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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, with Amol Rajan, the BBC's media editor. New episode every Wednesday

Social media, anti-social media, breaking news, faking news: this is the programme about a revolution in media, with Amol Rajan, the BBC's media editor. New episode every Wednesday


London, United Kingdom




Social media, anti-social media, breaking news, faking news: this is the programme about a revolution in media, with Amol Rajan, the BBC's media editor. New episode every Wednesday




Christiane Amanpour and a brief history of CNN

On 1 June 1980, the TV news industry was revolutionised by the launch of CNN, the world's first rolling news channel. Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international anchor, looks back on her own career and the reporting which has won her 11 Emmys, 4 Peabodys, and a slew of other awards. Presenter: Andrea Catherwood Studio Engineer: Tim Heffer Producer: Richard Hooper


The drama of TV production

British TV companies produce some of the most popular shows in the world. But the lockdown has put a halt to it all. Andrea Catherwood asks how the industry restarts and what post coronavirus TV might look like. Guests: Andy Harries CEO Left Bank Pictures, Jonathan Hewes, CEO Pioneer Productions, and Manori Ravindran, International Editor of Variety Producer: Richard Hooper Studio engineer: Nigel Dix Image credit: Scene from Netflix’s new series White Lines


How data journalists became the rock stars of news

Data journalists were until recently a niche part of the news industry, but the spread of coronavirus has meant their work is now regularly on the front page. How objective is data journalism and is it open to the same biases as any other type of reporting? Also, do journalists have a duty to lift the mood of the nation and look for good news stories? Or is that incompatible with journalism’s job of speaking truth to power? Guests: Beth Rigby, Sky News Political Editor, Jack Blanchard,...


Why we're all playing video games

Participation in video gaming is at record levels as the world remains locked down. The sector was already worth more than the music and video industries combined - so where does video gaming go next and why do some analysts believe it is the future of not just entertainment, but the internet itself? Guests: Jason Kingsley, Rebellion CEO, Vic Hood, games journalist at TechRadar, Aoife Wilson, journalist at Eurogamer and presenter This Game Changed My Life on BBC Sounds, and Robin McCammon,...


Secrets of the Celebrity Interview

The set-piece interview with a famous face is a type of journalism that newspapers do uniquely well. Andrea Catherwood meets three masters of the art and asks how they get their interviewees to say things they often wish they hadn't. Guests: Charlotte Edwardes, columnist and feature writer for The Sunday Times, Hadley Freeman, columnist and feature writer for The Guardian, and Ginny Dougary, award-winning interviewer for newspapers all over the world. Producer: Richard Hooper Studio...


Liberalism, leading, and the lockdown

As the world faces an economic downturn worse than the Great Depression, there’s perhaps never been a better time to be running a magazine about global affairs called The Economist. The trouble is, many of the ideas that the newspaper - as it still calls itself - has championed since 1843 are now under attack. In this extended interview, Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, talks about making the case for liberalism, her strategy for the publication and a previous career...


The Rehabilitation of Channel 5

When Channel 5 launched in 1997, it promised to be "modern and mainstream". But it wasn't long before the schedule was filled with tacky game shows and even soft porn movies. The bad reputation stuck for years. Under the leadership of Ben Frow, Channel 5 has been transformed into RTS Channel of the Year, attracting upmarket viewers with documentaries about the National Trust and a Michael Palin travelogue. In this extended edition of The Media Show, Ben Frow tells Amol Rajan more about his...


Keeping faith in the media

With places of worship closed because of coronavirus, some people of faith are turning to religious broadcasters. Amol Rajan asks what the role of religious media is and whether the pandemic now threatens their business model. Guests: Charmaine Noble-Mclean, executive director at Premier Christian Radio, Joseph Hayat, editor-in-chief British Muslim TV, Richard Ferrer, editor Jewish News, and Martin Bashir, BBC Religion Editor Producer: Richard Hooper


Keep Calm and Put Radio On

Radio stations have reported a huge surge in listeners since the start of the lock-down. Amol Rajan meets three presenters now helping to calm the nation. Guests: Simon Mayo of Scala Radio, Linda McDermott of BBC Radio Merseyside, and Iain Lee of talkRADIO. Producer: Richard Hooper


World locks down, media steps up

A global lock down means demand for media has never been higher - but making it has never been harder. Amol Rajan hears how TV producers and news providers are adapting. Also in the show, can esports fill the void left by the cancellation of live sport? Guests: Carrie Brown, Chair of the Football Writers' Association, John McVay, chief executive Pact, Paul McNamee, editor The Big Issue, Luke Lambourne, creator of Ultimate QuaranTeam and Leyton Orient FC media manager, and Shona Ghosh, UK...


Return of the expert

How good a job is the media doing at explaining the science behind what's going on with coronavirus? Are we hearing enough from the experts? The right experts? Or is the Westminster lobby still setting the news agenda? Amol Rajan is joined by Emily Wilson, editor of New Scientist, Gareth Mitchell, presenter and lecturer in Science Communication at Imperial College London, and Dr Ellie Cannon, GP and Mail on Sunday columnist. Also in the show, how the BBC is responding with Dan McGolpin, BBC...


Panic and the truth

As the number of people infected with coronavirus rises rapidly in Europe and the US, can journalists ever report the situation without causing panic? In Italy the newspaper Corriere della Sera has been accused of endangering public health after it published a leak of a government order to lock down the north of the country, resulting in people fleeing the region before it was implemented. Should journalists ever withhold the truth? Also in the programme, how Good Housekeeping has become the...


The Barclay Brothers, bugs, and The Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph has reportedly been put up for sale by its owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay. But according to a High Court case, relatives of the brothers are now feuding. One side even alleges the other has been bugging their conversations in the Ritz Hotel in London. How might the dispute complicate the future direction of the newspaper? Also in the programme, as the BBC Local News Partnership scheme expands into BAME publications, is the news industry now dependent on...


The new wave of political magazines

Magazine sales are up for some titles, with a resurgence of those that deal with news and current affairs. What's their secret? Also in the programme, why campaigners say CGTN, the English language news channel from China, should lose its Ofcom licence to broadcast in the UK. Amol Rajan is joined by Jason Cowley, editor The New Statesman, Rosie Blau, editor 1843, Christopher Montgomery, co-editor The Critic, and Peter Dahlin, director of Safeguard Defenders Producer: Richard Hooper


Fake news, strong views, Yorkshire and me

The Yorkshire Post is one of the oldest titles in the country and styles itself as “Yorkshire’s National Newspaper”. During the 2019 general election, the paper’s scoop about “the boy on the hospital floor” reached a huge audience and influenced the debate. But it also spawned a conspiracy theory. In this extended interview, editor James Mitchinson discusses his battle against fake news, his vision for The Yorkshire Post and why a childhood in the coalfields of North Notts fuels his passion...


The big money bet on podcasting

As Spotify buys The Ringer for a reported $250m, Amol Rajan asks if the podcasting gold rush will ever end. Guests: Steve Ackerman, Managing Director of Somethin' Else, Otegha Uwagba, host of In Good Company, Gerry Edwards, CEO of Podcast Radio, and Caroline Crampton, journalist and writer for Hot Pod Producer: Richard Hooper Assistant Producer: Natalia Fernandez


Has No 10 called time on media scrutiny?

Broadcasters have complained after Boris Johnson's "address to the nation" on the eve of Brexit was made by Downing Street's PR team and not recorded by journalists. Meanwhile, a group of political journalists walked out of Number 10 after senior reporters claimed they had been barred from an additional press briefing. Also in the programme, the government announces a public consultation on whether non-payment of the TV licence fee should remain a criminal offence. Amol Rajan is joined by...


Brexit's "done" - so what will the media talk about now?!

Brexit will be done on Friday, says Boris Johnson – and large parts of the media will need to find something else to talk about. Amol Rajan asks whether the polarised tone of much Brexit journalism has permanently changed the public’s appetite for news. Guests: Bénédicte Paviot, UK correspondent for France 24, James O'Brien, LBC presenter, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Brussels correspondent for The New York Times, and Mick Booker, editor of The Sunday Express Producer: Richard Hooper


Reinventing TV Documentaries

Documentary making is undergoing a renaissance, with box set factual shows among the most popular on streaming services. Amol Rajan charts the evolution of the documentary with the help of Tom Mangold, whose latest film for the BBC is called Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me, Leo Pearlman, managing partner at Fulwell 73 and executive producer of Auschwitz Untold: In Colour for Channel 4, and Justine Kershaw, creative director of Blink Films. Producer: Richard Hooper Image: Still from Sunderland...


A right Royal PR disaster

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they are stepping down as senior members of the Royal family, a decision that is thought to have been partly motivated by negative press coverage they receive in the UK. Yet their plan and the manner in which it was revealed, has enraged sections of the press even further. Also in the show, why the boss of BritBox wants it to be "the biggest box of British box-sets". Amol Rajan is joined by Dan Wootton, Executive Editor at The Sun, Robert...