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Read this: 05/11/2021 Radio 4 Feedback

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05/11/2021 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, what makes the BBC Special in the view of this listener, it's the willingness to bite the hand that feeds it which is what the BBC podcast Nolan investigates has just done a price for this much-needed investigation in their name which is absolutely record with it's traditional principles and values of impartial reporting in the public interest in feedback this week.

I'll be talking to Stephen Nolan and his colleague David Thompson about their investigation into the corporations relationship with the lgbtq plus lobby groups turn wall at asking why the BBC doesn't seem to want to answer their questions and talking about impartial reporting the Secretary of State Nadine dorries things does a lack of it at the BBC but is impossible to in the eye of the beholder.

I'll be examining some new proposals with a member of the BBC's executive committee.

Represent I think the biggest most significant push that we have made to ensure our programs and a content of fair accurate and unbiased and out of your comfort zone listeners.

Give their thoughts on the BBC programme called white mischief was it really this cheapest thought-provoking and quite uncomfortable with the point but will she listen to more episodes find out later in feedback.

The broadcaster Stephen Nolan likes controversy and doesn't like a fight but his latest investigation has been partly into his own employer the 10-part BBC podcast Nolan looked at the influence of the lobby group Stonewall which is an lgbtq plus rights charity.

He asked whether that BBC and other organisations such as the Scottish and Welsh and immediate regulator Ofcom have become too close to Stonewall and in effect allowed it to unduly influenced their policies in controversial areas such as the right of people to self declare their own which is a position that isn't supported by UK law and usually despite frequent invitations, but Stonewall and the BBC declined to be interviewed for the podcast is this a favour of the investigation? This is a word used by one side of this particular political campaign to make women.

Biological women woman as as as an identity ok and people on the other side of this really object that they find it incredibly does the BBC now use the term set the BBC Radio Lancashire I want to register my appreciation of the Superb investigative journalism by Stephen Nolan and David Thompson there river and focus with the other complexity of processes that have been conducted behind closed doors.

They can they genuine reality and by sharing their conversations with a unpack to make sense of their discoveries they provide a clarification for the listener Alex from Dudley I would like to

Nolan for investigating a powerful lobby group with influenced so many companies and public sector organisations is present PR strategy seems to consist of two coronavirus interviews whilst announce evening MI6 anyone who understands basic biology or is it supposed to be same-sex attracted as bigots? I'm particularly impressed that no one was allowed to investigate the BBC itself Abigail it is brave of the BBC2 broadcast This podcast because it does not show the BBC and a good lighting places, but it is Public Service Broadcasting at its best and please do not be able to people who say the podcast is transfer BIC you giving people who subscribe to gender ideology the chance to speak and if what they say does not stand up to scrutiny that is their problem.

Yes Grove disappointing the failure of the BBC overall 10 episodes to put up a single interviewee to defend its position on a serious matter of investigative journalist commissioned by the BBC

I'm also saddened by it's decision not to broadcast the series on its leading news and current affairs radio station BBC Radio 4 when is clearly a podcast as much to come about some of the leading social and political issues of the day well, I'm delighted to be joined by journalist Stephen Nolan and is assistant editor David Thompson Stephen Nolan I would have to have prayers does that Surprise it's a price of big time yeah, and there has been criticism but David night or gobsmacked by pint of prayers that we've got the Nolan Show in Northern Ireland we nearly daily basis deal with very very controversial material.

That's the nature of Northern Ireland and will use again a lot of sense.

We've never seen this amount of Praise presumably you have had some negative criticism.

What's the nature of that produces the nature of it? Is that there are some people who feel?

You asked questions about Stonewall then you are anti-gay.

That's how they're trying to frame it or we are anti-gay rights and that is Ludacris still say a lobby group and therefore it is completely within the standard practice of any journalist to ask a question if a lobby group is interacting with public institutions to the that we saw they are and by the way and do what you're a strong for you in this storm old do not speak there an effective lobby group.

They have many supporters, but all gay people don't think absolutely one of the really interesting consequences of the podcast was the number dozens of people from within the BBC almost all women who contacted us to say thank you for doing the podcast I felt that I couldn't read some of these issues.

I couldn't report and some of these issues and many of those people are from within the LGBT community so the idea that still more somehow the Arbiter's of

What is bad for LGBT people is question and just hungry as a broadcaster is an interview or to have someone in the BBC in front of me and for me the Aslam that a simple question which is a lobby group were selling a league table and the BBC were trying to climb up with why does the BBC get hurt or Harlow is a political lobby groups League table if people are listening to the podcast and criticizing turn off where we get slightly frustrated is those people who haven't listened to the podcast under just need charging into questioning our journalism because we're asking questions of Stonewall still wanna not this elite group beyond questioning they can't be new organisation or no individual should be good podcast because you got 10 of them.

I think in this instance the length of the podcast isn't just tightly controlled as it would be if it was on the broadcast network.

Sorry got 27th.

Off you go that you have the room to explain things that you don't have on Broadcast radio.

Yes because on the podcast we were able to go into lots of detail about the different gender identities about the debate on sex and gender in a way that you wouldn't have had time to on the radio on by doing it in the podcast format we could take her time and step free all of the things that are quite complicated and need a lot of time for people to get the our goal here Roger was not just informing people about some of the detail it was trying to die in the fear Factor of talking about this at all.

So there is no doubt that people have been frightened even making a contribution into this debate and a public service broadcaster needs to jump right into the middle of that territory if that ever happens were there are contentious issues.

There are issues which are contested and people are frightened of.

About them then the BBC needs to facilitate them speaking about them and we just thought we should get her head above the parapet and do that.

It's not just about talking about the issue.

It's finding the language with to talk about them because the language of silk and tested so just using terms which is so heavily contested must have been a bit of a mindfield for you totally.

I didn't know what half of it meant am I was learning as I went along and there's one of the episodes in This podcast where some of the people you know that the editor of paint news is he the other David at the CEO you think he wasn't able to tell us.

What some of these terms men and I think that there is a lack of basic knowledge among the white population.

How can they contribute some of them are frightened and some of them understand the language business credit score do you investigate the links between Stonewall and the BBC and still won't talk to you.

Ok? Maybe you expect after then the BBC

Talk to you about that.

Did you expect us what I would think of is an extraordinary response from your employer well, is it? I would differentiate.

I don't think relevant that they are are employers what I think is relevant.

Is it? They are a major institution in the United Kingdom I do think it's important for the BBC to answer those questions.

That's why we've asked them in the fact that they haven't answered the questions doesn't make the questions go away.

What would you say was to keep question you would ask them if they had put themselves up for interview.

We wanted to know did Stonewall have an influence on the BBC editorial that was the key question throughout the podcast it was sought to find out three freedom information the BBC blog that request and we wanted them to speak to some of the people who be involved in these decisions and no one was available so what?

The conversations between the BBC and Stonewall why are licence fee payers not allowed to know what those questions where what those discussions were and what came out of those discussions is that because you feel that the BBC's effectively copied into its policies Stonewall policy and Stonewall policy and number of these areas is contested.

There is a suggestion.

There is a question as to whether that happened or not and all we're trying to do and we were adamant about this and I think this speaks to the BBC partiality.

I do not think it is in conflict with the BBC Sport impartiality the podcast that we made was enabled by the BBC was funded by the BBC we were given the freedom to make it but what we are doing here is treating the BBC like we would treat any other organisation and we're pretty robust couple of journalist.

I forgot moment body says no comment to us.

We potion potion wise we are not used to taking no for an answer.

Thanks to Stephen Nolan and David Thompson and in response to that interview BBC provided us with this statement BBC acts independently in all aspects of our operations from HR policy to editorial guidelines and contact we aim to be just reading on workforce inclusion and take advice from a range of external organizations however, we make the final decision and any BBC policies or practices ourselves.

We do not take legal advice from Stonewall and we do not subscribe to stonewalls campaigning the charity simply provides advice that we are able to consider and no investigates can be found on the podcast page with BBC and please do let us know your thoughts about that or anything else to do with BBC Radio and podcasts.

This is how you get in touch you can send an email to feedback at. the address 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 cost more and some mobile networks all those details are on our website.

This week we've been asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar this week once again something a little bit different one listen.

It doesn't all go to BBC and another only recently started listening isn't yet committed Catherine Collins live near St Albans and Ida Holbrook is in London Catherine first.

You don't listen to BBC Radio what do you listen to me listen to a mixture of music on Spotify through my smart speaker in the kitchen and times radio there was some programs on that I listen to regularly and Woman's Hour the Today Show and word-of-mouth mi3 go to programmes women that says that something like 40% of its doesn't ship is Men and a lot of people women say to me well should be 50% more men should listen.

It's not your view as well be good for your partner's listen to one that my partner is the one that I'm introduced it to me, so he said you should listen to this.

Kind of telling me Alex from different episodes and saying he'll be something else really interested in and so during lockdown as that listen to a name and added listen our love it.

We are due to listen to anyway BBC Radio 4 programme white mischief available still on BBC sounds and this was the first episode of 3 how would you describe the program? It's about exploring I suppose investigating the concept of whiteness which is something we don't think about very often not something that I've really heard anyone discussing very often and and artists And His good John Grayson Perry just about where the concept comes from and how it still impact on our perception of race and whiteness concept or is it a fact I think the program goes on to explore that it's a concept.

It's something that's been created and it looks at how in history.

It's been created.

How science is also.

Creation and the program kind of goes onto question does exist and how does whiteness behaving Society is whiteness the norm all of these questions are really important in the programme.

What is a relatively fresh subject to you, whiteness.

I don't think it was tickly flashlight at the moment.

I'm studying an MA in education culture language and identity so a lot of the things that we discussed in the probe things that I'm studying at the moment.

There was something that I found quite shocking I was particularly shocked at their binomial system of classification classifying people into groups and it's just that we still use now, but then it went on to talk about how in 1758 it was used to classify people by their skin colour, but also their personality traits it started to attach personality traits to people skin colours and warm and interesting and

When will the artist Grayson Perry in is London studio? It's light and spacious interrogating the tastes and values of the British people as a friend and I've been here a few times before so wanted to talk to you about it because it's something that is Harvard in the background of my thoughts sounds-write discussion a very very serious program, but was presented with a remarkably light touch.

I thought what did you think of the presenter echo and shouldn't do that tune what degree that was the town that he had a nice life touch and do you think that without quite a difficult subject? I liked him.

I like Grayson Perry the two of them.

I found together.

I didn't find.

I particularly enjoyed.

I found it almost.

The way they were having this discussion than Echo travelling around interviewing different people but interspersed with this chit-chat, which is fine, but I'm not sure that the chat really progress in anyway for me.

I really liked a doorbell at the beginning in the way that it started and that way I felt like it because the program is about having open conversations.

Maybe about things can be quite and comfortable to talk about and I think that with the idea behind that kind of opening bid of the beginning with to support this idea that the program was going to lead into having his open conversations with I thought it was a good way to start.

I think that's a good point that way I suppose if more people having conversations like that in there wouldn't be in the forest.

Will it rain in terms of relationship and what about the time? He was white mischief which is probably a reference to a book and the film of the 70s and 80s with it a good description of the programme white mischief.

How do you know if I mean mischief makes me think people doing naughty things and doing things that they shouldn't do so I think in a way yes, because I think in the programme it talks about whiteness being this thing that's in the background and it's doing all of these things and it's creating all of these actions but isn't necessarily something that's recognised or talked about so I think yeah idea of kind of whiteness playing in the background and causing mischief with something that I took from the programme.

I think you could take it further than that though because mischief is a really is a heck of an understatement for basically creating white supremacy at the stroke of a pen to keep your sleeves in place because if you didn't do it given, how much they outnumber you they should rightly takeover destroy you mean one of the things I struggled with and this might be because I'm not seasoned Radio 4 listener is out for me art doesn't work on the radio.

I found myself.

I don't want to hear someone else's description of a painting which is apparently key to how black people see white people and vice versa will I get the test of all of this is whether you're coming back for another episode.

I think I'm definitely going to listen to the next one.

I mean for me like as an art teacher as well.

I think I really liked the way that are played a big part in the series and I think it opened up some interesting conversation since I definitely think I'll be listening to the next episode.

Yeah, I think for me because I am an artist and a teacher can envision those things but I totally get for somebody else that might be a really difficult things to visualise and catching up with telling your reservation about the visual representation.

Will you be back for another episode not never but not in a hurry? I found it.

Just too thought provoking it needs your full attention you need to sit down and dedicate half an hour to doing some serious thinking and that at the moment isn't.

To my listening I tend to have the Radio 1 as company while I thank you very much Catherine and Daddy thanks.

Thanks Roger white mischief can be found on BBC sounds.

The BBC is trying to negotiate an increase in the licence fee with a sceptical government which is unhappy with some of the corporations journalism the new culture secretary Nadine dorries last month that's what she said was the elitist approaching the BBC and set the broadcast I had a lack of impartiality despite the fact that the new chairman is a former advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak and was on the board of the right wing centre for policy studies will last week's publication of the BBC's 10-point plan focusing on impartiality editorial standards and Whistleblower improve matters to discuss the report and the Vicks issue of impartiality.

I was joined by member of the BBC's executive committee rhodri talfan.

Davies director of Nations asking him what is impartiality in the BBC's view but I think impartiality is the bedrock of trust in the BBC it means that we reflect the broadest range of.

We don't go into a story with a preconceived view of preconceived biased explore all the avenues and the full Horizon of viewpoints so that the viewer and the listener has trust that we are coming to stories dispassionately with a real focus on the fact that you have a primary responsibility to pursue the truth and you're not saying to me.

Are you that way you can establish such thing as a fact you're going to say this is a fact but here's another opinion.

No of course.

We've seen that in recent years with the whole coverage of climate change.

It was very clear that the scientific evidence and a very clear View that man-made climate change was leading to global warming with very clearing that where the facts are clear we reflecting this fact, but there are a whole range of issues across a society where there is a legitimate Debate and it's about insuring that we bring all those few points to inform that deceptive States Nadine dorries says there's a lack of impact.

The BBC to agree with no I don't I think impartiality has been an absolute bedrock of the BBC over many many decades talked about the need for an impartiality revolution.

Why does the director-general put in partial to the top of his priorities it implies that something has gone badly wrong in recent years has I don't think that's right.

I think any public organisation and particularly the BBC has an absolute responsibility to continuously review how we maintain the highest possible standards old ourselves accountable for everything that we do and the tin Davy the new director-general is coming and made absolutely impossible is the number one priority for this organisation because it's the best of trust audiences and listeners need to trust the BBC to tell it straight if there is not a major worse then shall we say all the complexes to the impossibility? Why is there a need to introduce?

10-point plan which contains significant changes because we're not a complacent organisation we believe there are further steps we can take to raise standard right across the organisation challenge those claims of biased data out there and it this represents.

I think the biggest most significant push that we have made to ensure our programs and a content of fair accurate and repairs on an awful.

Lot of work.

We've been doing over the years in the last 12-months.

We've been introducing impartiality for training for staff so it's an absolute daily conversation at for colleagues.

We been dating a social media guidance of the Germans have real confidence about how we use our social media accounts with introducing external registers, so where presenters that do external events with transfer about what's going on want a new things.

You're introducing are impossible to reviews into a range of areas chaired by external appointees now who's going to choose?

External appointees because some would say hold on a second that is a crucial decision and who's taking it to you or the government well these decisions taken by the BBC this was a review just completed as looked at a wide range of recommendations on one of those is to strengthen our editorial guidelines and standards committee.

This is a committee which assesses the standard programs post broadcast that strengthened by bringing in the appointment of two editorial experts with real experience outside the BBC so it is absolutely the BBC board, when will the BBC executive committee responsible for maintaining impartiality across the BBC but that's very choice.

I mean one can imagine people for example.

It is said that the government would the former editor of The Daily Mail to run the Ofcom which is the body which has been like supervisors overseas broadcasting that if you put somebody like that in.

Impartiality of you a lot of people would sing keep can't be impartial who are these people extraordinary people will be accepted across the board has been imported the many members of the BBC Bordeaux years of demonstrated the absolute impartiality and there are many individuals outside the BBC who we think and strengthen our focus on standards and accuracy and just to be cleared that will not be government appointments to be appointment made by the BBC transparently and we think it'll had real breadth and diversity to the discussion and debate we have about standard within the BBC on people there was a notable article in the Independent newspaper this week my angel.

I think you said the real problem facing the BBC now or BBC journalism is not bias is boredom because if you're a BBC editor and there are a few of them now and you're facing cuts in staff and you're feeling pressure from young people who may be used at the Battle expression work and having government ministers.

Express and concerns about impartiality the danger Will Be You Play safe, I mean you've got to get a new director of news now.

Who is going to want to do that job with these pressures calling numbers budget cuts precious from all around.

It's not a desirable job is journalism is a challenging job that I think if you look at our coverage look at our recent reporting from Afghanistan take a look at Ros Atkins explain is on the biggest issues of the day.

I feel real confidence and ambition in our journalism impartiality isn't boring it's ok creative opportunity for us to bring the does possible range of Voices into our daily editorial coverage and I see everyday in a reporting from both of UK and globally a real commitment and a real passion to get it and I think actually our staff are inspired and motivated by that commitment to impartiality they're not cows about it, but thanks to rhodri talfan.

Davies the BBC's director of

And that it for feedback for this week on next week's program will be talking to David shukman, the BBC Science editor who's been covering cop26 after which he's leaving the cooperation do let us have your comments and questions to put to him until then keep on keeping safe to buy.

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