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Read this: 13/12/2019 Radio 4 Feedback

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13/12/2019 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts campaign is over those are the words of a political editor of services supporting London Evening Standard Joe Murphy on Thursday he went on the 2019 election will be remembered chiefly for how little we learnt is that what you think and if so, how well did you do in at least trying to ensure you were properly informed about the choices you made in the special edition of feedback recorded on the morning after as Boris Johnson returns triumphantly to Downing Street in their questions and concerns about the BBC's coverage to Kamal Ahmed the editorial director of BBC News who joins Me Now doesn't look too exhausted, but have actually Italian pasta like what is on the radio on the telly.

Let me put it that way I've had a couple of hours managed to get a couple of hours of sleep between her but over the events of last night and what do you think of that London Evening Standard political editors comment the 2000?

Collection will be remembered for how little we learnt I think what he meant about that was it was terribly control or after frontbenchers and Shadow front bench has never appeared.

It was a very controlled election of course the parties did try and control a huge amount of information that came out during the campaign but actually there was a huge amount to learn for many audiences around what type of country Jeremy Corbyn wanted and to a lesser extent what type of country maybe Boris Johnson Wanted on CV conservative manifesto was somewhat thinner than the Lake at least 4 voters something that they could really focus on which was on quite a big choice about the type of country they wanted and it was lively but stop feeling frustrated as the centre of London standard on what he's talking about his in not able to get long long interviews long discussions.

No press conferences and in the morning weird policies discussed.

Following around people who kept saying the same things to all the time I get the horse race of politics that notion of the battle was a registrar Murphy's peace and it was excellent, but I think that we had the opportunity big moments of Engagement like the leaders debates like the question time specials like the interview the Boris Johnson deal with Andrew monocles.

He didn't do anything meal which came to do when was there was we did have opportunity to investigate the policies that the two main parties were forward as well as a course the SNP Liberal Democrats Northern Ireland parties accent wanted to ask questions, so let's get going first train leave from Kingston South West London Gin what's your actually rather by development?

Most frustrating about the election coverage with the absence of balance analysis of track record and they seemed to me to be high for didn't get the courier cars for 9 years, so what was missing in your vehicle and it was unfair that whereas the Jeremy Corbyn and others had to suffer Mr Neil as it were Boris Johnson didn't do Greek a malamute.

We did have level best to get agreement from all the party's over doing interviews with Andrew Neil but unless everybody agrees, nobody gets on.

I think the problem with that would have been that that would have given parties one party of veto over all of these interviews amazing to you very important moments for audiences and viewers to be able to see.

The leaders under rigorous interrogation by Andrew and I think if we allowed this idea that if one party vito's, nobody has to do it.

I think that makes it very very difficult these are related negotiation and has lots of different moving parts tell you why it wouldn't appear on a String that he might have very might not until it was too late.

He was on a String I think it was clear that it hadn't been absolutely signed sealed and delivered it was something that they were considering for a long period but that is true.

Also of Fraser Jeremy Corbyn on the question time for leaders special.

I look after question time for the BBC and Jeremy Corbyn didn't actually confirm on the dotted line, so to speak until 40 hours before that program was broadcaster with quite useful as an organisation quite late agreements two different things because

Celebrity agreed probably no no don't agree we got with the usual manner about cats and essential because maybe spend all the money and I was much too simplistic to the extent and duration of a terrible damage cause and may be less important, so I just think of you and it's PJ make a very good point.

I think there was quite a surprise.

I think it's not just the BBC was that maybe labour didn't make a lot more about the Conservatives have been in government central another since 2010 and here's the record and they didn't make a lot of that and I think your point is we should have made more of that and I think that's that's that's a reasonable point, Belfast

I did get a taxi from the other week.

Shall I say a form of BBC chairman, the Conservatives are Michael grade? Talk to broadcasters arrogance in assuming you can just some apologies and sprint review and that Andrew Neil's monologue which question Boris Johnson trustworthiness was pretty close to the edge.

What's your response to your former chairman? Andrew Neil people who used to Andrew Neil and he has done those type of monologues as this program.

So Anthony of course represents the BBC as an interviewer for when he's working for the BBC but people use him doing that type of material and those type of monologue.

He was just making the invitation was open and that we wanted the prime minister to do it and here are some of the questions Andrew Neil would have asked the prime minister.

I got is a perfectly fair and reasonable thing for you to do a large part in BBC's coverage, but did it really affect the campaign is Peter Ward from Narberth in West Wales Peter

With the recent coverage checking in particular has been they didn't seem to need to meet the BBC commitment to educate and inform and largely failed to inform Jane who previously was it wasn't concerned about what the BBC said and did all the way in which the parties responded the BBC show called checking the seems to be an inconsistency in confusion between what was the fact such as gravity and something that was a speculation projection only evaluation of a proposal which is just an opinion and that was a crystal ball.

All I would say is that the group of people that put together a reality check do work incredibly hard and Incredibly diligence of people looking at all the different influences over as you describe.

I think we did do well.


We did do a lot better on reality checking claims by all the parties throughout the campaign 50000 new nurses for example.

We made very clear.

We're not in new nurses the 1.2 trillion supposed to leave that labour were planning to spend we made it very clear that was based on incredibly thin amount evidence recently made router to chat more prominent clearly Peter we need to do more for you weren't happy with some of them and of course you're absolutely right to say that we don't always get it absolutely right.

Can I put this to you in the end if politicians tell lies? It's not a lot the BBC can do about unless they called those people Liars do you think the BBC should do that absolutely a and that's come on then directly BBC is very reluctant to call anybody a liar and a politician alaia.

Even when you know they're not telling the truth.

So calling someone a liar suggest you know their motivation.

There is a difference between a lie and misinformation.

Oh, you know if you know that they are saying something they need to be untrue.

We can get into their minds always Roger to be able to answer that question and we are clear on what is disinformation misinformation.

Not true not a fact and I think huge amount on that I think Peter makes it very clear.

We need to do a lot more and make it much more making much more visible, but I think that we've done more.

I know we done more disel.

We did in 2017 than we did in 2015 so we're learning here and I think it's a good test for us Peter to think about how do we do more what we do calling people are liar to Rogers point is that we're inside their head and we know their motivation and sadly we don't know that.

I'm just honest question of lies anyway or are playing around with the word.

Play the bigger role in this election how effective it was is another matter, but there were some worrying things coming out from various quarters at doctrine of videos things like that come on the disturbing trend that might get worse.

I think I get worse.

Yes, we all sit raised significant concerns particularly with a in this instance a conserved campaign video which use our material as if it was supportive of the Conservative policies on brexit and we complained and that was actually taken down by Facebook so we are concerned by it when it's going to get worse it's unclear but I think that we the fact that we were on the front foot on nose and made it very clear and Happiness I think so degree of confidence at least in this area will have to see how the parties respond to that and whether or not they think they can still push.

Let's move onto vox pop C3 where may not whether they're worth doing because we've had that on feedback often discuss that often but on the way in which pop stars giving locks treated and we got on the line item from London did the rear are you stupid? Yeah? I'm here.

What's your concern about dogs my concern is my question is why did the BBC allow the public's views to go unchallenged directions to go and challenge steering box parts so for example when they would say we need to get back to it done.

What do they actually mean by that if they decided that they didn't want to vote.

What was the actual effort going to to make themselves more knowledgeable about policies in order to give them the information that they needed to make an informed decision.

Is important to find out what people think but when they make a statement which is factually incorrect or shall we say this is the meaning of which isn't clear to think this is what your journey should do is push if you like The Vox person was given the more.

What do you mean by for example get brexit done? I would describe it as push.

I would describe it as asked and have a conversation.

We took a huge and had about this issue.

I think the best you make a very good point that Vaux parts can be pointless if you're simply the slight joke is in media.

Speak your brain.

You just say something and then you just move on to something else that is pretty useless for audiences for that person for our reporting.

So that's a powerful point we do talk about that a lot and I think all rights to suggest that we should we should ask people what they mean by that initial comment and just this morning.

I've just come out of I'm a natural conference.

We have talked today about not.

Conservative for example while to get brexit done well didn't get his red card as it's a new to ask them what they mean by that do they realise there is now a lot of negotiation still ahead of others etc etc.

So I think we are always thinking the way you suggest we should be thinking well one organisation which is constantly being used as it would be very file to check facts with his institute of Fiscal Studies with a concern about that from Julia Roberts in Glasgow what's your point? I was just gave their use diapers is the prison by which to judge the manifesto Commitments attachment and I my question is really is that right it should the ifs prism through which we see what is good and what is bad about an economical tax policy? No he shouldn't do that and if that.

Came across then that's that's only is an impression with trying to put their understanding impression given the Frequency with which and the authority that you give to the Institute for Fiscal Studies are a very authoritative organisation.

They were critical not only the labour party policies and their credibility but also conservative party policies and their deliverability so I think it is it's reasonable for us to use the Institute for Fiscal Studies and tell audiences what the ifs thinks about certain issues, but Julian you make a good point there is also our expertise.

I know Faisal Islam are economics editor a fantastic expert in in in all of these fields did his own analysis speaking to a wide range of expert bodies as well as his own his own expertise and knowledge and Faisal leisure coverage on that with the economics teams and I hope land of the point that this was an analysis of the BBC has LED we do you?

Think tanks like the ifs, but we do use me others do you think the BBC should use as well as the next person you know I just got this impression that we were just seen everything through one prism and I just I just think this time we got a climate emergency but we've got to see things in a completely different way the you and we've got to have a 7% reduction in the next 10 years now.

Can't remember it's going to be so profound change in their lives and you know looking at things through one PRISM is just simply inadequate.

It's like the Bible worldview 150 everything in the sense that you think that climate change was insufficient to cover during the election campaign.

We did it we did have plenty of it, but the parties don't really but when it was addressed it became just a banana question how many trees and plants just we had no idea about how we forgot and have a 7% reduction per year that was a figure that came out during the election, but no no leader was really a dressing on a very good point that the parties at your right did touch on it and of course Boris Johnson made the pledge about carbon neutral by 2015 the labour manifesto had a lot on the the challenge of climate change and I think 2020 is a huge year for this issue and although it might not be in front and centre of paying we certainly did cover it and 2020 with cop26 happening in Glasgow cause next November it's incredibly important issue for us and you will see a lot of the BBC's only over the next year so hopefully you can hold us to account.

And will hopefully you'll be satisfied with the least some of our coverage area and will be after you and he has time for the phone call newspaper reviews and also under scrutiny during this election campaign we've had a lot of Twitter comments on this as well as this email Colchester please stop reading newspaper headlines news programmes today.

Overwhelmingly support the Conservative Party this circumvent the rules on impartiality it could leave be suspended for the period of if nothing else.

So why don't you suspend them because newspapers and news websites are an important part of the National conversation and it's important that we reflect on what they're saying.

That's fine.

Thank you.

I was just going to say point there are newspapers of the right which have a larger.

What might be described as the newspapers of the left we are very clear that on the Politics of the papers as we report on the middle so we balance what the Telegraph might be saying what the Daily Mail might be saying will the sun shine with what the Guardian saying what the I paper is saying what the mirror is saying what have posted might be saying all BuzzFeed and they all come from different political positions and I think overall it is much more useful for us to be able to reflect on that national conversation was going on in the print and online media world for audiences having a really important part of what we do is headlines from the nature of the Debate to a lot of people on the left would say BBC place far too much tension for example Daily Mail headlines for saluting.

What we we we leave the news as we see fit and as is as is important, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore the vibrant Media that we have in this country disturbing issues that were around in the campaign charges of antisemitism and is

Phobia will be contacted by listening professor prof new acoustic from Manchester is Professor Emeritus at the University of Manchester professor.

What was your concern? Why wasn't there a balanced coverage of the accusations about Labour antisemitism and the Conservatives islamophobia.

It was a massive difference in the coverage on on the day of the chief rabbi and the Muslim council's report which built up over time.

I previously and this has to be seriously considered this a political decision that you thought the issue antisemitism was a more political importance in the word was consuming in some ways the Labour Party than the issue of the phobia, which certain Conservatives are deeply worried there parties infected by no, there's no political position.

I mean as long as you mentioned the fact that the Chief Rabbi uniquely came out.

In the middle of a campaign and said what he said in the initially in the article in the times made a big news story that was a big news event.

We did cover islamophobia regularly through the campaign on many different platforms, but I think that moment the Chief Rabbi was such a news event on an unusual news event that it did create a Focus in which I think is completely understandable given the weight of that intervention intervention and the unusual is offered in the middle of an election campaign setting aside The Importance within the election debate as it went on the Play suggestion that you haven't proved islamophobia in the same way.

You've proved anti-semitism.

Do you accept that no not at all? I think Alex Forsyth example one of our key reporters from Millbank as a huge amount on the issue of islamophobia and the claims particularly against the Conservative Party and we certainly pushed the Conservative Party a lot on this issue of are they having a proper investigation of islamophobia as was.

The conservative leadership election after move on to what is often equally contentious issue of the coverage of Northern Ireland and I think we have John Peppard on the phone or that he lives in West near Dorking in Surrey John what's your question? Could you please explain to me why Northern Ireland is never represented in any of the debates and what sort of representation.

Would you like to see and what the BBC has done? I understand the reasons why they say they won't do it, but they have excluded an entire region and so basically denying the boys and particularly the time.

I would have to say when you know if you learnt anything over the last 3-years that Northern Ireland is that the old brexit.

The election debates really where about brexit Northern Ireland not even allowed in the room to discuss is that true to malamute is watching that Northern Ireland representatives are known and I'm not allowed the room in and not represented in any of the major debates not not that is not allowed obviously the Northern Ireland political system is very different from the Great Britain from the Great Britain political debates and the network debates are about Great Britain and the UK we did Emma Vardy are Northern Ireland correspondent did a lot on network for the new 4K on Northern Ireland and the Politics of Northern Ireland of course we had interviews with key leaders in Northern Ireland and of course Northern Ireland itself out services there did their own debates in Northern Ireland I think you make a good point John that we need to think carefully about to make sure that we reflect properly.

Northern Ireland and it's role in the UK given the results overnight of course, where where Northern Ireland and it's position in the in the Union is front and Centre and also in terms of how people voted in Northern Ireland so I'll take your point now that today for example of the big things to be discussed is how we reflect Northern Ireland to the UK but it is true that the Debate debates in this country when I get down to general elections or whatever lottery ignore Northern Ireland and in terms of the referendum itself.

It was only in the last days when the former prime minister John Major and Tony Blair went there.

This is disgusting talk.

There is a fundamental problem that when the major debates happen over the general election times Northern Ireland does get left out such a huge amount of coverage Roger of Northern Ireland and she's around Northern Ireland in the referendum and subsequently the last three-and-a-half years the focus on the questions.

Orders registered with the EU relationship with Island itself of being very very front and centre of all of our coverage and I think our teams in Northern Ireland have done for network as well as for the island itself is a huge amount of coverage and certainly digital as well as television and radio that has been it's been very very prominent in the end though when you look at it come out the campaign here.

We are with a Tory majority forecast 5 weeks ago and the campaign didn't see anything much did it the campaign seem to change things as the pain was going through but you're right we ended up at side of where we started although maybe slightly stronger for the conservative than the initial Polesworth suggesting but we know from our audiences even if the overall poles don't change much people do engage in a political conversation.

That's why it's so important that the BBC's at the heart that political conversation with all.

Output and making ourselves useful to audiences to to cut through all the noise of missing information campaigning PR spin and to actually try and get to the issues with so many listeners here.

I've asked me to do that there is an existential question being asked by the prime minister that can Downing Street when he raised the question the BBC like something that he said I think looking at is worth looking at you have to ask yourself whether that approach to funding and media company still make sense in the long term given the way that other organisations manage themselves.

Just to say that everything should always be looked at and discuss.

There's nothing wrong with that the licence fee is at the heart of the BBC does the fact that people can access such a glorious set of content from BBC1 to BBC News to our radio station.

Do online products that you can do that without having to go through a separate paywall? I think is a really important part of who we are as a country or part of that also be part of a global brand for Britain and the licence fees unique part of that model so if you're asking to number 10 and the Prime Minister said you were asking me and then you can Netflix be going to say no without the licence with you.

Don't have a BBC I'm not going to get into hypothetical debate about what the Debate might be about the licence fee well.

Thank you for getting in the debate about the time.

Thank you for all our listeners who phoned in and many others have written to us next week.

We have the editor of the Today programme Sarah Sands coming in to answer your questions list as you say a lot.

Today will they do so in the post John Humphrys here? I thought you they have a better.

They do please let us know your thoughts until next week.


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