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Peter Rippon | 09:48 UK time, Tuesday, 16 October 2007

We are starting a new programme on Radio Four and we need your help. Actually it’s more like an ongoing conversation on the web that will have a programme attached to it once a week. iPM will rely on its audience to help shape the content through a blog. We will source what we do through the best blogs, passionate 'ear catching' online debate as well as comments and recommendations of others. So what ends up on air will be shaped by listeners and bloggers.

The PM programme logoOur intention is to distil the very best of the web to produce a new type of programme that is in the best traditions of BBC Radio Four. We'll be as transparent as we can about the ideas and guests that make it to air. Our blog will explain why some ideas and stories get dropped or squeezed out. Also, by posting our rough ideas in front of the audience, we're also inviting the well-informed and blog-savvy to help us develop a particular idea.

So, we're open to all ideas and opinion, alternative takes on stories old and new, and aim to shine a light on issues that are under reported or not considered traditional fare for a news and current affairs programme. With around 61 million blogs, over 125,000 podcasts listed on iTunes and seemingly every office in the UK permanently connected to Facebook we hope we won't want for ideas.

There have been many attempts to find the missing link between old and new media. Think of iPM as a small contribution to that debate. If it fails I can always blame the presenter.

iPM the blog is open for business now. iPM the programme will transmit on Radio Four on 10 November at 1730 but you'll be able to listen on demand whenever you want and there will be a podcast too.


  • 1.
  • At 02:03 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

PM has long been one of my BBC favourites. Eddie Mair is a very talented broadcaster. I remember being absolutely amazed to hear him laying into DG Mark Thompson on the show a few months back.

I really like this idea as well. It may be another way forward for broadcasters to provide what the public want. It also allows angry bloggers to put some of that pent up frustration with BBC output a lot of them have into something constructive.

Good Luck with it and I hope other programmes adopt similar ideas.

I PM? Shouldn't it be V PM?

Oh, please yourselves. I'm here all week.

The difference between old media (TV, Radio, Magazines, Film and Newspapers) and new media (Web pages, blogs and vidblogs) is that old media is not reliant on the internet for its delivery [though can be delivered / reproduced on the net]. It is nothing to do with journalism.

If you ask "What's the difference between old-fashioned journalism and citizens' journalism?", then that's a good question. All I know is that I should be able to rely upon The Times, The Telegraph, The Star, The BBC, ITV etc to give me credible information. I would not rely upon a blog for accuracy or balance.

  • 4.
  • At 12:05 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Allie wrote:

No! Please, stop this now. You're the BBC. What ends up on the air should be shaped by journalists and producers, not listeners or (god help us) bloggers.

  • 5.
  • At 11:58 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • philp topping wrote:

Why are the BBC doing this? Embracing something which doesn't need to be embraced. There is something faintly embaressing about this, rather like listening to middle aged politicians claiming to like Coldplay.

As for sticking an "i" in front of PM yeah that'll make it relevant and edgy


  • 6.
  • At 05:24 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

Why can't you just produce programmes and we listen to / watch them? I'm absolutely bored with half witted bigots ringing in /emailing / texting with half baked opinions (from all sides of an argument) when we could have people on a show who actually have some real knowledge of the subject under discussion and have a well formed articulate opinion.

  • 7.
  • At 11:25 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Alex Swanson wrote:

"So, we're open to all ideas and opinion"

As opposed to current BBC policy which is presumably . . .

  • 8.
  • At 08:08 AM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Alex Swanson wrote:

"So, we're open to all ideas and opinion"

As opposed to current BBC policy which is presumably . . .

  • 9.
  • At 11:08 AM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Dave McK. wrote:

Wow, i think i'd underestimated the stuffy cynicism of some of your readers/listeners.. I think this is a good idea, and i don't think it will turn into some sort of unfettered free-for-all from random members of the public.. Provided there is still a maintained structure for debate, then why not take ideas and opinions from the public? I mean, its not like this is the BBCs only outlet for news information, there are many other channels, stations and output-formats that the BBC use that should appease the appetite of anyone screaming for balanced journalism (of the old sort), and for those that perhaps wish to entertain a more alternative route, then this might be it.
Since when did the BBC just have to be one thing only? Still, i'm sure the opinions above (the negative ones that is) don't represent the majority. More then likely they're the conservative minority who frankly could do with spensing their thinking power on more important matters. In the meantime best of luck, and i look forward to being proved at least somewhat correct.

  • 10.
  • At 02:17 PM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Hannah wrote:

'more like an ongoing conversation on the web that will have a programme attached to it once a week'.
Sorry, but that sounds like the biggest load of jargon-laden nonsense I've ever heard.
While I don't quite agree with Eddie Mair's somewhat highbrow view of broadcast journalists, I do think we really don't need the content of our radio programmes to be dictated by members of the general public.
It's jumping on the bandwagon and totally unnecessary.

  • 11.
  • At 10:22 AM on 19 Oct 2007,
  • Nic Hawkins wrote:

There seem to be a lot of blogs and sources of content on the BBC site already, but if you want a few potential discussion areas based on stuff from the last day or two:

1. 18 weeks holiday for MPs. Increased because of Easter coming early, but why not move the two week Easter break? They say they spend it on constituency work, but I've never heard of mine doing anything productive locally. Local stuff is run by the council not the MP. Are their wages going to be prorated downwards because of the reduction in working hours? Blah, blah, blah. Easy to criticise MPs, but probably because so many are so bloody useless and are only elected because of the party system. Remeber - these are the same people who want value for money from public servants, but I don't see nurses given four days extra vacation for Easter!

2. US supporting a power sharing deal between Bhutto and Musharraf: So the US supports a potentially democratically elected presidential candidate in Pakistan sharing power with a military dictator. Hmmm. Another plate of double standards anyone?

3. Radio 1 news coverage. Dumbed down because the yoof (who are the only people interested in modern music) aren't interested in the world around them or can't understand anything more complex than soap stars' lives. Examples form the last couple of days: Fatty food makes you fat exclusive, KFC and pizza are a bit too salty shocker, a lot of people are overweight and it's going to get worse, 100% of people will be obese in fifty years according to some rather far fetched research. I could go on. A succession of non-news and tosh packaged as journalism. Did anyone consider delivering real news in a manner that the demographic could relate to rather than removing all content with any substance?

Great site this, I couled rant all day!

  • 12.
  • At 10:53 AM on 19 Oct 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Peter, actually if it fails you can blame the BBC's obsession with user-generated content over well-researched journalism. It is much cheaper, though, isn't it? If I want ill-informed, prejudiced rants pretending to be debates I can go to Radio Five, which now seems to consist of nothing else. Is that the quality benchmark you're using?

Suggestions for the first week:

- How all this blog "conversation" is our generation's biggest contribution to many of this world's problems.
- How the billions and billions of uninformed, semi-literate and usually incorrect opinions are creating a data junk pile that is going to forever impede man's search for knowledge.
- How the BBC should work towards a program of eradicating blogs in the interest of maintaining the quality of information on the web for future generations. Take it as saving the online environment by stopping the pollution.

Start by posting this message of mine and then promptly deleting it.

  • 14.
  • At 02:22 PM on 19 Oct 2007,
  • Simon Allen wrote:

Before i got too worked up about this, it was fortunate that i realised that this is a very good November Fool joke.

Congratulations on catching out so many of us and you can now get on with your regular job of preparing and presenting the news. Like wot you has been trained to do, yeah?

Hang on, the DG has announced all sorts of cuts in the news operation ... it will be so much cheaper if you get US to do all the work. Then YOU can listen to us broadcasting from our front room and send emails and texts to the Blog to tell us how badly we are doing it.

  • 15.
  • At 05:49 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

I think the first thing you should be covering is a feature about Ronnie Hazlehurst ['you have to pay the money to get the quality'] and how he ended up composing a song for Steps...

  • 16.
  • At 09:20 AM on 30 Oct 2007,
  • Saidhbhín wrote:

I am living in Spain nearly three years now and I am disappointed on behalf of the people here that Danny Wood's article "Madrid bombing verdicts keenly awaited" insinuates that people here believe ETA caused the Madrid bombings. I have never heard that in my life from any Spaniard or Catalan, even those with right-wing views. I suggest Mister Wood perhaps revise that line.

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