menuMENU    UK Free TV logo News



Click to see updates

Read this: Covering strikes: Whatever happened to the Industrial Correspondents?

Summary: Podcast

Download MP3 link

Covering strikes: Whatever happened to t…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 today as postal worker from the latest group to call a strike how well does the media Cover Industrial dispute with railway workers and train drivers once again taking to the picket lines over the coming weeks? What's changed since the days when every outlet having industrial correspondent and the Union Bosses on speed dial.

I'm joined by Nick Jones a former industrial correspondent for the BBC and author of the lost tribe of Fleet Street Jeremy Close associate editor of business columnist at the Daily Telegraph and here in the studio Alan Jones a living breathing industrial correspondent at pa Media Alan are you the very last one? I feel that people do tell me how the last once I'm not going to argue that we're also looking today at broadcast sports rights with big changes in the offing mean on Murder Is Here and Now no there is here.


This industry every move as a principal analyst at a analysis and Matt Slater is on the line football news reporter at the athletic welcome to all so first the strike does that story making the front pages over and over again this summer they have been big changes and how the media covers industrial action since the time when workers Downing tools was a regular part of the news agenda, and as I said no that doesn't feature in many newsrooms the way it used to you've talked about them as a lost tribe.

What changed what change was done in the 60s 70s 80s we were dominant in the news media Park right Katie you know we did come on the airwaves and of course in the print Media to out all out strikes wildcat strikes mass meetings to prime minister's Ted Heath Jim Callaghan both ran into Big Trouble On taking on the unions but of course we can.

In the 80s and of course she brought in legislation which clampdown tremendously on the ability of the unions to stage strike action and the rest is history of having a period when there has recently has been relatively little strike action in comparison with what to place in the 70s and 80s and then there were needed anymore.

What that is the point.

Yes the newsrooms of the day decided that industrial news labour affairs employment was no longer news if it wasn't interesting.

I mean I was told that very very clearly and at the end of the day.

It's all over just just get used to it.

There's no more strike news that was wrong.

What can we read into that? Do you think well? I just wanted to go back on the the root cause of the decline of the industrial a lot of a lot is made out of about the natural forms of the early 80s much more important changes in the macro economy and the effective opening up of the UK economy global competition at this meant that unions lost their power effectively to hold the country to rent them even small widget maker in the West Midlands could bring last parts industry grinding to a halt because they were the only supplied with all that changed in the 80s and 90s and with it the unions declining Union membership went away the numbers of days lost in strikes became vanishingly small.

I mean we have been hearing from the unions in recent weeks one person person to be making waves this summer is the head of the army RMT Union mcglinchey's super popular on social media for a straight-talking interview and put down for the presenters asking him questions.

Just have a listen to this you or are you not a Marxist because if you are a Marxist then you're into Revolution and in to bring down capitalism, so are you or aren't you should you do come out with the most remarkable twaddle sometimes I gotta say agency workers.

Try not to go to work.

What else do you think involved? Well? I just wondered what else it because I'm very well remember the 90s.

Reminder Friday it's a picture from Thunderbirds can you see the lightness terrorist Mastermind he's the most evil puppet made out of vinyl in the world is that the level of journalism that these days simply asked you if that was you and your Facebook would you all I'm saying is the bloke who is leading a trade union in a dispute over jobs and that was Mick Lynch talking to Piers Morgan Talk TV Kay Burley on Sky amateur Bailey on TVs this morning in recent weeks through some of that as an industrial correspondent.

You must talk to you needed all the time but what did you make the surprise from some quarters that seem to agree Adventures Media Appearances and his competence let's face it I'm surprised and he's become a huge media storage has got millions of followers on social media you can buy t-shirts with some of these phrases on.

He's recognise now in the street, Colouring Book Pro did that job before he said he died very quickly and very different about the television or here and that's what it's like in private.

I've known you for years and that's exactly what is like a note 3 clips.

You just shown that while shaking my head was it just shows the level of trivialization if you like questioning of these Union leaders in 10th of those three questions got anything to do with what is happening 2010-2019 to work as which is what we talking about today.

Why do you say it's trivialised asking a question to ask to ask why six people in a pickle own is the same as the tens of thousands of people and pick a line in the miners strike and it's so different employment relations.

It is absolutely nothing like but it was in the night in the 1980s unions have to jump through hoops now to even get to the stage of calling strike so to suggest that the a picket line dance.

People on is the same as the miners strike is just you know ludicrously.

Why do you think I'm such a good job of putting fat on the lines of questioning by presenters in the face of TV interviews as we just heard I think also and this is very important.

He doesn't mind he's been demonised by the newspapers for weeks on end weeks on the rail strike started and being branded and militant has actually helped him in the sense that he is seen as a very effective trade union negotiate put his head above the parapet.

I mean you mention Bob crow and another person who was Fearless equally famous was Arthur Scargill these people who understand how it is possible to speak on behalf of working people and take on the government and he's prepared to do it and I think we can say that he has.

Disposition and you only got a look at the sort of turn out that you get in Ballards because Alan was just explain it very difficult for the unions at the to get authorisation for strike action have to have ballots, but look at the results 1890 percent of the people who take part in the pallets of voting for strike action and they giving Bob and Bob The Very authority and that he's only to prepare two-wheeled on their behalf and the way he is questioned the lines of questioning presenters of struck a chord is that the worm is kind of turning in public attitudes to The Division between Labour and capital after decades and is very much been in the ascendant and descendant you repeat that.

High levels of inflation in the 70s and 80s and pay is falling behind these so you've got this of this change site changing public attitudes towards the reunion.

I'm not sure how how durable as disruption of these rolling rail strikes really begins to bite hard, but you here Midlands on the radio and he makes a very well.

Yes, I am a militant trade Unionist look at what I've done my members.

You know unlike 30 every other sort of manual work.

I've managed to maintain living standards for my members and you think well.

He's got a point and that resonate with many people up and down the country.

I'm sure Alan Jones you're the only National

Building the job as I said before is it a good moment then for us to just have a look to find out a bit more about what being an industrial correspondent involved in the 21st Century what do you actually do day today? Love to be right now imagine.

I'm incredibly busy.

I don't want to say too much does my head in I would like to know how I spend my days, but anyway, it's all about the me, you know it's crucial to have contacts crucial to keep them crucial to be able to talk to people in my love talking to workers who are not involved in any kind of dispute and that's why do you know I trade union leader rang me this morning with a chip off for a story? I'm speaking to Midlands tomorrow morning you know and I also speak to workers for me that keeps me in tune with what's happening.

You know that I was wondering if I cover the unemployment figures for example.

I always use trade unions to comment on them because they represent workers who are involved in all of this if my city desk colleagues.

I'm not criticising them, but if they cover it, they will use an

Monster coming to let me know if you if you like that typifies one of the differences between the between the way I cover a story and between City desk and probably business reporters cover story as well expensive what your answer will be to the next question from what you just said that which is in your view.

What does good strike coverage need to include.

Are we getting it at the moment? I'm in at the moment massively different things about this bike is that the the workers are getting quite a lot of public support administrator in the past rail strike in the past commuters have been really fed up and you can you do a stations learn anger towards this time has been completely different and I think that is mainly because probably millions of work as there in exactly the same position as the RMT come to the pandemic and work to the pandemic of covid Heroes not a pay rise to two years and then they come that come through all that it's still not getting a decent pay rise at the same time information is going to the roof.

Already suffered week over now people can't get to a restaurant at sandwich shop and he said whatever it might get back because of that because of people like me clean today are getting a reasonable president.

Let's look at this and a bit more details about how easy was it for you to find out exactly what the strikes were about based on the cover is that was already out there one of the striking things was and still is actually quite difficult to find out precisely what this action is about broad terms.

It's about paying it's about the detail of it and you know the Turing and praying in the negotiations very very hard.

I don't think comprehensive and dereliction of Duty by the media is

I guess that is is true, but I mean in a business correspondence and taken over where industrial correspondence left off.

We talk to bosses basically corporate to City Anna's as just said and to policymakers and that's what we kind of right because you know Union accent and that's not where the story has been for the last 2030 years so would a business journalist pick up the phone to a union leader and in normal times exactly a dog grooming full of Union contact in cluding The Telegraph app recently employment editors that they cover a rather different sort of area of it.

Issues, it's employment trends.

Such as work from home all that kind of stuff it may well, be that they will have to start refreshing eye contacts among Union leaders militancy really does it take hold again? I'm in neck you used to do this for the BBC in YouView what's missing now the outlets don't have industrial correspondence missing from the missing.

What's missing is first of all.

I mean let's make it quite clear.

It was a conscious decision by newsrooms to downscale air industrial correspondence because of course there was this shift to financial journey if you remember when we share privatisation of the Thatcher period they did increase the interest in financial news now.

What's missing at the moment is let's take the rail strike and Jeremy quite correct know very little about what's really going on what we do understand is that looked they've been a 25% drop in the computer traffic in the morning.

There's going to have to be a shake-up in the rail industry.

We know very little about that you mentioned Katie the postal dispute.

Look at the turn around and the postal industry 60% of the business is now parcels letters of forming.

I'm going to be big shake-up up and down the country now what we missing is we're missing reporters going out and about because it's not just at a national level but at a local level I was the Oxford Mail in the 60s and we had three industrial correspondence and we used to go out and find out what was happening now.

I think that the difference is you see is that if we have reported out in the sticks actually doing the work.

They would be going to these big rail depots.

They be going to these big postal deppers and finding out.

What was really happened, because they must be news there about how these she going to take effect and we wouldn't be picking up information and

In favour of financial journalism entice briefly into being a business produced which Channel 4 News years ago when I worked by the correspondent telling me forget politicians.

It's business people who can't be faulted for reporting on where the power is and for many years that power hasn't been with the Union that's very true the numbers.

Speak for themselves or something like 12 million union members in the 80s and down to less than half that now but that's still 5 million people in a trade union trade unions work everyday to get decent pay conditions.

Not just not just in disputes and you have hardly any of that has been reported now 4 years.

This is why this is really interesting debate.

We're having all of a sudden is massive strikes have come we're not just talking about a few hot head Kandy militants nurses are going to start voting on whether they're going straight.

We could have a nurses strike in October you know ticket office Clarks are going on strike embarrassed as ago.

Something's definitely happening here and I know anyway I'm quite busy so I'm still doing it because I do have trading and leaders mobiles on speed dial, so you are jealous to know right now.

I'm going into a bit about what is happening, but you know one of the big problems is no one's really being Norman's really explaining what the rail industry wants to be want to be on what we're saying that the media is actually got out of step with working people's lives as Mick Lynch might put it that the coverage two of them has taken the side of the government or the employers rather than the workers.

I don't I don't think that's entirely Fair when I first came into financial journalism as a humble loli company reported.

We were in the Industrial correspondence later.

They dominated the news agenda in the hierarchy of a newspaper.

We were way down back to that change that I've just been saying as the power of business the global economy really took over a new ^ the unions will the next 3-months show that shifting their shift back is taking place in public services or quasi public service type business is like and that's where you can be most disruptive for the bath.

The economy in the private sector has try cancel isn't really an option does know isn't always an alternative supplier so whether public Sympathy will remain with this up surgeon in Union militancy has the disruption really begins to fight and interfere with people's lives less is open to question and Jones briefly.

Do you think newspapers and broadcasters will need to refocus their expertise, but it was thrown up for the pandemic.

I felt but didn't have enough wide scientific expertise now.

It's been thrown up that actually we lacking expertise across the board when it comes to industrial relations.

She's promising you see within 30-days to bring a new laws, which will ensure essential service like the railways does at least a 30% minimum service maintained have been talking about after for donkey's years and it's never actually happened and she's proposing.

Of restrictions on trade unions to get into but no doubt many of us will also be busy try understory cover it.

Thank you so much Nick Jones Jeremy woman and Alan Jones to thank you for coming on the media show but we are going to turn to sports rights now because of one of recent deals by the streaming giant Amazon is changing how football fans will watch games and it's not just football the market for broadcast sports right is heading for a big shake up this year as new companies with deep pockets get involved and I'll go from enter analysis is here in the studio on the line is Matt Slater who's the football news reporter at the athletic and let's start with football in what has been pretty incredible summer for the game with the Mission of the lionesses Triumph the Premier League has just started now football rights have always been big business in the UK tell us about Amazon's latest deals what they up to so the

Obviously had the Premier League rights in the UK for the last 3 years, but they've also down moved into the Champions League which is a really interesting for them because it shows that there beginning at least to see sports rights as a real pillar in there entertainment offering and they have done really well with the Premier League they were very clever with the package that they bought with that.

It's in December all of the matches are in to Christmas so everybody needs Amazon delivery so much of their rights buying so far has been about making sure that people are spending on Amazon as a whole and within their entire ecosystem.

So it will be very interesting to see if the champions league as well.

They stop all if this is the start of even more spending from them in the UK do how do you view it? Is it good for fans? Well? I don't agree with them in the Amazon very much dip their toe intersport in all sports rights holders have been desperate to get the fans in their Facebook

Netflix etc etc and the one who really gone in the States with Thursday night NFL game then I got into Spanish then it's football but it was actually happened.

I think the last year or so is the reasons we've just been hearing is work is massively works for them and they actually become quite big players in football in European football in particular.

So not only have they made this Big Pun on Chelsea football in the UK are the exclusive rights holders in Italy in Germany to they bid for the rights in France didn't get that a very lively auction Gloucester canal plus they have the domestic football rights in France so they are actually big players already, so this idea that there when when when when it happens it happens quite so and by the way they're also massive players in the states now.

I have the exclusive rights for the first thing that gave me as well as 1 billion a year for the next 11 years the Amazon takeover and it continues.

You touching it but why are they doing it easier about driving subscribers to Prime is that is that the point yeah absolutely so much of their revenue is still being generated from the delivery side of it and that ecosystem so while at the moment the rights might not be making them as much money in terms of the video prime subscribers as soon as people are in the ecosystem, and they get free Amazon delivery The Raven that is bumping up because of all the shopping that they're doing online is a really really great incentive for them to get involved, but it's not just around my rights they dropped all or nothing the new arsenal documentary speak so they're not just investing in the life side of sport is also under exilory content as well and sports documentaries have become so big and that was a big yeah, so that they've been doing the all-or-nothing series for quite a few years now and as an Arsenal fan oversee picked up on the Arsenal documentary last of course, but we've seen with Netflix's successful drive to survive this year you can.

Sports fans away from just live rights and sport documentaries is a great way to do it does it give fans more options is it democratising access to support he like was that just mean you have to subscribe to more things in order to see you ask you if you're asking the right questions about every time and you won't ring comes into the market.


That's another thing what Amazon would say to you as well.

You know we've been for the trip in the UK that she just put the rates up for the first time in a long long time and they put the rates up quick in Europe exactly what was quite clever.

They did was that you can always get the free subscription you got it for about a month and again.

That's a lot of football fans did December the shopping so I'm happy now.

Attention are we get is it a habit? We keep but I do think that Amazon has now realise that as long as it is not too expensive and annoys you and all my God yeah.

No, do it.

I mean you talked about new entrance now.

We mentioned at the top when there's another big company about to enter the UK market for sports broadcast right and I think you think there's a big impact who won the fireplace so they are a streaming service which are owned by meant who are a huge Nordic entertainment company and they have had really successful launches outside of the North in the Netherlands Poland and the Bold pics and in those markets what they've done is they've bought the rights to F1 they bought the rights to the Premier League are there launching here in there saying the second half of 2022 were thinking I might be October and at the moment.

They haven't got those top-tier rights in the UK they have just purchased Premier Sports which is really interesting cos that's ok TV channel which has over 200000.

Ibis, are they already have a foothold in the UK and they have rights like La Liga so they do have some second-tier rights, but what will be really interesting is there blueprint essentially in other Mark has been to go for those top-tier right so for the next cycle of the Premier League for the next cycle things like F1 will they be challenging and to your point is that democratisation or is that just another that's going to have to pay for in the country almost all the questions now as a loyal BBC presenter me.

I'm talking about where you obviously work for the BBC in the past.

You know I mustn't forget to say that the Amazon please also bought the highlights packages for you at the same time in the highlights of those matches the first time from 2024 that we think about money on that which audiences? Will it? Is? It is it anyway.

What football or do you not like that? I mean?

On Amazon it's only 17 games but it's the first choice but they nearly always going to pick the best English game of the week by the way, we've had the right since 2015 and I've just taken the amount of spending on on UEFA Lights Down by 25% but got a load more games LEGO Tuesday Wednesday Thursday got more games like a show Defence of the deal I to subscriptions is but there's a free option to wait you get a fantastic highlights show which I still watch by the way on Saturday and Sunday and loads of briefly will be one that I think that yes, they would argue that but we've seen so much of my data that actually highlights linear highlights are very attractive to older audiences before these younger audiences.

You're not going to be tapping into them from our consumer research.

We know that people who are watching The Bill

Channels 53% of them my age Rover 45 so that you're missing a trick by not having anything on free to view for those younger audiences.

We'll watch this space see what happens but that is all we have time for today.

Thank you to all my guests to minimum order from a analysis Matt Slater from the athletic was a many thanks to Nick Jones author of the lost tribe of Fleet Street Jones from pa media and Jeremy Warner associate editor and business columnist at the Daily Telegraph the middle of back at the same time next week.

Bye for now.

Thanks for listening goodbye.

Transcriptions done by Google Cloud Platform.

Lots more recommendations to read at Trends -
Summaries are done by Clipped-Your articles and documents summarized.


Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.