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Read this: Decline of the Editor

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Decline of the Editor…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello goodbye well nearly 4 years 144 shows and not a libel claim among them.

This is my final edition will have a new presenter later this year and a rotating class between now and then so how to hand over the baton without a pompous ceremony well together with the team.

I want in this final show to prosecute an argument before getting to it.

I really hope you feel that we've done some cool stuff in my time.

We've interviewed some of the biggest names in global Media gone inside some of the best shows experiment with different formats and annoyed all the right people it's been a hoot.

calexico buying players began here in the test match between England and South Africa is going to speak to the engineer who is responsible for making the sound happened my guests today is often described as the most powerful figure in Hollywood and indeed global Media

Bob iger is the CEO of the Walt Disney company is CEO of Channel 4 and Keith weed is the chief marketing officer of Unilever Ted sarandos, is the chief content officer Netflix my escape in my sense of Peace was television.

Did you watch a huge amount actually? I would search my idea because I could make reference to the funding hole at Channel 4 and probably loves loads of winners for the Tech companies another give us but I'm going to talk to you about the big issue of my language is baking Bake Off is be back on both very rich to make a fortune teller some highlights from the past 4 years there, but every week.

We have to choose what we focus on and this week.

Is no different in the next 25 minutes or so, I want to argue that we are simultaneously living in a golden age of content and yet unless radical action is taken for a dark age of news the main reason for that is a technological revolution.

We are all living through one effective which has been an extraordinary and not altogether positive of power from humans to algorithms.

This is a tale about the decline of the editor told by the Editors and other high-profile journalist that we've welcomed in a sense of the challenges facing the media that start local James mitchinson is the boss of the Yorkshire post and Yorkshire Evening Post back in December 2019 during the general election campaign his paper published a story about the boy who been sleeping on hospital floor whilst he waited for treatment James reporter and verify the story with the hospital the hospital issued an apology.

The start what followed I don't think I could have imagined around his face.

I've never seen anything like it the mirror got hold of our story and they splashed it and that gave permission for the story to be undermined.

I think the fact that red top tabloid haven't covered themselves in glory in recently is that gave permission for the Conspiracy activist lobbyist to start to discredit store in that's what happened.

So there was a coordinated concerted attack on the tail from literally thousands and thousands of accounts on Facebook accounts purportedly saying I have prove this is untrue and the one that did the real damage was a lady whose account she later claimed to have been hacked, but I made it.

I have a good friend who works at least General Infirmary I can tell you this isn't true and a source close to my friend has confirmed the story is fake that was the one that did the real.

And in the morning the next day, I had an email from a reader and it was Margaret and she said I'm a long-term subscribe to the or supposed to take it all my life.

So my family been passed down from Generation to generation and cancel my subscription.

You haven't checked your fax.

She was outraged that we were published story that was so clearly on true because she put it on Facebook I responded to Margaret as I do every morning.

I was walking the dog 5:30 in the dark freezing cold busting out a reply to to Margaret on my phone.

Got back to the office and I just thought the level of public and the really scary nature of the way that this story had been attempted to be undermined.

I felt compelled to make the letter the response tomorrow and open letter.

I felt Margaret won't be anyone who swallowed this fake news this which had been picked up by lots of mainstream.

Jones's were saying that it wasn't just a Facebook social media thing that.

This person claiming to have a source of hospital, but it gone it been mainstream by lots and lots of quite high profile Janice basic.

You're talking you're jealous.

Did you get response from Margaret I did actually embarrassed she asked what she could do to guard against that in the future.

We exchange several emails actually what lesson do you draw from the fact that the Conspiracy did that you did have that feeling in the pit of your stomach and that you came under such to stay in the tap first saw it was true sadness worry.

Why I worry that the fakery is going to win quality journalism attack and ordinary people those want experts in journalism media and the Bean tricks on a daily basis and they're not been tricked out of money the been robbed of something much more profound than that they've been robbed of the almost ubiquitous right that we've had this principle of the Fourth Estate being reliable somewhere you could turn.

Trust place of sanctuary where truth existed there been deprived of that.

There's a lot to unpack in what James mitchinson said there and editor of a local paper publishes a story the editor knows the story to be true, but once it goes online standards often crumble rigorous editing in fact checking often stands for nothing.

There is no editor to Curate the news genuine journalism appears alongside fake news and angry opinion and any difference is almost indecipherable so we get here.

Why is a story in reputable papers not received in November 2019 I spoke to Dorothy Byrne now the editor-at-large of Channel 4 but then Channel 4 head of news and current affairs your new book by the trust me.

I'm not a politician party based in York mactaggart lecture your the keynote speech at the Edinburgh television festival she gave an orcas you call that politicians for lying but a lot of people in this country.

I think that the only people left, trustworthy.

A journalist, what do you say to that? They're speaking about newspaper journalist and broadcasters maybe the BBC they would be wrong because we moved from the most recent EBU survey that British newspaper journalist came out as the lowest in Europe but we also know that 71% of the British public trust television journalist, but only 9% according to a recent survey of 2000 voters only 9% of the British public trust politicians what you're saying my application.

If not explicitly is coming to programs like Channel 4 News which you have control over social media allows politicians to communicate directly to voters without this intermediate level of Dennis from their point of view from the politicians point of view rather summarise current affairs and News Channel 4 what I should.

When your programs because firstly we know from another survey done by reuters that only 10% of voters social media so two years ago trust in journalism was already worryingly low when people don't trust each other they get angry back in June of last year cast viner editor of The Guardian for years.

She had to appeal to both Corbyn supporting readers and those For Whom the Venn Labour leader was unpalatable really interesting and often very disappointing for lots of people on the left because we are not a labour paper in fact if we're never been attached to any political parties to the the Liberal party as was what we are as laid laid out by CP Scott nearly 100 years ago is that we're paper and a broad range of perspective.

From the can of soft right to the left and it's incredibly important according to our mandate really that we have a range of perspectives when that you know that people so we had been columnist and anti-corbyn columnist.

We will have prosonic on is an anti-islamic on with all of them speaking with that invoice and that pluralism is the key to the Guardian we don't line up behind behind parties or individuals relying up behind ideas and policies and I'm really keen that we keep that going so fast because you were appointed editor in June 2015 Jeremy Corbyn elected leader of Labour in September 2015 not long after you.

So I'm just how did you try to reconcile on the one hand riding the Corbin way? He was interesting movement international residency things that Bernie Sanders in America which party did Princes by hiring some young social media social media active columnist, but also keeping happy those readers for whom.

Unpalatable, how did you try manage that I think you do that through the columns and try and balance out the columns, but the downside is of course is that in Egypt Furious with you any one point the running any columnist to April anti-corbyn depending where they where they stood so is it was in it's got a tempestuous period when I started I did feel there were enough people who got the Corbyn phenomenon, which was very inspiring young people at the beginning and so as you said we still have tried to balance that out but I think that that balance the realism which I think is necessary appreciated by many people outside.

It's absolutely our history our tradition and it's and I really feel very strongly that it's at the heart of who we are Catherine apparent imperialism in the Guardian from readers who respond furiously to Pieces they don't agree with there is no getting away from the fact that over the past four years the people who profit from online.

Age have got much richer Taylor Lewis describe the economics of outrage.

It's now we hear about it and we see it much more instantaneous way, then we used to say I think it can certainly feel like you're living in a time 24/7 madhouse corrected.

This is just go out into my road and look at people in my street going about normal everyday lives on troubled by vegan sausage rolls in the fact or whenever you want to talk back to bowls your argument, but not thinking is a version of that where you find the maddest weeks all the maddest opinions from the other side if you took 200 people one of them is going to be a prat that is just a fact of life.

That's how the world works, but the problem with social media is analyses to service every single one of those and I find it particularly horrifying when I look at a new story on a website and it is padded out with tweets offer that.

Search with a term to find the people with the opinion to say Uno online story about someone outfit on The X Factor and then we just do a search for everybody's go she's wearing a highlighted.

Don't know what they're actually search for in the pictures of the tweets one of the things.

I think it's the hardest job in the journalist not the most of these days prominent figures within the media are often those most likely to question whether their fellow hacks are getting it right actual now you can go back and all the votes that you talked about every single time Twitter convinced himself that it was right and turned out to be completely wrong you see the same thing in America with Donald Trump Twitter never sold trump coming it was just coronate ing, Hillary Clinton and then got this terrible shock to wake up to President Trump and so doesn't surprise me that time in again a very.

Orientated Media in America and in this country and have to say at the BBC and I don't say I love the BBC on the liberals work as we know you can should a harpoon running are there on Twitter all day in their little Echo Chambers and it I think it seeps into consciousness that they believe at the elections going a certain way and my advice alternative probably pretty rich coming from me but get off Twitter a bit and go into the Heartlands and middle America and the north of England and places you would normally gravitate to and get into the well because you live in West London 30 times a day but I would argue that on for example on brexit and trump.

I've been very down the middle so everybody hates me if you look at the major news providers in Britain of the moment.

They all come from various shades of left no mad left or anything like that bit from centre centre left.

Bit more left in a bit more left a lot of people here and see what happens.

Do you have for that? You know you've written at the BBC News a lot of news outputs to Southern it's to metropolitan, but if you actually go and listen to news in Leicester or Scunthorpe to Huddersfield it's not liberal left.

It's not Ramona stuff.

It's local news from local journalist understand, but I'm not talking about I'm not talking about this you have the national bulletins for the BBC I would say it is a moderate centre-left outlook in the Metropolitan Outlook please share the same metropolitan value.

We have the the same Luca online director-general of the BBC hasn't said pollerton.

That's a different thing from centre-left said to left as a political position on the BBC was at his happiest.

And you know publisher of The Spectator and chairman of GB news and before that Piers Morgan to format newspaper editors of course naturally the dispute the idea that it is to live and is often Ferocious the attack from the left for being too right wing one thing that hasn't changed much in recent years is the degree to which we import a media culture from America if people angry hit well, Washington is on another Level last October with the US Presidential campaigns well underway a press story about Hunter Biden Joe Biden son spotlight on media impartiality trump supporters felt the hunter Biden story wasn't getting proper press scrutiny of the Washington Examiner and Brian stelter from CNN indecency and bsbs by the right.

It's hopefully stop.

Alright now.

It's true and that's what the path from the reacting to the Bottom Line is it deserves scrutiny by all media outlets and if they pick and choose this and decide it's not worth their time.

I think that's why I think everybody deserves to look at the mall of stuff and everyone should look at this and give by the scrutiny that you know it's not running for president of the glee club.

He's running for president of the United States this is last year's news.

It's weather not his son was Kourtney and get him to talk to the Ukraine oligarchs and he was benefiting from this is this is really I said it was last season you're saying it's new I think bad of miners.

We don't know what is real.

What is faking these? There is anything really?

Don't you dare? I didn't have sex in 2017 and 2018 my Vue in Iver right to say it.

I was aware that the news media was unethical.

I don't get what you're doing stuff.

I was much more sceptical cos I knew the sourcing and I knew were came from on Capitol Hill stood in the buildings.

Did you get this but don't ignore ignore but not there's a difference between reported in The Newsroom vs.

Going on the air with it when it's on bed.

Happens every day use rooms in America are very careful about this stuff.

I know you wasn't readers don't see it, but it happens every day slow cautious betting happens if you decline of trust in media has happened at the same time as a transformation in the role of editors decades ago editors were Gatekeepers the Guardians if you like of public information today technology has rob them of much of their power transferring largely to California as I know for my time running a newspaper the job of an editor is undergoing a kind of permanent Revolution few yes, put it better than team back out executive editor of The New York Times it's huge means when I started as a journalist it was all print and and you pick the stories for the front page.

You pick the photos for the front page.

I now running is run that does video that does his a podcast is a weekly television show there's just so much more stuff to do and so many more ways to reach people you are so have but I'm having on the first executive editor as a Newsroom filled with people who know how to do things have no idea how to do my predecessors if you ran a newspaper in the 1970s a good editor or co-editor story write a story in I'll write a headline.

I have no idea at running podcast I have no idea had a part of make a video that's any good the media be is much more interesting these days than it was 20 years ago when circulation Wars or beef between colonist was what most people wrote about that.

Thanks largely to a technological revolution which plenty of journeys.

Think has done more harm than good perhaps the most infuriating about all my guests has been the formative the Northern Echo and Sunday Times

Delay to Harold Evans online entities which have robbed newspapers have classified all the advertising have an immunity from prosecution.

They are not responsible for what they publish.

They make no effort to publish original score is a steal it from the papers, but the first point is they lose the immunity what they carry secondly the portion of the exaggerated revenues of the monopolies or duopolis should come to the printing press 50 million Americans in the 2016 will Reading Russian propaganda all the time so while it's nice to have Facebook and a picture of my daughter getting married whatever it may be certain social enjoyment or benefit is actually not worth what's being sacrificed.

I'm trying so quickly.

Has Facebook been a benefit to democracy? No, it's not I'll tell you what was wrong with Facebook the moment they accepted advertising and lamentations in apologies in all these Kennedy are betrayed by the exit from because greed over to virtue Facebook if you were subscriber would have one see which would be obviously haven't subscribed Facebook as an advertising medium exalts money over everything else but Facebook would say if they were in a room that in terms of how they try and support democracy and then obviously very idealistic.

There's a predatory causing it.

They're obviously very idealistic about their influence on democracy.

They say they connect people from around the world they low barriers to entry into public conversation and above all they give people a sense of what's going on and most of the information on Facebook is good and reliable information about things they care about.

Most of the information Facebook does not send anybody to Syria it's not seeing anybody to it.

So it's not investigating a medical for not doing any of these they don't put their enormous power to use the power that Harry Evans is talking about their largely comes from data today data is the most valuable comme si on Earth Google Facebook ID data Giants in effect a modern version of the 20th century advertising industry in Gathering almost unimaginable the data on all of us the data kings of California have inadvertently become the new editors decision-making power has shifted from human editors to algorithms ultimately controlled by a new oligarchy think of Jackdaws the boss of Twitter selling to kick Donald Trump off his platform of Amazon switching off a website.

Merely by the alright and what's remarkable is the job of an editor is the one thing these techpros didn't seek out truly the geeks Shall Inherit the Earth half moon is the bus of Reddit a website he started in 2005 as a student which now has millions of users here easily found himself taking the throat political decision the shutdown page used by fans of then President Trump banners community dedicated to supporters of Donald Trump it.

It was formed like believe in 2016 - 2015 and we did ultimately bayonet in the spring of 2020 so at that point it was a dead community it was Stormont in advance that way since the fall of 2019 but we had certainly had a challenges with the Donald over the years community the means in the news and that stuff is buy large was young.

Contact Chelsea community of trolls deliberately.

I think testing our boundaries testing the rules antagonising Reddit the company with a great community much like a 4-year old testing boundaries like they try to find where the line is they walk right up to it my stick their noses over it and you'll have to take action and this was a challenge because there's also a community dedicated to the president of the United States and as we talked about before political speech is just sacred the United States and in liberal democracies, but it's intertwined already and we believe political speeches is supremely important what I have a four-year-old tonight.

I hear you loud and clear.

Can I put Tuesday lysergic I put to you that what you're really describing.

Let's be frank about is your extraordinary power I hear you.

I understand what you're saying.

You are not conventional media companies of course you don't Commission contact you are.

Driven, but you have the power to through your judgement through your I would suggest and humbly submit to your editorial judgement.

You have the power to allow a community of 750000 people exist or not to exist that Power which if you're kind of romantic.

Let me and you watch films that Citizen Kane used to belong to newspaper men in the 20th century.

You are in a sense editors.

Are you not you are ready sensemaking subjective decisions about what should and shouldn't be on life albeit in a different context albeit whilst being community-driven as you are.

I think if you are also romantic like me you have a pathological sometimes detrimental dedication to the values behind our reasoning in this case authenticity and open century fullness in so it's true.

We do make decisions and when we make decisions in this case about a political community we wear those decisions very heavily.

Honestly over the long-term as we've done in many areas of red hair is to find a way for the greater community to make this decision stem cells are the only people that can't text and taste to make some of the difficult decisions that need to be made the argument between technology and democracy is going to shape all our Futures and indeed the future this program.

This is why we've so often argued that today the media is the story and why I occasionally campaign for this program to be longer.

This is my media show number for the Today programme but this very much continues without me.

Thank you so much to all the guess who has spoken to me these past 4 years but I want to reserve final mention for the engineers and producers.

Who are the real stars of this show in particular producer had a sander and editors Richard Hooper and Eleanor Garland they are the best in the business and your night.

Are very lucky to have them in my case the media show is back at the same time next week.

Thank you to Jasmine Today studio engineer and a Bubble thank you for lending me your ears.


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