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Opinions on opinion…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 what role does pinion play in journalism yesterday Emma Tucker the editor of The Sunday Times claimed at some Generations as you put it are far less tolerant of opinions.

They don't agree with on the comment pages that might threaten a tradition in journalism that newspapers are a home for a diverse range of opinion writers and also thinking about the role in journalism for readers own opinions in the comments they left on the articles because we've got anything with us today.

You said that in recent weeks the opinions of some readers have reached new levels of offensiveness that matter is being always right so for the next 28 minutes.

It's all about the opinion and I hope your opinion is that sounds like a show worth staying with let me introduce you to my guests at Micha frazer-carroll is the opinions editor of

Welcome to the media show but those of our listeners who don't know what is Golden is a magazine that is committed to telling the stories of women and non-binary so because the media is majority and why and also majority men we basically try to redress that balance through the content that we publish and stories of an underrepresented group that you're one of a select number of news outlets that have been awarded an emergency grant from the public interest news Foundation that's fine me from the Joseph Rowntree reform Trust to help out during the pandemic.

How does guardian make money business partnerships for also we've launched a membership model which has like 3 different grades where you can donate a different amount of money per month to basically get access to special events.

Special content and newsletters things like that and that's something that were really excited about right now and it went out of advertising which is taken an absolute hammering since we started off.

We do have another genus who's in the business of opinion is Alex massie is columnist for the Times and Sunday Times also Scotland editor of The Spectator it's good to have you with us to tell us.

How long does it take an old pro like you not like you to write one of your cousins, what is it depends on the circumstances sometimes.

I find that you probably spend more time thinking about what you're going to write and how you're going to write it than the actual if you like typing itself, but as a general rule.

I would I would argue that unicorn between 800 and 1000 words you know really.

Any self-respecting should be on to knock out in an hour which is used to be honest if you if you write 1000 words of the Times comment pages which should be paid a suitable for knocking out a thousand words for one of your spectators, be honest, which would you spend more time on the same to be honest? I don't think that's right for them.

It's the same level of care and attention you know you might well.

Spent 2-hours thinking about about how you're going to go about what you're going to write allowing the argument and sometimes if you let me know in regards to the crystallized in your mind before you actually sit down and formally begin the process of writing which point you know you have it in your mind.

Just no one damn word after another.

Oh, just just very briefly go back to the previous.

It is extraordinary isn't that for a long time in Fleet Street there were a lot of people who make a week was there full time job and I get paid hundreds of thousands of people find it hard to fathom.

Yes the luxury of the olden days and some money for not having very much.

You know the prime minister is an obvious example that he is editor-in-chief of the chronicle and the journal in Newcastle what's the top stories today in your part of the world.

I'm guessing it's the latest twist in the Saga of who owns Newcastle United absolutely is yes, and you did and he made so that the top website at the moment.

Have you got a dedicated reporter who you told to get right inside that story and break lots of Suits Newcastle United who is absolutely.

Every every twist and turn up the takeover and everything else that happens at the club cakes and Newcastle United Everton football desk.

He also worked very hard on Breaking Bad News Around the Clock and have a look thank you.

Haven't spoke to you in a second Mark Waldron is also the editor of the news in Portsmouth Mark same question to you.

What's the story of the south coast today which is something we've not seen a lot of in the last few weeks, but somewhere romantic fire overnight in the city centre for music centre.

So that's really engaging our readers to take pictures from the same.

So it's yeah.

It's good old breaking news as they've been leaving the site for today.

I'm sorry to hear it.

Good to have you making his annual appearance on the media.

Show is it from the reuters Institute for the study of journalism experience because you're responsible for the institutes digital news report was published yesterday, but the top brands.

Yeah, I mean I guess it's all true and viruses and it's about your changing Media it's about the economic issues associated with the full Naruto rising and the difficulties that's going to lead for the production of news.

It's also the changes were seeing in in the construction of use as well.

So you know surgeons of news and then falling back again people not buying princess March but but using online and social media and Zuma and all these kind of connections as well, so a lot of changing their writing in media indeed indeed.

It will talk to you more in a second let's start by looking at what's a genuine worry for men in newsrooms, and that is the abuse Jonas now get from the public Helen and Abby you've written essay this at talking about how the town has really changed in your relationship with some readers during the lockdown.

Can you just explain please that what you're experiencing and why he felt the need to go public.

Yeah, thank you very much.

I mean first of all it's important to say that the position and the peace that are written this week is not is not indicative of taking an interest in commenting on digital platforms for the first time being built into our Newsroom workflows and and and models for many years and the contact of post public engagement with reeded on social media by all of our journalist is a really important part of what we I'm but there's no doubt that there's been an uptick in the volume of hate speech on and and abuse on our website on our social media channels in general and in in recent weeks.

That is unfortunately an increase in racist comments and I know that's been experienced in these regions of the country as we've reported on the black lives matter protest and counter protests that we've seen in towns and cities, but there's also been a discernible increasing the hate speech and is directed Back to the journalists and I've spoken this week about just a few.

Experience in the Northeast in recent weeks again, this isn't me either but it has got worse recently detail that are amenable to a ready for this time of day.

Can you tell us what you actually going through? Yeah absolutely an example of a message sent to our Facebook page on Chronicle Live from from a particular story or any particular incident just simply said there are journalists should be followed home and tortured and that was just up to our Facebook page is a message and that's if that is one example, but there are there are many more and I hope there has been an increase in that in in recent weeks.

I think I could have sworn I heard Nick Clegg sir Nick Clegg as I should call him.

He's a Facebook vice president saying the same programme this morning that Facebook does not allow comments which pose a threat of imminent harm, so that's

Your Facebook but you need to get up with Facebook did you want to take it up with the police are we setting up with the police and yes of course any threat of violence would be reported to police in that way.

It's really important part of it and has this got significantly worse worse in response to your coverage of lives matter movement.

It has definitely been an increase in it and that was that was one of the reasons why I wanted to put out the the message this week, but the first part of that message was to request that we does modify their online behaviour think before they post and remind them of the house rules that do exist on on the Facebook and xandaro platforms, but the other crucial part of it was I wanted to remind how they can actually complain and flag of comments which concern them and so that we can take appropriate action as I think it's very important part of it was a very powerful person in people can find it on.

Continues the theme from last week's show which another list has been in touch with me about which whether private or publicly and that's the journey seemed to be increasingly targeted.

Just doing the jobs.

You know just basically when it's time.

I use a sat in the studio last week and lots and lots of this and just basically told you because their journeys.

How is the abuse directed at Turners online translating into the experience on the ground so that your journey is having a protest at the weekend it grey's monument Newcastle city centre.

It was it was a difficult a difficult situation to cover we make sure that the journalists covering that story.

Where are the safe distance from? What was happening and they didn't experience any issues on the on the ground on the day in terms of their coverage is a concern to photographers actually who are identified all because of the equipment that they have as members of the press and that is bad is a concern that we have and it doesn't work experience over the years are reporting on football stories in in.

No, sorry, I was just saying but we experience any direct interaction with our policy will cover that story it was the team of people in the office who were running the website and our social media channels spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening and then into the into the heart of this week and one of the reasons to be published in the post when I did dealing with an increase in the volume of comments that were posted on our coverage of that incident and our social media platforms.

Ok, sorry to do this little Mark Waldron is the editor of the news in Portsmouth a letter that you wrote to readers and April where you asked them not to direct your thoughts.

It's a personal abuse against my journalist.

Why did you do that?

Encouraged readers to speak to us with encourage them to join the conversation, but unfortunately there is a minority people who abuse their website and someone take it to extremes and we live in a world unfortunately social media on the whole is good but in the wrong hands.

It's it's it's it's a powerful tool for hate speech and Environment I just got to the stage where we can no longer.

Just say well, you know that's that's life and social media so I want to draw a line on a rise in the amount of personal tax on my staff.

I just thought I'm not going to stand for this anymore.

I don't I don't mind if people have an issue with the newspapers website or are taken at to directing thoughts and opinions on on our staff and the training of our staff and professional staff and just gone too far is good for you stick it up your stuff.

Do the people who leave comments have any actual monetary value to you? Are they subscribers? Do they click on adverts cos if they don't contribute who cares what they think just turn them off as people who come to our websites then then yes, they do have led to us and you know driving our audience and driving engaging audiences.

Is is how we will continue to try as a newspaper so we the people who come to our site and we do value 82 robots conversation conversation with people but it's just a case of that minority of the rest and make sure there are the rules and it's by standing up and saying that I don't want you on the site making those comments anymore.

They don't come back then, so I'm not going to lose sleepover Norwich to people because right now as well on it and article on the front of times about life on lockdown.

It's gone viral for reasons.

I guess you could predict and it's switched off the comments on that freezes.

Hopefully understand but it would be interesting has this affected the what game has it affected how you commission stuff how you actually what journeys are you actually say to your chance to go and do we know that at times there are stories that we're going to write that are going to provoke a lot of comment so we are very mindful of that.

I mean I think what we have done.

Nothing particularly over the last few months is just been more on and put more engaging so if we think I'm coming in we have conversations with people and I think that that keeps a debate healthier and keeps it to a terrible level but we don't know we don't shy away from reporting things that we think might be very mindful of those that that that that might do and in the past we have also said remind me to shut down commenting on some particular stories because it is becoming poisonous Facebook in the news today as I mentioned it this morning talking.

Lights going to clean up.

It's GAME head of the US election.

Do you say a sense of the ball is in their call Janetta basically dealt with the issue of abusive comments and if they haven't you know can you guys actually managed without them.

I think it's been great is that the one Facebook introduced abilities turn off commenting on Facebook groups that we run that's that's been helpful and that means that we have much greater control over the contents of the stories and then me and seeing comments on the content that place in the Facebook with that we run.

So that was very welcome, but Facebook doesn't currently allow any control of the comments posted on Facebook pages and that is an issue and I think that the biggest thing on Facebook could do to make a difference in my opinion would be to unlock the same ability for publishers to control and if necessary switch off comments on their main pages as they've already granted to to group something that would make the situation much more manageable and Facebook pages much more pleasant place to spend time.

Institute for the study of journalism digital news report publisher looked at some of these issues and not least our regarding local newspapers are in the UK by the public and trusted journeys now.

Can you please what you found? I mean in terms of trust and general we've seen a decline in trust over a number of years party links partisanship, so before the before the brexit vote in 2016 trust was around 50% people saying their trust most used most of the time and that fallen the sea at around 28% and sort of that is to do with sort of increased partisanship is polarised debates and people see things in the media that they don't necessarily approve all they see the Meteors as being on one side or other of these deeply polarizing arguments.

So it is a very different situation from the one in 2016.

I think local news.

I'm in local news sites are actually trusted.

I think they're just by the BBC and terms of trust in general, but in terms of in terms of payment for new and that sort of deep connection.

This is really that the struggle that local news is going to have in the next few years as how did he get people to pay for news or to have that deeper connection India so often talk to you.

Thanks for the time being it.

Let's move on to the other question I posed at the top which was about the role of the opinion pages in the newspaper.

You may have heard about the controversy at the New York Times earlier this month the resulting in the resignation of James Bennett either opinion and a difference of opinion editors do in this country at the height of the protest about The Killing of George Floyd the paper published an op-ed column by a Republican senator with the title sending when headlines sending the troops and expose expose a split between young age and this is unacceptable and inciting violence and disorder.

Context of free speech and then yes they speak in it one of Nick's events to launch the digital news report for reuters the editor of The Sunday Times Emma Tucker said this I can run columnist.

I don't agree with because I want to offer a diverse range of Challenge for some of the younger people we could find certain Generations don't want to come and work for us because of the columnist we employ at Micha frazer-carroll galdem and the times has got loads of his head on.

Do you think it's fair to say that some younger people younger than this I left her it was a huge analysation of course.

I can't let them all together.

Not much in this group, but do you think Jen there are less tolerant of this idea that opinions and opinion pages should be diverse actually because I've never really thought about it and turns over but when you think about it.

I think it makes sense.

I mean we've seen over the last couple of decades a huge explosion in new media platforms and zines and blogs and

Lowdham which probably never could have existed prior to the internet and social media and I think it makes sense that if young people especially more diverse demographic don't even presented or opinions that they actively harmful in the traditional outlets we have other places to go to give it to you as a commissioning editor aim to offer a diverse range of opinion or would you prefer to commission stuff that you know where the ability of all liens and which supports and reinforces a particular worldview so I think you can kind of do both at the same time.

I mean I'm always thinking I think a difference with garden as well.

It is our output is a lot less than I think a lot of untraditional your organisation, so when there is an issue.

We really think about we might only have one opinion piece on particular issues of what is the most important or the most underrepresented or kind of

The voice that we won't have on this issue, and I think that we do we do encourage diversity and opinion but we also think about when does diversity an opinion actively become harmful to say and if we think that is harmful and think that it could potentially kind of spare on then we wouldn't have lost it.

What's the point of a columnist go to provoked interest entertain and to inform readers I suppose you know that sending terribly pompous, but that is in essence.

It seems to me what the job isn't you in that respect? It's not that different from other parts of the newspaper where again everything that appears in the paper should satisfy one of these criteria.

Is it interesting is it important? Is it entertaining and if something fails to satisfy any of those criteria shouldn't really appear it seems to me and I'm not the same as pages.

You know you don't have to agree with a column list.

I'll do enjoy reading and I think the page collectively over the course of a week saying in the case of a daily newspaper.

You know should have a sea of opinion if it's to be you know all it can be because you want people to be exposed to different point of views and because he has a monopoly on the truth and the idea of an op-ed section where you agreed with absolutely everything that ever appeared in it strikes me as a very bad thing.

I think that would be a leader of bed section to some extent is a coherent internet position, but isn't it to some extent undermined by the existence of the internet where if you want to find a particular word you can find it there one I say to people this is what this particular publication does and if you don't like it goes well at the moment.

If you like kind of department store that sell everything you know the whole world is there and you know it is true obviously but if you're only interested in a small part of that world you can you can you find Katie for better somewhere else for the whole picture newspapers it still seems to me you have a real purpose of a real role and you know coldness you know you can't read anything.

I mean that is something that I think it's also important to stress although the reader and a deep their editors is the expression of an honest opinion held in good faith and written with a tolerable level of prose style just because I'm weird and sad when I was at university.

I had a column 11 is a great columnist for the times at who died some years ago when he died the Times published editorials and brilliant PC wrote which are the headline and Antidote to the poison of euphemism for some reason I put this up.

I think it was because I thought of Colin this is these great noble Souls remote ground intellectuals it would be great to aspire to be a colonist at these days opinions a tenner penny on that special day.

I'm sorry to say to you as a columnist writing in the Times appeal to you is something to really respond to take pride in it is no get a column in the time or would you see the time does me another vehicle million other platform for a chance? I will get your views personally know I think that the Times editorial stances and maybe again revealing my Generations kind of use on the sort of thing has been a lot of transfer via published in the times and a lot of rhetoric that I think has been hugely damaging to transfer Communities and just on principle.

Because they're publications where and the Beanstalk Scotty slightly agree or disagree with that have been published and I thought ok.

There's an opportunity to kind of flight back or there seems to be a diversity but time does dancing transformer.

I just think that it's been such a kind of continued dance that I I personally wouldn't wouldn't right for the paper from the doctors.

They not here to speak for themselves and Alex speaks for himself rather than for the times, but did you have a view on whether or not? That's actually fair about the Times comment pages and do you have a view about this generation that young people are young generation might not believe in such a diversity of the way you do.

I don't think it's that people smiling interpretation of this may vary and that it is only natural in some ways quite a healthy thing.

You know that the

The problems I think that way we have in opinion journalism more generally Amazon is there an awful lot of people only want to read things which they agreed and they get it is not enough for someone else to be wrong.

They must be punished for being wrong.

They must be if you like silence tour cancelled so I'm so you know that that was one of the things that lay behind the episode of The Guardian on somebody's been discussing and hundreds of guardian employees write a loop and letter complaining about this effectively implicitly implied that should be suppressed or sacked that struck me as revealing and a very depressing episodes and it's sort of thing that one can imagine happened in the newspapers in something similar has happened at New York Times recently reported and it seems to be that the people of position and fundamentally misunderstand or Miss

The newspaper is supposed to be really in this in this kind of the day.

I think it requires a structural analysis and analysis of power lies.

I think part of what is so damaging about some of these transfer vehicle racist poems and opinions we see in a lot of outlets as that these are often calling us to have no personal experience of the issuer or the marginalization and the people who hold a huge power in society speaking against a group for usually can't defend themselves usually aren't being a folded space to actually fight back.

So that was part of also what I found a troubling about the incident of the New York Times that I mean a Republican senator I would argue has a huge amount of power in society and that voice is actually not underrepresented.

Underrepresented but actually has a lot of power in society and working class like people people to George Croydon South with arguably never have that stays all that platform to actually express their own views and what it What It Feels Like to be a black person and living in 2020.

So thank you very much indeed so incredibly annoying this we've run out of time because I know you're not meant to say hello video but the campaign to let in the media show begins with this show because I love to continue discussion, but I'm so sorry we can't hear it up next day today.

My thanks to all our guests with a brilliant contributions hannon-dalby is the editor-in-chief of the chronicle and the journal Newcastle Mark Walton is the editor of the news in Portsmouth at Micha frazer-carroll who you heard there's your opinion Alex massie is columnist for the times Scotland editor of The Spectator and NIC Newman reuters Institute for the study of journalism.

I'll be back sometime this week.

Thanks for today studio engineered, Duncan Hannon and thank you for listening.

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Thursday, 25 June 2020
linda henstock
9:33 AM

I love the coverage of Wimbledon on Freeview but it would be nice to have more free tennis as I am a pensioner and cannot afford subscription T.V.

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linda henstock's 2 posts GB flag

6:06 PM

linda henstock:

The BBC are digging up some old sports events from time to time, I'm not sure exactly what Tennis they may do as I haven't been checking the listings thoroughly, but keep an eye on it. I've noticed that there is some Wimbledon 2019 on the Red Button (LCN601) on Sunday afternoon, and Wimbledon 2008 on Monday evening, check the guide.
Sometimes there's Tennis on Freesports LCN64 in the EPG if you can receive it at you location, not everyone can get it.

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Chris.SE's 4,077 posts GB flag

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