BBC Radio 4 – Zeitgeisters, YouTube



Here’s a must-listen for all Media Students, especially those starting on the Year 13 Unit 3 topic of Impact of New Media.

It’s Radio 4’s 30-minute series about people who are shaping the modern world. Last week, it was the music industry. This week, YouTube. Not the founders of YouTube, or the owners of YouTube, but the people who are producing content for it.

If you’re doing A2 media, you’d be a fool not to listen to this. Follow the link below, scan the QR code above, or just find it on the iPlayer Radio app.

You only have 83 years left to listen.

BBC Radio 4 – Zeitgeisters, YouTube.


BBC Trust – Trust’s service review of BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra


The BBC Trust has just published its service review of Radio 5 Live and 5 live Sports Extra. The general conclusion seems to be that it’s doing quite well, but needs to focus more on news. There seems to be too much emphasis on sports, and (in terms of sports coverage) not enough emphasis on so-called minority interest sports.

It’s wall-to-wall football, sure enough, even in the summer when there’s supposed to be a break.

As to the news coverage, says the report, there’s probably too much in the way of fluff, and the Trust has asked the BBC to raise public awareness of 5 Live’s news.

I was thinking about this driving home the other day. Richard Bacon’s afternoon show (which replaced Simon Mayo’s excellent show a while ago) is indeed wall-to-wall fluff. He seems to interview a series of standup comedians in heavy rotation, and spends a lot of time promoting himself. During the show that was on the other day, there came a trailer for the station’s news coverage, which consisted of a series of supposedly exciting clips about “breaking” news.

The overall impression I got from the trailer was of news coverage which is constantly interrupted, where nobody gets to finish a sentence or form a coherent thought, and which jumps around from story to story without giving any real depth.

Not the best advertisement I’ve ever heard, but then I’ve long thought that the BBC employs idiots in its marketing and public relations departments.

We recognise one of the station’s strengths is the balance between coverage of lighter and heavier items, and while we believe 5 live should cover a broad range of news and topical items, we would like the station to ensure that all of its news programmes demonstrate a clear sense of journalistic ambition and originality. We have set out a number of conclusions and actions to ensure that 5 live maximises its considerable strengths in news.

You can read a summary of the report by following the link below, and there’s a link on the summary page to the full report.

via BBC Trust – Trust’s service review of BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

Chris Moyles: quality rant


After a listener texted in to say “Stop moaning, you get paid a fortune compared with most people”, a clearly annoyed Moyles responded: “You know nothing about my life. And by the way, what, because I get paid more than you that means if I dont get paid for two months I should just do oh well, harumph? And by the way I slept on someones sofa last night so dont speak to me about my life, you have no idea, my friend. If you have a problem with that Ill pay your licence fee and you can switch off and listen to someone else. Go and read the Daily Mail, you miserable fart.”

via Chris Moyles: BBC cant be bothered to pay me | Media |

Sony Awards


At last night’s Sony (soon to be called Nintendo – joke) Awards, BBC Radio 5Live won five Gold awards, including one for Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s film programme.

BBC Radio 1, on the other hand, won nothing, being usurped by Electric Radio Brixton – a prison radio station:

Run by the Prison Radio Association (PRA), whose patrons include Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, most of the station’s music and speech output is produced and presented by prisoners. With a tagline of “making waves behind bars”, it broadcasts 24 hours a day, but only inside the prison walls.

There’s a story here about how the lowering cost of technology is making broadcasting possible for a wider range of producers than ever before.

The Sony Awards now includes an internet radio category, which was won not by an old media news organisation but by the Bristol Catholic Diocese. The Guardian got the silver award in that category: they’re an old media organisation that has adopted both video and audio formats to produce additional content for their popular web site. But the point here is that with the low cost of entry and the low cost of hosting, you too could win a Sony award.

Radio is in many ways the most interesting medium. It’s one that can be a secondary activity, and it’s one that maintains an audience in the face of fragmentation. Radio is all about the captive audience: whether they’re in prison, in cars, or in the workplace, people often listen to the radio when they can’t do anything else.

Internet radio/podcasting, on the other hand, is not quite like this because people tend to seek it out on an individual interest basis. To win in this category, therefore, you have to identify a clear need in the audience for your content. It’s not about self-indulgence!


Vintage Radio Drama


Anyone interested in the history of radio broadcasting could do worse than pop over to the

Internet Archive, where there is a selection of old Columbia Workshop radio dramas. This is US radio from the same era that brought us Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre broadcasts, including the notorious 1938 version of War of the Worlds.

Read more about the Columbia Workshop on Wikipedia.

You can also download the Mercury Theatre Archives, the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre and even Dad’s Army from the UK, and many other items, all on the Internet Archives Old Time Radio section.

Horror genre students might want to listen to the Mercury Theatre’s version of Dracula a well as the legendary War of the Worlds.
Mercury Theatre Presents: Dracula


Hallowe’en Witch Hunt at the BBC


Anyone who knows me is aware of my disdain for Jonathan Ross. You could describe me as “prematurely anti-Ross”, in fact, because I’ve always felt he was promoted beyond his level of competence all those years ago when he moved from back office to in front of the camera. His amateurish presenting style, his slavish copying of David Letterman, and his tendency to turn every interview on his chat show into a conversation about himself make it all the more bewildering that he is apparently paid so much.

Russell Brand has never been on my radar. But, you know, anyone can look like a rock star, just like anyone can drive fast in a straight line. It takes talent to be a rock star, or drive fast round bends.

The unfolding story of the increasing number of complaints following the pair’s prank phone call is fascinating. I would have said that just about anything that comes out of the mouths of Ross and Brand would deeply offend the average Mail or Telegraph reader – as would the lyrics of a Death Metal song. If Lewis Hamilton drove through your housing estate in the same way he drives his F1 car, you too would be offended. But in their context, with their audience, they’re clearly not really offending anybody. If you don’t like them, as I don’t, then you don’t even bother switching on.

This afternoon, the pair were suspended by the BBC, pending an “investigation.” Presumed innocent? It seems not. Now Brand has resigned:

Brand has presented his Radio 2 show since November 2006 and is thought to be paid more than £200,000 a year by the BBC. Brand said in a statement that he took “complete responsibility” for the incident and that he got “caught up in the moment”.

via Russell Brand resigns as radio host over lewd calls to Andrew Sachs – Times Online