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The Media Show
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Listen to the latest editionHomepage of The Media Show, Radio4's weekly look at the media.  Wednesday 1.30pm.

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26 November 2008

Salford Quays
The Media Show comes from Manchester where a brand new “Media Festival” starts today. Steve Hewlett talks to Peter Bazalgette, the chair of the festival, and media commentator Emily Bell, about the decisions made last week by the BBC Trust. It’s only 18 months old, but is it taking the BBC in the right direction? Steve visits the Manchester Evening Newspaper to find out how it is adapting to the digital multimedia revolution. He also discovers how Salford is being transformed by the construction of a media city which has the potential to be of genuinely global significance. 

Has the BBC Trust Come of Age?

Sir Michael LyonsEighteen months ago, the BBC Trust replaced the old BBC governors who were widely thought to be lacking independence from the management. But has the trust come of age? And are they taking the BBC in the right direction? Peter Bazalgette, Chair of this week’s Media Festival in Manchester and Emily Bell, media commentator and director of digital content at Guardian Media Group, discuss the issues with Steve.

BBC Trust

Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening NewsThe Manchester Evening News was once a traditional local newspaper. Paid for circulation, lots of classified ads, unrivalled local knowledge and contacts but newsprint through and through. However, now it is home to Channel M – the company’s local TV station, Century radio news, MEN online as well as the newspaper. At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, and more than a few redundancies, the company is gambling that by becoming a genuinely multimedia, multiplatform news and information service, they can secure a commercial future in the digital, post-newsprint age. Steve visits their offices to find out how things have changed.

The Manchester Evening News

Salford - The Media City

Salford - The Media CitySalford Quays was just a derelict inland port on the Manchester Ship Canal, but if you go down to the Quays today, a new Media City is beginning to take shape.  Steve visits the site with Paul Newman of Media City UK, the commercial developer behind the project, and discusses the vision behind it with Michael Joroff, a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and consultant to Media City projects in Seoul, Abu Dabi and Dubai as well as Salford.
 
Media City UK

Comments on this week's programme

BBC Trust:
Sorry did not hear start of programme so only know first name of interviewee today was Peter who referred to the prolonged saga as "this fit of morality" (and on Feedback the man who emailed some weeks back referring to "the blue rinse brigade" and the woman who thought it was funny and we should lighten up). Does it not occur to anyone who so easily dismisses the objections to the Ross/Brand broadcast as a function of age and/or excessive morality that many objecting are in fact people who fought against narrow-mindedness and censorship in the past and still do so. This actually indicates that the ideals of youth and political involvement do not just fade along with hair colour because part of the objection is to the dumbing down of culture, reinforced by the huge salaries paid to those who are contributing to this dumbing down and killing thought. It is ironic that the 60's changes and the hippy generation are so often condemned as being at the heart of so many social "declines" yet this age group is conveniently labelled Blue Rinse to dumb down real thought. In fact one of Feminism's most important achievements was to show up male bragging about conquests as sexist and therefore unacceptable because it degrades women by treating them as objects. Inevitably this happens in private but this was public bragging and condoned by the producer as "very funny". This youngster, today's Peter plus the "supporters" who emailed Feedback obviously need to understand more about sexism.There was also an extraordinary repeating of Andrew Sach's age as if this was automatically important because he might be more upset at age 74. Surely this is insulting to older people as well. Ageism and sexism, dumbing down and obscuring worthwhile thought all in one go! All hidden in a silly debate about youth and humour.
Frances Kelly

I am ALWAYS offended by bad or coarse language and bad behaviour by BBC staff and performers. I see no need for it. If people cannot be witty or funny without it, then don't employ them as broadcasters. I do not want "risqué" or "edgy" material. I am contemptuous of people who use it or want it. Let them create their own ghetto channels, like the porn channels, to which only they have access. British society and culture is in meltdown. You can feel it in the air as soon as you set foot in the country. The BBC is not free of guilt in this regard.
James Carey, France.
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Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett is a Guardian Columnist and broadcasting consultant. He is visiting Professor of Journalism and Broadcast policy at Salford University and a fellow of the Royal Television Society.


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