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Podcasting the News…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello and welcome week, we're going to talk about a high-profile woman who's been making lots of headlines in the last few days and he's cancel the 30-minute broadcast not Liz truss pulling out of a Nick Robinson interview but Emily maitlis Sammy isn't able to join us as planned you can go here Emily with Jon Sopel on their new podcast the Newsagents from global which launched on Tuesday John's with a sear on the media show sorry Emily can be with us as well.

Hi Rose how are you? I'm good thank you.

How does what you been doing in the last couple of days.

I think you've got your second episode just under your belt.

How does it compare with the work used to do at the BBC and I still think holding to the same values and we're trying to create a Daily Podcast and you know in the last couple of years.

When was the BBC news, North America editor we set up America

Which I see the BBC has announced his coming back and I just thought it was fantastic and it was so interesting when I used to come back from Washington to London and around the UK and stop me and talk about America didn't see say I seen you on the 10:00 news writing on the 6:00 news.

I heard you on the Today programme all of which I didn't love doing it.

Just seems to me that podcasting way of communicating people in a much more effective way that had much more impact with retracting far more young people that maybe bits of the broadcasting ecosystem, and I just thought this is an opportunity and say when Dino in Emily and I talked about this week so I jumped at the opportunity and help me understand that because though America was in his the number of people listening would have been quite small compared with the audiences of the Today programme or the 6 and the 10:00 news, so why is it you think that the podcast was connecting so much more directly.

I think that if your cat if I'm catching a piece for the 10:00 news you got two-and-a-half minutes.

You will take a sound by a 15-second the most grab a bit of Sink as we would call it and then you get together with a track on a piece of camera and is great a lot.

I still watch the 10:00 news.

I still love the Today programme but there was something about being able to communicate in a more relaxed way asking questions that are more interesting rather than just got your questions and you know on today's episode we got really interesting issue with the Gus O'Donnell the former cabinet secretary about what lies ahead for Whoever succeed Boris Johnson next week.

You've got time to explore issues in a more conversational way and that seemed to me a big win and that's what you're doing the second episode will arrive shortly the first available online and sitting with you is dinosaur fossil.

You just deluded to the man behind the newsagents your new podcast founder of the production company to and Dean I saw the times.

New prince of podcast peace and shock to have a profile in the times, but you know I think what we what I did at the BBC in terms of launching brexitcast which was our first hit cast and then America switch on in Emily and then the Daily News cast I mean over time I was there at the BBC they crude 85 million downloads, so I think the creator of the BBC accessible and has enabled us to be doing here on the newsagents and just quickly you're sitting here.

You would just explaining before we came on there.

You are just signing off your second episode give us a 30-second Spain to a day producing a news podcasts like the newsagents.

How does it work well? It's 24-hours so we were obviously with the announcement of the death of Gorbachev yesterday evening.

The way we're thinking about which guess we're going to book for the podcast the following day.

We already had this interview with Gus O'Donnell lined up, but you know it's News you have to react we have to be reactive and that's what people expect from daily news podcast times we arrived in the studio this morning at 9 started working through you know we don't have a script.

We don't have a running order.

It's conversational, but we talk it through and then we hit record will not do it takes then we record the interview.

I mean we had John alluded to we've had a really great interview with O'Donnell which got some news lines, so we've been we're going to push those out and yeah, cut it and get it down to about 30-minutes and put it out within kind of 2 hours after we finish recording well.

We're grateful for you making half an hour to speak with this in the middle of all of this that's Jon Sopel and Enos office that with us for the program.

Also joining them Bolton of course of giant and sky News for many years now than you show on times radio or Sunday Scenic bar presenter of The Guardian today in Focus podcast and Alastair Campbell of course worked with Tony Blair

Years it now writer and co-presenter of the rest is politics podcast and we can talk about news podcasts and why are there different and how they changing how we all get news in a minute first electron Jones co-presenter and his new podcast Emily maitlis and Her McTaggart speech last week, which certainly got a lot of attention it painted the picture of the BBC which he said was to incline towards both sides ISM giving platforms individuals that didn't deserve are time.

She said there was an active tourer agent on the BBC board widely considered to be a reference to the former.

Theresa May cause chief sir Robbie Gibb and Emily maitlis said that the BBC withdraw a monologue of her because it was perhaps sending a message of reassurance directly to the government itself Adam I'm sure you've followed all of this very closely was Emily right well actually rather clearly commented you have a new podcast to promote.

I have to say that.

Is there seems to be a bit of an issue for people leaving the BBC about getting their own voice back as we heard also said but I'm going over to Global it's not something.

I've experienced and really work for the BBC for a long time.

I did work for external service.

I didn't have any problem and getting my voice back.

I've never had any problem at sky anywhere else and I don't understand that x radio Alistair actually was the first person who raised this issue in a rather more sophisticated way talking about moral equivalence that you know if you get both the argument then when you present them each one appears to have an equal value my own position on this is that I don't think it is quite a bigger problem as Emily suggested because I think the audience is intelligent and they can listen to the two arguments.

They can work it out for themselves provided one side or the other is not allowed to lie by the interviewer.

The interview Asian enable 2-step in on the you know the other issue, which he raised about you know they're being people work for the Tory party on the BBC board if you have people a wide range of views and if you've got a board they should be expressing opinion about the product of the company of the organization which they represent and this kind of notion that there will be an Emily make it somehow it's wrong for boards at the BBC board or whatever is constituted to have some comments.

Just just shocked me.

I will run organisation needs a well-run bored and that must be respected as to Campbell at bring you in an interesting and insightful and you know you.

The people in the BBC still there who do broadly agree with what she's saying but obviously feel that they can't necessarily articulate that in the same way, I feel the BBC has lost the jump in there and say I'm not speaking for any colleagues, but I'm sure they'll be people within the BBC Who agreed with Emily maitlis and people who didn't yeah sure absolutely that's what I said, so my point is that so, I don't know why go to clarify that is exactly the point I made my point is that why you working within the BBC you can't necessarily articulate that in the way that she did a very high profile says she did some pretty good promotion for new product with John but I think that the BBC has lost his confidence and I think part of that is a result of pretty sustained conditioning if you like.

I think that what you do on the news channel actually has got a long way to rectify and some of this because actually you take issues.

You do them in detail.

Where is nothing what happened to the lot of political coverage.

When you think how many hours of output there are my complaint with the BBC generally is that I think it comes through a prism that is created by a right-wing press and I think always been the case but I think it's got worse since brexit and Adam made a very good point there about politicians people can make up their minds provided that the lies are called out and I have to say I think with Johnson's Premiership and I think we've seen the same in a campaign the lies are not being called out and not been called out on the systematic basis.

John do you recognise someone based in Washington for the last part of your BBC career the the experience within the BBC the Alistair is describing.

I'm aware of the dangers.

I mean on my own experience in washing.

What is the coverage of Donald Trump which was an extraordinary for years and in some ways a blessing as a journalist to cover story of such a Normandy and significant and exhausting.

Continuously you know we got to November 2020 where you had to call it there was no there was 60 + court cases Donald Trump trying to overturn the result of the election and failed the returning officers the Secretary of State for each 50 state certified the results the attorney general said the result was safe soda the election security loaded a whole pile of other people in official position so the state apparatus if you like said Joe Biden had one that election but there was still a kind of slight impetus on the one hand on the other and so bulletins with Donald Trump has again repeated his claim that he won the 2020 election we in Washington would ring what you need to put in without Foundation or there is no evidence has yet been provided of that and in fairness the bullet in editors that we would deal with would be receptive to.

But I've absolutely seen the danger that can sometimes happen of you know on the one hand on the other and somehow mistaking that for impartial but that is a slightly different thing that's a cultural challenge that you're describing which is a slightly different thing from the suggestion which Emily made when she said that decision by the BBC on a monologue was perhaps sending a message of reassurance directly to the government itself that something a little more explicit.

Isn't it? Yeah and Emily May speech and thought very carefully about it and spoke about her experiences of it and what it made her feel and we and we have you know we put the whole of that speech up on the podcast on the news podcast for people to listen to make their own judgements to worry that there is a you know what my was trying to do was to make a much bigger argument about impartiality.

How you do political reporting in an age of populism and how you know if you believe in liberal democracy and you know let me let me state an opinion outright loud I really like free and fair elections.

I like a liberal democracy.

I like the rule of law I like the Peaceful transfer of power and if you want a well-informed electorate.

You've got a challenge fake news and I think that it is very difficult at the moment seeing the population that there is around the world that we got to rethink that and I think that is the argument that Emily was speaking to make well.

She's making a broad arguments was using specific examples to make it machine Iqbal from today in Focus from the Guardian let's ask you about these broader challenges of impartiality and how we deal with the the information sometimes incorrect information coming from politicians and other what are the processes that you go through the Guardian with your podcast to make sure that you're both fair, but also that you don't dodge calling something to use John's phrase.

Well pressure slightly different and I'll podcast is slightly different so when we don't have a panel of such of people that debating and issue and we have to call the one thing all the other it's it's more narrative so the news by cars that we make his it's just telling the story of a single issue in a day using the expert that we have and it's quite tightly structure does less banter should be saying there's less weather is like calling people open their facts and stuff in there.

Isn't we we we have guardian journalists on the show showcasing their work so and so that's how you do it at the Guardian do you know you said in one going to be that you'll be much more comfortable saying the word layer in your new podcast and you would have been able to at the BBC but that's a difficult word to use isn't it? Because you need to know someone's mine.

Well, I mean if your to give an example of Emily used in a speech in her speech.

You know there are times where we can just call something wrong.

We can call.

It'll I mean to be honest.

I don't presenters.

I just know that you know the examples of America swear.

You know I think even during recordings.

We probably said well, that's all I actually the BBC just don't say that.

I think the line has moved slightly John and Emily on Sunday going to become shop jokes, but you know we are we do have the ability now to call something else now.

I think that's what I was saying you feel more comfortable saying calling somebody when I was in Washington and the headlines said you would call people that have been I said we would save something was a like.

You know Donald Trump they were on day one of his presidency.

We had him saying the crowd his inauguration was the big.

History it wasn't that was a lie, but to say he's a liar then.

I'm trying to get inside his head and sort of attribute motive to what he's doing, but I think very important that if something is untrue we say it is untrue but I don't hear about that does go back to sunny Adam said about lying and consequence of the brexit referendum without rerunning all of those arguments.

There is no doubt in my mind that lies were told there is no doubt in my mind that Boris Johnson became prime minister in part on the success in the brexit referendum and that Boris Johnson has told many lies in his political life as prime minister.

They are very rarely called out on the BBC or across most well.

You're right.

You won't hear the word lie on the BBC though.

I would say there are many circumstances.

I can think of where is being pointed out that something the prime minister has said is is not true.

Let me ask you a broader point.

Alistair and Adam but John I'm interested to get you to think back to your experiences in Washington and Westminster of the daily pressure Adam that governments try to exert on journalism organisations that the idea the that call that came in after Emily maitlis is a monologue that would have been it wouldn't be unusual for the government to call up the BBC would it needs eat actually dates back to a certain extent in my experience to alastair's period where there was a more hands-on dealing with the media in that are willing to take up complaints which I don't think we necessarily experienced by the way that Donald was representing a John Major or previously with them when you were they came from but they were more entitled to see that as part of the weather now in Defence of Alistair and Peter manager also associated with that.

Professional Media handlers, but they were also people who were prepared and sort out exposing their principals their Cabinet ministers the primary turn all the others made them available the problem.

We got now is we've got Media handlers who are basically trying to shutdown access for journalists to principles and so we've got the worst of Both Worlds we got both the kind of type of news management and and pressure on journalist and even less access for the journalist and therefore less access for the public to release goodnight.

What the politicians are doing and John before we talk about the podcast and how this might change it in your experiences of BBC turn this was there ever a situation where you were told to change something because it would in some way IPS the government or please the government whichever government were talking a long time ago.

Yeah, I was I mean you know it's a long time since I was a political correspondent.

I mean you're going.

But I remember saying something about I was asked to change something because there was thought that it would make a de politica debate between the party leaders more difficult and there was interference and I complained about it because I thought it was you know.

I think there should be a very strict line better between the B and the CIA I'm a broadcaster.

I'm not part of the corporation.

My job is not to write a script that assist something but this was a very long time ago that was a while ago, but you also tried to exert pressure on the BBC on a daily basis.

Did you ever feel that it was due to use the verb that Emily maitlis chosen her speech know the country.

I I think I don't complain about nearly as much as the mythology suggest.

I think that was the one that get right.

They get some other coverages and still get some relates to toorak and I think he's about John and Adam no I thought

Taking a very very strong stance against one piece of reporting by one journalist who I will go to my grave saying wasn't is a liar and you have the words for Boris Johnson I think that that but on the broader point yes Adams write that we were more robust, but the reason for that is because back to the point I made earlier the the media ecosystem, and it's still set by the written press and you know is still very right wing for 10 years and 3 of a 2 of those years when Alastair Campbell was press secretary to the prime minister and obviously the period when Tony Blair was in opposition and there was a certain obsession about doctors beating up the media and I mean you know that had a job to do and Jonathan Haslam when he was with John Major and Gus O'Donnell had a job to do and they did their job to the best of their ability.

And they're going to say I think you got the story wrong and you say thank you very much for the you know when you listen to why can you think will do I believe that do I think that squares with the the contacts iPad with his people if it take it if it doesn't I will ignore it.

I think much more serious today is the problem we have a fake news with absolute falsehood can take hold via social media that I think a spin Doctors a bit aggressive or not seems to me kind of yesterday story and on that point.

I should say that Jamie Angus a former senior BBC News expected on the issue of Emily maitlis is monologue for witch at the beach with you retracted senior managers and you could see immediately white couldn't be allowed to stand and they would have had withdrawn it even if number 10 had not complained now.


Sorry about the prism through which all music zist what I want to ask you machine is how do you feel podcast and the tone and approach of podcasts is influencing the news we consume in the the prison 2?

This word that all information flows through or that one is on the news podcast but you know there is there is room for all of these different kinds of audiences and different kinds of podcasts and take is that it's audience leads.

It's Les maures of outside of you of what that story is raining and covering it with depth that being patronising now that really appeal sort it as I guess who are interested in the news on Junkies necessarily, so they want that issue explained.

In a conversation way that takes you through something without bombarding you with panels and stuff and can I ask you exactly the same question you left BBC you committed to podcasts the career you've chosen.

Why? Why do you think this particular medium is so important.

I think it's because it's really intimate and people see coffee.

I think obviously the media landscape has changed the pandemic has played into that people spend a lot of time listening and technologies affect people have airport now.

We are talking directly broadcasting directly into people's heads.

It's a different experience to having a radio in the kitchen what you doing the washing up you know it's a very intimate experience and people much greater choice in a you took every week about streaming and the choice people have some people come to us, but they're interested in politics.

I also you know produce are the podcast you my company personal care.

You know when making a podcast.

The pop star who does a fantastic interview podcast missing you lots of young listeners from across the world tuning into that people want intelligent conversation.

They want things that are open in different thoughts and responses people listen when they go to bed at night.

It's a really interesting.

Are you worried by for example podcast day to the ofcom's released which shows that from the last two years total listening hours have stayed absolutely flat.

I think there are lots of different.

That's one thing podcast listening across the world is actually it is actually increasing year-on-year to a company in the podcast space that data around podcast Sometimes A Little Bit has she put it hard to pin down later is fantastic, and how many people are listening exactly what we've got so much data compared to radio figures for example the radio figures.

Where is something about? It was called the power social relationship like when people are listening to podcasts.

I feel very involved in the Host live there feel like they're fresh and so I mean Alistair and worry do this all the time I get a life and people think that he's my man.

He's in the wrong with me isn't it is a very is a much more closer relationship, then you have with you really talk about it.

Not casting vs.

Broad and and digital Technology has made it possible for just about anyone to get out something into public access which is actually quite different way from radio or linear television this all the things that I've been working in and it seems to me that you know yes more personality has come news channels and more different people have come in to talk about journalism and wasting a convergence and and this and different generations the different things and as I'm listening to this point.

Listening to alastair's politics podcast Every Street your showing an awful.

Lot about your life John and machine.

Are you comfortable with stepping into a broadcast environment or podcasting environment where you need to put together a bit more John you would have done doing a hit on the Today programme the camera give you a life coaching live on Radio 4 from Alice is not about me.

I know there are some Biggie goes around here.

I will see all of your products in different ways than you show on times radio the Guardian podcast to go because then use Products is that is what Alistair and Rory Stewart doing you consider that new I think that Alistair

Alice's and Rory's podcast is a fantastic listen and they take you behind the scenes of politics and how decisions are made and having been in the room when decisions are made and I think it's I think that you know it's not one or the other is not a game podcast.

I think that you know Adam I've known for years Alistair I've known for years.


I will listen to them because I'm interested in the way they do things and that it there yeah, Alice is a incredible insightful Adam brilliant journalist that there's room for all of us and I think that the more week.

You know this is a wonderful opportunity about how fabulous podcasting is and how it should I don't think it's just podcasting.

I think you know I listen to the newsagents today the first one.

It was informative about this subject for a British audience to be honest about about about Donald Trump

I know but it like people don't care about the next president United States in this country.

They care more about the cost of living in things like that and that you know that will do all of that what you can do on live broadcasting is you can do news as it happens and you do have a stronger focus on you and less on background.

I remember what happened.

When just very quickly have any got a minute left so really quick answer to all of you.

What are you doing next on your podcast? Do you know and John we going to the LBC leadership hustings tonight and behind-the-scenes and go back alright and the curtain on the sheen.

What about the Guardian we've got a very good guess next week.

We've got if I got too good to be ok with that.

Sunday morning 10 till 1 news discussion with the great Kate McCann who will be sitting down so no, she's a regular on the media show as well great to talk to ol5 you thank you for making time in the middle of very busy days.

There's Jon sobel denotes office also nisin Alastair Campbell and Adam Boulton you can as you will probably have gathered download their programs.

Whenever you like as you can the media show thanks for listen.

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