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Read this: 01/11/2019 Radio 4 Feedback

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01/11/2019 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts In feedback this week at rarity someone who is really really looking forward to the general election campaign.

I think it is a great opportunity to without being overly corporate about this.

Is there a show-off are where's it is a real chance to bring people to the BBC he might not otherwise be listening and watching or output that was the BBC's head of news output Gavin Allen I'll be talking to him about the pitfalls ahead not least a widespread irritation amongst with you say what they think I'm pointless vox pops any selection made by journalists will be biased now in the context of the brexit Debate it's especially vital that the BBC upholds the truth in its news communications.

What is truth? Is it just a convenient selection of those facts which support a

Position or help sustain a good simple satisfying story the correction series on Radio 4 try to address this very issue.

There is a real question about what you do with inconvenient facts.

Don't usually destroy your house if they complicated last week.

We highlighted your concerns that the programme makers were guilty of the very thing they criticized this week the corrections presented replies to her critics and 2 GMT and this is The Newsroom from the BBC World Service on Amelia Sunday the last weekend the clocks slept backwards and we enjoyed an extra hour in bed, what happened to the world service.

Why did it clocks stay put towards a balancing act for the world service for balancing the needs of the UK audience of the Europeans against the United States and against your entertainment area that story a little later in feedback.

We begin with this week's big announcement the UK is said to hold a general election.

Simba in the past half hour I MPs have approved the latest call from Boris Johnson election the first time since 1923.

How do I install the BBC news coverage and analysis and probably under attack last week BBC News face the scrutiny of Ofcom the regulatory body which published its review into the corporations news and current affairs it warm that the BBC may not be sustainable in its current form.

If it can't persuade more young people to use its services.

Can it do that and continue to serve its loyal older listeners one of the key executives who has to solve this Conundrum is the BBC head of news output Gavin Allen Who Join me earlier to answer your questions.

I Began however with the general election coverage.

May be different this time.

I think there's certain elements that inevitably will underpin what we do so to be trusted to be accurate obviously to be in in a Julian Pasha

Explore policies I do think we are constantly looking at the audiences and trying to work out.

What is it that audiences need from a small what is useful about our coverage so I do you think they'll be an even more relentless focus on when we doing something when asking a question in interview when we're putting together a piece.

What is a views about this to our audience and if we doing it again in that sort of inside beltway way, you talk to win an argument to score a point.

I do think that's probably have to go back and then hold on a sec what we doing that question for my name is Alan Walker as a professional social scientist deeply concerned about the misleading use of vox pops in virtually all news bulletins the vox pops are routinely presented as representative of the opinions in statistical terms, they represent nothing.

They are entertainment not news.

And journalist who regularly claim to have spoken to many or lots of people are misleading The Listening public should you accept points that vox pops are in statistical terms? They represent nothing.

Yes, it would of course representative but they're indicative and look I'm going to sit here and defend every vox pop that the media does I think the only the caricature box pop over I'm for a general election.

I'm against I'm not sure what I think about the general election.

He's sort of useless I totally accept that but legally we don't mislead the public.

I think a lot of people do you get their views from hearing opinions for the people not just from politicians are people in authority, but it just asking how long do I get me Vauxhall better get a 141 against?

Change that what they do is try and get a sense of if there's a policy initiative in Westminster if there's an announcement of some description taking it out of the green benches of the commons to actually hear how is this land in Doncaster on Peterborough river is a perfectly legitimate things.

I don't think we should oversell there a Small Part of what we do, but it is a way of saying these policies that impact people who is the sensible option here from some people lucid each.

I feel very strongly that the BBC is perpetuating the myth of people vs.

Parliament and that you the BBC need a responsibility for the Way You Are choosing to report the current national Crisis by always interviewing members of the public who voted leave and to hold extreme views and use extreme language.

It is giving the impression that these people represent the public what's your response to Lucy teach we do have a responsibility for what we do of course, but I can't go to be careful about.

Using words like extreme and is it Extreme 2 B pro no deal is it Extreme 2 want a second referendum or to just simply remain to express their views in terms of surrender betrayal and these sort of cells which were wider audience and has particular point but more widely.

There is a worry about this sort of language.

Can you do anything about it? What if it's being spoken by the prime minister boring the idea of we just Vito what he's saying and somehow sensor it you have to put it into context everything is about information in context and even the framing of people vs.

Parliament is not the BBC that is framing in that way.

We are trying to convey that in the case of government.

They are clearly were clearly trying to portray it as a people vs.

It's dead Parliament in their views, so it's important that we are explaining that the public but there's a difference in explaining something conveying it and giving it contact.

Giving the rebuttal site dad and the BBC itself is pausing that view that you were giving too much answers to know extreme points and that was something picked up by often reported some felt BBC gives undue prominence to extreme political views at the expense of those in the middle for example when selecting general public box box to show and on current affairs programming attractive thing about extreme.

Did it either or it's a and b and it's black and white and it sometimes makes it exciting listening, but often the middle squeeze.

Do you think there's a danger that happened and continues to happen? I think that I think there is a danger that the media generally does love issues that it can portrait of black and white truth be told I stole the shoes are pretty grey and there are nuances to everything so whilst I think it is true that we can oversimplify.

I don't think with the case of brexit that hearing from.

At on clarity's of the argument is extreme to get in but I didn't leave hollowed out the middle what Simpsons have you talked to sofology tests.

They will say that actually lot of the heating at one end or the other but that doesn't mean we know those who want those ends you have to hear the full breadth of view.

My name is Peter Ward I'm calling from West Wales on BBC news reports of sources or comments made Off the Record I'm really impressed at your correspondence inside knowledge, but the constant drip drip of briefing primarily from within the government which they report is distorting the boundaries between use speculation and carefully targeted misinformation is will the BBC consider a policy of refusing to report on activity gossip speculation and manipulation still going out with you, but obviously not the report.

In that way in those bolton's the short answer is probably no to that commitment.

I think sources unattributed sources or anonymous sources.

It is really difficult area for journalism in the BBC and it is important as clear as we possibly can be with audience of who is saying this is a junior minister.

Is this someone close to Boris Johnson's you terribly vague and after me Boris Johnson himself or his senior advisor even turns like special adviser to is probably alien to most people but equally you also have to accept that Laura kuenssberg are experts at what they do is the political editor of BBC she makes a judgement.

She doesn't just get a comment from person a and just parrot it blindly.

She's bouncing that off against whatever information is she getting where does that's it within the political viewpoints that she's hearing and makes a judgement as to how to convey that to the audience, but she's not.

Is fact she is number 10 is briefing that door.

Don't believe that.

We should do the BBC in particular should be a less attention to off-the-record briefings o n a more radical sense say unless I can report him said this.

I'm not going to say it.

I think the latter is is in an ideal world.

Yes, of course everyone be on the record ever would give their name and we would simply report what they said they say in words the truth is you won't get briefings on that basis and there are a lot of things are incredibly useful for the audience to know that the key is we're not blind to the fact that yes of course people are trying to play as people trying to frame the debate in exactly the way they want it framed but that is about the expertise by journalists to see through that to make that judgement was One recently about the timetable motion is voted down and potential said they push for a general election and then everyone was up in arms when that didn't happen if it has happened.

They do a general election and there's a general election coming but it's about.

I'm not ignoring everything else.

It's all about will only report this and the entirety by Focus will be on bad.

You're still reporting the wider context surrounding James Fannon this year Edinburgh Festival Dorothy Byrne head of Channel 4 News said news organisation should call outliers in this General Election will the BBC stand up for the truth and call outliers came back to the Dorothy point.

It was a brilliant speech.

It was funny.

Speak to you very important points, but no I don't think it helps in a really funny.

Don't think it helps the BBC to Wade into what is already a pretty toxic at times political discourse and public discourse and be calling people out as liars and two Motives behind them absolutely via reality check will say really clearly when something is inaccurate untrue or misleading etc.

That layer is such a weighted word is not to me.

I just think you undermine your own impartiality undermine actually, what is used for Political discourse to hear other people's viewpoints without calling someone a fascist or a liar and you know that serves the public or public debate my thanks to David Allen head of BBC News output who came in on his birthday to do that interview must have made his day next week will be hearing the discussion in which Mr Allen address is the existentialist of the BBC's fight for the younger audience.

Please do let us know your thoughts on that item and anything to do with BBC Radio here's how to get in touch you can send an email to feedback at or write a letter the address is feedback PO Box 6723 London se1p 4ax you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us.

A phone message on 03454 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks details are on our website.

The world's slowest thing we are well into the season of Mists and mellow fruitfulness the nights are drawing in and we had the luxury of an extra hour in bed last weekend, but some listeners aren't happy the world service sticks to Greenwich Mean time GMT throughout the year and so when our clocks change back from British summer time GMT some programme times in the UK also change, why does it matter because many people in this country listen to the world service by the one the Radio 4 schedule ends at night radio or perhaps using BBC sounds World Service listen and Lewis Canon got in touch could feedback please ask someone in the BBC to justify the world change to its entire world one in programming schedule to fit with last Sunday UK clock change of course we can do this and I joined Now by Mary holgates the desk.

World Service English have you changed Mr Holgate the whole entire world while pregnant schedule to fit with last census UK cop change we have indeed all of our schedules to the entire world, but not directly about the UK top change we do it because it's a fundamental physical factors of the Globe we live on so we have therefore have three different audiences.

We have an audience in the Northern Hemisphere whose clocks change one way we have a large audience in between the two tropics who's clocks don't change at all and then we have another audience in the Southern Hemisphere whose clocks change as well, but also changed in different directions to the northern hemisphere trying to make sure that as much as possible our programs remain at the same time and everybody's day, so that means if the clocks in the North change you change with them and the clocks with us.

Do change with them and the ones in the middle you don't change it all that's pretty much it.

Yes, so you're trying to make it as best you possibly can for everybody so that everybody gets the same time programming at the same time of day let you know the radio listening lost people get up to radio some people have a chance to listen again at around lunchtime and then lots of people come back for what we called time which is when they're coming home from work or driving home from work and then some people also listen again in the evening so we try and keep those elements of the day consistent around the world except someone distance from save in the UK UK is not a priority for you.

You're a world service not UK service exactly so big priorities.

Are we have the biggest audiences and they are in Africa and the United States and Canada so we have two large box of audiences there and unfortunately the clocks in Africa don't change with the clocks in the United States do so we try.

Move on programs around to keep everybody happy essentially though for the UK listener our programs don't change that much because the UK Falls pretty much into the same sort of shift of the United States and Europe and so therefore when broadly speaking when their clocks change our clocks change and they changing the same direction, but if there was a gap between their clocks clocks changing you would go with them as it were because you're well, so we do indeed and indeed for the United States because they don't change their clocks exactly the same time as we put on extra programming for the United States so that they get their programs at the right time for them and UK and Europe get the programs at the right time then, where are you now focusing your attention? Where is your biggest dry for audience the biggest audiences? We have are in Africa which is round about 40 million and the US will we have?

We're not talking about English speaking English speaking English the best way to describe it we have left her audiences elsewhere in the world the area where we think people who would like to listen more is in the Far East and Southeast Asian the problems.

We always have as is essentially distribution.

How do we get people to listen the internet? There is making increase difference to that some more people just move on the internet so funny Murray Holgate I mean you very clearly you have to prioritise the rest of the world, but do you really care if people listen in the UK we get very few people in the UK and indeed? You'll notice that there are many other programs which may not be on the classic and time of day that you would hear and say Radio 4 but they are very close to those times and that's it's always a balancing out for the world service for balancing the needs of the UK audience of the Europeans against the United States audience and against the audience in Nigeria

Holgate the network manager at World Service English now, can you really believe what you read or indeed here on the news? Did you follow the media coverage while you were yes, I did yes, what did you make it?

What is surprise you to hear there was no fracking at Balkan there was no permission to Frank had wanted to Frank it would have needed a different permit.

So why did the Battle of Balcombe become such a huge national story of the Radio 4 Series the corrections which has just ended try to find out the series which also examine three other very different headlines stories as well suggested that reality and reporting on occasions the Producers also discuss their own journalistic decisions when making their programmes last week.

We featured some of the considerable praise for the corrections, but there was also some criticism Lancashire McWhirter and I live in the village of Balcombe it was based on a false premise that we local and income of protesters in Balcombe in the summer of 2013.

What foolish green is who didn't realise that quote no fracking was planned in 2013 for Balcombe on the contrary.

We knew very well that the endgame was fracking planning permission happens in stages.

We had every reason to Protest the presenters town was unbelievably scornful suggesting that we can pay us and protesters were ignorant and at the press was fickle no one in Bolton was interviewed Jo fidgen.

Thank you for coming to program that point from Castle McWhirter she said that your program is based on a false premise yes technically the company was drilling for oil, but that's only the starter and almost inevitable process that leads to severe analysis was different from yours wine.

I think possibly because we were focusing on different things so for the protesters in Balcombe they're interested in stopping.

Never happening in Bolton and we do make a point of saying in the programme that the fact that could really wasn't fucking 2013 didn't mean that they would never attempt to crack there in the future programme journalism and how the story was reported in 2013.

There was no fracking in Balcombe in 2013 and there was no possibility of fracking in Balcombe in 2013 so I stand by those facts and we were looking at the news coverage and how it was that somebody who's on the news that time could have easily been left with the impression that the rider was fracking all that it was neither of which was true.


Maybe a third option that it's not imminent but it might be inevitable if they do find oil.

They will then want to frat will not inevitable because there has been no fracking Balcombe since then either and quadrella would have had to have gone back and ask for another permit which may or may not have been ground.

Well, so what we saying here that whereas the headlines are misleading and that was the essence of your program.

The fracking was not taking place the analysis of those protest as this is the first stage which almost inevitably leads to cracking and they would say why didn't have one of us on the program so we can make that point that we have taken the program.

It's very hard because that's part of this series was about is about reflecting on the editorial choices that you have to make when telling a story we included protesters voices in the form of vox pops and you from the time which enabled us to do various things at the same it reminded us of the tenor of the news coverage at the time and it allows the protestors in their own words to voice their concerns about the last standing around in groups shouting slogans and being them being given the opportunity of making the point that as they would say analytical point they didn't have that option.

Reason for that would be that had we had an interview with a protester.

I think it would have inevitably straight into the territory of the rights and wrongs of fracking and that explicitly was what this program was not we said that this is not about the rights and wrongs of fracking we didn't get into that at any point and I'm not sure that it would have been that productive on that point interview a protester what I did try to was to persuade a journalist who is based in this area and who I think is widely respected by all sides including the protesters who knows a lot about it and he reported from Balcombe to try to persuade her to come on the program and took from both perspectives, but she declined I'm sorry to say this would say what you should come back to us but anyway let's move on from that to the Central issue of your series which is that a whole range of headlines being newspapers or broadcasting that we see or misrepresentative because what's happening is there a sir?

Stories publishers of those news items know the public want and they find the facts to support the headlines the public want and that headline maybe missed the truth, did you find it difficult to get four examples of this or actually other whole raft of other stories out there and what you were able to illustrate with sibling tip of the iceberg.

It's hard to be sure without an exhaustive search of every story has been reported.

It was not hard to find for stories that I thought when this leading and where are wrong.

I got by the consumer of their stories what I found from really looking into the stories and how they reported was the intention to mislead.

I think it's really that Focus specifically on broadsheets and if you like and unlike the series newspapers because I hope there's a whole separate issue with tabloids, but these are papers that.

Imagine you can trust and it was a case of OK well, let's examine and not just feel sad at BBC coverage as well and one of the programs that focus on BBC coverage of the most journalists are really trying their hardest.

There is a difference which is often the mountain between facts and the truth and I think the bosses generally stick to the facts.

Do they tell you that might be a matter of lots of facts and the ones that they choose are often chosen because they're editor back home says this will make good headline.

We like this story found the fact where else there are other factors waiting to be revealed which may be should be taken into consideration is that one of your concerns that journalists are looking for facts to support a story a story and I think there is a real question about what you do with inconvenient facts that don't usually destroy your nose up, but they complicated and this is one of the things that came out in the series.

Reality really is quite complicated and very few real events fit neatly into a story and then selection becomes very important that selection might be conscious might be trying to fit the story to your to your readers or whatever be into what you think they're interested, but it might also be unconscious the difficulty when you make a program like this.

Is that in some ways you've got to be like Caesars wife above Suspicion and I won't let people suspicious.

Are you but some people vote for example that your presentation style in the Welcome programme was slightly stoned.

I was really bothered that some people thought my time at school in that program.

That was absolutely not my intention and I didn't feel any school tone is always very difficult owners your real again.

So please everybody I am very sorry that some people thought they detected school in my voice so I apologise for that.

I would say that.

Program was part of a series the other three episodes in the series with very different topics two of them had a death of someone at the centre of their stories one of them was bad a child protection case to be light-hearted about here was an opportunity to be a bit more playful to have a bit more fun with the material.

I took that opportunity and I'm sorry if it landed badly for some people are thanks to presenter Jo fidgen and that's it for this week.

I'm sure that you would like us to discuss something other than politics so do let us know your thoughts on anything to do with BBC Radio over the general election is scheduled for December 12th it will not be a winter election as in the Northern Hemisphere winter 2019 doesn't begin until Sunday December 22nd it last until Friday the 20th of March 2020 I suppose we might not even have a winter brexit until next week.


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