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Radio 4's forum for audience comment. Roger Bolton asks if BBC journalists should describe political parties as 'populist' and discusses soft power with the head of BBC Arabic.

Roger Bolton asks if BBC journalists should describe political parties as "populist", discusses soft power with the head of BBC Arabic and finds out about the return of comedy to Radio 1 after more than a decade.

In the wake of success for the Five Star movement and the Italian League in the Italian elections, listeners have been reacting to the BBC's description of them as "populist". Some consider that it implies a pejorative view of the parties in question? The BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler joins Roger to explain the meaning of the term and answer listener's questions.

BBC Arabic has just celebrated 80 years since the launch of its radio service, still tasked with providing news in a challenging and volatile region for journalists. But does the influx of Foreign Office money to the BBC World Service risk undermining its reputation for impartiality and independence? Samir Farah, head of BBC Arabic, discusses soft power and the future of the service.

Radio 1 was once known for launching the careers of legendary comedians, but it's been more than 10 years since the network dedicated programmes to comedy. That's about to change, with the arrival of a new wave of specially commissioned Radio 1 comedy podcasts. The commissioner behind it, Louise Kattenhorn, and Benjamin Partridge, creator of the hit podcast Beef and Dairy Network and the star of one of the new Radio 1 commissions, talk about how to bring podcast comedy to a Radio 1 audience.

Presenter: Roger Bolton
Producer: Will Yates
Executive Producer: Katherine Godfrey
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 11 Mar 2018 20:00


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