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Read this: John Whittingdale's media agenda

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John Whittingdale's media agenda…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello and welcome to the radio Theatre here in Broadcasting House I'm very pleased indeed at the media show has teamed up with this year's Radio Academy festival and so for the next half hour.

I'm on stage with a man who has shoes power to change not just the radio industry, but the whole Media landscape in the UK over the next few years is the minister of state for media and data for the government to go she ations with the BBC over the licence fee he could set a date for switching off FM he could proposed new regulations on how the US tech companies in so much for the meaning of we consume operate in the UK are we going to find out how you might be intended to use your purse shortly that start with the really tough question at the one has been doctors would have been wargaming last night.

And it is a very political questions we asking in front of our Radio Academy audience which is when you switch on the radio in the morning what you listening to first thing I suppose like everybody in my is the Today programme still so I get to have woken up to Nick Robinson I do dip in elsewhere, so I've been listening to a bit too x radio.

Could you make a jazz radio think it's good.

I was really pleased that you know we now have a current affairs alternative broadcast radio show on times radio and and I mean good luck to them very well.

That's a program.

Has it doing at the time of national been living through on a it is still the program which Minister's now gone in a we have the brief Italy with a didn't but now and wake up to listen about Hancock

To talk about the vaccine.

It is still the agenda setting program of the day and you listen to the same thing the weekend would have stayed if I put you down classic FM at the weekend.

I listen to a variety actually I should say the media show also listen to medium Masters sometimes and the Guardian do the media podcast so I'm only podcast at the media the BBC

Comedy show, where is the night Cheryl the news quiz podcast about the power of radio people be interested in your take on this, what is the unique power of radio radio is that like most people? I have a lot of the time winner doing something else on driving is the obvious time when people do listen radio milk myself included but also if you just catching up on the paperwork.

You have the radio on in a way and that way into sort of constant companion in a way that you watching TV is is demands a bit more confident.

I like a whole variety of radiohead's.

I'm certainly for news programming but also music in the background says about a 50% share of.

Listening you think that shares too big or too little always a slight risk of its of well-being app competition that something which and I've always been console at 9 now has been a complaint from the commercial sector which something is there to do that and University does too much and some bits at the market in your colleagues two cases and the BBC is not or shouldn't be duplicated.

What is available commercially and so station like Radio 1 for instance which panel but the reason Radio 1 shoot isn't should be different to the commercial broadcasters is that it isn't just broadcasting the top 20 well-known artists.

Breaking new artists about exposing different genres the purpose of the BBC in this isn't just in radio butterflies.

Just as much in radio is to provide an altar which you probably would not find as easily on the commercial sector.

I promise you don't talk about the BBC for next 28 minutes.

I will arrange broadly but just while giving you raised it.

What is Defence of the existence Radio 2 is the one which is closest to a populace made music station, but I would hope still that it doesn't sound like a capital or horse or whichever Hits radio in a student be just another one like that.

He should still be offering on Amazon music.

Programs, would you wouldn't find out where I think I think in the main it does do that is not something you'd like a future BBC2 made me think about clipping the wings of who is said as long as I've been doing the media briefing one Way Or Another and it's not for the government to tell them that we we did set in the chart, which I was responsible for few years ago the BBC should be distinctive and that is something which applies Ride Across all of the different output and applies on radio particularly especially as you because the BBC has such a big presents in radio the competition is not as fierce in that their market share is bigger in radio is Princess in TV just before we come onto Commercial radio TV licence.

Do you think it's weird in this day and age that a licence on owning a TV is? What funds the BBC's radio stations was that just semantics obviously consequence people now consuming medium different min son simply linear television and that is a trend that will continue to grow Castle questions over the future of licence fee at the moment.

I might firstly I've always make clear how the attractive the idea of subscription is it's just technically possible at the moment because you can't you can't switch the BBC off to put off if you don't want to pay for it not for as long as it on Freeview but I'm in the whole long-term future of licence something but we will think about and it will be part of the PSB review which we announced today actually I'm going to come back to the PSPs in BBC and commercial.

Sectors been battered this year hasn't had a very very difficult year as how many sexes you do the deal with archiv? I think I like I've as you pronounce it the transmission provider two-way fees redirect to £40,000 for the community Radio 4 new push that include the audio content fund that was all in the summer.

What are you doing now to support that sector well? I'm very conscious radio really stepped up to the plate to respond to the challenge the ability of radio to reach audiences and the trust which radio enjoyed open any other form of Media don't make it very powerful and therefore we regarded as it as very important to support radio and for instance the package of support which made available through all the different Media for public information wasn't just a sudden it was because radio is very effective at treating audiences and I hope

Will continue because obviously public messaging remains very important the archiva deal has come to an end now and obviously we had that we would be in a better position.

We wouldn't be going into a second walk down there.

Not everybody benefited from the archivador the majority of commercial stations use aki before their transmission but we are aware of there are a small number of stations of don't and therefore didn't feel the benefit of the archiv arrangement so we are going to Grant to those stations that didn't receive any help as a result of the suspension of transmission costs which are keeping agreed to do we are so obviously going to maintain the community radio funds we coming to the next financial year that is specifically aimed to support obviously community stations and we will also

Another injection into the audio content fund of about 400000 now.

I'm an eye.

I know but it's going to remain very tough to operate commercial or indeed community radio stations in the face of the pandemic and the government support measures to therefore business generally also applicable to them, but obviously I will continue to talk to all the broadcasters and to do whatever we can to help them see through this time too obvious questions follow for their first will the stations that didn't benefit from the Ikea do a first time round.

Do you have a finger food? You know how much you wouldn't be able to help them is an ongoing discussion.

Are you out with that with that? We've agreed the money which the governor fine shopping is Norwegian £65000.

I think there are huge amount of these respects £400000 for the Community Radio

Radio stations variety they refuse stations that didn't commercial station to don't use or keeper.

I think it's 17 of top of my head and so you know they are quite understand came to us and said look you know fantastic news to those station to use akheeva but there are a small number of us who don't and therefore and it seemed only right that we tried to find specific help for them.

Are there any current discussions with our Kiefer about another deal like the first word where you wave transmission freezers that something is actually the moment.

We will continue to talk to other one has to recognise that goalkeeper a commercial business with shareholders and you know they're not going along operate simply as a charity and definitely but not in on the other hand it is INR keepers interest that their clients.

Don't got a business so that extent and I hope that we can continue to have constructive up.

But I do understand that you cannot expect like either do go on waving these which are one of their main sources of revenue you started your earlier answer by saying that radio inspires Trust uniquely well more than other media and individual.

What is it about radio at the community level and local level which does aspire.com I think it is I'm and I think the part of local radio new mentioned.

That is really strong people listening to BBC local radio but also the commercial stations are all right down into the community and these are people they feel they know very well and if they want to become friends with and they do trust them and because those stations are often quite deeply embedded in their communities.

I think that does generate a degree of trust and obey participating local fundraising.

Parties on the screen fantastic adverts by all the commercial stations to support charities and help people through Andover challenges the last few months, what about a patient of regulations.

Are you started out your current Politics of the only political appointee Margaret Thatcher's private office at the free market Conservatives get rid of rules and impartiality that radio stations make some money out of free speech is what the market wants.

I not allowed it.

Did it is about trust particularly and how the BBC is a global brand has probably the best reputation and is the most across the world that is something.

I would hate to see put in jeopardy, but it doesn't lie and all the way through the broadcasters.

We've always had quite a strong broadcasting code that doesn't mean.

Can't have reportedly held opinion on if you listen to LBC talk radio talk radio indeed, you know Mike Graham and the morning who's the time.

He's somebody was using somebody with strong views, but you know they nevertheless they achieve across there.

I've put James Brown is very different fused so it doesn't mean that they just be neutral on never used that use the word neutral.

It's what they have done.

What they have the trick that they've pulled off and the people that James racism directive LBC in global is it they're really interpreted impartiality to me balance that actually they're not important at all.

It's just the over the full spectrum and their programming there balanced and we live in the regulator balanced is acceptable even if it was called impartiality rules before the BBC news, which is very much.

Now if you have a personal view then you have somebody a present expressing the view across stations like to radio and LBC a minute easy cheese over the course and that presenters are certainly not entirely of one mind or or neutral on is use that's that it would be a very boring radiation.

They were frankly and that's not why people turned up to listen to them.

No one wants boring stuff like an internet radio station people find it through the smart speaker perhaps they listen in the kitchen like any other radio station if I start an internet radio station wouldn't be regulated by Ofcom how is that a level playing field for all the other radio stations you have to follow the rules or face huge fines completely anomalous situation.

It is not just in radio of course.

That's completely bizarre.

Not an anomalous, but it's

Punishing those who sang haven't played by your rules of course one of the original justifications for imposing regulation particularly on TV with althorne radio was that it wasn't possible for anybody as you just said to sit in the kitchen and turn off the radio station you needed to get an allocation of spectrum which I've gone over sore and that therefore the company that came certain rules the Internet that's not the case.

It does mean almost anyone can but no overtime when the regulations in the broadcasting at I'm in the internet was barely in its infancy certainly didn't he wasn't offering stream television and radio in the way that it does today.

You know I've been the BBC's media about 4 years and half the stories have done amount of this extraordinary inconsistency between the way we control different aspects of our public domain what's online and what in what we call traditional Media

The case that after so much discussion in so many Western democracies is not a problem unique to Britain we basically haven't actually got to a system of regulating the online world at all really actually made any serious advances is that because of a philosophical position which is you don't really want to regulate the internet because the Internet we open and free that's what we want in the west course China takes a different view or is it a issue? Which is that you can't let anyone who set up an internet radio station in the kitchen be regulated just it's hard to do this too much.

Just as too much content on YouTube to regulate both of those things true, but it doesn't 12.

Just step back and say well in that case it's fine drunk.

I've got loads of you like online and there are some rules already and some laws around hate speech and the law so nation is illegal actionable rather online as much as it is anyone else that is you around what we have defined as online harms is something that.

The government is considering at the moment and short-lived to publish proposals as to how we try and protect people particularly children and young and vulnerable people against online home so it's to say that we just can't control it.

It is more challenging because the Internet is global and you can have no companies and Services based overseas equal freedom of speech is used and the internet one of its glories.

Is that an Audi TT diesel medium in which people can express their views and you can find on my opinion but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't tackle particularly at the moment is used like this information around covid-19 all the time out with link2mobile female Sundays are things which the government has had to act quite swiftly try and stop spreading because of hot people will believe any.

What's your instinct on when FM can be turned off the radio review which is looking at the long-term future for radio and that isn't just when do we switch off and I'll I can remember the Debate around switching off FM about to look 15 years ago.

I mean obviously it wasn't even really posh until we write a couple we solve the issue ridecar those things are slowly taking place and new cars now all that DAB radios people DAB listening is we're not there yet how to instantly where's your head on it when we were you thinking I think it's probably immediately pencil it in my diary, but I think it's probably good Tanya's off.

I mean 1 things which we just done which we might touch on this as you have seen we've extended analogue.

1 reasons being that we think will send it extended 10 years which is possibly about the time.

We might think about switching off and transmission but the radio review is out there actually to examine and listen to views on precisely these questions as took local are you concerned about the state of local commercial radio local radio is very valued and over has been cancelled station.

I've always agreed that the principal thing is that the when you switch on the station you want to hear local news on here local reports you want the events taking place.

Is it as important as to where the content is is broadcast from no not as important to you.

And the big commercial groups have consolidated turnover to Global it isn't they are required by Ofcom to maintain local content that is what I think is important to talk about trust and when I asked you what the source of that trust.

Was you talk about that local connection something about very successful companies something about these vast corporate Giants doing local radio which weakens that strong connection between the listener and the product if you like which is the sort of that trust something.

I mean I think a harking back to the days when when you know your local radio presenter operate from stevia in the High Street or somewhere nearby and then turned out to open the village fete and that sort of thing we champion the difficulties of the

Appointed in the other direction as over has been cancellation but I'm in of Commons there to make sure that on a local is still a large part of the content and actually if the stations wish to hang onto their audiences.

It is just as important.

They do have a strong local in which case was the decision by Ofcom to allow local stations to network their breakfast shows that is a decision forthcoming.

I've heard the counter arguments that if you have somebody pretending Breakfast Show who is a very skillful presenter very and build audience you can do that and still have the local contact and that obviously is what the big groups of salt to do is pressure me.

We've sent them may well be a case for further deregulation of Parliament to the Beighton pass it but I think the important.

What is local content you mentioned global and the local radio group of said there are many radio stations that are broadcast on local FM licences, but will now be essentially broadcasting as a service 24/7 these licences will never awarded to be broadcast in this way.

We already have a wide choice of national radio station to choose from so why should we be forced into having our local ones now so the current national legislation local content are met and that is we may look at issues around where it's broadcast from or whatever but the local content and I still think of people want still to be able to hear that and then you have the layer below community radio stations which are obviously even much more deeply and added.

Genuinely doesn't reflect you know normally they made up of people who give up their time indoors going work at the radar station out of luck and all those community radio stations now serving ultra local audiences in the way the commercial radio wanted we've just had on you coming to radio station start up again Caroline community radio for those who wanted and that is that is something which no broadcast to a district consisting of what about 50000 people why doesn't really matter you have one of the big national stations you can listen to Radio 2 or x radio well be seen that coming all the way down through BBC local radio which is usually on.

Commercial the same and I heart Essex in my case and then you get down for Communion and all of those are offering different types of content and I listen to All the Lifeboat but doesn't the BBC's local radio service just duplicate what the Independent sector does suffocate it in the local independent sector would say you know what just shut the BBC you know just got the BBC local radio Services they might serve these Communities at least without finding people the private sector because BBC Radio have a bit of music but it does have a lot of talkbass content you now.

I'm phoning advice sessions.

I mean I was listening actually this morning to BBC Essex where they had quite a lengthy interview with the head of the hospital trust that covers Colchester now.

That might have appeared in the news Bolton or commercial radio, but generally commercial radio is much more music based with Local News programmes.

Where as little radio will have links program devoted to local issues and talkbass content and that the two should be different and I think BBC local radio does a very good job which is not the same as commercial radio.

Have you got a smart speaker which one? Is it until the turn off smart speakers in any room with a conduct official business? Maybe I'm not great but I haven't been told that if you see the radio executives won't be concern is there is nothing to stop Amazon from basically charging them for access in the future and at the moment if you ask Alexa to play Robbie see it does but Amazon could decide to monetize that interaction they charge global.

Carriage for isn't it and all of that would be to the detriment of both British radio listeners and the stations does a dangerous another few these companies going to get too powerful.

What can the guy actually do to prevent that from happening quite a bit.

I'm in first thing to say is that the the benefit of smart speakers and I said he was listening to BBC Essex listening to Caroline Community Radio little communication from my flat in London because I was able to say Alexa play me Caroline community radio which temperature successfully bring a wider audience now.

You're absolutely right that the big tech platforms are very powerful and we're not just talking about distribution of radio content.

I mean, where is the biggest sea around the whole of the media and the part that rests with the platforms particularly in terms of advertising revenue that is something that the competition and markets authority as you probably.

Recently released report the government is looking at that and I think there are there is a strong case for intervention by government where it appears that competition is being impeded by the power of one or two very very big companies abuse and the need to promote competition is something which all three market Conservatives believe in you say the BBC following your own argument if the BBC's to win local radio particular, she's not here for a different 5 years from now that in five years at the moment not bigger than about 5% radio listening, but you know they're going to go on.

There will be a variety of ways in which we continue to listen to radio.

I think radio is still going to be strong that the death of radio has been written up quite a number of times and it happened and I don't think it will happen.

You know when streaming services started things I Spotify podcasting.

Oh well, that's the end of it is not the case and I think radio have a bright future.

I think it is important that eats another BBC is that as a public service broadcaster, but with strong commercial competition for plural and I think the what we've talked about in terms of Communities is equally extremely important bit Geographic Communities or indeed community I've been talking nation radio station summer they have a reaction to their community unlike any other form of Media is there a conflict between 380 radio and local commercial radio and have a very vibrant community.

Does it make it harder for commercial radio to be a success locally tension between the two and I've heard that for a long time they should be radio stations in the main are voluntary there much more locally based the less dependent on advertising and commercial services is a more market-driven operation which does need advertising revenue to sustain it and you need and then you have the BBC and your little bit of overlap, but they should all be distinct and that is the basis on which they've been supported in the past so let me ask you about the wider issues pertaining to the media which I know you've grateful to over the years and in your current and I'll see you to answer these openly without saying that matters for your panel out on the future of Public Service Broadcasting what do you make a Tim Davies start as director-general? He's really good stop.

I was a fan and friend of Tony Hall who I think so the BBC through quite a difficult period particularly in the early days, but nobody took over difficult to George Entwistle and the Fallout from then but I think Tim recognises that the BBC has to change both in terms of serving audiences, which perhaps it's likely lost sight of also becoming leaner and more efficient concentrating on the things which the BBC does best and you know the speech he made as the incoming director-general.

I thought was absolutely right and but I'm I'm greatly encouraged museum in recent weeks.

Yeah, I'm here and I are very regular contact and I have seen him with his little harder and present but we've we met up for a chat and we speak quite regularly.

I don't know he's been a lovely time in Westminster to number 10 you are the ministers.

Decriminalisation of licence for a particular and Y in his view it would be counterproductive.

I know from speech and politics had some successes for example.

Where do you stand the decriminalization of the licensing? Well? I mean when I will separate state.

I looked at decriminalization and I commissioned the report by David Parry which came back and was emetic is highlighted a lot of the problems and now I'm back in government.

You've got a secretary of state who quite rightly wanted to look at it again because the world is continually changing I think the problems which did Perrie identified still exist and therefore it is a lot more complicated than people first sink without having properly examined it.

I mean for instance one of the difficulties that you could if you'd moved to a system of civil penalties you could end up with people on loan.

Struggle to afford licensee actually facing big financial penalties and they do at the moment which obviously would be against the whole reason for the looking at equalization, so we haven't finally decided we will be publishing a response to the consultation very soon, but then I think of separate state indicates that the other day.

I mean they're all koala loved it sounds like the government is moved on from the assertion by the prime minister in the heat of the election campaign way the decriminalization is something he's going to look at that's interesting that so I think he made that assertion in the Spirit of this is coming down the line.

Where is I think what you're saying is this is something which is really quite complex and look into it is clear that the interview on this programme from the BBC Tony Hall told the media show the story of his negotiations with the government over the licence fee.

BBC taking on payment for the licence fees for the over 75s and your name came up volunteered your name and he said that you called him one weekend to say you know what key weekend to say look silly.

I'm not the training conferences here.

You couldn't say that the Treasury George Osborne specifically was set on transferring that welfare payment on to the BBC I just want to be clear out Something I Should Have Asked Tony Hall in them now.

It's new you for or against that move back then.

I was a member of David Cameron cabinet and therefore obviously had to buy the collective responsibility and understood the I mean it was at a time when we were having to make very difficult decisions in order to restore the public finances as the incoming Secretary of State dcms was looking at now having to find savings right across all our range of different bodies and the the figure that the over 75s licence fee was costing.

Already huge and projected to go on rising year of the year and the Chancellor said look I Gotta Find savings and this figure is very difficult to justify now and we cannot afford the light to go on rising and so we gave the responsibility to the BBC it was a part of a package where they are things which we agreed but nevertheless to know we will clear the it would be a matter for them to decide how and whether to continue to fund it abiding by collective responsibility back.

They're the same thing as saying you felt your heart was right thing to do.

Did you feel is right thing to do?

Looking back, I mean what what concerns me slightly although I understood.

Why was that I was in Barking on charter renewal and we were taking a decision which would have an impact on the BBC nobody pretending otherwise before we'd even sat down and decided the charter and what licence would look like in the responsibility as well, but it was a time when when the Treasury were very clear.

We had to to make these hard choices and accepted that ok.

They've announced this week an advisory board of industry bigwigs to shape the future of Public Service Broadcasting there is a fused with Conservatives Robbie Gibb Andrew Griffith MP very big jobs at the BBC in sky Gabby 30 and who work for David Cameron George Michael grave understanding course that conservative government with a point Conservatives and they can serve two leading panel of slightly more credibility if it wasn't so nobody political.

10 you haven't got any other because each one brings a knowledge and expertise and out Robbie for instance has worked in the BBC for a long time and then at the heart of government in communications, but I think the youngest CEO in the FTSE 100 and if you're looking quite well name because what three of them serving members of Parliament and Robbie obviously had worked for freezing that political affiliations are now.

I don't know about the others know something other ask them but in every single case of that panel the reason that they were.

It is because they have a particular knowledge and expertise which we felt would be really valuable expertise takes time to accumulate Union Street today about it the same question.

Why is it so old nothing wrong with old people? I should be clear.

I love all people are largely of my salary of course but you look at the future Public Service Broadcasting you got a 42 year-old there 14 and the rest of the tenner in their 50s and also you've not got to see Nicola mendelsohn from Facebook you not got a single person from a streaming company which Disney a YouTube and Amazon when you're looking at the future of public service logo those the guys are reshaping at first thing is to say this is an advisory panel.

He's not he's not drawing up the government's policy and it is not the sole contributor III have very regular conversations with you know representatives from Netflix from Amazon etc, and I will

Wanting to listen to them as well state as well as the panel the panel of people who have got god of experience and knowledge and as you say that that comes with with having worked in the industry for quite a long time.

That's not to say that we aren't extremely keen to hear from those who are at the Cutting Edge you last night who are involved in Talbot of services, which was beginning to develop my right in saying that none of those on the pan are known to be sceptics for the licence fee in the world.

Have you got today would have liked some more prominent sceptics the licence fee to be on that panda when they're very angry the first thing to say is that the licence fee is in place until.

E27 because that was what with was laid down in the charter as I've said after 2027 there is still the difficulty however much you wanted to move danalto model I think he'd until we reach the point where Freeview is switched off and I'm that is not anytime soon.

It is very difficult see how you can two different financing or you could move to a system of general subsidy from the taxpayer, but that's been considered before and and carries with it problems.

I don't think you could advertising mobile think that would undermine the commercial sector significantly so most people talk about some element of subscription and that is something which ones will be possible but the PSV panel is not the issue will feature as one of the issues, but it's not there to look at whether or not to discontinue the licence fee.

CBBC Sebastian Bach on a huge investigation into her Martin Bashir interview with Princess Diana 25 years ago.

What's your reaction to the extraordinary details this story? I think like everybody I was pretty shocked when I saw the original program which carried the interview with the graphic artist who said study was commissioned to do this.

I mean it's it's home time ago, but this was was an interview which I remember extremely well even there what it would win 35 years or more it is important obviously but the truth is fat and that if things were done wrong that that is exposed.

I know that Tim Davie is absolutely clear about the need to do that.

He's moved very quickly understand.

He's going to appoint an independent investigator very quickly to establish exactly what happened both in terms of the original interview and then.

Complaints and have those were handled.

It's right the BBC carry that out said lord was a friend of yours.

He's got some pretty big question to answer that the Lord people who were involved at that time and I want to wait and see the outcome of the investigation, but I think the team is the current DG is doing exactly the right thing by moving very quickly to find out how this came about that I totally understand that is a position you gotta wait for the Final Destination but we can we can ask a hypothetical question if Martin Bashir is commissioned forged documents in order to secure the interview should be sat by the BBC is not well.

Seriously not well that makes it harder.

I don't I don't want to prejudge it.

I can we will wait to see but clearly these are very serious matters and it is right that we have a full investigation is talk more widely in it in the time.

What's the point of Channel 4 in the age of YouTube Channel 4 was originally set up with a specific remit to serve audiences that otherwise were hated for it is done.

So very successfully managed to meet his room and remain viable and profitable.

You're right that we are in a different world that there is content far more content available through YouTube Through the various streaming services and that is why I shouldn't say that's a question for the PSB panel, but it is something that is why we set up to be as bad feedback on all to look at all the public service broadcasters and ask the question on a Peugeot on doing what they doing.

It should we change the remix do we need to have a strong obligations as previously have always been in place those are very big questions and not going to tell me the answer but have there been any factual point have there been active discussions in recent months within government about privatisation Channel 4 now.

I mean I mean it was something which you know when I was separate state last we thought of that and looked at I think you reject it then give me why did you look at it as sexual stay and say no back then?

What's a lot of opposition that the time and it was going to be very challenging to do and we government heard all the priorities of the time.

I mean the world has changed even a short time since then I even though it's only what 34 years ago on it in terms of the content the choice of content it.

Just been remarkable how much that is grown in just as last year outside.

I don't want to sing like Channel 4 and say we know the question is do we need Channel 4 actually it is a question about the whole of Public Service Broadcasting the answer to the question.

Do we still need Public Service Broadcasting I think he's almost certainly yes, I've always been a supporter of Public Service Broadcasting but how it should adapt to what is a completely world is something we are going to be thinking about really careful and how to know your panel look into this but how and your sense should public service broadcasters and the creative Industries more widely fit into the government leveling up agenda.

Replacement associated with your panel the idea for instance of saying the whole of Channel 4 should move up to the north of England to York to Leeds you think that that's what I mean.

We are stronger to Channel 4 that they didn't need to move out of London I do not have a lead take orders with satellite software to you about whether or not there in Oldbury Road is a map of the Channel 4 but on I think there is a strong case so is Channel 4 is to look different to the other public service broadcasters.

They could do more to be seen to be serving audiences in the north of England for instance that maybe feel they're not as probably k-sport moment but that's not you know it's not enough just the Channel 4 to do that the BBC needs think about that and I think the leveling up agenda is one which all broke off needs to think that I'm very keen to see see that addressed.

I would have finished by talking about polarization which is she worth.

Came on here.

Do you think it's and we've often talked on the show about the culture Wars was raging at the moment.

Do you think is part of the duty of Media to combat polarization as they were bring the country together in a shared cultural shared Amanda shed public space debatin properly report it but equally the media on occasion has a huge strength in bringing people together.

I mean we saw that happened.

I think on Sunday and Saturday evening the broadcast of the server of the Remembrance Day ceremony in the Albert hall, and then the service of Cenotaph that is bring the country together.

I think in terms of things like the forthcoming Queen's Jubilee or the Commonwealth Games I mean those or there's or events.

Generally the BBC but not solely the BBC will broadcast and will unite the nation I overdose a landmark event on a through the year and I'm thinking about the the new site today the minute by minute the infinite stream the hourly Horror Show that is social media and it's been a long way to go to find an answer to but I'm interested in your brochure this intellectually you know I keep the same question but getting no real answer from whoever comes on the show.

She's when you got social media companies which are incentivized built engineered to spread outrage two-seat paranoia, how to bring coaches to an end mean on all the forces at the moment dragging US into our own individual silos into paranoia conspiracy outrage and the seed is it hard to find the Commonplace even if there is provided a lot of people to get put off by exactly what you described on social media getting very rich.

Making more money on the right, but you know I mean people a lot of people don't like Twitter because he is so abusive and that's not just to know politicians the object to actually really don't want to have volunteer opinions expressed in the terms that I'm afraid social media tends to encourage.

I think there is a role for traditional Media to be the calm sensible voice to present arguments for to do so in a measured rational way, that's what I look for the public service broadcasters to do in January I think they do that quite well, and how does the coming launch of GB news fit and you know if there is another provider of news programming which equally is impartial into the the requirements of

But nevertheless is offering an alternative opinions.

I think that can only be good be taught about trust and you worry finally that if trust and authority disappear the media landscape.

They are generally speaking reducing and they still pockets of them as we discussed, but if I thought interest disappear for the media landscape as they're threatening to do when everything you watch read or hear party Down the boxer.

Just becomes harder and I think the media are crucial for a properly functioning democracy one of the things which was worried me very long time in which I'm still attempting to try and address is the decline of local news reporting and it is very difficult for voters side in local council elections on Merrell elections and Hooda vote for if they are not able to have objective factual reporting of the performance of the

And unfortunately local newspapers are in continuing in decline of one of the things which and I'm very proud to have established with Tony Hall when he was directed was the local democracy initiative which was an attempt to begin to address that with the BBC funding 150 local reporters, but Media trusted Media is absolutely essential for Dermot for democratic process to work properly.

I think the genus listen to this will be reassured by your certain that at John whittingdale.

Thank you very much indeed for your time.

Thank you.


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