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Read this: 23/10/2020 Radio 4 Feedback

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23/10/2020 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello sometimes it seems that no one is interested in listening anymore let alone changing positions on controversial issues of insults and annunciations we seem to prefer Echo Chambers where are beautiful reflected back to us.

Why how hard.

Is it to try to understand someone else's position is really hard when you get stuck in a view to be able to reflect back to someone else what the core of their view is a why it is so much bran mcelvoy is giving you to go in feedback this week.

I'll be talking to her about her series across the red line which tries to get those with passionately held opposing beliefs listen to each other and just possibly change their minds a little does it work and in February the present BBC chairman is standing down who should replace him.

Be good, have a chat who actually was interested in broadcasting and contact life find the 2 million people I talked to with very strong views about the being sick actually don't spend much time with today and go to bed with news live but they don't watch much that was the David Clementi the outgoing chairman of the BBC I'll be talking to the phone Radio 4 controller and BBC2 about why the appointment of a new chair is so important for the future of Public Service Broadcasting and why impartiality is thought to be so essential to it and you know out of your comfort zone feature this week to British BBC Radio listeners living in the United States give their views on America's a BBC podcast about the American election is Donald Trump dictating the agenda the media follows the lead of the president and I'm not sure that's the role of the media.

Just over here we see that same thing.

If you tweet something then the media immediately pick up on it does America's the podcast offer anything different will find out later in feedback?

Last week so the return of the new series of across the red line presented by Anne mcelvoy of The Economist each week, she invites to public figures who disagree on an issue of principle too closely to each other's arguments a conflict resolution specialist in this case Louisa wine Stein help to buy the debate in last week's edition the former conservative the Rory Stewart and the former labour minister Caroline Flint discuss the weather politician should stop worrying about hard-working families and turn their attention more exclusively to the very poor did the unusual form at work.

This is what some of you thought David will I just wanted to say what an excellent program.

I thought this was the current level of political state in this country is dreadful and frankly is responsible for a great deal of the unhappiness in this country any initiative to encourage deep listening.

Are there for a better understanding of another person's thought processes is really to be applauded? I think the problem with my argument.

Where are crumbles of course it's very important to acknowledge people who are in difficult fragile and competitions in her working very hard, and it would be very difficult to imagine as a reward people for working hard as I try to equal but some people hate other people there.

It would be very difficult and every time.

I take a step in that direction.

I feel the risk and Bruce Bartlett this was a remarkable program and all 4 participants deserves the highest Accolade for providing us the despairing Covered public with a fascinating insight into how interesting and worthwhile people's lives and thoughts can be what did you?

Sorry said, tell me if I'm wrong Maureen Rosenthal how could the BBC possibly think that one person making a Precis of what the other person is saying and then turning around and reversing a situation could be of interest to a listener.

It was agony to rather interesting speakers reduce the pupils.

What do we gain from the concept that we couldn't have got from listening to the chat delighted to be joined by the presenter and cowboy and why did you want to make this plugin on your v.

Series? Was it because you were frustrated with the level of political debate and in doing that goes on in broadcasting.

I spend a lot of my time around politics and around the political debate and one of the things that struck me was that.

More and more entrenched on either side of a red line hence the name across the red line and then we magnify our own views.

I think that we can beat the other person in argument coming no more arguments that we know that doesn't work.

It doesn't bring people closer together at all.

So the producer Phil tinline and I just sat down to think about ways in which we might get going in.

What would the techniques be in which we could understand the roots of each other's views and how they devolved in what that meant to people rather than just feel like having you get onto kids hit each other over head with a wet fish of the last few years has got more and more polarized and political interviews more and more unproductive if you I think the problem we would that we are trying to address with this format is once you've got yourself stuck on either side of a line in debates social media of the amplifiers that magnifies it.

Does a generally more show team udon some issues them either side of the Atlantic in Britain at this is happening so you do start to wonder how you would ever get to understand the other person's position even learn something from it and where is the cliff edge of your own certainty? Where do you think I really believe this but I'm not so happy if I would be pushed by someone like you.

I hope he doesn't keep pushing me on that and I think what we wanted to do was explore that age of Belief to do that you do need the different techniques and this was really what we learnt by getting in touch with two mediators and having them involved the one on each program.

O2 immediate is Across the Sea they had just different ways of going at it and I thought we could learn something from that can I put you the point about Maureen Rosenthal worry about she has about the structure saying that to rather interesting speakers were.

Reduced to pupils what do we get from the concept that we couldn't have got from listening to them? I think that the idea that the guests reflect back.

What each other things and they listen out for the core the driver the most important thing.

It's too easy.

I think you Mrs Rose and tile would you really be happy if I just continue to argue with a plenty of shows on it goes deeper and deeper get hotter and hotter and more Heaton and less light.

This is trying to do something different and that's the key to it.

It's not that debating itself is important people card make articulate pointed get one as long as they like the reason why he was asking them to stop to reflect that what the other person is really saying so I think it's quite a clever way.

It's like having a pause button that you're encouraging people to press and reflect and you can see people.

I should say I never people find it to me that they simply did it by learning maybe it's a bit too didactic would have a point.

I think people genuinely find it something of the mental stretch series has anybody change their position as a result a subsequently people said to you.

I never actually I think I was wrong.

Yes certainly had people say I take something much more seriously on the other side of the argument remember it happening in the very first show that we did with Cheylesmore the Telegraph editor and someone who works as a young British black journalist on the paper at that time humulus, they did get to the point if I had your life and your experiences.

Different even that I thought was a really interesting moment and an insight to varying degrees people will say I take this more seriously certainly I think they give more weight to the other person's guiding arguments and principles.

We're not expecting water to turn into wine and would certainly never want to engineer something artificial really changed my mind about everything else what positions see you next week.

There is a big gap in the middle understanding and empathy and really getting into what other people think and feel and how it guys what comes out to me.

That's a big enough ask and I just changed in any way change your journalism change your point of view what effect has the series had upon you yes, I have I have really I would say slightly to write say it's made me sometimes enough.

When I'm away from the program realise that I'm waiting for the other person to finish so I can just come in with what I believe to be my brilliant and commanding view all argument and I've stopped myself a bit more probably not as much as my family would wish but I think this thing about active listening when you realise how hard it is to do and then even slightly change the way that you go issues that you feel very passionately about yes, I think it probably has changed me and 5 Series in running out of subject matter no way have you seen the world out there? Thank you very much and do let us know what you think about that and about anything else to do with BBC Radio this is how you can get in touch you can send an email to feedback at

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 answer mobile network all these details are on our website by the way while we were off are lots of arches fans route in asking when their beloved soap would return to 5 additions a week and the answer is not yet the production team told us that the current pattern of 4 episodes a week will continue for the time being though the team is working towards returning to more episodes each week cast members of recording in the studio at any one time and of course social distancing measures are in place well with the new wave of covered infections.

I think it is unlikely that thing.

Better quickly, then, we are the United States presidential election is covered by the by Emily maitlis, Jon Sopel and Anthony's and now discussed my two of Alistair's we're asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen to a program that would normally be on their radar this week.

We have two listeners originally from this country, but the United States for many years to Scotland is with us from Albany New York state and Danny Lee from Palm Springs California welcome gentleman Chris first.

Just to get it if you're listening habits, what would be your top 3 programs if you were stranded on a desert island.

Well if I was on a desert island would have to be Desert Island Discs close the following.

Play I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue rent test match special English and Danny what about you what I've been listening to the radio all my life and so for decades.

I think my three top shows have been any questions the Archers not the monologues and money box we asked you to listen to a podcast about the US elections America's which is now be broadcast on Radio 4 Chris how would you describe the programme that explain to me what it's all about it seems to be trying to bring an understanding of the complicated American election process to a wider audience in the UK I've lived here for 20 years and there are a lot of things.

I still don't understand about it's quite convoluted and so in terms of bringing that level knowledge to the UK audience.

I thought it did a very good job and Danny what did you think of the programme? What did you think of its content first a lot of the content was fairly light?

I was struggling a little bit with some of the content.

I wanted something more in-depth.

Really well, I suppose they are trying to create an intimate feel about each other by the Christian names that they were trying to create the atmosphere was suggested.

This is so relaxed 3 correspondence sitting together chatting and giving you an inside feel what you're saying that it wasn't inside a enough one of the Proms for anyone listening in the US would be that this has been a very intense campaign and there are major is involved and so it's difficult to take it to that level where it's a simple conversation.

I think what I would have been looking for is perhaps some of the comments from the contributors villages are in Miami to be challenged of at least explored more in detail.

That make you happy or actually I prefer the Republican platform, so I'm I'm falling for the Republican platform is what I'm going for not necessarily trump, but just the platform is what we aim for behaviour that to presidential Chris did you like the informality of the program? I did I did actually because I think it contacted well with the majority of coverage of here in the US which is quite turn serious and very polar and so there was a very informal atmosphere between three percenters which I I like but you would think they've you listen to a podcast you want to get out of it something that you won't get from you like from the broadcast news bulletins.

Do you do if you put it like that then probably not a great deal know but I still find it relatively informative and entertaining so I think they also the other a mother.

To entertain as well as inform so how far did you think it was Danny I can't say that it was off the oratory of but I would agree with Chris that it was less polarized than the broadcast that we get here my problem.

Is that for example the first 10 minutes segment was really all about the president's rally in Florida and it focused on his showmanship and didn't really tell us anything about the electoral race and that may be good entertainer, but it's not really political coverage always give my kids.

Is it when they start playing oops upside your head? It's time to leave a wedding and I have the same last 100 days mate.

You know I'm going with this Donald Trump in Sanford Florida and he's dancing on the stage 2 YMCA

Anocracy did mention Joe Biden but in this edition anyway, that was very little attention paid to Joe Biden do think the worse things that could have been explored in focusing up trumpet was the sort of microcosm of the way that American politics is very personality Focus rather than party and politics focused very different in the UK when trump does make these tweets bleeding the media by the nose is distracting them from major issues other issues and focusing on what he wants to talk about what he wants to be seen doing what Chris what did you think of the presenters that it was the programme was steered by Emily maitlis and with contributions obviously from Jon Sopel and in the United States did they do a good job over they did have a an objective as we've talked about which was to keep it fairly light and in that.

I thought they they.

Pretty effective team and what about you Danny do you agree with that? I think the presenters themselves a very good job with the material that they were working with I just felt that it should be a little more in-depth, but if the focus was to give that fairly light broad-brush picture of what's happening in Florida and how the electoral system heal works then yes, they did a good job and then the final question where you had to be a comfort zone and I suppose that means will you listen to it again or not Chris I wasn't out of my comfort zone in terms of listen to BBC Radio am a very interested in this election and so I certainly would give it a listen whether it's on the same level or order for a more thoughtful Danny what about you you suggested.

It was a bit basic.

You need to listen to This podcast to keep up with what's happening phrankleen.

I don't think I'm the audience that they're looking for it.

It's not out of my comfort zone at all this wouldn't be one of the podcast.

That I would listen to on a regular basis perhaps if there was a particular feature that sounded interesting.

I might do that.


I think that's a 50 50 split Danny Lee from Palm Springs California and Scotland from Albany New York State thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Thank you Roger thank you.

Well, if you listen to that program and have any comments about it, please do let us know particularly busy next week.

Jon Sopel is on a programme any questions for him directly.

Please let us know and we'll put them to him.

the BBC chairman is leaving in February interested parties have until the 11th of November to apply for one of the hottest seats in the public sector and already it has been suggested that down Street once a staunch government supporter appointed who will slim down the corporation cutting back the BBC's activities and insuring it becomes in their view more impartial really matter who is in charge of the BBC will you the licence prepare have any saying who is appointed and will the new Chevy obliged to consult you about the major changes that may need to be made building possibly the closure of some services on Tuesday this week Sir David Clementi gave a speech to a conference organised by the voice of the listener and the viewer and outlined his views on the top with the necessary requirements for being a BBC chair genuine interested in content broadcasting radio and television would be good experience of sharing a case to read the chair is going to

This person works Decisions of that nature are made by the board to somebody who wants to be a good chat and I think it's appointment self-evident worth repeating whatever their background whatever their personal politics.

They need to leave that at the door.

They are the person who oversees final the term but they are clipped clean posh.

I'm delighted to be joined by markdown format controller of BBC Radio 4 and a form of BBC trustee.

Why should licence for pet care who is the next German of the BBC because ultimately that person has it in her or his hands to appoint or dismiss alongside the board the director general who won the BBC on a day-to-day basis and is also responsible and is the linchpin of accountability of the BBC to the various different bodies.

The BBC needs to be seen to be performing properly for so that's Parliament select committees regulators, such as Ofcom and course the public because the director-general nice Beano and forgot about it.

The director-general is the person in charge on BBC on the day-to-day basis the sovereignty of the organization its independence and impartiality is guaranteed.

It's Darren by it's board which is made up now or both senior BBC managers and non-executive who were drawn from other walks of life with their precisely to make sure that the managers are properly challenge when they're falling short and supported when they're not and so having somebody who understands that is pretty crucial and is the chairman no more important when you are a trustee there were two boards season and the management and needs to be an argument about you who's really in charge and and son but now as a single board is The Chevin more important than ever gonna probably it's only two systems in parallel.

How individual prices would have been handled better or worse with different systems but it is now at least easier for the chair to be uninhibited.

Non embarrassed about supporting the BBC and broadcasting in general and championing in an appropriate tunnel register for BBC war infallible and Almighty but champion in what BBC stands for and it's as important the apart from champion the BBC that inside the BBC they are seem to be prodding and jogging in a constructive and friendly enough way the BBC manages to try and live up to the BBC's aspirations and the nobility because I think it is ability of what Public Service Broadcasting stands for which is something for everybody or real value and quality pay for everybody and then bye everybody in it's the chairs job to ensure that the director-general delivers on that and the people missing in all of this are the licence fee payers here is the person going to be hit decide in a way the future of BBC because what we going to have.

Next proper examination of what Public Service Broadcasting is what the BBC's Roland scale should be how much we paid for all of that is up for grabs and what can MR2 feedback do about that well? I think it's fair to say that there is no system in which you could put out the choice of the chair of the BBC or indeed other big public bodies to the public for a clever supremos and I think that's not practical.

I mean the question is when considering the future of the BBC should everybody pay for it.

What should be the level be what services should the BBC provide and someone so forward to what extent periodically should be consulted and we know from Class 2 licence fee supplements for various different political reasons that kind of consultation didn't take place and I think the public was somewhat the poor because it would have been a rich discussion.

I don't think everybody would have agreed with all the BBC zone definition of its future would have been but we never really found her so I'm hoping that the next chair.

Is very much for the function of the chair will preside at the appropriate time when the BBC is up for grabs over a proper consultation the government to court as a crucial role in as well, but the chair choreographs and driver consultation with the public in which we get to hear from the many different views of the public will does have about what the BBC should be doing what is doing well, what is doing this well where it might sometime to improve itself and how much is worth and none of that is taking place now for really quite a long time.

I want to pick up one final thing which was raised by the chairman and of course the new director-general is talked about which is impartiality and the perception of impartiality device of times, but the chairman said there was some research which suggested that young people tend to see the BBC Sport establishment a right-wing an older people tend to see the BBC has two left wing to work if you like and someone is that something that you were aware of and how does.

BBC deal with that when the country is so divided it has become more difficult and there's quite a lot of data that will tell you that trying to prove in a search or impartiality in that has been so heavily fractured above all by the brexit Debate has become much more difficult it remains the case.

I'm it's not fashionably understood this buy some people it remains the case of the BBC by a 3 mile is more trusted than any other broadcaster and indeed any other meat or organisation and when people ask the question.

They will say yes, they don't the BBC first in very large numbers compared to all the other put together but nevertheless more people on either side now feel more strongly that the BBC Summer rather is rooting for the other team and it is because I see people feel more intensely about the issues.

They feel about that used to be the case even dare.

I said I think during the miners strike which was bitterly divisive political industrial dispute of the night.

It's on I think it just have become harder to rain and therefore it means that the mistakes are all the more sore when you make them and the BBC needs to try all the harder to try and be as fair as it can in the way they treat arguments and contributors across the range of political issues.

I think Tim I'm done.

This is not to say that he didn't understand this but I think it's turning all the previous director general but having a really terrific the team has decided but put it front and centre of what he wants his tenure as director general to be Mark damazer former BBC trustee and of course control off Radio 4 and that's it for this edition of feedback remember next week.

I'll be talking to John Silver as we get closer to the finale of the US presidential election campaign so please do let us know your thoughts and questions for the BBC's North America editor until next week keep safe keep separate goodbye.

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