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The Media Show


Social media, anti-social media, breaking news, faking news: this is the programme about a revolution in media.

Social media, anti-social media, breaking news, faking news: this is the programme about a revolution in media.


London, United Kingdom




Social media, anti-social media, breaking news, faking news: this is the programme about a revolution in media.




Sports broadcasters fight for our attention

This is a packed summer of sport, from the Olympics and the Euros, to a new cricket competition called The Hundred on primetime BBC. But in the age of infinite choice, how can broadcasters make live sport more attractive than TikTok, Fortnite or the latest Netflix drama? And has the amount of money TV companies are prepared to pay for sport fallen during the pandemic? Guests: Andrew Georgiou, President of Sports at Discovery; Sanjay Patel, Managing Director of The Hundred for the England and...


The Media Show: Sports broadcasters fight for our attention

Discovery on their Olympics coverage, plus a blockbuster new cricket tournament.


Inside The Pegasus Project

A group of news outlets from countries around the world have banded together to expose the alleged use of a phone hacking tool to spy on leading journalists, politicians and human rights activists. How do you pull off a series of global scoops like this? Also in the programme, the role professional fact checkers now play in journalism. Guests: Laurent Richard, Founder of Forbidden Stories, Paul Lewis, Head of Investigations at The Guardian, Claire Milne, Acting Editor of Full Fact, and Ian...


Why can't social media companies stop online abuse?

Footballers are being racially abused on social media. Why can't social media companies stop this from happening? An investigation by two New York Times journalists says Facebook's approach to moderation reflects a culture within the company. But social media also gives footballers a platform for campaigning - and even lets them shape their own public image. Guests: Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer at The Times; Joey D'Urso, Investigations Writer at The Athletic; Mayowa Quadri, freelance...


The unstoppable rise of TikTok

TikTok had a fantastic pandemic, stacking up over 800 million users. Hollywood studios are casting TikTok stars. Record labels are snapping up TikTok singers. Facebook and YouTube have both launched rival services. But the Chinese app is facing the same issues with disinformation and moderation as the Silicon Valley giants - and has become embroiled in geopolitics. What's next for this upstart? Guests: Richard Waterworth, TikTok's General Manager, UK and Europe; Rhiannon Williams, Tech...


The tabloids claim a scalp

A scoop in The Sun forced health secretary Matt Hancock to resign. But how did The Sun come to have this explosive story, and what did they do with it once it landed on their desk? The pandemic has helped the British press regain its influence. Tabloids have launched charities and campaigned for people to get jabbed. So what role does the press play in public life - and do papers still have the power they once did? Guests: Victoria Newton, Editor-in-Chief of The Sun and Sun on Sunday; Tobyn...


Channel 4 facing privatisation?

The government has launched a consultation on the future of Channel 4 and privatisation is being considered. But what could that mean in practice? Would the channel see an influx of private cash, helping it compete with the streaming giants? Or would British TV suffer, with documentaries edged out by mass market gameshows? Also in the programme, the world of entertainment TV has been shaken up with the arrival of The Masked Singer. Are "guessing shows" here to stay? Guests: Alex Mahon, Chief...


Reporting when there's no journalist in the room

The world’s biggest leaders have been face-to-face in a series of meetings. But as always, nobody from the press was allowed in the room. So how easy is it for journalists to sort the fact from the spin? And do the politicians even want them there – unless it’s to snap them posing grandly on the beach? Guests: Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic Editor at The Guardian; Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent at The New York Times; Rym Momtaz, Senior France Correspondent at Politico; Naomi...


Radio takes on the tech giants

One of the UK’s commercial radio groups is launching ad-free versions of their stations for a monthly fee. Is this radio’s secret weapon to defeat Spotify and the streaming services? Or should more presenters follow Iain Lee's lead and swap network radio for digital platforms? Plus, an Ofcom report shows the new dominance of TikTok and the music streaming platforms. Guests: Paul Keenan, President of Audio at Bauer; Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle, presenters of The Late Night Alternative;...


A crisis for war reporting?

The role of foreign reporter is one of the most glamourous in journalism. But with international correspondents stuck at home during the pandemic, and editors looking to save money, foreign reporting now faces an existential crisis. What would we lose if our perspective on the world didn't come from our own correspondent? Guests: John Simpson, BBC World Affairs Editor; Sebastian Walker, Vice News Washington DC Bureau Chief; Christina Lamb, Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent; Arwa...


What next for the BBC after the Bashir scandal?

The BBC is facing intense scrutiny. Last week’s Dyson Report revealed multiple lies and deception by Martin Bashir - to secure his famous interview with Diana, Princess of Wales in 1995. Now, questions are being asked about the BBC’s entire governance. So what could actually be done? Are we about to see fundamental change at the BBC? And will this scandal bring about a reckoning for the whole industry? Guests: Richard Tait, professor of journalism at Cardiff University and former editor of...


Israel-Gaza conflict rages online

The Israel-Gaza conflict is a local clash playing out on the global stage, with social media a weapon of war for both sides. But how did TikTok tutorials, Instagram infographics and Twitter posts become influential news sources for millions? Also in the programme, The Week Junior is one of the UK's fastest growing magazines. Are children much more how interested in the news than we expect? Guests: Gabriel Weimann, Professor of Communication at Haifa University; Rayhan Uddin, journalist at...


Riding the news cycle

The elections are over and the results are in - but a giant inflatable Boris Johnson has captured much of the press attention. So how does our new cycle work? Who gets to decide what stories make the front page, and how much control do politicians have over their depictions in the press? Plus, the 'news wire' agency Reuters provides photos, breaking news lines and copy to much of the world's press. How do they help to keep the news cycle spinning? Guests: Michael Friedenberg, President of...


Decline of the Editor

In his final edition as presenter of The Media Show, Amol Rajan looks at the challenges ahead for journalism. With help from leading journalists, Amol argues that this is a golden age of media - but a dark age for news. Readers increasingly don't trust what they see in newspapers. Journalists criticise each other in public. And editors have seen much of their power shift to Silicon Valley, where algorithms now decide what people see. What can the media do to fix itself? Contributors: James...


Podcasts go premium

Amazon-owned Wondery are launching their first British podcast, while Apple and Spotify are moving some of their most popular podcasts behind a subscription paywall. What impact will this have on the world of podcasts - and should British podcasters worry about the dominance of a few US players? Guests: Declan Moore, Head of International at Wondery, part of Amazon; Caroline Crampton, journalist and host of Shedunnit; Imriel Morgan, Chief Executive of Content is Queen; Matt Deegan, Creative...


Roula Khalaf, editor of The Financial Times

The biggest political story of the year - David Cameron's involvement with the failed financial company Greensill - began as a scoop in The Financial Times. The newspaper has gained a reputation lately for its long-form investigations into poverty, deprivation and capitalist excess. But is there something inherently odd about the stockbroker's paper of choice taking on crusading topics? And how hard is it to take over the editorship of a newspaper already in rude health? Guest: Roula Khalaf,...


Threats to journalists in Northern Ireland

A cameraman has been assaulted while covering scenes of violence in Northern Ireland. Other journalists have faced death threats. So what is the best way to cover this volatile political story - and have London-based reporters been slow to pay attention? Plus, French media giant Banijay sells many of the UK's favourite TV programmes, from Masterchef to Peaky Blinders. What is their role in determining the shows we watch? Guests: Suzanne Breen, Political Editor at the Belfast Telegraph; Noel...


Reddit and the anti-establishment

Steve Huffman is co-founder and CEO of Reddit, the website that bills itself as "the front page of the internet". In this extended interview, Huffman tells Amol Rajan about his "pathological dedication" to Reddit's policy on free speech and moderation, why Reddit has always had an "anti-establishment edge", and his own mission "to fulfil the promise of the Internet". Earlier this year, Reddit hit the headlines after a community of amateur stock market traders set out to inflict losses on...


Fighting the Covid infodemic

As the UK marks one year since the start of the first lockdown, Amol joins the BBC World Service programme World Questions to take questions from listeners around the globe. His expert panel assesses how well the media has covered the pandemic and whether fake news and misinformation has influenced public behaviour. Guests: Nick Pickles, Senior Director of Public Policy Strategy and Development at Twitter, Zeynep Tufekci, sociologist and writer, Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, and...


The truth about investigations

Amol Rajan on the mechanics of investigative journalism: the nuts, bolts, fear, loathing and legal letters of being a proper investigative hack. But how easy is it to cultivate sources in a pandemic? And is the government changing the way it handles freedom of information requests? Guests: Rachel Oldroyd, Managing Editor and CEO of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism; Jennifer Williams, Politics and Investigations Editor for the Manchester Evening News; George Arbuthnott, Deputy Editor of...