk about you a little what might be the real motivation behind political move III try and apply the same principles to.
Technology companies because you know I think you have to approach these these companies with real scepticism Now more than ever there, behemoth.
Yeah, I mean and then there's so so powerful there so incredibly skilled at shaping the Debate and and I have done it's quite funny Ashley sometimes.
I will get these and will be trying to stop it from having too much as an industry that has a Beat with trying to stop companies from give me a background information come along as I will talk to you this on background, but this isn't on the record statement and it'll be things like YouTube explain why they're not taking a video of something now.
I feel like that should be on the record but they play each other off because if you don't agree to those time you don't they won't to be solved is collectively from saying you know what we're not going to set this anymore and we're starting to see that.
There was a story in BuzzFeed recently with they said you know Facebook cover this on background, but we didn't agree to that so here.
It is and that's
That's going to be more useful but the edge of your point about the view like sometimes.
I have to realise that im working for people at home the want to know more understand what's going on and if that means winding up a couple of pr.
People Facebook for a day then.
I think that's probably a trade-off that most of our listeners and viewers would want me to make a bag not even hesitate to make me that's the whole point of that job is to use to explain what's going on out of here that thing that's the Beginning end of it.
Will you need access when you've got the silly having that political beat people have that you know you want to hold Tony Blair Gordon Brown David Cameron to account but on the other hand if they give they put you on the other shit list you then don't get anything anymore.
So you do need to have relations with all of these tech Giants even though you're holding them to account that made the right decision, but I think Media
Everyday so example.
Yeah, we have when when Cambridge analytica broke Chu Chu story the biggest story that's Tina been around in my time here.
You know we're obviously from the moment that drops with saying right to come back like a mouth like a bug.
When can we getting winter we're getting wintery get him and it was just a flower no from Facebook be in the entire time.
Will they do so kind of dangly in front view a little bit so well, you know maybe in a day or so because I want you to do want to make sure that you feel like your coverage is going to be impressing any particular got away with that mean? What was the fine for the privacy Mrs is about 5 billion or 18? I think that makes you less likely to get him then at that point.
I think yeah.
I think I don't think there's a place that they would I can I put this like this like your technology company and your offering an interview to Media Router you got a thing what your strategy is to be on that media outlet which is why?
When Apple stock is down Tim Cook goes on CNBC or Bloomberg or Zuckerberg when he has to convince US politicians not to go crazy on him.
He'll go on CNN now.
Just awkward things sometimes.
I think the BBC is that we know we don't necessarily always fit into that strategic reasoning in in in a way that the Tech companies Gateacre that's the place.
We need to go if you want to eat at audience that way we do bring your nieces unique you go onto BBC you getting much more much more global audience in any of those places and that's something we be able to talk as much as you can and particularly in parts of the world, where where where where is the American networks don't have a present for spacely rest of it, but in some cases.
It's not think that the BBC's perceived there in America because as a Brit it's obviously all consumers dominant state broadcaster is globally respected and yet here in America it is just seen as one of 7 or 18 global.
Players will not equal to them.
It's not it's not dominant.
I think it's a thing as soon as there's a lot of respect for it a huge amount of respect and I think it is seen as you know it's seen on a higher level than say the state broadcaster from Germany or whatever like it is giving her a better reputation that because you do it was very strong presence in the US and like you know I was in idc Bureau recently and you never the BBC bulletin out of the DC Barrow is on PBS over here beyond 100 days.
I show with titanium Christian phrases that does very very well.
He gets a lot of sort of social media buzz, and we're starting to see this going to slow increasing influence because senators now approach those chosen, so it would quite like to be on that show so that is changing but there is certainly a case of how do you convince technology companies to engage with the BBC because they don't necessarily see their immediate.
Fit for them as that's one of the biggest challenges for this job plus is your job to hold an account having you've asked whether Facebook is fixing itself out with it's nearly making it harder for us to see that.
I think is a view within Facebook that this is a PR problem.
They're having right now.
I'm not that their reputation challenges at the manifestation of a deeper more fundamental problem.
Yeah, I don't think they see their business is fundamentally being at incompatible with the needs of society and we'll be looking at these companies and saying are they too big you know is Google Google dahlgren to powerful does it make two-tier does it make businesses rise and fall in a way that nobody quite understand is that a problem at using companies like Facebook in particular.
They think we can weather this storm we can improve our reputation but while we're weathering the storm.
We've got a power aren't we could have we got a keep on doing what we want and and keeping going because that's was going to keep their stock price up as
There's a reason why Facebook and get fined 5 billion dollars in congressional hearings all the time and you have sauce stagnating user bases in certain markets a reason why they can't keep on maintaining a strong stock price because they're doing a very good job of saying don't worry cos we're still investing in the future Facebook of the future is going to be ok and that's where we see things like Libra the digital currency which you know if that takes off that could be that could make Facebook as it is today looks like a tiny company compared to the power that that project could be could give them so so I think you deserve the view Facebook as I say is it is if I can get through this bad reputation than out the other end there going to be a bit going to be in good shape.
I don't think it's going to be as easy to distrugge office perhaps they think and yeah alright apeist recently which I think you're referring to about the weather the fine is really a punishment.
I don't think the fine really it is a price because I could easily afford it, but what may be a punishment is them having to slow down some of their innovation? You know whether the measures blonde them to be more transparent about their tools and how pretty she works in their products whether that's going to me and they can't innovate as quickly as they would like to and in their vacuum the competitor truly does emerge and that that puts them on the ropes a bit.
I think that's more of a problem.
Then perhaps Facebook realise released publicly talk about my sins are served on the city of York Council for 6 years back in the day and I remember talking with the local newspaper editor Kevin bouvier edited the a Yorkshire Evening Press the press as it was known and he give as a little pep talk the first day.
We got elected that said it will not against you but on the other hand local council does great job on something is never going to sell your papers.
You know so just so you know where always going to go in negative Council messes up yet again.
He's going to shift papers and wear a business that you know we also want.
Comedy at the good stuff you doing but that'll be a page lead on page 9 / will be that you know the dog bins are still overflowing and you just have to get used to that.
It's not personal has social media basically just like exacerbated that basically that fundamental tenet of Human Nature yes, I think so, I think so yeah bad news always travels further and with more more energy, but I think it has it that the Tech companies are actually similar to the City Council in that in that regard right where I think the time you have to realise now.
You can do a bunch of good stuff and you have Facebook likes to talk a lot about groups and how certain groups of BA got a bunch of mums together to do something wonderful that yeah, that's that's fine, but you gotta realise that's not gonna be the stories that the press does because they're even though they're not new but there's people that have murdered people and lined it on Facebook Live precisely precisely and there's a phrase that I wish I can remember who said this to me because I think it's really interesting Ipswich
Set the secret detector Amazon right now is scepticism of the not cynicism because I think I know this is really really important because you is so easy when you cover tech and I think I've not necessarily got this balance right.
I should say because it's very easy to get drawn into this but you can be at a tech launch to clean Apple launch right and you can I get off this is ridiculous cheering and it's just a new phone and that sort of stuff.
I'm an evil Now by covering its things that so many people rely on them doing things that I haven't yet, but my point was that is you know to be cynical about technology is to miss the potential of it as well, and I think it has to be both right now which is really hard.
It's to be up on the innovation and say why isn't it amazing that Google but making self-driving cars.
Message that's cover but is it also troubling that Google was working on a search infoengine vagina.
Yes, it is and we can cover both of those things and I think was kinda tricky for technology reporters is that we're doing both of those areas and is very hard to talk about between the two particularly when so much of that is maintaining relationships with those companies because you can write a story slating Google for doing something on Monday and then wonder why you're not invited to the event for the new smartphone on Wednesday and balancing those two sides of covering industry.
I think it's it is difficult but you know me Spotify I suppose.
How do you cover editorially someone like Elon Musk where is a proto Bond villain you can I love you more interesting because of that man weather is for good or bad.
It's more interesting because you could say because he's so powerful and got all that money that it's quite refreshing as he can get a say what he wants to say and I don't think it means any harm, but only than you could look at it the other.
When say he is so powerful that you can basically get away with saying anything saying that one of those diving rescuing people was a paedophile and is still fighting Oakleys it isn't a paedophile.
I mean I had a coffee recently with one of tesla's pr.
I've got a Tesla Elon Musk I think he's a character and I'm glad he does his overstepping the Mark sometime.
Yeah, I mean obviously massive oversteps the Mark when it comes to those accusations and also breaking financial loss if you can never have any come up and he's already got so much money, but there's literally no consequences whatever it is and how to cut out of the staff is been saying but I don't know this stuff.
Isn't it? Because there's part of me thinks isn't it wonderful that we do have this guy that so outspoken so obviously passionate about what you doing.
Isn't a CEO that just can a turns up and looked about you know if anything I'm sure there's no shareholders will be she did look more about it because he's a lot of chief executives.
Will it stop generic business language is a character clearly must be good for you as a journalist.
It's good as journalists.
I feel his PR team did I really just don't you sometimes? I just don't know what's what's coming in.
I really like this if it comes in and then they got a react but what he Lament was well.
I I said to this this this for your personal website it was just because they won't they said they should have got that Sarah Sanders President Trump response of the tweet speak for themselves as you say that to all of those two it's all this week.
Speak for themselves.
You have to wait for another to eat before you get your answer ok fine, but I like it's good to have characters local if you get any bigger.
Covering you having on the characters whether it's somebody is angry about be no parking you find the most animated person about it now and any and then I like covering Tesco's as an innovation story as well autopilot has won the most interesting debate were the features of any car out there right now you have used autopilot and I love him blew my mind my wife hates it she's she's is a yam.
The adaptive cruise control before the driving itself.
She thinks it's witchcraft in traffic heavy traffic in it is just driving along.
I I I am always out by drama number for and heavy traffic it just keeps you in the traffic and you have to think about it, but will be fine on the country lanes at my party trick is to let you put on and then turn to the people in the back.
There's like 30 seconds and then learner drivers and I won't do it where there's a corner of our driveway.
It is a curve.
You know and does it work OK in England cos that's another thing.
Yeah, self-driving is designed on the streets of
Mountain View every street, is three lanes wide and nicely marked out because like if you look at saying new iPhone coming out.
There's one story which is the you have it the actual yeah, it's now got more memory not that im interested, but then there's also the Business of it that the commercial challenges that apples facing.
I mean I find it fascinating.
I've always wondered for quite sometime now where when I'm on the Amazon app white never offers the audible version of it on then.
It's because obviously accurate control of the platform is a Walled Garden and they won't let them and I find that another step because yes, I know they on the platform, but they clearly you that it isn't that it's their commercial business and it feels have a wider Duty and then they're only stoping Amazon offering the audible version you know because it's affect their commercial interests and I even find that they obviously Amazon and I'll have to say that.
On the app I do it says you know what this is not available on this form of language, but it's fascinating that then you look at the wider societal impact to me does all of it interests you.
Are you ok? You are Tec decat heart.
I don't think I might actually I find I'm sure you listen to this is not a view that it's been a secret of my can't I find The Gadget Show at the start of the Year CES one of the one of the more I shall I put the tiresome.
Yes, I'd say because that's very gadget focused now it because it's like the wind blowing for the Tech industry in that year.
You know what are the trains going to be what are people hoping for is there any true innovation now and I don't want the foldable phone.
When was sunrise we will have a tendency to give it out the wrong billing cos I think I'm sometimes was that ok? What's new and exciting at CeX what haven't we seen before an NCS isn't that? Isn't what the shows that the shows literally to say to a bunch of buyers from Best Buy in whatever other the a PC World and all these places you basically saying please put this into your stores this year and so are many of the products.
Aren't you and I think there was a time when she yes was the first chance to see a lot, but that was at a time when technology magazines.
Come out once a month and there wasn't always blogs and they were the TV shows and this and the other so times have changed quite considerably and cs2 me to me is one of the less important shows of the year in terms of real impact on people's lives.
It's it's a good humour sure it's a Gadget Show it's not what gets me out of bed personally you're passing on robots in the rise of.
Bidmc human contact increasingly becoming a luxury or we did a podcast about this recently on beyond 2 days BBC podcast I think it is in NYC flights travelling in quite frustrating.
So you know we've always had this sense that you know if you ring up ever since they press one for this press to flour to make certain that is replacing human contact with automation and that's been around for Peace even worse now isn't it in a few words.
Could you just say yeah, you can do things like bill payments over the best thing is if you start swearing and just say put me through to a person that there's a few systems that will just go connecting you to operate.
It's only three times and then give up and say connecting you lots of tricks.
I reckon rotation.
There is a 35 minute wait.
Ever human contact being bloody at the upper end of the customer service scale but one of the things that I tried that was saying he is areas where you wouldn't expect she can contact to be disappearing quite se5000 story last year which really stuck in my mind of a family that was told there that their grandfather was dying but that was delivered through a telepresence robot the the the physician surgeon a country tackling what they were in the hospital but rather than coming in in person to deliver that news it was done by telepresence.
Why why am in the hospital just said this is a procedure.
We've had this is how we done it for a while people haven't had a problem, but I think there's this thing of people are happy to talk to a telepresence doctor for a number of things within there is a point when Shima contact field that will the lack of human contact feels really insensitive and so I think we're seeing some patterns there.
I don't know how much is this is happening Back Time compared to hear but in this is Amazon took over it to go the Whole Foods I've only seen the groundwork of some changes there and and and I think we're going to get this point where there's going to be that you does a prime members and the non-prime members going to be sorted to two segments of of shoppers is anyone not prime this is a thing but there's there's there's a lot of people because it's an expensive thing to add an and you going to have the primes in the prime not see you know it and and anything and that to me I think it is saying that the reach of that because you have places like Amazon go out if you tried the Amazon go store policies 105.
It's the Amazon store where you just go in and he picks up on the shelf you will count as you got your other like shoplifters used to do back in the day at the door.
You don't pay you don't see yourself in your phone or something.
And I then there's various cameras in the air that detect what you're picking up and if you put something back and I tried to trick this thing.
I've been like putting things all over the place and shifting around and thrown in the air and it gets it right every time wasting my prince gets it right every time for someone like me there and it's a convenient but Amazon quite quickly said well if you're on food stamps, you can't use this shop because there's no one to take the steps and so you discriminatory straight away you just see where people are being could be excluded from this kind of stuff because the desire to remove human contact is such a great business opportunity is that these businesses the same where we'd have to worry about these people down there and how do I get off food stamps in if you can if you can't even engage with Society mean? That's tied into a much bigger question about income inequality that the Tech companies.
Unipart not well, they could have been part of the solution.
They could say you know what we're gonna use our innovation r-tech drive to help solve this problem Society but presumably because there's no money in it.
So people don't have much money by Rachel about their poo.
Yeah, I mean I think I mean I don't do this one is the one as I can swear.
I never know with the Tech companies to sort of agree with their defence to a degree.
I mean, it's not necessarily Amazon salt the people on food stamps and so he has a solution to that problem isn't tell Amazon to stop innovating it stores.
It's to solve a bigger problem real and and is also Marks and Spencer's Tesco then there's Lidl and I'm using UK references the market provides people that is more of an issue and if you're selling Cartier watches on Bond Street yeah poor people can't afford them so I can also see it from my point of view but it just seemed pretty terrible because what happens when ultimately the the human mind supermarkets are going to go down.
Example you know when the bank started to pull out of having you know Village branches in same world as an ATM and then suddenly there's one ATM and then it's you they charge £5 or £3 to use it as I'm in the nets all these things are tied to that same point where the efficiencies of not hiring human beings are outweighing the social responsibility to support people in certain areas and ask again.
That's why I saw almost I defend Amazon and others because that's not something you know that people were striving to achieve that for a long time Amazon just doing it particularly effectively, it's like it is the same as a robotics debate isn't it in robotics are going to remove tons of jobs already are removing tiles of jobs and companies like Amazon they say we're creating jobs as well, but those types of different unit is going from someone who was perhaps moving stock around the warehouse their jobs going the job has been created as a robotics engineer or something just ecstatic spell whatever is it Amazon's job to make sure that?
Super educated sufficiently to take up that other job or or isn't it? And I and I know I can I can I see where they're coming from don't put it quite like that, but that says she will they say you shouldn't slow down innovation because to try and protect jobseekers.
Where does that where does that stop is it red book recently called rise of the robots by guy called Martin forward and in his opening it in his introduction to that job be told the story about an American best to went to China to see a new factory being built and when you got there.
There was a Chinese laborers in a word.
They were digging up The Foundations with space and the American said why aren't using machinery to dig up the foundations and a Chinese man said because we're trying to protect the jobs at the people who did was space and he said what they were.
Why don't you give them spoons that would mean if they give a longer you didn't need even more people when I think that's the important point like slowing down innovation is a really an effective way to solve the problem in this country as this is a country that often.
Books about how losing manufacturing has been more than most damaging things to happen to the society like that sounds to some degree in the UK as the proof there is not if you stop doing things they can are you gonna say she just going to go somewhere else for a lot of this stuff, so I think being the solution is never to slow down the progress.
It's about managing the progress in the difficulty years is it is happening a lot quicker than it has in the past.
You can't change the curriculum quickly enough for the people to filter through to get the benefits.
That's gonna be interesting moment there.
I think social media going I mean you know today if I was Facebook I would worry you know they've already seem to reach food market saturation in the sense that I've got fibre six friends now that is Swan off Facebook and and genuinely kept it and it seems to be quite cool.
These days to not be on LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram chasing their the likes you think.
Going to see more of that, would you think is just going to become an accepted part of society and won't won't be the huge buzz that it is now World online having else's boom of public domainpublic expression on social media is almost like when Facebook and Myspace became a thing it was like I'll guess what you couldn't build a website with no you can you have your own website if I went well this is great for my pictures on there.
I can do it then.
We've had that we've had that boom and then we moved the other the rise of Snapchat was interested in the whole December the whole ephemeral message staying in a messages disappear quickly that was interesting now is shifting to the you mentioned having close friend lists on Instagram that's very popular with people to have a match what tight hold and who is seeing they doing I deciding whether to see more of that.
I thinking to see more social media head down a more private route.
I also think that.
There won't be the same Desire for a centralised network does everything you know Facebook's user base that she was saying it's going to level out in certain markets it gonna fluctuates buying small amounts up or down in Europe and same thing in the US but if you were to just look at the main Facebook out of the blue app as they call it Facebook you would see that used to do that is the climate of the growth of Facebook is almost essentially all Instagram in the US and I think what that speaks to his people wanting to silo their personalities and different ways, so I'm going to have a curated pictures on Instagram I'm not gonna just have this you know I'm not going to you.
Don't really on my face with people would come home from a night out and then put 50 pictures on install on Facebook and I take all their friends nobody does that anymore that's a pattern that we've just completely abandoned as an idea and instead what we do because I know what let's not have 50 years have one or two I look particularly attractive.
Undertale on Instagram stories which are some ways, it's bad.
It's good because we know maybe the best way to experience a nice to be on the night out.
You know not to look at it on Facebook so I think this is this is move away from this catch you all do everything but your pictures on their share your news on there, but your status updates whatever and I think that use of social media.
Is is swindling in favour of more specialised purposes also think looking at companies like TiK ToK that take talking at the most downloaded social networking app in the US last year by quite some margin and it that raises both positive things and everything's won the ownership of tiktok is something that might become an issue dandelion same by big Chinese company.
You know if Congress is concerned about regulation of Facebook and Twitter and the others wait until they have to deal with the company this Bay
Outside of the US that's going to be a different matter altogether with a positive thing on TiK ToK I think is that it was emphasis on doing things he the most popular people on TiK ToK dances spare artists their athletes their singers their people already a comedian says be with her out and about doing things being funny being creative and so I think that trend is quite nice actually I'm crying I'm a fan of seeing eye walk with me.
We talked about how withams promoting negativity tiktok has an algorithm that promotes creativity and that's a good idea as a good direction of travel for social media.
That's that's one of the few posters.
I guess you could say that Sam emerging at the moment.
How are you managed? How how do you like about your job? That is the same facelift manager in be the BBC nbh back in London that say approving every house actually work in a sense.
You got the time zone and then you must clearly be on something to detached utx exploring like any journalistic video.
Adding contacts on your bid work.
I mean it's it's it's a mixed bag that there's I have several editors which is the first hurdle.
I guess because you have different people that want a different part of you in various ways and because you know because I'm I'm on television and radio and online the BBC has done quite a good job of merging these worlds but they still needs and desires of each set of difficult when I try and do it is so start from the basis of Carol let's make a TV story and then we can use the audio and then I can write a piece frustrating part of that.
It's I think it's it's compromise mean if you if if a TV piece also has to be other things it's not quite as good as it could have been if you just focusing on that and radio if you doing something just for radio you gather different material you gather footsteps long apart you gather you know I was like on radio when you hear the beginning of an interview with someone you hear someone say hello, how you doing?
You don't do that television because you when that exchanges happening and your crew is loving the gear up the front path right.
So there are there are trade-offs, but that is the reality of what the BBC needs and I think the job lizard is a lot of reliance on being able to say my my focus is going to be on this particular story and make sure coverages completes, but not overwhelming because because of the time zone in the morning.
Is is so wake up to money which I like to do as off my favourite shirt and it's a great show very accessible missing 2100 here, so there's just in ring you.
I just in Barnes headed dizzy ring you on one of the Producers like 8 then.
I'll be fine.
So can you come on Dave just as the politest first night? I do if I hit nicest human being civilised.
Scratch handles requests are all correspondence outside of UK but if I would if I was an ambitious editor on any BBC programme.
I will have quite if my own calling to direct because I wasn't just something you must you must get 10 inbound calls for that shows that what you want and you can do them all that happens you get this this flowery and it's always just like me and my colleagues here Cody Weasley joke about it because she yeah, I'll send out an update and into our system and I'll say that's just would you reckon 15 minutes and then all the sudden inbox bank? Can you go and do this? Can you come to do that because there any given time the BBC has to BBC World Service on Air Radio 45 live on air BBC World the rolling channel beyond is the BBC news channel the domestic channel be on and then you have these are sore breakout programs.
You know music 610 whatever it is a lot of mouths to feed there.
Must be a hierarchy that I mean the season 10 must come first.
There is an official hierarchy, which I am pretty gonna get wrong.
I'm not going to the bottom of the official mourning reports and five well.
I mean that the bombers hierarchies any sleep for the corresponding.
I think it's the bottom of that mean it is it is it makes sense to have to be and because some of these things happen at the same time and you can't be live on in over 6 and beyond World TV at the same time raised work within there are often situations where in any given on a big story for example.
You might be on BBC One at 6:05 and then you'll be on my TV at 6:10 and then you'll be on Radio 4 at 6:12 and then you just have that as an aside.
I think that's the by the strength and endurance because we put so much emphasis on being live on ice shows which I don't think it's necessarily necessary.
Permission when I'm crossing over live to San Francisco BBC's North America technology correspondent standing by the road was been there for no reason other than to just make it look like he's near Facebook he could say exactly all of this is in the in the warmth of his office but because there's some TV visuals.
Yes to free cinema because it's I think it's important to show this is going to sound icon justify my presence here which spot lamps good to show fear is that we are here and if I'm outside Facebook they got a report about the downside is that many people on Twitter think I get flying over it's time to do it because I find quite amusing as if there is a thing as a balance.
I am I'm sure I'm not alone in the car as long as it would rather spend the 2 hours.
It takes to get into that position to get it sorted out.
I sometimes we could perhaps be more useful doing.
Reporting in that time you know journalism in that time I mean said that I do think there's a great deal of value in being the person and we spoke about this.
I think before we recorded this today of you know when I hear that chewing my ear and presenters are always say here to make sense of that is Dave Lee a North American reporter that simple goal of here to make sense of it is probably most important thing.
I do so if if the way that's more effective is to do it live and have a conversation with an anchor then fine.
That's probably the best way to do it.
I just wish to be too much.
I'll be honest.
How do you differentiate between what might be a piece for the BBC News website and for your own blog for example if Nick Robinson wrote something.
I automatically assumed it was going to be be seen if you had a Blog that had his own personal thought I would say that might compromise is political impartiality with your beat.
It's different but how do you do that because if I was your editor and I saw you written a really good.
Dog pass on your personal blog.
I think well we paying good money went down the BBC's how's that every good blog post you do you know what is interested? No Wi-Fi as I thought about is quite day because the at that is that biscuits in a firefighter if there's a day when I don't file a story for outside, but I've written to build patch people thinking.
What are you doing? Why you why you why you doing that and that not you're at your job now my Defence of that and I understand and it's an important one when I thought a lot about is that the way I use that blog to me.
It's it's 2.
Where is the halfway point between 8 weeks and a bit of work and so they'll be short stories bubbling around that.
I think will be a bit the phrase is sat here inside baseball right.
There's a story.
That's so in the weeds of something that isn't perhaps of interest to a mainstream audience.
Ellie's not yet, but it's something that kind of interesting and worth a discussion that same as what I what I put on to that on Snap lock because it's it's me basically saying his something I'm thinking about but isn't yet fully formulated thought that Becomes Her a real piece of journalism and he is doing a when it comes to how those blog post but together.
They are literally hear something interesting in his a paragraph of one thinking about and if there's if there's any more than that if it if it is something requires anything more than that you know talking to someone for an interview or whatever then it doesn't it doesn't happen because then that is that is working and that should be all my energies of doing that should be spent on I'm doing them even the stuff.
I'm paid for I think it's a tricky one because when you have a personal outlet in the same way as the same same issue is one.
How do you justify spending time doing that and not on the on the product itself and the wife in the way Twitter's defended in that senses that it's an hour is an outlet that shows.
Deeper analysis and interaction than is possible through the main Outlook with a Blog it.
There's more risk isn't there of of me having a view on that blog which can get you in Strictly territory because the idea is that of course we're queer impartial now.
I think there's particularly when you become a reporter this in control of the beat the analysis has to contain some kind of view because it said it's a qualified.
Is he saying that I've been reporting on this issue.
4xl out of time and it all wrong ends and but my hand and here's my take on this coming from a place of someone who's covered all this stuff not coming from a place of our this is my little thoughts all this is you know whatever issue.
I suppose I just got it all you to come from a place of my judgement and I think you know the block starts everywhere on that and there's been has been several occasions where I've
Had the germ of an idea and put on that blog and people outside we'll go out since you been covering that are you interested in this and it will be it will be a story that comes further down the way so there is a very is there a useful to people that wear, what's the next rung on the career ladder for you because you and I say this January to fly to you, but I also made as you've got the best beat the Reason The Sky's the Limit really because it's you at the cutting edge of almost everything at the way society is going to take that you know do you get kicked upstairs to become this faceless BBC manager that the next day will be ringing into or do you want to do that at there's a lot of these you see a lot of this in society where people agree to other doing then they promoted to the next rung of the ladder that she's not happy.
I don't you know it's it's a strange of it as I recently passed social.
I was 4 years in in in San Francisco and your own that time the BBC Silicon Valley operation was.
When I arrived it was me you was a laptop and then eventually it became me with a laptop and a good camera and it became me of a laptop camera in a bit of freelance budgeting to price things out slightly vary became all we can do we can go live now in quality.
We got the equipment to do that and then BBC then had this partnership with CBS news in the USA now.
We share space with cbso.
We have a Bureau however an employee now as well Cody Godwin who I work with that.
Yes, we team up to now.
Are you her boss? No not inform you were very close together and underfed.
I've been here longer with elegant dress of silk BBC that, isn't it? Isn't being is that a lot has really changed since I've been here was been achieved in that time but I thought was ever possible and so you know the natural thing is now to take ok.
What about what happens in at that could be your changing even more as I'm doing right now and hanging anyway.
I'm in the same job.
I could be doing something do it could be the head and pass the word I genuinely don't know that's what's that's why most confusing part about this is because I had a leaving party when I first came out here and a colleague said to me.
They said other difficult thing isn't doing this job is figure out.
What the hell you can be neck and I hadn't really truly.
I didn't realise it was really really because this is a wonderful wonderful job.
There's no other job like in baby CV11 won the most interesting cities in the world, which I have grown to love a lot so difficult yes, it was so what's next but you know those.
Lizzie did the BBC I think has this tendency to not quite know what to do with reporters at a certain point I mean it's very the BBC's got the best training program for journalism in the world probably the BBC Academy wonderful teachers you so much just about the technical stuff, but the ethics of reporting and then need to be impartial and there you have the realities of being employed as well.
It's often more interesting than just that suggest not being invited and then it's very good that you're Laura kuenssberg's of the world or your your your top tier reported.
I think there's a bit of a problem in the middle, where doesn't quite know how to develop people who aren't you but an experience.
That's why I feel like I fit.
I'm sort of in this middle part where I think you know what I I need to grow.
I need to become a better reporter and what experience one and I don't think and this is probably my Samsung mind decision on this but I think it's one of those two beauties to work.
Would you ever go to the dark side? I died I mean considering public relation.
Yes because I mean if I was only being housing in the pr.
Convosphere Amazon Facebook he now whoever had Snaps you up you do Radley I mean I mean what we do.
Don't hi Rose I think Amy look like every reporter my LinkedIn is just half story pictures and half if you considered in a working in comes out the other and what are ways happens.
Is it this you can go? What did they pay? What to do that in and it's it's no exaggeration to say it would more than double my income immediately but I live in fear of ever making that move and waking up one morning and seeing something I hear something was thinking something all that be a good store.
And just have not having the avenue to to pursue that and I and I can't think of anything more frightening that I feel like to be like at the singer woke up and they lost it was completely a is that the very idea that I couldn't do this job and like a sex mother job.
Is it just a human Instinct solicitors to me and I've reported any can't go back to PC World now flogging abuses because they're all the doctors today exactly hard drives anymore in the Cloud last question there will be at some point one advice.
Would you give him a few other we have a lot of aspiring journalists lace someone will be listening to this thinking well.
You know five years from now when he eventually does Booker off to I want to be the new him.
I don't wanna houses that new person hit the ground running.
Is there anything like me that be listening to me, so I can do better than that it took months at my butt Lincoln University went back and give a talk and I had to sudden fear when I was about to start talking as I'm overthinking.
I used to be in the audience and I had I used to always wear that he would come to speak I don't you look at them.
They say I'm going to be more I'm going to do better than you already experience.
You've got a year experience contains a lot of bad things as well as to say that I think if someone was to come into this job.
I did my wife would be.
Pissed with betafocus I think because there's the nature of the job for me here changed because the nature of what technology was changed.
I think yeah, there's the sentiment around the big tech companies is almost unrecognisable compared to 4 years ago when I first arrived, so there's certain themes.
They just come to companies were given so much more leeway tattoo to do things and they do now because of this whole privacy are going to because of the competition argument and Miss information analyst, staff and say what it meant was is there when that shift was happening.
I don't think I was necessarily quick enough to go ok.
Will that was the old stuff and now for the new stuff? I Cannock Cannock kept doing both for a while and what I should have done.
It is been much more straight on the new stuff.
So my advice would be would be.
For someone in the job would be to look at the state of play as a rogue one of the most effective three-storey strands that I can really put everything into could you can never cover anything you know where the BBC has one tech reporter in San Francisco now you want a cup or in the entire country and also literally and so how could we possibly be as can possibly compete with se Bloomberg which just down the road from where we are for squillion.
They have to reporters covering Google let alone the rest of the industry and that's why that you know they do very well.
So I think you got any good a look at your strength and the strengths.
Are you know you're connecting with real people not live with money that you do at Bloomberg you can you can travel you can go to places.
You can meet me pill put real people in the delay.
By the fact that you want person.
I mean iced coffee before This podcast with Elaine Moore ft and she's out herein encompasses.
She's a friend of mine and run.
Select column, but the army bft have at you know someone who writes exclusively on Google and one on Facebook and some that they've got a 5 times bigger than you guys.
I mean the obstacle is detected in London that's plenty of plenty more people but I don't have to be probably have a face the same dilemma.
They said you know rather than trying to cover everything happening technology.
Let's just have reported looking at Facebook because we think Facebook is one of those stories.
That's all encapsulating and we we should put our efforts into that that's going to be the best way to serve our readership and there's a lot of value to looking at the Tech press in a techcrunch in the Virgin the weather and saying you know what if that's the coverage you are after then there are places for that and yes or and honour so big I thought about in the BBC in this is this is an organisation is looking very closely at South and saying how do I appeal to as many people as possible? How do we change ourselves to capture audiences that?
We don't currently get you know I think the BBC it over its history as face various can existential worries and the and the strategies is always one out is to double down and wait for really good at and so I think you are we should we should rather than the Debate being? What are we not do it? I think the debate about the world.
We would we not need to do and when it comes to technology countries particularly important because we can leave a lot of that stuff to to the others and we can see Rob what are we doing is a public service broadcaster.
There's really really necessary and part of explaining technology partners.
Also been this is Watchdog on issues.
That only a public service broadcaster.
Give the time and effort to and that's that's where the focus comes in and that's where I think we're slowly this is definitely something that we are trying hard to do is changing our
Directional completely but to have a bit more of a sense of that allow one of the really big issues here that mean we don't know so do as many stories on tag for we do stronger once we do ones that really ham with with the public service remit Minds because there are such a dire need to cover that those kind of issues.
Dave we could carry on talking for ages, but I'm forcing we're out of metaphorical tips on him going to leave it there.
I would say it's been lapsley fascinating conversation.
Thank you ever so much.
Thanks for having me like I say I've been a fan for some time.
So I'm pleased to being one of the ranks of people you spoken to a right-angled podcast in association with big things Media
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