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Read this: Helen Lewis, File on 4 and Shrinking News

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Helen Lewis, File on 4 and Shrinking New…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts Radio 4 Helen Lewis has left the chat is under the feedback spotlight this week the new series on private messaging has been praised by many for its in size of luck.

Hi group chats are changing our world but for others it's just to swear.

I wanted to complain about strong language and in particular the c word also listeners question the balance of file on Forza investigation of the weight loss group Slimming World there's a lot more to this horrendous problem, then singling out Slimming World unravel the mystery of radio One's drinking news bulletins justify a mass audience music candle with so little news and what happened here bloody driver doubles over shaking with laughter.

I still t.

Weather forecast Simon King tells me why he was breathless in Salford left the chat is a 6-ft series on Radio 4 which examines instant messaging has taken over or lives the series begins by uncovering some of the most cringe making WhatsApp phone as many of us can relate to but ends up in Russian propaganda Wars on the app telegram 1 Episode looked at Westminster's apparent obsession with WhatsApp through the eyes of Boris Johnson's famously sweary former chief of staff Dominic Cummings so many of you love the programme but for others the full language was an accident turn off hello.

I'm Jim Shepley I'm a listener from North London I want to complain about a strong language and in particular the c word.

I'm not against swearing.

Come on have some good manners.

I would expect this subtitle language in the workplace and I would expect it to be at a time when children young people might be listening.

You're going to hear the type of extremely strong language were talking about the lead counsel to the covid enquiry you go Keith bring up the issue with Dominic Cummings in an aeroplane from central.

I love the first programme of telling Lewis left the chat on 3rd of April and look forward to listening to the subsequent episodes for the elderly to live in there that just to reassure the family that we are ok.

What happens when you can talk to anyone by text anywhere at anytime well this ultra connected world creates new expectations of how are working digital education in South London this is fantastic.

Get on picking those personal networks of communication between people and the power they have particularly gonna Westminster was was a really good due in large part to your own WhatsApp to have to pause.

My language someone apologise and I'm a big fan of Radio 4 and enjoy the variety of programs and discussions however, I was very shocked and surprised to hear quite horrendous swearing on the airwaves.

Is there no water time anymore? I meant people use language that you might traditionally expected to hear in a pub, but not a work meeting I was driving my 10-year-old son to a football club at the time of course the 10-year old was pretty impressed.

Turn on the radiator following morning his face lit up will there be swearing well the eponymous heroine of the series Helen Lewis herself is with me now.

It hasn't thanks so much for joining us some feedback.

Thank you for having me.

I've just been listen to All six episodes.

It was very enjoyable what struck me.

I think was just a scale of private messaging and really remind the extent to which it's changed for so many of us the way that we interact socially or relationships the way we work and my mum is in her 80s and sharing a holiday photographs on WhatsApp which is the first sign that this is very widely used it's been a quote for normal shift and a very short space of time is that why you wanted to make the series exactly I'm not really digital native as I send the series you got the first computer my house when I was a teenager in the 1990s so I do feel that I have really LIVE through a particularly profound change in how we communicate.

But what is extraordinary now is the level of switched on this that most of us, have you know I still my parents were sometimes leave their phones behind when they go in and when I go to the allotment and I just the thought of being parted from my phone for an hour makes me feel the most kind of panicky and I know I'm not at all.

The only person to feel like that in the early episodes.

I think it's the first you get some amazing stories.

They are hilarious.

Just some of the best stories that I've heard of these kind of photos or did you find them all kinds of places? We were very lucky to have investigated producer O'Brien as well as my main producer Tom pool and then really put in the leg work about looking into parenting forums for example and and and Turner solicitors series.

I also had a big corner in my on substack.

I have a Twitter account of saying please come and tell me the funny thing about some of those things that they happen to be very funny, but you actually haven't got anyone to share them with if you're the only one in the school group WhatsApp

Thinks of particular the parent is not you guys, are we all we all getting this and sometimes it does happen and we talk in the series about the concept of the canicide chat.

Where are you microwave a chat with a load of people go to kind of comment on the main chat but sometimes it can be very funny things are happening when he's very jaw-dropping things are happening to people and they don't really have any way of checking with anyone but they let you know there's not one.

He's gone insane.

So people wife and was very keen to share their stories even once it was quite personal to them and but you must have had to promise them anonymity.



I mean I operate a sliding scale.

I would rather put in as much information as possible to listen to make up their own minds about what they hearing so for example Chris who interview in the fourth episode of the episode you know that's her first name.

That's a real age and location.

Where is some of the other stories for children when will heavily disguise so for example the water of the 5th errors which is the school?

That milk, don't you know we've been much more careful about leaving identifying details because we talk about somebody to get along with the rest of his parents and Kids of school age so we were very careful about so you know Tom my produce.

I did a lot of work on let's go get WhatsApp sorry making fully really understand the context of what's going on and representing it fairly.

We've heard from Plenty of listeners who in the program but we've also has a few people get in touch to complain about the language here's my clothes shop to here swear words at 9:30 a.m.

As children in the house are free listening to the radio and parents need to be reassured that they can have the Radio 1 without having to worry about it.

Lol I'm not going to repeat those swear words otherwise listed as all be complaining about me on next week's program and that will be but but if I just say that they came from Dominic Cummings WhatsApps we are talking high-grade swearing here it went hiding the Easter holidays from kids are off school only does a point.

I think it's a total legitimate question to raise and it was one that we discussed internally for a really long time and the same conversations.

We had in newsrooms when that day of the covid enquiry happened and most of them.

What was being discussed was the language itself and that's the conclusion that weekend to in the end.

You know when the question.

Is is this language offensive when used and workplace is this language.

Misogynistic people really really need to know what it is that you actually talking about and it wasn't literally just about to obfuscated and I feel quite strong movie about this because I reported on online abuse during the 2010s and I never Mary beard one saying when she was told that because no newspaper will print it.

It made me look like I was over sensitive it made it look like people out.

You just complaining about my pair and I couldn't take it when I'm talking about was Rachel death threats and very violent language and I think there's something to that which is that you need to give people the actual offence but women are the rules on.

I have an informed opinion about sleeping the words.

I just wouldn't cut because actually then you'll sanitising it, but you know that was something that we we discussed we discussed s cushions.

Yeah, we discuss whether or not we could read previous coverage of it and not use the words themselves, but the feeling was the radio station for adults and we won't do this gratuitously the point of it was to discuss the language itself was in this case just that said we may talk to put very big content warnings on it which I think was exactly right so I'm hopeful that most people have a chance to switch off the radio if they didn't want to hear that kind of language in series of arc from the kind of private messaging the most of us are familiar with two ones that are much more niche.

You know we've got the woman Chris who marries a chat, but we've got guys lose their jobs and in one case ends up in prison after sharing state Secrets it does get much more shopping as the episodes go on and I wonder if your aim was to bring listeners with you.

The mainstream of private messaging to the extreme yes exactly you know that has been interesting some the feedback that we've had which is all.

I found the first episode 2 Fluffy some people said and people said oh I like the first episode of accessible and then I had no idea that discord existed what we had intended to do was exactly what you say which is start off with WhatsApp and the school gate and you know whatever it might be messaging that are very common and widespread and then take people in two places that they may not be aware of so you mentioned are the military secrets now.

That's discord which is a chat service which is incredibly popular browser think for older people completely unknown because it's happening in secret is happening on a wall in a gated community doesn't leak out into the open internet so if it's in your face in the way that something someone said on Twitter that then gets picked up by the newspapers is so that was the journey of the series to take people from the very small scale of your parents fighting in the family.

Through to the Ukraine war through to Russian disinformation through to American military secrets with all the research that you've done and all stories that you've heard what's your best advice to all of us and how we can use private messaging to enhance our lives but not turned up for imploding in some way on our group chat to have a certain level of professionalism in the group chat if that makes sense you have to be intolerant of people kicking off and I'm in a lot of group chats that are nothing but joy for you know my family very long way away in very different time zones and it's really nice to have seen my nieces and nephews growing up in a way that probably wouldn't be able to do without the easiness of something like WhatsApp but you have to in a friendly group school gate WhatsApp group chat.

Just have the hardline on people taking the mick.

I think it's what I was saying that because I think when they did.

They can go very badly wrong very quickly and wants one person's been allowed to say something rude to other people then everyone else as well.

You started it and that's the kind of funny thing about Lucy grown adult acting very much like fixer rolls who she started it and also if you're really not sure who else is in the group very much are on the side of caution is the stuff that comes out of a lot of this group chat conversation Helen thank you so much.

Helen Lewis has left the chat is on Radio 4 on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 and all episodes are available on BBC sounds Radio 4 weekly investigator program describes itself as an award-winning current affairs documentary series investigating major issues at home and Abroad Joe casserly Delve into the weight loss industry the idea was to explore whether the UK's leading diet organisation Slimming World was actually fuelling eating disorder.

It prompted a huge response from listeners many of you thought the program lacked proper balance.


This is Leslie this BBC file on 4 is very one-sided.

There's a lot more to this horrendous problem, then singling out Slimming World what about all the other slimming groups not to mention those cropping up all over social media.

Yeah, this is the food that is considered a sin and it's points double cream mozzarella, and it's quite detailed cottage cheese Curtis from Steeple Bumpstead in Essex has been a member of Slimming World since 2018.

I found this program very unbalanced in its message.

I feel let down when I first went.

I was a very healthy 2829 year old like I look at photographs.

I might like that way.

How did I ever think?

That wasn't the woman in the case study with binge eating did exactly the right thing when she realised she had a problem.

She went to her gpgp for the gateway to getting help by expert consultants.

He was not referred there.

She was referred back to her weight loss group.

She's unfair to blame weight loss groups of people with genuine eating disorders and not being treated because the gateway to that help is not I couldn't see a way out of it and it got so bad and I've put on so much weight it got to the point where I walk up a flight of stairs and I would feel out of breath.


This is Ruth a brilliant programme this comes from someone who's weight has fluctuated over the course of my adult life.

I am Catherine from West London world was very one-sided journalism install implied that swimming clubs great bring Jesus and eating disorders.

A lot of people have positive experiences with Slimming World is a shared widely Online coming from and overeating and yo-yo dieting background Slimming World only diet I can stick with and stop the mindless eating of junk food and fast program skimmed over anything positive with the girls we not to it works for some it didn't provide any statistics experts you could offer a counterbalance the professor and a pineapple any positive aspects my question.

Why not and can only assume it didn't fit the narrative.

No, I was very keen to talk to someone from file on 4 to put your concerns directly to them but also to discuss the journalistic process of making an investigator programme about such a well-known cleaning much-loved organisation unfortunately they said no one was available so instead file on four.

Sent this statement the program was rigorously researched and explore.

Important issues around the mpact slimming groups such as Slimming World can have we were clear to write the program that lots of people have positive experiences with Slimming World and these testimonies and evidence in the programme well regardless of whether or not the beaver able to put someone up to respond here on feedback.

We are all about what you think of BBC all in all its forms, so do please get in touch a quick and easy way to do that is to send us a WhatsApp voice note 20345 double for you can also ring that's a number and leave a voice message or email is feedback at and it is at BBC R4 feedback on social media.

One minute, but it seems radio one is giving it a go a couple of weeks ago it made a sudden and on the 9th to change to its hourly news on the Greg James Breakfast Show you speak normal 32.

Just over a minute to the surprise and confirmation of many listeners world of planes are the 7:30 uses Bailey my love and tell what the stories were presented as hustling is wait for the news on sport in just over a minute.

You have to be to use it from 16 to 13 local radio news down to 3 minutes that includes national news licence payers mobile feeling changed the BBC

Is keen to reach more young blisters, but how does cutting use voices on Radio 1 at this and Australia and 13 years after she died a film made about Amy Winehouse's my name is David in Berkshire when I heard this news about Radio 1 Newsbeat bulletins being shortened.

I was both interested, but also frustrated news bulletins over the years been a great way to connect a younger audience to news and my view is and my Warriors that if the BBC doesn't do this then no one else will person from Leeds defender of the BBC licence fee content that the commercial market card doesn't provide BBC's excellent at it in this context.

It is possible to justify a mass audience music panel with so little news.

We need news on BBC Radio 1 in the other quarter-final West Ham lost 2-0 away to Bayer Leverkusen also picked up in the Press who used phrases like indefensible butchered alongside mutterings about whether the station was fulfilling its commitment to Ofcom on its news coverage, but when feedback approach the Radio 1 to find out what was going on we actually told there be making no further public comment I ever since then they've given us this statement delivers over 4280 hours of news to meeting all Ofcom requirements across the entire schedule radio one has permission to experiment as we look at the best way to serve young listeners, and this was one such trial which also involved other areas night is Stephen bonnet is professor of Communications at the University of Westminster Stephen Radio 1.

Night much warning and they do seem quite reluctant to talk about it.

What's your take on what's going on? I don't quite understand.

Why they should be reluctant to talk about it because it's fair to play that Radio 1 does kind of experiment with the output particularly the number of minutes and use where they put it how long they put it on for which programs there in we can remember that there is a minimum number of hours of news that radio one is obliged to broadcast every year it's 280 hours.

That is part of its licence with Ofcom but they put those hours at how they Marshall them how long is Putin is is something that the BBC can play around with and it is important that listens don't feel that things have to be set in stone.

You don't have to have 3 minutes at precisely the same time every single day on the other hand if this is something that matters to listeners.

They used to having it they want it.

Wanted at the same name that it was before it's definitely worth their while writing in making a farce having a shout and saying actually we like to visit was before according to Ofcom itself 1215 year olds now get their news from tiktok followed by YouTube and Instagram could it be the Radio 1 just thinks that 3 minutes of news at that time of the morning is simply a turn-off, so they're testing the water with shorter news to see if they will keep that younger audience.

I think that might well be possible and and I will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks.

Are they going to reinstate the original length of the billeting are they going to maybe compromise and and do it slightly longer than it is at the moment or are they going to maybe put part of it in somewhere else? I do think it's important to stress that the BBC is trying to ride two horses and always has done first.

It does need to be distinctive.

It does need to have news bullet.

In places where perhaps it's competitors don't but at the same time it does have to be competitive if the audience is start tricking away.

It is important that the BBC keeps an eye on and make sure that it's listeners stick with it while at the same time maintaining their then use commitment Stephen young tiktok content creator in the UK Danny page and he's got more followers and viewers of his content than BBC and the New York Times put together on that platform.

I wonder if you think that the BBC can meaningfully compete for a young people's attention.

I think it can I I think that the number of listeners that Radio 1 still gets is a testament to the fact that can still reach those audiences.

There's no question that it's a struggle, but I think social media and mainstream broadcast media are not mutually exclusive, there's a lot of.

Who will and do do both they also know that if they go to Radio 1 in particular? They will hear new brand new music dial hear stuff that perhaps they haven't heard before and while they might not be everyone's taste.

There is still sufficient numbers of young people who want that newness that originality and that kind of authenticity to make Radio 1 worth more but it's definitely a trend that we need to keep an eye on not just the BBC site before all of us Professor Stephen bonnet from University of Westminster thank you very much no a lesson on the perils of live radio good morning this morning temperatures being down to about 5 to 8 degrees Celsius it's a sunny start to the day as we go through today.

I'll be a bit more cloud build up in the sky from Wembley what happened to weather presenter Simon King just before sun.

Ship is sounded very unwell wedding someone else take his place was looking after his welfare.

I do hope he's ok if the southwest southeast and Eastern England will see you later on today, but didn't say spells and temperatures for the 15 degrees.

Thank you for doubled over shaking with laughter.

I still tea all over my dog's bed will have to check the weather again before putting it take to dry as I don't remember a word of what he said, what is possible but Johnson afternoon the cloud have become more expensive with some heavy rain moving it by southeast across Northern Ireland from East Sussex well done.

Simon King for keeping going on the weather at 7:55 on Sunday I was panting along with you.

I'm working temperatures of that 7 to 11 degrees Celsius or salmon, King with the weather this is BBC Radio 4.

I think I can hear just a hint of amusement in Neil Nunes voice there might also be smidgen of sympathy.

I'm delighted to say that Simon King relaxed and in full voice to my night Simon what happened my goodness me and it was pretty horrendous, so I was on the the weekend which involves doing BBC breakfast and Radio 4 so there's a live broadcast but I'm based in Salford and the the breakfast studio is situated on the ground floor and the registry.

Oh is on the first floor and it's not just one flight of stairs were talking about a very large at number of stairs to get from the ancient the bottom floor the the first floor.

What happened bicycles I was doing my 7:45 weatherheads on BBC breakfast, but it just went on a little bit longer and I didn't come to me until later than normal but then I looked my watch and I saw that it was 755.

So I immediately rushed and grab my paperwork and I basically ran the stairs right into radio studio and obviously I'm still out of breath and I hadn't really realised how out of breath that was until I started talking because if you start talking when you're out of breath.

You just can't catch a breath and it gets even worse and in my head.

I was just thinking I can't breathe I really cannot breathe but I've got to carry on wow.

I'm in about 20 seconds in I think it really did the better of you and you actually had to apologise because he got so bad that I was I thought I might have passed out.

Just by not be able to breathe if I'm honest so I did just have to stop and just think you know I've got

Play bit more pricey.

I took a sip of water and then try to carry on what kind of reaction have you had since this happened when obviously at the time I was pretty bad that I do that and I was in that situation and then I started getting messages on social media to say are you ok? What's happened? If you got a really worried about you and I can I thought oh blimey.

I know lots of people listen to Radio 4 but you don't know that until maybe something like this happens and you get lots of lots of messages commenting on what what what time in King we all felt for you and thank you so much for bringing the travails of a weather presenter with us and that's just bought it for this week next week the controller of radio 3 Sam Jackson is here and I'm going to be putting to him listeners reactions to the stations new whatever your thoughts on it.

Please do let me know but for this week.

Thank you for listening and for giving us your feedback goodbye.

I'm clever tapori.

3 million from BBC Radio 4 extraordinary eyewitness accounts that tell the story for the first time of The Bengal famine which happened in British India in the middle of the Second World War II million people died.

It's one of the largest losses a civilian life on the outside there isn't a museum a memorial plaque to those who died how can the memory of 3 million people just disappear.

80 years on I track down first-hand accounts and make new discoveries and hear remarkable stories and explore my Remembrance so complicated in Britain India and Bangladesh listen to 3 million on BBC sounds.

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