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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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11 February 2009

Jade Goody, Conscience Clause and BBC Children's
Steve Hewlett examines a new report which suggests that the BBC could improve its programmes for children, talks to former Now editor Jane Ennis about the media exposure surrounding TV reality star Jade Goody and her illness and asks whether MP's should back a proposal to introduce a "conscience clause" allowing journalists to refuse unethical suggestions from editors.

BBC Trust Report on Children's Services

Anne Robinson of The Weakest Link, which has taken part of Blue Peter's scheduled slot on BBC 1A BBC Trust review of services and content for children, which came out yesterday, says that the BBC is doing well for its younger audiences but could do better. Schedule changes have made falling audience levels worse for shows such as Newsround and Blue Peter.  Steve is joined by children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and Richard Deverell, controller, BBC children's to discuss the findings.

Blue Peter
BBC Trust Report

Jade Goody

Jade in 2004Jade Goody has courted controversy and media attention ever since she first appeared on Big Brother in 2002. The reality TV star was told she had cancer on Indian Big Brother back in August 2008, but has maintained her media appearances in newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, radio interviews and a documentary with Living TV. Steve is joined by Jane Ennis, former editor of Now magazine, to discuss whether the press exposure has now gone too far.

Conscience Clause

newspapersThe National Union of Journalists is urging MPs to back a proposal to allow journalists to refuse unethical suggestions from editors without losing their jobs. They have put forward this “conscience clause” as part of their submission to the Commons’ Culture Media and Sport Select Committee who are currently carrying out an inquiry into press standards, privacy and libel. But is a "conscience clause" really needed? Steve is joined by Steve usher from the Daily Star,  Angela Phillips, journalist and senior lecturer at Goldsmith’s College in London and Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors.

Comments on Today's Programme

Jade Goody:
Jade Goody is neither a victim nor an exploiter, any more than anyone is in their own jobs. If we look at it in those terms we all exploit the fact that we get money for doing stuff and are a victim in so much as we are stuck doing a job when we would rather be somewhere else. If you don't like her then don't watch her, there are plenty of other channels with nothing worth watching on.
Peter Blatchford -

Jade has always been looked down on by society,she represents the poorest and uneducated bottom class,whom they prefer to keep hidden.Well done Jade for breaking through the barrier,for making a living off the media. So now that she is ill,should she make us all feel comfortable by hiding away so we don't have to think about her?She has no other means of earning a decent income for her boys so I say as long as she is ok with this then go ahead.Maybe it will give the upper classes something to think about todays society,take them out of their comfort zone.Good luck Jade.As for jounalists morals,I have long worried where do we find the truth in todays news?The press all seem to be competing and insulting each other(like politicians),instead of investigating and breaking truthful stories.How can the public learn what is going on when the press is so lame and morally bankrupt?when some celeb is front page news and real stories buried inside?Where are those old reporters who chased a story and reported it with facts?
devon, childrens radio
Marie Craddock

NO NO NO - Jade Goody did NOT make racist comments re: Shilpa Shetty and this was agreed by the police at the time of the furore. Please retract Jane Ennis's comment to that effect today. Every time this is repeated it gains credulity - it is unjust.
Patricia Beer

Children's Services:
I listen to radio 4 most days. My kids are 12 and 8 and watch CBBC and use iplayer. They have radios in their rooms and my older one listens to Classic fm. (I'm nervous about him listening to Radio 4 as there are no parental guidance controls!) I had never heard of any childrens radio till I listened to this week's show, and the kids have never asked about it. How do the bbc communicate to kids (or parents) to know it's there and get them to want to listen to it? It would be brilliant if there was a channel that I could leave them to listen to unsupervised, so they could have the radio on while doing other things like all the adult world can. 

Hi, I am listeneing to your show today, 11th Feb and would like to add that as a community radio station, Unity FM, broadcasting in Birmingham and worldwide on the internet have a daily storytime slot which has been running for one and a half years now. Our aim is to instil in children a lifelong love of reading by broadcasting quality stories and dramatisations. Working on a very small budget we have managed to sustain this for one and half years now.
Leila Khan 

Conscience Clause:
Surely the first effect of a conscience clause for journalists would be a mass exodus from the Express, assuming any journalists still work there.
Mark McLaughlan
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The Media Show

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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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