The Media Show

The Media Show


Steve Hewlett presents a topical programme about the fast-changing media world


Caitlin Moran on crowdfunding Raised by Wolves, John Whittingdale on James Purnell, What's Twitter worth?  

Following yesterday's debate in the House of Commons on the Draft BBC Charter, former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale joins us to discuss the recent appointment of James Purnell as Director of Radio. Have we reached peak Twitter? As the last of the companies believed to be interested in buying the social network, said that it was no longer interested, we speak to Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Centre for Journalism and Jamie Gavin MD of inPress online about how Twitter's commercial value sits with its growing influence. And, since hearing that Channel 4 would not be re-commissioning a 3rd series of her award winning sitcom 'Raised by Wolves', Caitlin has decided to raise funds to produce the programme from crowd funding site Kickstarter. She joins Steve to discuss her plans. Producer: Ruth Watts.

Will Young leaves Strictly, IPSO review, Sky  

Steve Hewlett talks to Sir Joseph Pilling about his review of press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation. And, to discuss the report we're joined by Trevor Kavanagh, former political editor of the Sun and board member of IPSO and Brian Cathcart. Clare Enders, founder of Enders Analysis joins us to looks ahead at what awaits Sky when it delivers its latest financial figures this Thursday. And, Will Young has left Strictly Come Dancing this week. Dan Wootton of The Sun gives us the inside story on Saturday night's big show. Producer: Ruth Watts.

Craig Oliver, Daily Mail, 'A World Without Down's Syndrome'  

Craig Oliver was a senior editorial figure at the BBC before he was was David Cameron's Director of Communications. He discusses how he thinks he BBC covered the referendum campaign. Sally Philips's son has Down's syndrome and tonight she presents a TV documentary looking at the possible impact of prenatal testing. She says that "this is a film that asks what kind of society we want to live in and who should be allowed to live in it". We are joined by Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman and Patrick Holland, Editor of BBC2 to discuss the editorial decisions that went into making the programme. And, following announcements of 400 job cuts at Daily Mail and General Trust, Douglas McCabe from Enders analysis explores the significance of this latest announcement. 'A World without Down's Syndrome' is on BBC2 tonight at 9pm 'Unleashing Demons' by Craig Oliver is out now Producer: Ruth Watts.

Sam Allardyce, Future of online journalism, STV - news for Scottish viewers  

Andrea Catherwood looks at the journalism behind the Daily Telegraph's ten month undercover investigation into Sam Allardyce which led to him leaving his job as England manager. We discuss the key issues with Matthew Syed, Roy Greenslade and Michael Crick. Are online distribution platforms like Facebook and Google unfairly benefiting from the original journalism of news organisations? Emily Bell talks about the challenges and opportunities facing traditional media and modern tech companies. And as STV launch a new evening news programme on STV2 which aims to combine Scottish, UK and International news, we hear from STV's Head of Channels, Bobby Hain about what's behind the broadcaster's plans to serve Scottish audiences more clearly. Producer: Ruth Watts.

How to cover politics; BBC shows out to tender; BBC Draft Charter  

Steve Hewlett speaks to Bal Samra, BBC Commercial Director about putting TV shows out to competitive tender - and how the BBC works with independent producers after losing Bake Off. From the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader to Brexit and beyond to the rise of 'anti-politics' - the political landscape has been all change. So, how can the media better engage with and explain what's going on? Adam Boulton, presenter of Sky's new All Out Politics programme and Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of The New Statesman discuss. And, media analyst Tim Suter helps us to navigate beyond the headlines about top talent pay to look at some of the detail in the BBC Draft Charter. Producer: Ruth Watts.

John Whittingdale on the BBC draft charter, Phone hacking, Turkish journalist Can Dundar  

Andrea Catherwood hears Reaction to the Commons Privilege Committee report on phone hacking. Privilege Committee Report (phone hacking) - Reactions from: Les Hinton, Chris Bryant, Steven Barnett - Can Dündar - Turkish journalist in exile gives an account of his arrest and imprisonment as well as discussing the Turkish media landscape - Rona Fairhead steps down as BBC Chair and draft charter expected tomorrow - Reaction from John Whittingdale.

John Hardie, CEO of ITN, Keith Vaz and public interest journalism, The Archers as a brand, Reporting on Taylor Swift  

Steve Hewlett talks to ITN's CEO John Hardie about his strategy to boost ITN productions and the future of ITN News. Was the Sunday Mirror's story making allegations about Keith Vaz in the public interest? We hear from Joan Smith, journalist and human rights campaigner and Evan Harris of Hacked Off about what they make of the editorial judgements behind the decision to publish. The Daily Telegraph's radio critic, Gillian Reynolds is a loyal listener to The Archers. She's gripped by the Helen Titchener storyline, but has some issues with the media frenzy and marketing of trial week. She explains why. And, Taylor Swift: what can we learn from the coverage of the latest break-up? Dan Wootton of The Sun gives us the inside story. Producer: Ruth Watts.

Mark Thompson; Is TV failing young audiences; Autumn schedules  

Steve Hewlett talks to Mark Thompson, President and CEO of the New York Times and former Director General of the BBC, about his new book 'Enough Said'. Mark Thompson argues that something has gone wrong with political language and it's making it harder to have serious public debates about important issues. As the man who has run three major media organisations, what does he think needs to change? Autumn is nearly upon us and as the seasons change, so do TV programmes we'll be watching. From the X Factor to Strictly and Poldark to Victoria, we look at what the schedules might tell us with Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent at the Observer. And Shane Smith, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of online news producer VICE told the Edinburgh International Television Festival in this year's McTaggart Lecture that mainstream media was failing younger audiences. So is TV failing Generation Y? We look at numbers with Tess Alps Chair of Thinkbox. 'Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics' by Mark Thompson is published on 1st September 2016.

Olympics v Brexit coverage, Diversity monitoring, Gawker closes, New series Gangland  

The start of this summer witnessed some of the most significant political events in recent history, with media headlines about Brexit dominating every news bulletin. However, the news agenda quickly switched to the Olympics and the dominance of the British team. So was this switch justified, or does it highlight an imbalance in news coverage? Joining Paddy O'Connell to discuss is Rod Liddle, Associate Editor of the Spectator and Peter Hitchens columnist for the Mail on Sunday. The issue of diversity in broadcasting has received much focus this year. Today finally sees the launch of 'Diamond'; an industry wide monitoring project backed by the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, and Channel 5. Amanda Ariss, Executive Director of Creative Diversity Network which has set it up explains how this new system will work and what they hope it will achieve., the flagship site for Gawker Media, closed on Monday after 14 years. Gawker Media was pushed into bankruptcy after losing a lawsuit filed by wrestler Hulk Hogan. Max Read former editor of Gawker, and now senior editor at New York magazine, shares his concern about how the case threatens press freedom. A new Channel 5 two part series claims to offer 'unprecedented access to London's street gang culture'. In 'Gangland', subjects are free to tell stories of drug dealing and violence, unchallenged, in their own words. But the method used to achieve this - namely, "camera dropping", where subjects pick up equipment and film their own material - raises questions about the credibility of sources. Steve Hewlett talks to producer Paul Blake about the ethical questions he asked when making this film Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Covering Trump, BBC sitcom season, Vice's new TV channel  

New York Times media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, has described how journalists who disagree with Donald Trump now face a dilemma in terms of their impartiality. "The American press has all but abandoned impartiality when it comes to the Republican's wildest claims", he writes. It's a similar problem to the one that faced broadcasters in the UK, especially the BBC, who were accused of 'false balance' during coverage of the EU referendum. Steve Hewlett speaks to Jim Rutenberg, and Emily Bell from Columbia Journalism school, about the challenge of covering Trump's campaign. The media company, Vice, famed for its youth-oriented outlook, is launching a new TV channel in the UK. It will be available on Sky and Now TV, and - it says - will feature all new and original content. The company launched the US version in February this year. But how successful a venture will a linear TV channel be for a young audience? Steve Hewlett speaks to Tom Harrington, analyst at Enders Analysis. BBC Comedy is reviving some much-loved sitcoms including Goodnight Sweetheart and Are You Being Served?. It's part of a season to mark 60 years since Hancock's Half Hour - considered to be the start of British situation comedy as we know it - started on BBC Television. But can this genre, which relies on innuendo, smut and difficult themes like race and sexism, exist in a modern world? Steve Hewlett speaks to Shane Allen, Controller, BBC Comedy Commissioning; writer Derren Litten who has written a new version of 'Are You Being Served', and legendary writers Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran, famous for 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and 'Birds of a Feather'. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Reporting statistics, Detecting iPlayer use, The New European  

The BBC Trust has published an independent impartiality review looking at the BBC's reporting of statistics in its news and current affairs. It's found that the BBC needs to do more to challenge conventional wisdom and misleading claims, help audiences understand the weight of evidence, and be braver in interpreting and explaining rival statistics. We speak to independent author of the report and former UK National Statistician Dame Jil Matheson. Plus, FT columnist Tim Harford and investigative journalist Heather Brooke discuss the rise of data journalism and the skills journalists now need to make sense of stats. The New European, a pop up 'Remain' newspaper, has extended its publication run. Initially published for four weeks following the Brexit decision, the £2 weekly will continue for at least another 4 weeks. Distributed in London, the south of England, Manchester and Liverpool, it's seeing a circulation around the 30,000s, and will be published in Northern Ireland from Friday. Steve Hewlett speaks to Matt Kelly, Chief content officer for Archant and launch editor of the paper about how and why it's selling, when some other papers are failing after a matter of weeks. As of September 1st, the BBC will require those viewers watching BBC iPlayer programmes on catch-up to have a TV licence. Newspaper reports this week suggested the BBC could deploy a new generation of Wi-Fi detection vans to identify people illicitly watching its programmes online. Steve Hewlett speaks to former Editor in Chief of MacUser Magazine Adam Banks about whether technology exists to actually do this, and whether privacy laws would ever allow such detection. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Naming terrorists; Naked Attraction; Facebook results  

Following the recent spate of terrorist attacks in France and Germany, and widespread reporting on these atrocities, some media outlets, including the French daily newspaper Le Monde, have decided to not publish the names or pictures of perpetrators. One of the organisations choosing to not publish details is French networked Europe1 Radio. Andrea Catherwood speaks to managing editor Nicolas Escoulan to hear why they've made that decision. Plus Jo Groebel, an academic and media consultant in Germany, who has been advising media there on this issue, explains why he thinks self-censorship is ineffective. Channel 4's new 'dating' show 'Naked Attraction' has certainly sparked controversy, with around 123 complaints already to regulator Ofcom. The programme sees a single man and woman choose a date from a selection of six people standing naked before them. Some viewers have been left shocked by close ups of genitalia and full frontals, but ratings suggest it's pulling in a big audience - particularly the young. Andrea Catherwood is joined by presenter Anna Richardson, plus critics Kevin O'Sullivan and Rachel Cooke. Latest results from Facebook show the company now has 1.71 billion monthly users, a surge from 1.65 billion in the previous quarter. Strikingly, the results also showed that revenue from advertising has grown 63 per cent in a year, to over $6.2 billion, with mobile ad revenue accounting for 84 per cent of this. Andrea Catherwood talks to ad expert Martin Bowley about the significance of these figures; what this tells us about ad spend, the impact on traditional media, and whether Facebook profits still have space to grow. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

CEO of Liberty Global Mike Fries, Guardian losses, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes departs  

Liberty Global is the world's largest international TV and broadband company, with over 27 million customers worldwide. It's also the owner of Virgin Media, the largest cable company in the UK and Ireland, with 5.6 million customers. On a recent visit to London, its CEO Mike Fries spoke to Steve Hewlett about the strength of the business in the UK market, the impact of Brexit and whether they'd ever consider buying ITV. Guardian Media Group (GMG), the owner of The Guardian and Observer newspapers, has reported a greater-than-expected full-year operating loss of £69 million. GMG has put the losses in part down to restructuring charges and a fall in print advertising revenues, with some reports saying that disagreements over who should take the blame led to the Guardian's Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger resigning in May. Steve Hewlett talks to media analyst from Enders Douglas McCabe about the scale of the problem and what, if anything, can be done about it. Roger Ailes who co-founded Fox News with Rupert Murdoch in 1996, is to depart the news channel. Over two decades, Ailes has led Fox News to becoming one of America's most watched news channels with profits dwarfing its cable news rival's. Ailes has been the driving force behind forming the unique Fox brand with his attention-grabbing style. Its blend of modern production values and partisan news commentary aimed at the moderate and conservative right counterbalanced what Ailes saw as the liberal bias of competitor news channels. We hear from author Kerwin Swint, and NPR's David Folkenflik about the rise and fall of this huge figure in US media. Prod: Katy Takatsuki.

Turkish media crackdown, Ed Vaizey's legacy, Live streaming.  

Dramatic events in Turkey are leading to a crackdown on journalists and coverage. Turkey's media regulation body has revoked the licences of 24 radio and TV channels accused of links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man accused by the government of directing the coup. A list has also been circulating on a pro government account on twitter which names around 70 journalists which the government allegedly wishes to detain. Steve Hewlett speak to Yavuz Baydar, writer for the Arab Weekly and Munich's Süddeutsche Zeitung paper, whose name appears on this list, and Andrew Finkel, co-founder of P24 - an initiative to support independent Turkish media. Ed Vaizey has ended his six year stint as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. In that time, he's overseen some key broadband projects, addressed the lack of diversity in the creative industries, and has been credited by some with helping the DCMS avoid the worst of government cuts in the most recent budgets. Steve Hewlett speaks to him about his biggest achievements, his legacy and the challenges that face his successors Karen Bradley and Matthew Hancock. There are a multitude of live streaming apps now; Periscope, FacebookLive, You Tube mobile, Meerkat, to name a few. Plus, real time material posted by ordinary people can easily be sourced on the web - just this week, footage can be viewed showing the moment a truck ploughed into crowds in Nice as can Facebook Live footage of three men in Virginia being shot whilst sitting in their car. So, what does access to this kind of amateur, unedited and often graphic material have on our relationship with events? Steve Hewlett speaks to Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

BBC deputy director-general Anne Bulford, Should BBC have filmed the raid on Cliff Richard's home, Risks of true crime TV shows  

One of the most senior women in media gives her first interview. The BBC's new Deputy Director General Anne Bulford talks Top Gear, top executives' pay and how the broadcaster plans to make hundreds of millions of pounds in savings. Sir Cliff Richard says he will sue the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over TV coverage of the raid on his home in 2014 in connection with historical sex abuse allegations. After 22 months without being arrested or charged, Sir Cliff was told that the case had been dismissed. He says the behaviour of the police and BBC at the time his home was raided was unfair and caused him distress and financial loss. The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee criticised the police, but said the BBC did nothing wrong. However, should the law be changed to protect the anonymity of people who fall under suspicion but are never arrested or charged? Or should the media be free to report on police action against public figures, even if they emerge as completely innocent at the end of the process? We hear contrasting views from two legal experts. Also - Since the success of the Serial podcast in the United States, UK broadcasters have been looking for a successful true crime formula here. This Thursday on ITV, award-winning investigator and former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas tackles a cold case in "The Investigator: A British Crime Story". It uses dramatic reconstruction to delve into a story of murder and disappearance. We hear from Mark Williams-Thomas and also the executive producer of the BAFTA-winning Channel Four series "The Murder Detectives", Neil Grant, on how they choose their cases and the production and ethical challenges involved when real tragedy becomes TV entertainment.

Top EU referendum journalists, Brexit's impact on media industry, Lord Puttnam inquiry  

The EU referendum has been a defining political moment in the UK's history. For top political journalists, it's presented its own set of challenges - balancing claims, giving parity to arguments, and staying across the latest lines from all parties has been key for reporters on TV and radio. Steve Hewlett talks to three broadcast journalists who've been on the coal face during this campaign; Allegra Stratton, National Editor for ITV News, Faisal Islam, Political Editor for Sky News, and Channel 4 News Political Editor Gary Gibbon. News of Brexit has created uncertainty in the media industry. The financial repercussions began immediately after Thursday's vote, with stocks in the media sector falling further than the wider market on Friday. Analysts predict that advertising and marketing budgets will undoubtedly be cut if there's an economic slowdown. There's also concern that changing current EU broadcasting regulations, which experts say makes doing business easier, will no longer apply. To discuss, Steve Hewlett is joined by John Enser, partner specialising in media issues at law firm Olswang. An influential inquiry into the future of broadcasting in the UK is published today. Led by film-maker and Labour peer Lord Puttnam, The Future for Public Service Television Inquiry suggests that ITV should increase its commitment to current affairs programming, Channel 4 should not be privatised, and a fund should be established to pay for public service content. Steve Hewlett talks to Lord Puttnam as he concludes his eight month inquiry, and asks him what happens now Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Newspaper Leave and Remain editorials, Media in Afghanistan, TV talent shows.  

With only one day to go until the vote on the EU referendum, The Mirror newspaper has declared its support for the Remain campaign. It means all the country's newspapers have now declared their position in the debate. Andrea Catherwood discusses whether newspaper editorials still have the influence they once did with Lloyd Embley, Editor of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, and Trevor Kavanagh, Political columnist at The Sun, which has backed the Leave campaign. Whilst the popular talent show American Idol recently broadcast its 15th and final season, the BBC has just announced its new Saturday night entertainment programme will be a talent show looking for a boy band to play Take That in an upcoming stage show. The BBC has been searching for new formats, so why go with a talent show yet again? Mark Wells, former ITV Controller of Entertainment, and Jane Lush former BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, join Andrea to discuss whether the talent show has seen better days. In the post-Taliban years, a broad range of media flourished in Afghanistan. Many say that this has been very important for social change. However, there's concern that direct attacks against journalists in the last year by the Taliban is threatening the progress that's been made. Just a few weeks ago, David Gilkey an American journalist for NPR was killed along with his Afghan translator in a Taliban ambush. Shaharzad Akbar, director of the Open Society Afghanistan, speaks to Andrea Catherwood about the impact direct attacks are having on the media and journalists. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie, The state of Welsh media, The BBC loses The Voice  

Sherlock, Doctor Who and Dad's Army fans in the UK can buy and download episodes of their favourite programmes - as well as many other "lost gems from the BBC archive" - after the broadcaster launched a new online service: the BBC Store. The site features around 7,000 hours worth of content with more to come over the next year. BBC Worldwide - the commercial arm of the BBC - is behind Store. Steve speaks to CEO Tim Davie about the revenue Store will bring in, and asks him how important exploiting commercial opportunities like this is in securing the BBC's future. Wales is facing a media "market failure" that will leave the nation with a deficit of reliable information, according to a report by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. Cutbacks in spending on broadcast programmes made for Wales, falling numbers of trained newspaper journalists and a weak commercial radio sector present a "major challenge" for the nation, it says. Steve speaks to report author Ruth McElroy and Professor Ian Hargreaves from Cardiff University about the current state of the media in Wales. The BBC has revealed it's lost the singing show 'The Voice' to a rival broadcaster. It said on Saturday that the fifth series on BBC 1, which begins in January, will be the last. It's thought ITV has won the format - although it still hasn't confirmed this. So, what will this mean for the BBC, and for ITV? Steve asks Stephen Price from Broadcast what impact the change will have on ratings, and speaks to former BBC entertainment commissioner Jane Lush about how the BBC's future Saturday night schedule might look. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Reporting the refugee crisis, Accessing news online, Achieving 'balanced' EU coverage.  

The International News Safety Institute is launching a survey into the psychological impact on journalists covering the migrant crisis, following anecdotal evidence that some journalists are finding it is taking a high emotional toll on them. INSI Director Hannah Storm discusses the challenges of reporting the crisis, and Steve Hewlett is also joined by Channel 4 News International Editor Lindsey Hilsum, who has spent decades reporting around the world on conflicts and who, more recently,has been reporting first-hand on the refugee crisis. A survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has revealed that more than half of online news consumers are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter ahead of traditional media groups. The trend is aided by the acceleration of smartphone use, as 53 percent of those surveyed reported using their handheld device to access news content. Steve Hewlett talks to lead author Nic Newman about Facebook's growing influence, and what it means for traditional publishers. There have been calls for broadcasters to do more to fact check claims made in EU referendum coverage. Writing in the Guardian, columnist Peter Preston thinks the BBC in particular is being restricted by fairness and balance rules, leaving interviewers unable to robustly refute claims politicians make. But what can broadcasters do to ensure every fact is correct, in a situation where one sides 'fact' may be the other sides 'lie'? Steve Hewlett discusses with Peter Preston, and Stewart Purvis, former editor in Chief at ITN, and Jamie Angus, editor of the Today programme. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

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