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Read this: Don't Shoot the Messenger

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Don't Shoot the Messenger…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hi, I'm Katie razzall, and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello, what is the relationship between John Lewis and audiences this week some reporters covering the omicron variant say they've received a torrent of abuse from people angry about the government's response and blaming the journalists of course people have been shooting the messenger for centuries.

Have we reached a new low because one used by the group even announced.

They had to disable reader comments altogether on their coverage the tragedy in the English Channel So does trolling mean the end of the reporter reader relationship as we know it.

Let me introduce you to today's guests because we also looking at the news that the founder of Twitter jackdaw is stepping away from the company Isabella Hamilton is senior reporter Insider and John Thornhill is innovation editor and columnist at the Financial Times are also going to Beacon

A new report into how do you say papers cover Islam was wanna Hamid is director of the centre for Media monitoring a project of the Muslim council of Britain that will be talking to her soon to but will start the and with that question I posed at the top the role that we do comments play in journalism in tartar is editorial director at Iliffe Media in before we get into your experiences last week.

Just tell me more about the titles you've got because you are I think one of the last famileo newspaper groups itself is a very long established company they time is on papers for centuries, but I forgot now newspapers include messenger independence with lots of websites can Online being a biggest radio stations in cancelled so fantastic.

You only started this well, I think a fortnight ago congratulations which newspaper titles, will you be working with outreach, but I'm going to be working across the board at reach so kind of group wide so that national titles and The Beatles as well.

Obviously they're quite different in terms of what they do but actually this issue is an issue across the board well.

That's great welcome to the program and I'm gonna start of course with your Ian Carter you know this awful tragedy in the Channel tell us how you covered it and then you know how readers responded some readers responded in the way you expected to cover it was a terrible tragedy and you know it unfolded and absolutely terrible we covered extensively we we have a long-standing policy.

Website and unfortunately asylums at the top of that list because we made the responses going to get on this occasion had a discussion between me and the news and we've got sure if there's going to be a time to my online and how is it so we actually decide to leave the comments on the first because the people would what makes examining they might help my human is the people involved especially because it might examine their own prejudices and question their own view on these kind of incidents because these people and ok, so what did happen a lot more good than bad when I said good I mean compassionate and sympathetic and the case for the first couple of hours.

The bad was very bad people were openly celebrating people's deaths glorified tragedy and the courts then we found a publisher we were we were getting feedback from vedast my comments and we have to explain why you trying to do it because we're actually trying to pay tribute to these people in the end.

We got to about the allowance on the toxic used in first two.

Can you have people moderating throughout to do that how it works so we have to wear on a certain degree of self-motivation from the community people called Mark so and I believe you actually track down the people that were making these comments.

He's always a fantasy what what did they say, so and whilst we can talk on Facebook

What we can't do is stop people posting their reactions and on the day the 27th people tragically died 96 people posted her laughing face emoji on sorry so we track goes down with comeback small we spoke to them on a stylus on the website today and was trying to say to them.

How do you get for a point in your life? We are openly lasting and celebrating women short men down in the message did anyone did anyone say they regretted it or what's the reaction reaction? They have absolutely Double Down on their engagement all and blocked him to engage.

Just absolutely supplier comments and they trotted out a lot of the nation that you here all the time.

No nonsense.

Even if people are entitled to hold some of those kind of use it to sense that you know the wrestling start the job of the best used to hold that it is our job to present the facts and about people's make an informed decision.

I'm going to bring you in here.

You're the new online safety edges to reach does this sound familiar this you know business about your comments on how people respond you know what what to do when these sorts of situations.

Yes absolutely it's not a new problem unfortunately and it's something that's obviously organic growth of digital is meant that they can have been lots of trial-and-error overtime and I think Media in commenting offers so much opportunity in terms of opening up a dialogue with the audience not actually giving some ownership and voice to people who wouldn't otherwise have it but then the downside to that is obviously though.

Event opens up space where people can it spread hate as well and spread hateful speech and is a key part of my new job actually so I've been getting around the company talking to talking to journalists in the last couple of weeks and finding out.

What's on the key issues are and it is you know it is the comments and how to how to moderate them and really kind of then create a safe space for the audience that really want to engage because I would say it is hopefully and minority there to do in this but obviously it then can swamp swamp positive speech it can sponsor want the positive and the potential benefits that actually opening the comments up actually allows when was never used to play this role, really used to be one-way traffic in a sensitive the paper printed cause the reader kept airports themselves apart from probably old letter to the editor.

Why do you need to host these debates? When is it actually about the bottom line and essentials of financial interest in this?

Lime obviously, it's beneficial for us to be at the centre debates might be on it is if we're not house in his comments this is possible take place on Facebook and I would rather people discussing these kind of topics in an area where the surrounded by regulated contents as a result rather than the Facebook on their websites you would hope you're in the church and people might be changing nephew's where is it on Facebook you're going to be finding like-minded people talking to yourself and the Chamber pleasant things in the comments is one thing but part of your role as I understand it.

Is it you're also looking at them to the personal abuse that journalist now get and in fact.

You're ready to lower Denby said last month that come in demic and I certainly feel you know my own experience and I would I would second that but what do you think this means in practice? Well, I mean to the surveyor.

This year which is one of the reasons the time in this role now actually because the survey found that half of the editorial staff you responded were facing online personal online abuse and that also out of those that said that 85% of them said that it was usually spot from something that they've published online and it is it's just an endemic problem and of course actually we want people to be focusing on good journalism.

We want them to be able to produce the journalism.

They should be producing and of course at the moment some journalists.

I think you're feeling unsafe to do that.

So it's a key part of my role in actually being able to help journalists working these online spaces with Confidence and actually engaging with no audience to engage with them in a way as well.

Yeah, if I bring you in now from the Financial Times unit there.

There is a business issue.

It here isn't that you know media companies do Innocence expect their journalist?

Build up a social media following would you agree with that? You're not even if it means the staff to receive abuse sure I mean I think that both reader comments and journalists engaging on social media valuable things to do.

I mean certainly at the ft.

We get some wonderful reader comments correcting our Generation when we get it wrong and coming up with alternative arguments and really challenging the journalism we produce so that's a valuable part of the journalism that we do relationship between your audiences and the journalists exactly as I was saying that it's no longer as just transmitting use with the receiving it.

There's more of a dialogue going on and I think on social media.

We absolutely encourage our reporters to be part of the social media conversation sometimes that can get out of hand they can targeted some of them receive abuse some of them have reported it to the police, but I think it's a remember I was in the 1990s reporter in mosque.

Just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and I had someone calling up euro saying that I was working for an imperialist catalyst design is newspaper and they're going to come round and kill me wheezing on the telephone suggested this wasn't really a very serious thread and never showed up, but I mean I think it does show that this kind of thing has been going on for a long time.

Do you think the company expect you to be on social media cause I said that thing it's fine if you want to be as a journalist if you feel that it's useful but what about people who perhaps feeling conflicted about it and then received become targets of abuse, so it's not compulsory for any other journalists be on social media.

We do encourage it.

We have very strict guidelines about what day should be posting and what they shouldn't be we them to steer clear of organ of hyperpartisan debates not to get sucked into Theatre arguments.

It is a danger and I think the job that Rebecca is doing is a very worthwhile one Isabel at Hamilton does Insider expect you to be on Twitter I think I would find it hard to do my job if I weren't on Twitter because I find it useful as a tool because so many of the figures that I follow you know text you some people like that.

Use it as a very senior PR service was never a point when the company I'm at now sat me down and said you have to have a Twitter because the company has been up previously yeah, it just not been able to do my job without a Twitter account so it's not something that the company forces you into but it's kind of hard do the kind of work that we do without it and Rebecca Whittington you just reached this the journalists when it comes to read the comments that during this look at the comments under their own pieces under their own reports.

Encouraged but if a journalist is seeing comments that are problematic distributable hateful then obviously that is a problem and sojourners can report those then we can actually have to wait those reports as well and actually take the journalist 3 procedure to help them with the art and have those people removed from the comments pages as well, and we do have a zero zero tolerance policy against online abuse and so that is something that we we do try to make us aware of an audit procedures that they can go through to get support encounter online abuse I think I agree entirely with the other people though that being a journalist in in the today's age is really difficult to do if you aren't on social media if you want engaging in those online spaces and because that is where you'll find a lot of information and actually you know your follow-up stories on the rest of it.

So you wouldn't be able to do the full.

Sara Lee just just the word from you.

You know I love Media units that it's that difficulty is no protecting your journalists while at the same time wanting them to engage.

How do you Paddy navigate that is absolutely there and you'll get to inspection of one end you get reporters having horrendous been told to do with the Police Complaints obviously a problem importers constantly being belittled by readers tend another job into them work with them because they tend to laugh It Off and they tend to be quiet you know it off.

You know really know what are feeling below the surface to be very careful.

They will just stay with us because you know what to bring in as one hammad.

She's a director of the centre of Media monitoring and they publish the report this week looking at coverage of Muslim

Press with Warner what did you find in your investigations and and how did you go about it, but 60% of online digital articles and 47% of television broadcast Cliffs will tray Muslims and negative light the subject matter that mostly in terms of the coverages terrorism and extremism newspapers are worse than broadcasters local broadcasters fare better than national channels those are just some of the findings we go about this for a very kind of strict methodology that would develop with academics or expert linguistics and the betrayal of medium 48005 1500.

And we have key metrics that we we asked you know is that the generalising misrepresenting associated with negative behaviour you know the headlines images and we have a whole array of questions we asked and then do the analysis of checks and balances and I'm up with the end of finding that we have and they're not new I mean.

There's a lot of evidence out there proof that you know Muslims in Islam negatively Cambridge University of Dundee studies University of it says that the mainstream Media is reporting of Muslims in Islam contributed to growing hostility and had cramps towards and skills so in other media has a great role to play and we find that often it falls far short and journalistic standards when it comes to define what's the negative story what's a positive story? What about know where does more neutral?

You know for example you know if there's a Muslim contributor but they're not speaking about Islam is that positive or negative or do you discount? It? Is that not something that comes into this report? I mean we have 50 keywords which in one form or another and give us all the articles that contain one or more of those words now.

If somebody is on and you know the word.

They not identify the other word for any other word isn't identify them that wouldn't appear on our radar but if it does even if it's a passing mention.

There are lots of articles that we can think of inclusive cos they're quite mixed others you know half the radar and they're very positive, but then there is overall a sense of there is a lot of misrepresentation generalisation and kind of pushing of commentary.

List of find on the kind of Fringe of social media which are entering into mainstream Media now and not really being challenged whether that song you know I'm broadcast on a program specifically magazines and newspapers.

I mean like what is that what you're suggesting the next steps are to and how do people challenge in the titles you see as the worst offenders you know it's about the industry itself.

You know saying to two other people this kind of journalism is not acceptable.

We had a panel discussion yesterday when we have the Editors of the Mirror Sunday Times BBC printing this song and I think one of the questions that was put that is why aren't enough journalist holding other journalist account when journalistic standards.

I'm not reaching the kind of levels that we would expect of it and I think there's often of Fear we don't want to kind of hold you know our colleagues to account on another Level there.

Just isn't that there is a problem but that I think is slowly changing.

I think generally has a society now.

We've reached the point where we know whether it's racism levels where people are not treated equally your fairly.

I would reach the place now with people can't hide behind the fact that this does not exist.

It's clear that exist the question now is how we going to deal with it and it was the work that we do we're not confrontational we have reconstruction engagement with all mainstream newspapers broadcast and what we do as providing evidence-based and you know whole discussion is very constructive discussions about this is what would finding we understand the challenges that journalists face.

I'm a Jealous myself.

What's the German for the challenges providing evidence-based conversation probation improve this because you can drop it in your take on this and you know how we proceed between the regional Media try work and sounds like it was she's not doing in.

Yes, she said and definitely was earlier this year when the site abilities put out statement about basis and was did not meet the wider through the industry consultancy presents leaving acceptance.

There is an issue.

How many listening how many screen Cajun thank you very much.

You know let's turn to the other story this week.

Hamilton yes senior tech reporter Insider you know this story 1 of silicon Valley's most important figures has resigned just tell us who is Jack Dorsey for those who don't know that Darcey is the founder of that he founded back in 2006 and he was CEO for about two years and we got elstad which I imagine he didn't enjoy however.

He Returned he kind of didn't really leave he stayed a lot you kind of drugs along as chair of the exact chair for a bit as well and then in 2015 he did recapture the throne he became city and yeah, he's now enough that he is resigning and he's not quite he's not really given a clear statement, but where he's going, so there's a little bit of mystery around that but yes he's very well-known because I suppose he's one of these like found a ceo's and also he said they're very strange man.

He's one of these texts it goes but I'm celebrity Status sort of like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook now matter or Jeff bezos Amazon and just remind listen as you know bringing Messi bringing reminders, how big Twitter Twitter is today in comparison in comparison with metal Facebook as we know it will tiktok Twitter has got about I think 11 million daily active users at last count and matter has about 1.9 billion, so that's why it will take 10% of the Year the same audience and make a lot of money.

Ok? What do we know? You know we know that the new person to replace him is Paraguay well.

He's a new CEO what do we know about him? He's been at the company since 2011 where he started as an engineer.

He's been chief technology officer for the last 4 years.

He's been on a level with Jack Dorsey no talking to him directly and steering.

Product launches a very long time, so he's very well embedded in the company, but John thorner like to bring you in here.

Take orlistat.

Financial Times as everyone knows I'm sure he's your the share price actually Rose when Jack Dorsey announced.

He was leaving what do that was going on at what I think the company as Isabella saying has been under a lot of criticism for a long time the phone very well unlike a Facebook or Messenger on Google on YouTube it has really been an also-ran when it comes to advertising on social media and said they have been lot of investors who want to get rid of Josie and also also has a second job.

He's the chief executive for a square which is a payment processing company which is worth a lot more money than Twitter and he has a biggest taking that then he in Twitter as well.

So I think it was all lining up.

It's been a long time.

That's her shoulders been wanting to push him out, but it feels like the new boss is arriving into a very dear.

Ms fear here in Britain we got these online harms bill going through but you know the other things going on around the world you how much appetite you think there is now to rain in the Tech Giants I think there's enormous and growing pressure to rain in the Tech companies.

I was at a future tech forum events this week that the British government help and I think the mood and regulators has changed enormously and I think on your show earlier this year you had Andrew Andrea coscelli from the competition and markets authority was made in this point that I think they have been a presumption of inaction that they should be let allowed to run course and monopolies will be self-correcting but I think that mood has changed and there is now a far more interventionist mood and we actually just seen that happened this week.

What's dinner for competition and markets authority of done with matter a Facebook account coming to tell him they got to sell giphy.

You know cos you know they make it.

Can you just on that for us.

How does a British you know competition and markets authority telling American companies got to sell it so it's quite an extraordinary story in a way because if he is a new york-based lost making platform that provides gift gifts it was bought by Messi in May last year if he doesn't really have any activities for employees in the UK but the competition authority investigated thought there was a case to answer in terms of suppressing competition.

It's already could limit the other people using GIFs it could extract data from if other people did you send gifts and it was also depriving the market of a potential competitor to Facebook and so the competition authority markets authority has told and a lot of competition wires are fairly standard by that decision but I think it does speak to this new mood of interventionism that a lot of regulator.

Would now accepted they were asleep at the wheel when Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012 and I think they don't want to repeat the same mistakes again and Isabelle and what's your take on that on British government Agency and Britain demanding in American company sells another American company.

I think they have jurisdiction over this is like this when they determined that the merged company together will take up a certain amount of market share and they believe but if heatons matter Facebook together will take up so much Mark in Britain that therefore they have the jurisdiction.

I'm sure Facebook will appeal this and it's going to drag on for a very long time, but it really is entertaining to see the CMA come out and shine make coffee and a quick last word for me and we talk right at the start about KentOnline inadvertently publishing somebody terrible content from readers comments.

Using anyone is going to stop Facebook and Twitter from doing the same thing to moderate needs to be moderated people say countries in the world where speech on Facebook and Twitter and already very heavily moderated.

It's not impossible.

It's a question of where the law should be drawn up with regards to free speech and I think but really have to look for America because that's where is companies are based.

That's where they have the film Most show me that they have two please regulators of time India is increasingly becoming a worry for them as well, and I think that the difference is that while Republicans and Democrats agree that I'd like to rain in big tech.

They want to do it for completely different reasons and completely different ways well.

I think there's a lot more to talk about but I'm actually that is it for today.

Thank you to you.

All too Isabelle Hamilton singer Sarah Porter and insider to jump Thornhill from the ft was Wilder Hamid from the center for Media monitoring Rebecca wishing.

Safety en Casa editorial director Iliffe media media show will be back at the same time next week, but thanks for listening goodbye.

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