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Read this: 15/11/2019

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15/11/2019…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts the BBC has decided that in the main election debate only two can play in feedback this listeners cry foul understand not every party and candidates can get their time but limiting it to two parties is in effect telling the country.

There are only two viable choices.

Yes, the manufacturers have not even been published but corporation is already in the firing line.

Jonathan Reed head of newsgathering will be explaining why he believes three into two won't go no such thing as a single clear third party working modern British politics discussion, we will and sometimes even hear the photos talking and we knew that if we could hear them.

There was a chance to hear us.

If you can't hear the EastEnders bombs at the end of everything that you're doing something wrong.

The presenter Helena Merriman about the storytelling techniques used in how much loaded podcast channel 29 and why she ended up crawling along an artificial tunnel and why are so few young people listening to Radio 4 we have persuaded to students to give it a drive and move out of their comfort zone into an explored territory.

I didn't actually know any of these issues existed if you're asking why young people listen to Radio 4.

That's why I'm always have my phone in my hand.

I'm always listening to a podcast or music as having said that I wouldn't necessarily think of it in any part of an edition of archive on four letter learn recommend the network to their friends find out in feedback.

We begin with the election the campaign is well underway and the leaders are already coming under heavy criticism in the flood Waters of Yorkshire of a stormy waters of Scottish referendum the BBC games for more details about its plant coverage including the leaders debate Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head in an all-male contest no room for just Winston Democrats in their ring instead.

She will join six others in the seven party debate there will also be a regular election cost feature an offshoot of brexitcast and lots of programs casting across the length and breadth of the UK to help us or make an informed choice at the Poles following the BBC's announcement criticism was long in coming to from Leeds I cannot believe that the BBC is only going to have the Conservatives and labour party leaders in a debate excluding the leader of the Lib Dems

It seems that the BBC agrees that the two-party system should not be questioned and yet Sir John curtice has said that in this election more people will vote for parties other than the Tories and labour Kelvin Livingston how is it that media outlets consider it acceptable to hold television debates with only labour Tories represented surely the message sent results in a weakening of our democracy the media does have a responsibility to allow the development of our Society and these choice completely at odds with this.

How can we progress without choice well, I'm delighted to be joined by Jonathan Munro BBC head of news gathering and let me pick up that latter point you will see you suggesting in Their Eyes they are delicious with just heard that there are only two viable choices to be leader at this country and that's why you're going to have only two people and not 3 in the head head debate.

What does a whole load?

Program so the head-to-head is one of a range of programs that will span out between now and leave a pole and one of those programs features Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn but lots of the other programs feature Sydney number of party leaders, are you saying in the eyes of most of our listeners? I think this is really a contest between two parties wasn't the case in 2010 of course when it was there an American suitable impact.

Why was it right in 2010 to have three parties and now there any two other two in one program of a 7-in several others so therefore must have changed since 2010 which as you rightly say Roger was the first time that we had televised debates in this country.

We had quite a lot of elections and referenda since then there have been a number of changes of format and there were several reasons for that the fastest evolutions of the three party structure in 2010 doesn't really hold good now because the SNP was the largest party in Parliament behind the Conservatives and labour after both 2015.

Something election so there's no such thing as a single clear third party in British politics at the moment Liberal Democrats have more votes than anyone else apart from the big to the SNP have more seats than anyone apart from big to SO30 doesn't really work in modern British politics in the Liberal Democrats are and how can I put the wrong when they say that the leader and Jo Swinson says I'm running to be Prime Minister which is prime minister candidate for Prime Minister which is the phrase you've heard from the Liberal Democrats suggesting that she hasn't really so we don't need to put in a three-way diverting to do it because they're only and your view only two people likely to become Prime Minister what is a century since that's not happened so on the basis of President and the electoral maths the overwhelming likelihood is that either Mr Corbyn or Mr Johnson will be Prime Minister more than 80% of those who cast the vote in the last election vote for either of the two major parties, so they might be relative growth for smaller parties, but it's not challenging the dominance of the two main parties in The Westminster arithmetic.

Remove them onto the second debate which has been announced which will have 7 parties.

I know you have some people would say the opposite one of your in a way which was to say just too many how can you make a decent program with 7 people standing there.

It will be very awkward.

It would be impossible to prove in-depth.

What's the value of such a 7 person debate so you a real dilemma that we have which is the where do you draw the line on the number of parties that we including these multi handed debates the reason is Grown to 7 and it did so way back in 2015 as the third election since then.

It's because of the nature of politics with greater authority in the devolved administrations, so that brings the SNP and plaid Cymru to the table and the emergence of issues, which one around and 2010 so for example brexit is obviously LED initial to UKIP and the brexit party having a role and the dominance of climate change in the forefront of the Minds of many many people which means the Green Party got a distinctive an important voice in their policy.

Anyone in there anyone in p.

They would argue that partly to do with the way the electoral system work they have pockets of support Elsewhere and we don't know what the result of the 2019 election from that point you will be but we think they voice needs to be heard in The Broad sweep of the seven party debate at the point about detailed scrutiny the debates go to a lot of audience members who don't TuneIn for the interviews particularly younger audiences.

We know engage with debates.

They're very big on social media.

They are very big in terms of reaching audiences were not otherwise absorbing much politics and we like to think that this helps form those people that how they going to vote there's deepest roots and elsewhere in the schedule for example the Andrew Neil interviews will get to the bottom of a lot of issues bigger news on the Today programme of the World at War election cast that you mentioned will have a different take and so on a sofa all these programs have a place in the Broad picture what we're offering no single program will address every single needle Desire in the campaign.

A list of Michael Williams at goes a very frequent complaint reporting is increasingly filled with random interviews with members of the public which I need a very informative.

No more importantly naturalised rather than digging to create an informative analysis about a situation is easier simply to share the microphone in front of random individuals and then try to stitching together into some kind of narrative to accept that sometimes you do that.

I hope we don't do it very often because I don't care for it either.

I think standing on a street corner and it's usual having a microphone different faces randomly it is not usually very helpful, but I think that the phrase box but it covers a multitude of sins.

There are lots of occasions wear hearing from real people.

Are you voters is very important.

We don't just want to hear from the politicians.

So we're trying to be much more focused about how we do it in this campaign for example.

We are taking a lot of our programs out on location to

Sunderland other interesting electoral environments where we talk to people whose votes are relevant in the context of the environment within it might be because they're floating votes to the marginal.

It might be because they feel strongly about the issue.

It might be because they represent a certain demographic as opposed to standing at the bus stop and see who passes by which I agree or not helpful and I don't encourage that and I don't think they had to understanding well.

I have one last email for which is complementary button as a bit of a sting in the tale is from Jedward the immense bonus of an election which nobody wanted is that wonderfully we here even the BBC Today programme presenting the news with an objective 80 and political impartiality missing all the rest of the time and cutlasses expect the same high standards of scrupulous even handedness all the time from an organisation which is funded entirely by the public now.

I suspect you.

Jonathan Munro that of course you even handed all the time but do you think the same marriage in watch it would says that actually knowing that once you're into the election period there are rules to be observed.

You are Sarah we're even had all the time for some very good reasons during parliamentary term time if a government minister announces that they go to the policy from x to y they're doing that in the context of being a member of the government and it would be our job to find and encourage opposition to that as part of the debate in election.

They are not acting principal member of the government that has a spokesman for the party and the two are subtly different sofa putting forward think there is a Party manifesto there more voices that you want to hear either support or opposition to a proposal that are being made and that's what you get to the as we discussed earlier that the large number of parties were heard on things like debates what you do want perspectives from different parts of the

Political Spectrum by thanks to Jonathan Munro at the BBC's head of news gathering and please do let us know your thoughts on those election issues and anything to do with BBC Radio here's how you can get in touch you can send an email to feedback at bbc.co.uk or write a letter the address is feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ze.

X you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a message on 03345 for standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks of us on our website which week we've been asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zone's and listen.

A program that would normally be on their radar this week we have to politics students from Bournemouth University summer Khan and Aaron Goldsmith that neither of them listen to ne48 All the Radio 4.

It's just not my cup of tea, is it really appeal to me so I don't really listen to it.

I don't need this is ready for either.

Do you know how many listen to Like musical podcast stuff like that? I don't want to put words into your mouth, but do you think it has a rather middle-aged perhaps even elderly image Radio 4 1% really does from because I know you're interested in studying politics.

I know where do you get yours from? I'd say like my Twitter feed on the trending page.

I've got the BBC News app on my phone.

I watch the news regularly on TV so that's why I normally get my general news from and how do you get your news pretty similar but I don't really watch TV news anymore.

Just stay in my little but when my room is getting stuff from the internet while we really have asked you to change your listening habits by asking to use a little archive on 4 the wall.

It was broadcast on Saturday the 9th of November at 20 and Aaron how would you describe the program could explain what about it and your overall impression? I mean it's really 5 into the look of the effectiveness and the morality of wolves within politics.

I think and obviously a time to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall to do when you've got it was about that.

Did you know much about the fall of what the creation and the fall of the Berlin wall before listening to this program? Yeah? I did Germany from 1919 to 1963 you at school.

I love you my level.

So I don't know quite a bit about the follow-up after and Simon how about you? Did you know about the wall had no idea it was all very educational for me.

Very much enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it in the sense that it was interesting to hear different people speak about and I like the relation to a different events following regarding wills and I mean it didn't just confirm it Centre building.

Obviously it looked at walls in in Mozambique in Northern Ireland to look at fences in South Africa and most keep people in walls in many ways to keep people out many of the ordinary berliners who stood on the wall that night but probably have settled for the end of border walls that seemed possible in November 1980.

We will build a great wall along the southern border history of course had other ideas.

So it's starting point was 30 years ago, but the claim of the series was that it was very relevant today.

Did you think that that's true, so I learnt quite a lot from the show it can decide how history still plays effect in today's Society and how we can still learn from our past mistakes and some people in today's society are still committing the same mistakes that other people did in the past and Aaron to think that batteries rather be watching this on television when you picture of the band will the Saturn images like people sitting on the top of families who haven't seen each other in 20-years think for the first time and I think that's something that really if you're talking about the anniversary needs to be seen especially in the generation that I would like to see me until you don't think the radio can evoke those experiences and those emotions the words aren't enough.

I think especially with my generation is more.

What sort of generation to the previous so I think for us to really experience and understand the gravitas of that we needed to see it well, let's be asked you that question then have two questions first.

Would you recommend this program to any of your friends at college? I'd say give it a try because you might learn something that you might find something that you didn't know any might alter your perspective.

I think I'd give it a consideration.

So if I was cleaning my bedroom for example.

I would put on in the background.

Just to have something to listen to I think I would definitely will just supposing that is listening to this program actually does every week for him in the way in which he has it was shaped his channel to appeal to people like you.

I think whether certain things it should be the way it is because it is a radio programme it shouldn't be like glamorise.

It shouldn't be like a Keeping Up with the Kardashians episode.

It's it's quite formal so I don't really know what else to say.

What do you think you ever World regularly tune in future to Radio 4? I think that one is happens ready for it then needs to be more advertising because I mean I don't really know any of the so you just don't know about the programs.

You don't know what's there because they're not reaching you I didn't actually know any of these existed if you're asking why do people listen to radio for that that's why we don't know what's going on but would you listen to podcast having are you likely to be able to find out who were Radio 4 podcast will rather than you would find the radio for a network that there are a lot of apps that bring up one of the most popular podcasts within the young political scene is the brexit cast from the BBC from the people who listen to that and would you agree with that the podcast all the way for radio for Innocence to reach you I definitely agree.

I always have my phone in my hand.

I always listening to a podcast.

So, I think it was on different platforms at Spotify other podcasting platforms and I would definitely see you in my recommended pages because Radio 4.

It's like it's not advertised anymore, so I wouldn't necessarily think of it Syma and Aaron thank you very much and do let us know if you would like to take part in that feature and go outside your comfort zone now, but yet more walls.

What's on of you will recognise that music from the 10-part podcast series title 29 which was also broadcast on Radio 4.

It was the third in the occasional intrigue series which began murder at the lucky holiday hotel about the murky world of Chinese politics and was supported by the red line and investigation into a senior Nazi indicted for mass murder who escaped Justice

Tells the true story of A Daring escape from East to West Berlin soon after the wall went up in the early 1960s and which was pulled down 30 years ago this month most of our correspondence love Victoria Bruce Sinclair from Dunblane great sound effects sleep movement between the scenes and crucially real native German speakers, no Brits putting on dodgy accent outstanding program, Geraldine Hall Downpatrick Northern Ireland Helena Merriman is to be congratulated on such a well-constructed thoughtful and respectful presentation of this real-life drama.

There was no exaggerated sentimentality, but still the storyline was told in a very moving way, which has Echoes in human conflict throughout.

You look at this moment for a long time.

You just seen nothing so completely still no noise.

Just a gentle hum of the lights and then some a white handbag appears and then finally to Evelyn she's covered in your favourite white shoes summer in a tunnel 1:48 the dirt in the water and now she's made it well.

I'm delighted to be joined by Helen and presenter and producer.

You done a number of things in your professional career not least being a report for the BBC in the least but you said this is the hardest thing you've ever done.

I think hardest because I been going back enforceable in interviewing some incredible people about this extraordinary year of their lives.

I think first I thought this huge response.

Two in the telling of it try and reflects some of the emotion and the trauma of what they've gone through and also I supposed to try and tell that story over 10 parts in a way that people with the story for 10 whole episodes and to try to structure that and tell that story in a way that was fair to be blood interview.

It was challenging you got a lot of money relatively to the BBC gave you a massive launch been used in a sense to draw attention to podcasting in general and to produce a standout series it can't we just ordinary it has to be good.

I would find that pressure pretty intense like a massive opportunity that he we are in this Golden Age of podcasts and also the time when you have so many podcast being made 700000 of them at the moment and I think for me the main thing that I thought I need to do is find a reason for people to keep coming back to the other challenge with radio.

Is that you are asking?

Keep a holiday characters in there that they've never seen before and so where is on on TV what you got a visual references for someone.

It's often easier to remember them in radio.

I think that's harder and so with this.

I had a big huge Broadway storyboarding episodes my colour-coded all the different people interviewed and I try to limit them to one or two episodes.

I've got the key moment is the choice of the subject matter of presumably the number of stories you looked at in you have to find or not.

Just interesting 3 episode but something which would gradually reveal itself over long period how difficult was it to find out subject it was my chance.

It was actually composed making a programme about the wall that has proposed between the US and Mexico and in the course of the research chemicals a number 65 which is the number of countries that have walls or something barrier on the border that interested me.

I didn't realise that many countries had walls in it if I can very contemporary theme it's a political solution that comes to reaching for and I've been a lot of discussion about the Politics of these walls.

Anyone interested me was the practicalities and how does it change a city or people when you when you suddenly build a wall and wouldn't do me about your own story who's the main interview for this is it was the refugees don't hear about so often that he had someone who escaped from East Berlin into the west and you got to the Promise Land it wasn't what he hoped.

He could make sense of it and so he tunnel straight back in again makes the point that there was no exaggerated sentimentality, but still the storyline was told in a very moving way conscious decision in the storytelling not to you very emotional music has been used for example 3 quid in films.

I get so frustrated when you watch a fantastic better film, but someone chooses an incredibly over emotional piece of music and I think what I've always preferred is a story that can stand on its own with the music gently support it and you're not feeling manipulated by the sound design was a key element to this production.

I'm in a one search.

I think you would crawling around.

The microphone in a replica tunnel recorded myself breathing and kicking up dirt in it and it was fantastic sound designer Eloise Whitmore who used some of those sound she borrowed some actors who were hanging around near the studio where she works one day and got them calling around Canon story completely ruined by the background music which practically drown out the spoken words.

There are still some people who do this is too much background noise devices in this way.

I find music can be quite helpful in evoking a world and a turn for example with this.

I spent the first two weeks before I even sat down to do any scripting choosing the music that was going to create the world of tunnel 29th of the dark claustrophobic tracks that signify the tunnel and East Berlin and then kind of fast paced 60-years jazz guitar music because I wanted it to be like a

I want to be able to any feel that battery for the 22-year olds.

This is almost an Ocean's 11 style task to dig into this heavily fortified city and get people out Karen Archer from London channel, 29 is really well done well written and presented, but the present tense is just will intensely irritating her actual Witnesses don't refer to their actions in the president doesn't diminish the excitement one jot.

What did you do that exchanges the people on Twitter about this again except that for a lot of people? It's really irritating actually the main reason I did it was there after I came back interviewing these incredibly brave men and women I sat down to write it in I first started writing in the past tense and somehow it didn't put me in the room with him and then the minute.

I use the present tense.

I somehow felt as though I was in the room with them and have you finished with this series because it's full of why not full up but there are two things which were.

Not least the whereabout I don't know how much does to give away if people haven't listened to the stars is fine if you're not sure where it or you didn't know where he was with you now.

Well.

It's a good so we during the course of making the program.

We were trying to find secret you, so who's the hairdresser turn stars the spy and we try to come down.

We were told he gone to Thailand we spoke to the embassy there they said he died, but we've since hasn't quite interesting leads that have indicated that he might well still be living in Germany so we're following them up in trying to see if we can track him down one final thing during the course of Vikings series you you lost your hearing in an ear to a genetic disease you want to wear off a genetic condition.

How did you cope with that in the series condition called otosclerosis and diagnose a couple of years ago and so the consequences I have very poor hearing in my right ear and very very very loud tinnitus that sounds like a

Whistling kettle has been trying to work out how to keep working as a radio producer and someone who is very sound and music obsessed and have fun all sorts of ways meaning with example recording so you can modify the levels.

I'm hearing it will not interfere with the levels that you're recording at I have found ways of coping with tinnitus.

So that when listening to music.

I can I can basically tunes out after the series.

Are you up for another one? Are you absolutely already looking for the next one if you have any ideas, please get in touch.

I thanks to Helena Merriman presenter and producer of tunnel 29 which is still available on BBC sounds and that's it for this week less than 4 weeks to go before election day and only 6 weeks till Christmas when will the candidates the commentators on the correspondence get their shopping done for the rest of us a bit of retail therapy might be just the thing until next week.

Goodbye.


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