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Read this: 21/02/2020 Radio 4 Feedback

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21/02/2020 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, not much to report since we went off at Christmas the director-general is standing down as is the editor of the programme Saracens the chairman has been told he will not be given a second term John Pienaar is off to a x radio startup and to create the Sunday Times number 10 tells the BBC will be scrapped TV channels face axe in moved to subscriptions, not much to report them meanwhile.

BBC News is implementing cuts which result from the last life settlements why news BBC news and current affairs should be protected in my view as they are central to the purpose of the BBC some cut should instead be made to do I'll be putting your concerns to the BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth we do have to live in the financial real-world here which is if the BBC doesn't have the

Then it has to cut its cloth accordingly.

Yes, of course.

We've had thought for news to be protected as far as possible is false, but has she lost her whether further centralising the newsgathering operation to save money could lead to Radio news and current affairs programme sounding the same today's editor seems to think so Saracens is off.

I firmly believe that the Today programme will still at the end of this process be able to be delivering an excellent product to its audience and will be left with enough resources in the itself to be doing that also this week advice on how to argue with a racist race is real because we perceive it racism is real because we in need a race no racism as a foundation in science.

It is our duty to contest the warping of scientific research.

Especially if it's being used to judge.

I'll be asking science writer Lyle Liverpool for her thoughts on Radio 4 book of the week, which some of you thought was long overdue, but very well.

I just wanted to say how absolutely excellent the ongoing Radio 4 Series by Dr Adam Rutherford is it is concise and insightful and will be super for PSP content all educational providers.

Thank you so much for the quality of these providing meaningful debate Lyle Liverpool agree with programs like how to undo the races this encourages everyone to start thinking of ways to stop talking about it.

Stop questioning it and also think about raising the context of science the first the BBC is under attack again and this time it is very serious root and branch review of the BBC has been demanded there are widespread calls for the abolition of the licence key and the number 10 brief it is reported in the Sunday Times to set of The Corporation

We are having a consultation and we will work it the new frontiers Foundation think tank run by Dominic Cummings the pm's chief advisor called the BBC in a 2000 for the mortal enemy of the Conservative Party organisers of course in addition to a consultation on decriminalizing the non-payment of the licence fee and the removal of free licences for over 75s a potential public relations nightmare in waiting by the way, there's still time to apply to be the new director-general if you fancy being given this poisoned chalice meanwhile, BBC News is continuing to implement cuts caused by the last licence resettlement around 450 jobs will be cut and the plans to complete its 80 million savings target by 2022 to hit by job closures include BBC2 Newsnight BBC Radio 5 Live and today in fact or radio news programs will have.

Made to their budgets I was joined by the BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth to discuss those cos we've done 40 million of them just over and that was as a result largely of what you might call back office stuff.

They will have not entirely we've made to quite a few program changes as well during the last few years, but now we've got the meaning 40 million to make and we intend to have that done probably by next year early next year and then we can possibly get some reinvestment in to see what we going to have to be doing to renew ourselves in order to meet the challenges that we face now the country made initially you help the listener would and would largely not a notice you could come under in that famous phrase efficiency but they are under no illusions that the next it is up to you now implementing will be noticed by listeners.

Yes, I am I think they will be but actually.

Positive story to tell about this latest phase which we are trying to have more impact with our journalism at the moment with creating lots and lots of brilliant stuff, but if it's going on 1 outlet.

It's not actually necessarily being consumed by as many people as it could be before we going to that in some detail that should be cutting news at all John Broadbridge Devon with the Confusion of fake news and the snippets of news offered by the internet.

It is imperative that the world no respect the BBC has is not jeopardized by cats the radio coverage of news is far more deaths than is offered by television due to the time given and the personal interviews that hole and businesses to account at the top of the BBC and the higher up sat on megaways.

So many ways cuts to be made without redundancies.

This is Graham stop in Sheffield I'm concerned about any plans which dilute Newsnight or today on Radio 4.

I feel they should not be blended into general news, but retained the resources for a deeper look at news stories BBC news and current affairs should be protected in my view as they are central purpose of the BBC some cut should instead be made TV drama as several channels Now show quality drama so pretty clearly those listeners think you should be not and the cuts will be found elsewhere if you for hard enough to say look news and countries is Central to the BBC there are some things that Arms maybe some salaries aren't cut there before cut us obviously significant cats have been made to BBC content to BBC Radio and education and Nations and regions of course and this is the

Share of it which we do have to live in the financial real-world here which is if the BBC doesn't have the money then it has to cut its cloth accordingly.

So yes of course we have thought for news to be protected as far as possible, but we do actually still have to take some responsibility for the overall BBC budget that we're not wasting money would say you are wasting the money they still but think that some of the sellers that came out over the rather embarrassing cases over equal pay show that on the Hill BBC presenters have paid too much.

Do you propose as part of all these cuts to freeze presenters pay well we exist in a market and we I have seen Only this week for instance of x radio which is actually offering considerably higher salaries for the people that they want to take from the BBC 2 x Radio 2 on the BBC already offers.

John Cena is already gone the deputy political editor and I would also say that if you actually were to say that nobody in the BBC can possibly earn over £150,000 A Year to Save you between 2/5 and 10 million which sounds like a lot of money, but in the overall scheme of the 800 million that the BBC has to say actually isn't going to make an enormous and we do have to employ the best Talent and if we don't employ the best that we won't be making the programs that they audiences really need and love letter to the way in which are making these cuts and some concerns concerns expressed by listeners first will collide with the recent BBC announcement was it previously working for individual programs be replaced by a central operation has never been a single news channel and its strength has been in the ability of individual programs such as the wall tonight to offer.

Unique insights and perspectives, so I'm trying to work out.

How that can continue it all broken content has been driven by a single central machine will current affairs programme for just become a sort of hub and spoke operation with nothing to distinguish it from the plethora of other news channels, which are out there John Williams from Highworth to open sometime abroad to report an item which is being adequately covered by regional reporter and with the crew surely.

This is unnecessary as well.

It's pick up the John's point first world.

Do you accept that often far too many presenters from the BBC and reporters end up being the same story it's alleged in a newspaper that 17.

I think this is the scope therefore reductions.

There is and that's what this new model is hoping to do I mean having said all that we will always have to say.

A number of people to cover big stories on location, but yes there is something that we can do and we are seeking to do and actually have been doing if you look at the floods this weekend princess where using reporters from BBC Wales from North so we already do actually share quite a lot of resources, but when you get a really big story you need to have a few people who are going to be able to cover all the outlets plus also to answer the question of your previous email that you can do something distinctive if Newsnight is going to deliver something different then they probably still need the right person to do it the BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth and later in the program will be hearing is Unsworth answer the widespread internal criticism but centralising newsgathering will threaten the distinctiveness of programs such as Radio 4 today.

Please do let us know your thoughts on BBC news or anything else to do with BBC Radio kiss how to

You can send an email to feedback at or write a letter to the address is feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ax you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03345 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all these details are on our website the programs how to argue with a racist by Adam Rutherford was Radio 4 book of the week last week and it was billed as a scientific took it to separate fact from this in understanding different and how we are the same in his mission to debunk stereotypes geneticists and broadcaster, Dr Rutherford challenges some long-standing and he believes missguided.

Jeans and ancestry which have been used to support racer Smyths to discuss this I was joined by science journalist Lyle Liverpool was written about Dr Rutherford new book for the new magazine Lyle is herself black and mixed-race the first how important it is to bring the subject to a wide audience these issues.

They're really important to talk about racism is really prevalent in society and in particular in science and genetics.

I think it's important to look at the history behind this and then see how we can use science to kind of this man.

I think they have been books on the subject before like for example superior by Angela Saini has covered the rise of race science in the context of some of the dangerous idea that we see coming back even today, but I think it's excellent.

This is now been converted into a podcast on the radio and especially in the form of coming from Adam Rutherford book, which I really enjoyed reading.

I think it's a wonderful.

From the book and hopefully might encourage a general conversation about race anti-semitism as well.

It would be better to ignore it but if you move into this territory.

You are going to Listening some way to racist or anti-semitic and it's actually gives me attention that published if they want does that argument have any appeal to you not really so I agree that need to approach this topic with caution, but understand that a lot of a lot of scientists and maybe even jealous Tracy's sort of a dangerous area to approach, but I think that a lot of the people who may be themselves races want to spread racist ideas have no such as occasion to use technology to spread ideas.

I think it's important that scientists people who who know about the evidence behind us and who can the bank some of the myths around race are there on this platform to tell people about the scientists and educators, but there are some challenges to being very cautious.

Santa and the summary example greenery with always fascinated me which most people will not know how prevalent eugenics were in the this country in the last century and extraordinary People believed at least four appeared unlikely Winston Churchill I mean H G Wells Sciences sort of assumed if you like or scientist of assume that arguments over and that we now see it occasionally coming forwards.

I wonder whether you think Santa should be more it as it were aggressive in these things and going out to lay you know underpin the arguments with proper scientific rigour and I think Rutherford does this to some extent and shows how to do this in the the radio program in his book because he tackled some very commonly held racist ideas that many of us will have come across and he uses a kind of scientific approach to say ok, let's question this idea.

Let's put it to the test.

Let's do a thought experiment and think about that and I think if more scientists could approach of this.

And demonstrate where the data is where is the evidence? What do we know about? What can be definitively shown to be incorrect so for example of Rutherford tackles issues, such as race intelligence and he points out that they've been a lot of studies on this and that in fact hundreds of genes and Environment contribute to intelligence and so the situation is a lot more complicated and difficult period them before they're always been racist have always been 97 hours, but often they depended to circulate their ideas on small booklets and perhaps most people don't see now got social media now.

You have actually been many ways I registered to begin megaphones, so does that make Adam Rutherford and you want to be about more necessary absolutely I think it's important scientists experts that everyone is on these platforms the same platforms that perhaps to like social media platforms that maybe some people are using to spread racist or dangerous ideas.


You have scientific voices are the voices of experts people who done the research to have a discussion the worst thing.

I think is to have this alienation between different groups where the conversation had and perhaps that allows dangerous ideas to prepare to 8 whereas I think with programs like how to undo the races this encourages everyone to start thinking about raised to start talking about it.

Stop questioning it to think about raising the context of science but it also means that we should be less keen to condemn people as racist if you like and not acknowledge that they may be repeating or accepting racist idea, but they may be doing that unconsciously and if you alienate people by saying you're racist before you've actually explored the issues with them is possibly counterproductive as long as name-calling.

This is you can't say that people can down menu on this before you have a chance to explore the issues, so in when sound is too doing this.

They only have to invite people in don't they to examine the

Rodman tell them what they are before they presented evidence that is really well as he he tackles the evidence he tackles racist ideas.

He doesn't actually directly argue with anyone in that sense.

I would say the word argue it can be interpreted in different ways, but we also argue a point for example.

I think that's doing he's arguing about the ideas that are so prevalent around race in a way.

We should invite people into look at the evidence.

We shouldn't bother them.

We shouldn't say you'll be on because I have the views your beyond the pale everybody just look at the evidence.

Yes, and I don't know how successful that would be with perhaps more people in the Most Extreme white supremacist groups on the Nazis who perhaps are to some extent beyond the evidence don't want to engage with that but I think about challenging the more perhaps.

You might seem on the face of it more innocent ideas about a black people have better runners or even more dangerous ideas around intelligent than we start to question in the general discourse in society and equips everyone to perhaps when these topics come up in conversation and they have something to fall back on when they want to argue their point that resides is pseudoscience and yeah next what do you want to see now in the future? Should we further develop a specific area or the other things in science what you think? Yeah? We should be doing similar things introducing books like how to argue with the races 3rd or superior by under the same.

I think introducing those perhaps into the curriculum at schools are just broadening the way we learn about this rather than thinking of race as an area.

Not to be touched because even though it doesn't exist in science race exist in our Society and because of that we can't just ignore it.

They are Liverpool now back to those intending cats in BBC News

50 jobs are going as part of the effort to make 80 million pounds worth of savings by 2022 as a result there will be more centralisation of newsgathering operation.

What is in practice is that News programmes on Radio 4 such as the world at 1 p.m.

In today will share reporters and stories to a much greater extent than they do now critics which include editor of today Saracens individual editors will lose autonomy and programs will lose some of their individual identity that the BBC News agenda.

Will narrow not Broughton in the second part of our interview with the BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth I put those concerns to have what we need to do is think about.

What are the bits that we can centralise? What are the bits that we can say ok this team will try to deliver this for everybody and what is it that we need to allow two programs to maintain in their own teams in order to be able to feel.

Exactly the mission that they have been set and got to work through for the next couple of months and thunder sounds obviously isn't convinced because she's going if she doesn't believe now.

She'll have sufficient autonomy to make individual editorial decisions that she wants to make not quite sure she has actually said that to be honest.

She has the time to move on he wouldn't have moved on I can say with Confidence at this time anyway, had these changes not been put in place well that might be the case and other always people who think that actually they don't necessarily want to go along change that were delivering but I firmly believe that the Today programme will still at the end of this process be able to be delivering an excellent product to its audience and will be resources in the team itself to be doing that I come from this background.

I was a producer on the world at one and p.m.

So I really understand what it is that these.

Need in order to be able to deliver a distinctive agenda, I here for instance of the people in the news complain that they get as many as in a 50 phone calls from different BBC out all asking them to go on the air this cannot be an efficient way of operating and it's very irritating to the people at the other end of the line and it's damaging to us as well.

He would agree with the idea that large numbers of people phone the same person from the BBC asking for interviews wrong and should be dealt with that.

There's another answer which is too many people are following the same story and there are so many stories out there not been touched particularly out of London and actually need to read apply edit as another to focus on that rather than centralising things in the way you're proposing.

That's part of the plan.

We did an awful lot of research and we discovered that actually we are producing an enormous number of stories every day about

Which are actually only being consumed by Tiny numbers of people tiny numbers of people and in the meantime we are producing great stories which actually haven't travel further and which actually are really at the heart of what BBC journalism should be all that I'll give you an example file on 4 did have an amazing piece about how to stick patients were being treated which I heard at home on a Sunday afternoon listen to find on thought that is an amazing interview that I've heard of that father the government have changed the policy on this following week before it has even been covered by the wider BBC because they didn't know about file on for doing this story because file on 4 we're doing it for their audience.

They might have asked her and told her about it, but it wasn't picked up because there is the mechanisms within BBC News to make that story travel one of the toughest jobs in broadcasting at the moment because not only.

Having to deal with this will all the programs continue to make the cuts but also there is perhaps not unprecedented, but a very great deal of criticism about BBC impartiality from all sides of politics questions of bias, which often gets quite toxic and is also a suggestion and others that the BBC in response to this has withdrawn a little suggest was as long as you have criticized by other side.

It's alright some of those concerned underpin this email from Ian West someone pointed out that Nigel Farage have too much cover relative to the poem strength of his party, but he is great entertainment with that while we had so much of him was that guy with so much of him know we had a quite a bit of Nigel Farage during the brexit campaign because of the position that he was expressing which was obviously a entirely legitimate political position and of course.

If you recall the European elections of 2019 the brexit party did incredibly well, so that's certainly drives weather actually we feel that this is a point of view that we need to be putting on.

It's not driven by anything to do with entertainment or box office or anything coming to the end of our interview and to see a source of Challenger 2 you've mentioned earlier that has been posted by x radio which is not yet started.

Do is x radio well.

I do wish x radio well.

Yes, I welcome competition.

I think it will be an interesting addition to the speech radio landscape.

I don't think it will be anything like Radio 4 by the sound of the agenda that are pursuing and I don't think it will have the richness in the Radio 4 schedule and the variety we went.

I don't think it's intend on doing drama.

It sounds like more of a news proposition and that's how it goes to the heart of the BBC

Actually, which is that we're a very special offer we're a very wide offer.

We are not just one thing we are factual we are drama.

We are news and we support the whole of the industries in the UK as a consequence of that and I think that's a really important thing to remember about the BBC what it does appear to be sold them to Dominic Cummings remembers or agrees with do you think the adviser to the Prime Minister in all honesty see the BBC surviving in its present form past 2027 when the chart is up for renewal.


I firmly hope so because I really believe that the BBC is a very important precious thing in not just in British life, but all over the world if you take news for example.

You know our job.

This is why we take so much heat, which are welcome is to support every position to hear views from everybody and that means that people will hear views that they don't like.

Angry about I mean that's the point of a universal news offer which if the BBC didn't exist I think that Britain would be impoverished as a result of that people would be defaulting simply to their own new services which were only providing views from their own perspective and that would be just you know listening to your own echo chamber, and I don't think that would be a healthy thing for British democracy and only once in the past when the country is divided the BBC is on the rack if that's so nobody is more on the rack than you does it feel like that feels a bit bumpy but we've got to go out and make your case and we've got to you know state.

Why were about what we're about and why we think that wearing a really important institution in UK and not just UK life, but around the world to you know we are providing independent impartial news for people in countries where they have no hope of receiving that kind of information.

I think it's really important that we do survive beyond 2027.

Thanks to France worth the director of BBC news and current affairs and that's it for this week next week will hear the comedian John Holmes whose satirical comedy series The skewer on Radio 4 is proving to be broadcasting Marmite have you heard it.

Please do listen and tell us what you think of them Dubai

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