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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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17 December 2008

On The Media Show this week, Steve Hewlett examines Jack Straw's announcement to allow the media access to the family courts. He also investigates claims by commercial radio that BBC Radio 1 is failing to reach enough young people, looks at the way in which Indian TV reported the Mumbai attacks and finds out exactly what the BBC partnerships, announced by Mark Thompson last week, will mean to viewers and other public service broadcasters.

Media access to family courts

Justice Secretary Jack Straw made an announcement yesterday that from April 1st next year the family courts in England and Wales, will for the first time admit journalists and allow proceedings to be reported.  Straw publicly commended the press for campaigning on this issue. Steve examines whether it will lead to greater transparency and still allow the rights of children to remain protected with Chris Hope, The Daily Telegraph's Whitehall editor.

Is Radio 1 too old?

Chris Moyles, DJ radio 1Radio 1 is supposed to be one of the key means by which the BBC communicates with young audiences, but this week the Radio centre, which represents commercial radio operators, has written formally to the BBC Trust as part of its review of BBC Services to young people to say that Radio 1 is failing in its public duty to younger people by attracting an older target audience.

Andrew Harrison is chief executive of the Radio Centre and Paul Robinson is Managing Director of children’s television network KidsCo but was managing editor of Radio 1.

Radio Centre
Radio 1

Indian TV and the Mumbai Attacks

Taj Hotel, Mumbai before the attacksEngland’s cricketers take the field this Friday in the second test against India in Mohali.  The team were exposed to graphic scenes during the reporting of the attacks on Indian TV news channels. So concerned were the authorities in Mumbai about what some channels were showing that they actually took them off air for 45 minutes. Now they are talking about a wider crackdown on rolling television news during times of national emergency. But the channel operators themselves fiercely dispute the idea that they did anything wrong. Arnab Goswami is Editor in chief of Times Now – an English language rolling TV news channel based in Mumbai.

Times Now

BBC Partnerships

BBC iPlayerLast week the BBC published a series of proposals grouped under the heading the “Power of Partnership” designed to help other public broadcasters. Ideas included sharing resources and even content with other providers of local and regional news services, to give other broadcasters access to the iPlayer and a new project, codenamed “Canvas”, to deliver all the iPlayer style video on demand capability direct to your TV.

The BBC claim that together this package of projects could save at least £120 million a year. Channel 4 meanwhile issued a statement saying they could see virtually no tangible financial benefit. So which is it? Matthew Horsman – is a former journalist and city analyst and is now joint managing director of media consultancy Mediatique.

Canvas

Comments on Today's Show

Radio 1:

I noted your comments on the target audience of Radio 2 becoming younger; 25 to 44 apparently. So which is the music station for the 45 to 90+? There is no station for the massive audience who do not wish to listen to a diet of pop. This genre is repeated all day, every day on local stations too. Which is the station for those who love jazz , swing, standards etc. Since the demise of the excellent 'The Jazz' there is no station for us. Apart from a few programmes pushed to late night slots or an hour or 2 on a saturday afternoon, there is little but lip service played to this audience. The most patronising comment I ever heard was on Feedback when some self justifying producer thought this group was well served as Terry Wogan once played a novelty Bing Crosby number.We are currently being encouraged to buy DAB radios as Christmas presents. There is nothing worth listening to.Why can there not be a station that plays this kind of music on tap like there is for rock, pop,classical etc.? If the Radio 3 audience can have a dedicated station, then why not 'jazz' devotees. Don't even bother with self obsessed DJ's, just play the music. What could the cost be compared with Radio 7 or BBC 3. I would like to think that this issue could reach the desk of Mark Thomson but in reality BBC producers have no interest in fullfilling the needs of a massive section of the population.Is there any hope? I doubt it.If you have bothered reading this, thanks very much.
Eric Fenna 

The sad case of Radio one. Last time I tuned in it was mid-afternoon, I was preparing a three course dinner and looking for some inspirational music. No music, some voice whittered on to some other voice whilst a woman blathered over the phone, telling us about what she was preparing for her three course dinner: boring, boring, boring. My meal was better: I had a wider selection of tastier of ingredients, a far more exciting menu and nothing went wrong. I retuned to Radio one extra, something new: some good, some OK, some dire, but all new (to me), thanks for digital radio. I remember the start of Radio one (like, you know, Tony Blackburn, day 1, cool), it was never perfect but it was OK and had some really inspirational programs (John Peel, Paul Gamberchini, etc.). Radio one has become far too dull and dreary (I'm 53). Radio three has more new sounds. Maddona is history by twenty years (Radio two), Slim Shady by ten years (approx, also Radio two). Radio one should not play the distant, or even the recent, past but air what is new now and, better still, what might be new next. I know Radio one cannot bring back John Peel but surely it can find DJ's with some feeling for new and exciting music. As John Peel gradually demonstrated they don't have to be young but they do have to be adventurous, have a catholic taste, an open mind, oh yes, and keep their big mouths firmly shut almost all of the time. So. What's the difference between Radio One and the History channel? The History channel can be interesting.
Alan Entwistle
 
Sharing the licence fee:
I uncomplainingly pay the fee, but I would not be happy about commercial enterprises getting their hands on it. They are by definition, commercial, therefore they should stand or fall on that. The BBC is public service and they should stand or fall on that too. C4 and their ilk has to improve their service ; for example stop moving shows around so that viewers cannot keep track of their favourite dramas (recently Brothers & Sisters is an example of that). So leave the licence fee as it is and let the commercials be commercial
Jennifer Farquharson

Canvas:
Errr there's a man on at the moment saying that 'canvas' will do more than the 'dumb' Freeview box. Large chunks of the UK are not due to receive Freeview for another three years. Get one thing right at a time BBC
paul sky+ vs freeview
Andrew Smith

Contrary to the remarks of your interviewee, it is already possible to get Sky+ like facilities on freeview - you just buy a box like the Humax pvrwrt internet, many of us don't have a sufficient quality of service to watch internet TV and won't until BT upgrades its local network, if ever

You can get Freeview Recorders, it is exactly like Sky Plus, plus you can pause live tv.Also, the Nintendo Wii gives you a link to the BBC iPlayer on your tv...& including most of the lcd tv's these days have a pc link where you can connect your laptop/pc to the screen & use the lcd tv as a monitor.
Anon
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The Media Show

Listen again

Previous Programmes

1 October 2008
Andy Burnham on public service broadcasting

8 October 2008
Michael Grade on ITV
 
15 October 2008
Future of DAB Radio

22 October 2008
Andy Duncan and Channel 4
 
29 October 2008
Reporting Poverty

5 November 2008
Stephen Carter

12 November 2008
Lionel Barber and the FT

19 November 2008
Dr Tanya Byron on Kids TV
 
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Manchester and the Media

3 December 2008
Twitter's role in Mumbai Attacks
 
10 December 2008
Shannon Matthews and media coverage
 
17 December 2008
BBC Partnerships and media access to family courts
 
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31 December 2008
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7 January 2009
Jeremy Hunt, Gaza Reporting and New Talent

14 January 2009
Prince Harry, Gaza, Persian TV and iPlayer
 
21 January 2009
Ofcom's PSB Review, Ross' return and British News
 
28 January 2009
Sir Michael Lyons, Hutton Report and New Nation
 
4 February 2009
Sky, Children and Reality TV and Financial Reporting
 
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BBC Children's Services, Jade Goody and  Journalists' Conscience Clause

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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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