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Read this: Qatar: a World Cup size failure of sports journalism?

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Qatar: a World Cup size failure of sport…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, what will the BBC's plans to do more local news online mean for the likes of the Sunderland Echo or Bradford Telegraph and Argus the biggest newspaper group so the plans announced last week are totally misguided the boss of one of them is here, but we'll start with the World Cup in Qatar which opens in less than a fortnight the worst World Cup ever is how PR week headlines it the latest controversy was just yesterday the tournaments ambassador said being gay was damaged in the mind human rights groups have been calling players to protest on the pitch meanwhile the disgrace form of FIFA boss said again this week that catch up should never have won the bed.

So how did it happen have a listen to what the Liverpool manager Klopp said last week about where he thinks the blame lies for the decision to go to Qatar

Car and things know about the circumstances to be clear, this is the know you're guilty that telling us you have to wear this don't do it and you are not on the inside and outside no, no it's footballers.

It's a tournament.

We have to organise a place called and play and do the best for the countries joining military investigations right at the athletic woman producer and writer of FIFA uncovered a new documentary on Netflix and best fish as a freelance sports broadcaster welcome to you all that start with you is Jurgen Klopp right that journalist drop the time when it comes to Qatar lots of Fantastic journalism, you have to go look back to the Sunday Times reporting on the bidding process itself and has been countless reporting on rights issues in in Qatar documentaries on the forward to watching I think things are different this time.

I think in a Russian 2018 everyone.

Frankly stuff because it'll happen out for years after Russia invaded Ukraine and then you know the World Cup I think a lot of the very good she was supposed she was forgotten the football started and what happened.

I think people have to tell me not to make the same mistake ok? What's your view? Is it a legitimate and do think we have arrived in this industry quite late into my life and realise very quickly is that sport is a very small world.

I'm just a bit like politics my experience is that everyone is kind of in bed with each other and it takes a brave person to call out the people that effectively give you were am I've seen my own eyes.

You know exports and get governing bodies cancel.out journalist who may be said the wrong thing so has Klopp got a maybe the right opinion.

I would say he's completely wrong.

I think you know that like just like politics.

I think sport has a lot to answer for in terms of journalism.

That's out there and basically you know who's who's going out with.

You know each other in you know things like that, so I don't think we can say we are as innocent as we'd like to be ok.

I mean miles Coleman Joey there was talking about some of the great report not listen Sunday Times stuff.

There's also the Guardian trying to establish, how many migrant workers have died during this period a building the stadiums you'll be alright of Disney documentary about FIFA 14 take on what Klopp said about journalism on the one hand if we look at the climate in 2009/2010 when these bids were being evaluated like to catch up take life serious is a bid the catteries admit themselves so to some extent not a ton has been written about them because everyone looked at that didn't went well surely.

They not going to go for that when they did there was obviously kind of a big shock wave and people you know when and reports on it more that's naturally how's things going reporting building important thing to focus on with the club comment is let's take the counterfactual.

People of published in dreams of paper saying how dangerous are would be for workers having practical and let's imagine that there was just hours of of airtime and millions of Parliament it wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference because the 22 men and they were all men who voted for this.

They didn't even read the big book really we spoke we interviewed with a gentleman Nichols who wrote that big book for FIFA he said nobody picked up the phone to him and ask him a single question he's conclusion was that these guys didn't even read it.

So what's the counterfactual if we had had written everything possible Chris sizing these guys were not interested in evaluating the bid on that on that basis on its merits they were interested and what was in it for them and Jerry on the widest point the best making about sports channels and more broadly.

Do you think that there is a reluctance to help out account at time simply because if you do you might get bad.

That interview with the manager of the interview with the player that you really need to do your job only absolutely I think that does constant battle when your reporting on the club or a player that the access is very important and people want to read into stop with guitar.

It's almost the other way that it's now kind of complete open Season with you know very legitimate criticism of guitar.

It's almost going to look hard not to it's really penetrated public consciousness way beyond the sort of Media circles that you know there's lots of Great Britain and Russia in 2018, but it's so widespread and so mainstream now, but I think it's a sports report to anywhere in the world seem like she's going to be front and Center which we haven't really had before but did you see this coming and I love this one who's apart of the LGBT community? I'm not surprised that you know if you send me pop up when they're writing.


Everyone's faces.

You know just a bit like black history month and everything you know when it's current and in your face.

You know the sis whitestrake community suddenly jumper because it's something they can write about so this.

It for me, I know funny enough my sister lived in Qatar for a couple of years.

I went out and as a gay woman.

You know I'm not at as risk as a gay man, but I was certainly aware of my behaviour is out there.

What a tweet messages back to my my girlfriend.

So you know I'm surprised absolutely not and for me.

I think it's absolutely sums up the fact that again about diversity at the top level all made by I think all white so that's for me says it all.

So you can learn for gay professional getting a colleague who are going out from that community and I think they're really I think for all of us.

There's a huge dark cloud over this tournament because you know look at me for example in Wales of the first time we qualified in 64 years now.

They're not seeing the squads in about a few hours to be honest.

I feel completely down about it.

I should be at the end celebrating and you know front for me but a huge kind of I don't know like I said dark cloud you know for me.

I wasted too many.

Cos it lying to people at 2 then be basically gaslighted by FIFA and others in thinking that this will cut it is for everyone.

It is absolutely not and I think is a huge slap in the face to the people who are who are part of that community who risk their life by even coming out and being there that excels and for me that is an absolute travesty and Joey and if we take put but I can't really put cat as a part of wider story about sports reporter.

When is it just that in an Innocence we seeing bigger shifts in what sport 240 must pay attention to you know you look at foreign investment in the Premier League for example sponsorship deals that's that's what I think.

It's just about much more than what's on the pitch these days absolutely I mean I spend that we can put our back in July reporting on the build up to woke up and Middle Eastern politics is now to be tied up with top level football you've got Qatar not need to wake up but Paris Saint-Germain you've got Abu Dhabi which effectively owns Manchester City and more recently got Saudi Arabia which has Newcastle United I mean.

Usable in 5-years time the three clubs battling out of the end of the Champions League stage are going to be you know Abu Dhabi Saudi Arabia Qatar it it's impossible to put always Society football fan This 4-part documentary.

What did you want cover about FIFA I'm in the word uncover might be a grand way of putting what most football fans kind of already knew and I got FIFA especially under Sepp Blatter under have lunch going before him stopped really caring about the good of the game which was it slogan and they really started caring about their self-interest.

You know I go back to the to the first point about why the World Cup ended up and guitar in the first place.

You hadn't executive committee made up of 24 people 2 of whom were banned for corruption before so knock it down to 20 to 22 people who had a lot of stakeholders that they had to look after when they were making these decisions not just on way to hold the World Cup for all of football.

They need to take.

The players the fans the media what they took into account was themselves and I think that extend what we found out in I documentaries.

It's pretty damning indictment of all of humanity.

Is it when you get people position of absolute Power and you give them pretty much total impunity.

They're going to make some decisions that are based on what's best for them and I think that's really sad because football means a lot to a lot of people that means a lot at the three of us being interview today and it's never allowed allowed using access kind of see the reasoning behind it so let's take 2015 which those arrest and Switzerland as a sort of watermark pre-2015 the present is blasting post-2015 the president of infantino the infantino regime is essentially and I'm saying.

Essentially suing the pre Blatter the battery what they're saying is it we the current FIFA are a victim of Battersby from their mismanagement.

We're not the beneficiaries of this corruption.

No no we are we've been negatively affected by the US Department of Justice that coordinated these raids essential agreed with them.

There was a knife edge moment in 2015 when the US could have designated FIFA is a recall that is to say essentially a mafia and the FIFA lawyers under infantino very quick try and say no no, we're not the organisation benefiting from the top and ice cream with where the organisation hand buy it the doj agreed and over 200 million was given to FIFA so why do they call operate with us? Look maybe one answer is because the grey and they've reformed and they're in a better place.

Maybe one answer is to look at and the public perception reasons also for legal reasons also for financial reasons 200 million is not nothing they have every reason to talk about how negatively about her legs of the previous.

Ok with you will be showcased again in Qatar over the next few weeks and we're going to come back to the practicalities of covering cattle later, but let's go to the store.

You know last week the BBC announced that it was going to change the sound of its local radio stations in England programs after 14 on weekdays will be shared across multiple stations Farris MP for the BBC is doing a disservice to local radio listeners.

Play The Story of coverage scrutinised resources towards more digital journalism and that might have on local newspapers in a moment will hear from Henry faure Walker newsquest one of the largest local publishers in the UK because he's better than use business is Up In Arms about the plans but before that he is rhodri talfan Davies the BBC director of Nations or why the be back to basics year the BBC has a Charter commitment to serve local Communities across England and across the UK and as audience behaviour changes.

So does the BBC so that's absolutely right as we see growing usage of online new services that the local new services provided by the BBC keep pace with that change I hear the accusation from some commercial competitors at the BBC somehow crowds them out.

We haven't seen what we haven't seen evidence of that if you look right across the world at the church facing at local commercial operators you see the same sort of trends or even in countries which don't have a significant intervention public intervention like the BBC you see the same squeeze on the BBC is a different type of news on operator if you look at the trust in the BBC compared to any other new service out there.

It is it is leagues ahead other operators.

Are we saw that during covid? Why was it during covid at the BBC of all new services so the biggest uplift in its usage.

It's because ultimately the BBC has.

Trust with the audiences that is significantly I had other the pride at the moment that service is mainly around broadcast right when it comes to local services if you're moving more into digital.

Do you accept that you will be competing more directly with the local news providers? Well.

I think I mean as somebody who uses local commercial online services and the BBC One online services locally I didn't quite different beasts to be honest.

I think the overlapping stories is very small these days about 10 15% and what we see is a very clear commercial local strategy built around audience usage very high level of publishing across the day.

That's not the game.

We're in we're not here to steal market share from anybody here to the trusted consistent new service to local Communities as a charger requires of us and as we see increasingly urgent as move online not just the young I mean.

Is an argument I had over the last couple of weeks you're moving young if you look at 65 to 75 year olds more of them turned online news now, then turn to rain this is a shift with seem right across the age groups and it is about the BBC keeping pace with that because ultimately we are we are accountable to licence fee payers and they want value from us.

You say online online does mean text articles.

That is what we will be the BBC will be doing in future primarily what we doing a course.

We gather video as well and when a story is very visual will also use the video primary text articles and I'm interested in your plans including new dedicated services for particular places, Bradford Wolverhampton Sunderland and Peterborough wonder how you chose the that are we look a lot of audience data which show that in terms of local coverage and we saw particular deficits in that's in in the city because there's no places that do you have local news providers nearby?

The Telegraph and Argus my newsquest Wolverhampton has The Express and Star and a the Midland news association and also the Black Country Bugle I could go on those places do already have new providers, but I don't think the point is not if there is a commercial new supplier in the area the BBC isn't of journalistic polyfilla there to fill the holes where they don't exist we have an obligation to every licence fee payer in England local value to them and we saw that local audiences there felt the BBC had a weaker connection with them then but then in cities where we've been long established between Peterborough and very distinctive area that was understood under underserved because they connected to other providers providing a good news though, which is why the BBC is less connected with all of that there are most users will use a mix of services for the notion that an additional service suddenly has an immediate.

Mental impact on on on a competitor.

I don't think holds true but the other key point is it's about the licence fee we have it we have a contract with a licence to payers across the UK provide them with local services that feel relevant to them and there are some parts of England and and Eastern parts of the devolved Nations where we see larger deficits and others and I'm part of the plan is to address in for particular towns and cities that was the BBC director of Nations Rugby from Davies Henry faure Walker chief executive of newsquest is with us and presumably I need to get you to correct me Henry because of Madness I refer to one of your titles has the Telegraph and Angus and obviously I didn't mean that I meant the Telegraph and Argus they said at the front of the program.

Also here is Alexander's head of research and analysis heavy start with you use one of the largest publishers of regional newspapers in the UK including some of the areas.

You know the body was talking about what is your response to what you heard.

Well, as you've articulated Katie or on the see you're very concerned about the BBC's expansion into local online used within its potentially very damaging it will in argue undermine the efforts of ourselves another commercial local news publishers to build a sustainable future because it diverts eyeballs away from our sites.

We rely on to drive advertising Revenue and to drive digital subscription revenue it develops those eyeballs to the BBC and I heard obviously rhodri site and he talks of some deficit in Bradford well.

We are the proud publishers of the bad but Telegraph and Argus in Bradford in a we employ 18 local journalists in Bradford we took them very well served we have approximately.

I think we reached about 80% at the Bradford population each month bad as a city of about half a million that 400000 people in the city come.

Every month and he talks about Peterborough and you know the BBC going deeper into Peterborough well, we publish a hyper-local cycle Peter masters in Peterborough I know that the world also has the local newspapers are called Peterborough today.

I know that reach PLC publishers, Cambridge July which covers beta index.

I just don't see the need for the BBC to come into this space.

I don't think the BBC should be using a licence fee to do things that already well provided by the commercial use sector and even worse come in and understand distort the sector and make it even tougher for local news publishers Hodder the last 10 to 10 to 15 years in any case the 45th us parent is the massive new ganotra Jones USA Today amongst other things why do you think you couldn't cope with the BBC just doing a bit more local news online.

Well, we're on again.

We run a lean organisation.

It's it's 45 million, but yes you know we are probably organised but we need to be profitable to say the sustained journalism it without prophets.

There is no sustainable model to local journalism.

We've always try to keep our investment in local report as well make cost reductions is more in the management and production roles analysis of is the climate for local music and economically well the top line revenues of local news media have halved in the last 15 years and I must say that if I can just address first you know the cuts to local radio.

You know the those very controversial.

I think there's been a little better.

Yeah, I like feel the Dad you know is kind of Life mine, too many people in those Communities and they deliver a service and therefore t local radio stations involved here and I think that is the big question mark number 1 number 2, I would with a real shame is the BBC and local Media have collaborated very effectively on the democracy initiative which is placed at 165 reporters in council's and someone all over the place to make local democracy work better and declaration and fortunately.

I think all of us for independence start with a really good way to the BBC and local Media to join forces at the local level and

This particular initiative which has been since March 2021 has not benefited from that kind of collaboration and the dispute has rolled on Ofcom has not got involved briefly.

Are you making a what does happen next making the case to Ofcom who potentially cause could stop the BBC from doing this if it wanted to we actually think is a case for come to intervene and I have to say disappointed by the passivity of regulator and we think I left the door open in 2019 when they let the BB6 band substantially and to Scotland by starting up a dedicated Scottish channel.

I think the BBC 9 Plus or use Janice's Scotland and any other media organisation that just seems on balance to me.

We have the outcome will away from it's number and do something about this ok, and thank you both I want to turn back.

Coming towards the end of the program to the World Cup in Qatar and kind of assessments of it as a media event me Beth Fisher clearly.

You're not going despite being a Jealous you presumably would have gone in if it was somewhere else.

Are you planning for example to write cover it in a different way from a human rights perspective whatever you might choose to do.

Yeah, TV and there was a chance.

I would have gone a big chance but I'm glad I didn't have that make that decision because quite frankly the more I think about it the more I'm kind of I don't even want to watch it which for me is a huge fan is like I said it's heartbreaking so I'm in Wales as well in the tournament 64 years is my worst nightmare.

You know and one hand I've got you know proud Welsh woman and on the other you got this country which goes to get every single value.

I had am I in my body and that for me it goes back to FIFA and I'm so angry at them for making me having.

Do you like this in a sport which should be for everyone no matter race religion gender sexuality wherever that on this occasion again.

We go back to the case that no diversity within their top part and so surprised they pick the country which really does mean Dr kind of cancel that with enjoying the football cheerleaders the athletic is it going to be as PR week? Just in the worst World Cup well.

I think you're really interesting question is when the football starts you know say it is really exciting and therefore games a day which is more than usual and I think that are Stortford for 12-years that yes lots of Christmas tree contentious, but as soon as the football starts that will fade into the background.

I don't think that's going to happen.

I think that the feeling is so intense in so many European countries about that.

I think the story we're going on for you and Miles yeah.

It is funny because you know we saw this with Russia right everyone is talking before Russia about hooliganism about the past.

Racism in one of the things in a rush I basically will be remembered by loads of fans as you know an enjoyable experience and I think the difference between this and Russian and perhaps where the guitar is having quite play the cards correctly is a you know it's one thing for loads of fans are coming to Russia cheap.

Theatre pretty cheap cost of living alcohol is pretty prevalent and and easily available so football fans are having a drink on the street.

Not going to be like that in Qatar 11 kind of anecdote sticks with me for my time in Qatar was a senior member of the supreme committee mentioning to me football fans will love being Qatar for its excellent galleries and museums and me thinking that's not really what a lot of football for what will win over a lot of football fans, what win over there no padding on the streets and you know that the site of thousands of Peruvian fans in Russia that's going to be the case here and I think the fear that's in a lot of guitar in mind at the moment is after all this money all this time and always being hammered in the Press And not actually going to get the pr uplift.

They were after perhaps the football will start to take centre Stage I read that ITV's offering add sports at a 20% discount the expectation is that the numbers will be lower than if they've been held in the summer Dubai into that advertising advertising associated with controversial things in general.

You know of course.

I will be watching at 1 p.m.

On Monday as they weren't even I wasn't working for because I'm obsessed by it but lots of people.

I think there's a lot of people who watch games when they convenient when they're friends are on the minestrone pub garden.

You know this isn't be like that in November people are very busy.

It will feel a bit different.

What's your view on that I mean do you think this is the line in the Sand Westport reporting changes or our assessment of football changes this just you know that would be more of the same.

You know already sports doing this.

I need to be able to have a kind of three kind of punch a big organisation is great, but I will say this you know the irony.

British press in particular are talking about guitar when in the UK there is no openly gay male Premier League player and I think that's mainly because of some of the papers that report on that and also the way that the trans community in particular being vilified by government and the media is well for me.

Just stinks of kind of hypocrite hypocrite city and for for me real real example of that is the way we talk about the Thailand back home here in the UK we having the issues without having so get your own ducks in a row first before anyone else and miles.

Can you make this FIFA documentary which is on Netflix you just talking about the bed bad press that castles getting do you think that in fact shows that sports washing is a concert didn't actually very workable.

I think it shows that sports washing is still a strategy that people gravitate towards a few are Qatar what are the Russians do you have your little Peninsula is very wealthy, but you have no good will too.

International Community Sports remains it remains despite all the negative we are seeing an incredibly powerful way for a relatively small nations to make themselves big players on the international stage had to miss quote someone who I can't remember why is than me it's better to be spoken about badly.

They're not spoken about it all cat as a country that was under international blockade by its neighbours until relatively recently and I think the even having this level of discussion for them.

Just makes them relevant on the global stage but I do think that what we might see is WhatsApp lattisaw.

Is that Qatar for was actually ultimately his that was his kind of undoing in many ways that people could forgive somebody else up a good forgive Russia but for whatever reason cat I was the straw that broke the camels back and in this instant.

It might be the same sports what you might be the moment where we could Newcastle fans celebrated when the Saudi took over there club this may not be the case this time OK that is a really good moment to end it on I'm afraid that is all.

Time for thanks to Joey d'urso mi Coleman best Fisher Henry faure, Walker and Alice Enders thanks to everybody for listening that was the media show thanks so much for goodbye.

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