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Covering the climate change soap opera

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Rajan Datar | 15:14 UK time, Friday, 17 December 2010

This week on Over To You, we take a look at the way in which the international media has covered the latest episode in what is beginning to resemble an international soap opera, the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

Following the hullaballoo and frenetic media interest that surrounded the talks in Copenhagen last year, coverage of what actually went on at this summit was strikingly muted.

Activists from Greenpeace spread their message across a beach in Cancun. Image credit: Reuters

Some reports focused on the problems of getting the developed and developing nations to agree to cut emissions whilst others heralded the agreement that emerged from Cancun as a relative success and declared that it outstripped expectations.

As BBC correspondent Richard Black put it, “if Copenhagen was the Great Dane that whimpered then Cancun has been the Chihuahua that roared”.

So what should we make of it? Can we rely on the media’s reaction to gauge whether Cancun was a success – or not? We wanted to know how the news of such stories is relayed to the world – and indeed how accurately - and what significance we should place on “big ticket” international gatherings like this?

As attention turns to Durban in 2012 and the need to renew the Kyoto Protocol before it lapses becomes more and more urgent, how will the media report the next phase of this global story?

To finds some answers to these questions we speak to Steven Duke, the editor of One Planet, the BBC World Service's environmental and development radio show.

Last week on Over To You we heard from listeners in Berlin who have been frantically searching the airwaves for the BBC World Service only to find a children’s radio station called Radio Teddy playing fairy tales and pop music in its place.

In response to our questions the BBC gave us a statement to explain that on the first of December the World Service moved to a new FM frequency in Berlin – from 90.2 to 94.8. Well, this did not satisfy Berlin listeners – or rather people who would like to be Berlin listeners if they could receive the signal once more – and it prompted another hefty postbag.

We speak to the Simon Kendall of the Business Development unit to get to the bottom of what is going on in the German capital.

The world of media and broadcasting is changing rapidly and we thought you’d like to know more about what’s coming down the pipe in terms of radio.

In two weeks time we’ll have a special edition of Over To You that is dedicated to the future of radio.

This week, to whet your appetite, we hear from the man who’s devised a service which is being described as doing for audio what Twitter has done for 140 characters messages.

Audioboo is a service which allows smartphone users to record and playback digital recordings of up to five minutes, which can then be posted on the Audioboo website. Described as social media for audio, its founder is Mark Rock and he joins me in the studio.

Mark recorded this while we were in the studio:

Listen!

And if you’re inspired to send us a message – on Audioboo, email, or telephone - about anything you’ve heard on this programme, or the World Service generally, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You

 

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. It airs at 00:40, 03:40 and 12:40 every Sunday (GMT).

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi, I live in Berlin and used to listen to your program while commuting to work almost every day on the east part of the S-Bahn circle. I really doubt that the new frequency 94.8 is receivable in central Berlin, as the transmitter is located closer to the town of Potsdam than to Berlin. I cannot use any other way to listen while I'm on the train as I lack a data flat rate on my mobile phone. I really miss your program.

    Just a question for the edition of Over To You on the future of radio announced above. Why shall I use a dedicated data connection to receive a broadcast transmission? Isn't this a waste of resources (in terms of bandwidth and processing), as every listener using internet radio receives a complete copy of the stream? I know that one can send multicasts on the internet, but I doubt you use it.


  • Comment number 2.

    BTW, the link to "Listen to previous episodes of Over To You":

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/overtoyou/worldservice/programmes/2009/0/000000_over_to_you.shtml

    is broken (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Firefox 3.6.13)

  • Comment number 3.

    Great title for the post - climate change soap opera - the story continues.

 

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