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Read this: 19/06/2020 Radio 4 Feedback

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19/06/2020 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello and welcome to a new series of feedback and an allegation that the BBC is living in the past.

It's unbelievable that the BBC should be broadcasting this offensive and racist material in 2020 bbcradio4extra decision to broadcast to contribute 40-year old comedy has been heavily criticized, but should we sense of the past and edit out material we now find offensive it's crucial that what the BBC broadcast weather today yesterday or 98 years ago when it began should remain available for audiences the question is the context in which it remains then? I'll be talking friends with the chairs editorial standards for the regulator Ofcom and the BBC Trust Richard and you can't be serious.

Listen swear gas last week when Radio 4 more or less programme announced it was about to end.

It's run its offer to think that next week is the last episode in the series BBC consider extending the series at this time.

They have I'll be talking to presenter to Harford about his programs future and whether he shot by the use or other abuse statistics nobody's popping into the bowl for a quick one Archers listeners.

Give their verdict on the solitary interior monologues the monologues.

I feel like they've got the characters to life and added depth to them.

I haven't previously heard Rachel is the exception the vast majority of our Correspondents think this please, please please put the Arches and the listeners out of their and our misery the monologues are simply awful more from the Silent streets of ambridge later.

Back, where is BBC Radio 4 Extra Radio 4 Extra comedy drama and feature programming Ashley 24-hours a day much of it from the BBC's extensive archive but should some comedies be left in the vaults The Corporation has found itself in the midst of controversy in recent over broadcast to Fawlty Towers and Little Britain and this week some listeners have called into question Radio 4 Extra decision to rebroadcast and edition of the book is way over 40 years ago it contained A Sketch parody in colonialism and films about it from that era including so cold jokes about black South Africans Chris Flint the episode of the burkiss way, I just heard this morning contained A Sketch concerning the Zulu wars the final steps of the show was racially offensive in it's entirety and have a level that.

To justify rebroadcast with the reasoning excuse of acceptability by virtue of being a story context some editing surely be Justified if not deemed a requirement on occasions this here's a clip from the offending sketch which was broadcast three times on the 24th of January this year and it said he's been repeated 15 times on 4 Extra in recent years from 1979.

We invite you to treat yourself the burkiss way.

Don't you think you are a bit rude to him rubbish in the world against each other clothes does anybody listen to the old is January was not funny in 1979 let alone today with its thoroughly crude stereotyping.

Is it contempt for the Radio 4 Extra listen the demographic or laziness and stupidity on the part of the commissioning editors or BBC institutionalized racism Nancy in the light of black lives matter and me too.

I think it would be timely to reconsider whether

Comedy programmes which rely on racist homophobic content women stereotypes should be broadcast I know this is tricky call the Fabulous continuity announcers usually acknowledged that the humerus data however these programs are repeated so often that indicates and acceptance which I think needs to be charged to discuss some of those questions and issues.

I'm during by Richard of the former editorial standards for both the broadcasting industry regulator Ofcom and for the BBC trust me if you've been cancelled it.

Would you have allowed this 40 year-old program to be not in this context BBC 4 extra is just another of the BBC broadcast networks and one which is aimed principally at entertaining entertaining often through archive material, but it's principal purpose is not to explore archive history.

It is to entertain.

That's why audiences listen to it.

To my mind this program may have been suitable for the audience for which the Producers made it in 1980 or thereabouts 40 years on it is suitable for the simple reason that the degree of offence likely to be caused by one item about the so-called Zulu cancel far exceeds in my judgement comedic value immediately we understand that but we're scared of bowdlerisation that once you start to do this you go through all of the BBC's archive and things out because we don't like them nowadays and tenuous time you cut something else to make a distinction between what broadcast today and what's available in the archive the people to consult a very big distinction.

Let me be clear Rodger no radio program worth it sorted ever been made that doesn't cause offence to someone or other somewhere including even.

Yours the test is whether the degree of offence caused when the program is made for broadcast is Justified by its overall context including its purpose and the second of all programs rely on the editorial from the programme makers and I have no reason to doubt that the producers of the book is way applied the best editorial judgement 40 years ago including some material which we now find unacceptable and excluding other material which was probably submitted to them but was unacceptable at the time.

It's crucial that the BBC broadcast weather today yesterday or 98 years ago when it began should remain available for audiences the question is that context in which remains available to make a difference between save podcast where people voluntarily seek out of programme probably contains.

Broadcast on for extra where they might be listening to a number of programs and this comes up is there a distinction they have any real value the distinction is absolutely crucial in my view every programme BBC is ever made in Surveyors if they still exist should be available in an archive should be accessible to BBC audiences as a matter of the BBC is a big part of our shared history it reflects the way we are today, but it also reflected the way we were over each decade of last 200 years we should know about that it tells us many things about our past and and some things are a matter of Pride and some should be a matter of shame, but it Chronicles how we've changed as a people as a nation we should never lose sight of all BBC programmes in which the BBC on copyright should remain available for future generations.

It doesn't follow that they should all be offered in a broadcast.

Of entertainment important thing obviously is that such programs are listened to before broadcast and one assumes that that's the BBC policy.

Is it as far as you know you would put something on 4 Extra from 40 years ago without checking.

It's content.

Would you it's content and then judging it's context today and if the view was taken before the programme was broadcast again on Four Extra that it's still passed the test in other words the test is the degree of offence likely to be caused justifiable by it and it's context that if the decision is taken to go and broadcasted then the context has to be made crucially clear and explicitly clear and the introduction in this case from the programme you two people said now from 1979 with invite you to treat yourself the burkiss way, it's not context that positively an invitation to enjoy.

How many in the audience would find grossly inappropriate so even if they took the decision to go ahead had a different view from you decided to go ahead.

They should have given morning at the front which made absolutely clear the possibility of offence public health, but they need to give sufficient context about the program was produced and those elements of it, which might reasonably cause unexpected offence to an audience today if they are simply list casually and not expecting the degree of a fence that suddenly hits them with this particular sketch my thanks to Richard at the former chair of editorial standards for both the broadcasting industry regulator Ofcom and the BBC trust and we invited a representative of The Corporation to respond to those concerns but was told no one was available instead.

We were provided with.

We always appreciate the feedback and I'll decision-making on programming evolves over time to reflect audience expectations Radio 4 Extra is archive network giving us the chance to hear programs from the past decades we make decisions on a case-by-case basis and where appropriate consider making changes or highlighting two listeners forecast that programs including material of its time.

There is no plan to repeat of this 1979 episode in the schedule and all of our archive content is reviewed before decision about any future forecasts.

Please do let us know your thoughts about those issues and anything else to do with BBC Radio this is how you can get in touch you can send an email to feedback at the address is feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p.

You can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03003305480 does apply, but it could cost more and some mobile networks all these details are on our website that of course is the new Archers theme tune to it's Sunday omnibus Edition and it's not the only change.

I just experienced since we've been off at the contemporary drama in a rural setting as it starts itself has experienced.

It's most radical transformation in format since the program began almost 2 years ago in this time of covid crowd scenes and confrontations are out and interior monologues are in one of the shows producers.

Sees this as a great opportunity.

For the first time you wrote we can hear a characters thoughts and filtered through dialogue.

That's a thrilling proposition do listers agree.

This is what I had to say Ariana Mac and after a short sticky start.

I am really enjoying the Archers covid-19 myself appreciating character previously found annoying because they've been given their own voices and their inner world have turned out to be more interesting than the public ones Diane I just need to say how much fun the Archers has been since the covid-19.

It's hilarious and at the same time possibly more in touch with it's audience and ever it has been great to hear of the characters in security challenges in a Corsa unexpected triumphs at least in season and Tony's those views are not representative of our inbox however listen David reflects the feelings of

Will Well majority of you what a terrible solution tedious monologues assume a greater understanding of the minutiae of individual characters lives and interactions well.

I'm not joined by are two long-standing Archers listeners who were on opposite sides of the fence over the Helen and Rob storyline of coercive control Maggie chriselle, and Carrie coon welcome to be back to feedback.

Let me start with you carry.

Are you enjoying the new format? No not in the slightest? It's one of the worst programs.

I've heard in fact.

I can't listen to it anymore.

Have you stopped listening as well almost given up to the Daily episode and I forced myself to listen to the bus carry.

What is wrong with this because obviously we know the difficulties of the Arches are in there.

Got a lot of elderly cast members.

They can't get people together.

They can't do crowd scenes.

The Bullfrog drink and one of the producers of this is an opportunity to hear the characters through unfiltered dialogue in their minds that a thrilling proposition proposition to you want it.

I mean could it have been no it is though the right.

I'll write as a sort of channeling their sort of Virginia Woolf or James the sort of stream of consciousness, and it just does not work as far as I'm concerned no one thinks and any in any realistic way well.

It's not the writing or is it is a problem of the form I mean an interior monologue saying Shakespeare in the middle of dramatic action is often very effective because these models are not in the middle of anything but well monologues.

So do you think it's an almost impossible task the right is just not up to what is a very difficult task there is nothing grabbing the attention.

There's nothing keeping you.

There's no development worry if there is development is extremely slow development you getting hint dropped about various things but actually it's simply not interesting just isn't interesting to listen to how well do you think carry that they are reflecting the lockdown and is it realistic? It's not really up the people.

I'm still working because most people I know I still working and the majority of people are actually coping with it.

Really well and many people are enjoying it.

It's not possible to say when the program will return to how it sounded before the pandemic.

They said the team will keep it under review based on the latest advice and the health and safety of the cast and production situation is paramount and he said he's still trying to offer the entertainment escapism and the big screen and witticisms of ambridge residents that the listeners enjoy the current approach to recording.

It is working well so additional characters and more dialogue will be gradually introduced, but it does not therefore.

They will not be getting back to anything like the Archers we know and love in the near future, so what constructive ideas do you have carry phone to carry on in the future and online choir school who are not in any way or form.

We have really tried to keep up a community so for instance the music department has got all the different children singing or playing an instrument.

They managed to put it together in a fantastic ensemble and I cannot believe that the BBC can't get different actors and put them together what has surprised me and I'm sure loads of other people is that if we can have this discussion now which can be recorded as a dialogue for?

Between 3 people I do not understand why the Archers couldn't do that couldn't introduce dialogue between characters it may be difficult it may be more expensive but it would have been worth it rather than this incredibly interesting stuff.

They coming out with the final thing.

I suppose we should discuss is the nuclear option if this is very different reactions really need time to regroup should I just say what coming off at ok for the first time in over 70 years well will come off there till September and we're going to regroup and when we come back.

We will produce much more like the Archers we know not but I'll just have to accept with experiment.

It's not quite work.

Let's take the Archers off now that be scared if they did then obviously that they're going to lose this but do you think they should do that carry if they continue with these monologues.

Yes if they manage to get the wit and start having a bit of dialogue no.

Take it off will you say you know it hasn't been 5060 years but we've not been in this situation for 5060 years or more of the pandemic.

So I think people would wholly exceptional once-in-a-lifetime we hope situation and I think if they took it off and started again in September with proper planning and better scripting.

I think people would come back.

Yes, I'm sure that I think they would come back.

I would come back to Maggie and Carry and do let us know your thoughts.

Are we doing better or worse than other countries in dealing with coronavirus all the available statistics daily on the news or on social media reliable and are they comparable with those from elsewhere who have grown weary of the politics around coving for smaller or less.

Presented by Tim Harford has been a beacon of light shining in the darkness providing context and clarity last week.

It was announced that its latest series would end this week.

What list outraged extend around a shouted down the controller Radio 4 agreed the series has not been extended for the fourth time in a moment.

I'll be the first here are some of your comments that you sent us over the last few weeks Sharon O'Connor from Leeds and the more or less programme has been the voice of sanity throughout the covid-19 pandemic helping me to understand and interpret the statistics that a regular band about the balanced and straightforward discussions by Tim various experts he brings in should in my opinion the end after every government briefing Helen Potter Friday 5th of June I have never heard so much anti-government.

Rhetoric on any radio four broadcaster until this one the whole program was totally anti-government, why aren't they also talking to the statisticians or experts to agree with the government position a very disappointing level of impartiality Derek Jones and I live in Suffolk programs like today and p.m.

Now hosted by journalists making any confidence to seriously challenge but we have been told so why aren't the presenters of more or less asking these serious questions at the code briefing if journalists themselves will Steven Gray from Birmingham today's programme exposed the hollowness of government claims about covid-19 testing statistics the government needs to be held to account to prevent it be leaving town rhetoric.

Thank you for a brilliant and entertaining program which acts as a pillow for a democracy well.

I'm delighted to be joined by the presenter of more or less Tim Harford

Extended Again by another two episodes, are you happy or just exhausted? I am both with a really very proud of what we doing and was so touched people have been soaking keepers on are however.

We're all making the program for my bedroom's I have three children or roughly around at home.

It's so it's not easy, but it feels in and of course every journalist wants people to listen to what he or she is doing so we're delighted.

No more left has been going for almost 19 years and it's been great depression done it for over a decade but this seems to have been almost a golden period for you this time for most people, but this has been a special time for you hasn't it? I think it has been a moment where we have all appreciated the value of solid statistics of reliable numbers and we have really felt the lack of.

Was when there has been a lack we take it for granted when we're able to just look up GDP data or inflation data or data on mortality.

Just sometime some spreadsheet in the sky at sometimes seems and we we just assumed that we are able to understand the world around us by looking at these numbers and in the case of the pandemic government all around the world and academics all the world have been scrambling to figure out.

What's been going on so it is really reminded of how important numbers can be and how important their lack can be in a cause more or less is a program that believes in the value of number of the heart of that but everybody wants certainty and you have a courage to say often.

No, we don't know with examine the facts and analyse what is available and we just don't know everybody else wants a headline every else wants to say wow.

This is the reason why bad we're good whatever so you're actually having to damp down people as it is.

Garnishing the emails I get both in my role as a Financial Times colonist and in my role as present or more or less from people who are absolutely certain about a certain fact for example.

How dangerous is the virus really is and we've all been trying to figure this out for months and at one of the things we've been trying to do on the program is take listeners on that journey of Discovery do we know what don't we know? How can we find out what question still need to be asked and it's not just about going well.

We don't know it's about so well.

We don't know and his wife now and here's how we plan to find out across one of them hell, and put it in particular is concerned that she said you don't provide balance is too much anti-government rhetoric and a disappointing level impartiality is that everybody will listen to the program and reach their own conclusions, but we have often defended the government's record all the government's reporting for example.

Piers Morgan a popped up on Twitter a couple of weeks ago effectively accusing the government of lying about new deaths because the number of new data reported didn't match the increase in the cumulative number of deaths and we simply explained how those two figures are reached that we felt that the government had done absolutely nothing wrong and wasn't trying to mislead anyone and that Piers Morgan long to criticize them on that point so we just tried to give people the fact and they can draw their own political conclusions, but you are so choose which obviously choose which statistics to use when you also use which statistician you have a great deal of power in that sense.

How do you go about it? Which way to get a range of Voices and emphasize that a lot of the work we do is our own reporting for example on the team a lot of the reporting.

We doing on testing that is her journalism.

That is independent journalism is not based on are we talk to a particular statistician to get his or her view?

So, I think that's worth emphasizing but yeah, we want to arrange a voices we try to talk to people who have approached the problem with their own expertise for example the bird who has for years been talking about delays in reporting debt and suddenly and professor Dame Sue laberge very eminent suddenly that became so call Sheila bird with the person.

We had on because she is the expert but usually we're trying to explain to people what the facts are and what the limitations of the facts are not trying to cross examine government policy at Asda Today programme might do and so we we don't tend to do what some of the BBC programmes do we just have to Talking Heads arguing with each other and times when I listen to those arguments.

I'm none the Wiser hopefully people are feeling wiser after they heard him or less item.

We need to push forward statistics to the forefront of what we do make.

It's in the national curriculum make sure the journal is when the study you don't learn about that because I'm off and started to you.

No listen to your program and then watch a headline even on the BBC written by somebody haven't listened to what you just said I have a lot of sympathy with that.

I think I mean I trained as an economist and as a mathematician without a great deal of the training of how to pick that up later and I think that statistical common sense is hugely important not just for journalists, but the Citizens as a whole so I'm all in favour of that.

I'm jealous.

I think tonight idea data journalism has become very cool and it's not for me to speak for the BBC I'm I don't work for the BBC directly but the BBC has an excellent head of statistics Robert great communicator and spend a lot of time running around the BBC making sure the store is make statistical sense and if there's a problem fixing it, so I think the BBC is improving its game on this point.

Presenter of Morales and that's it for this first edition of the new series please join us again next week and meanwhile.

Keep safe keep separate goodbye.

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