tv The Media Show BBC News April 20, 2021 1:30am-2:01am BST
the jury in the trial of derek chauvin, the former police officer charged with murdering george floyd in minneapolis last may, has retired to consider its verdict. in his summing up, thejudge urged the jurors to avoid any bias and rely on the evidence. plans by six english football clubs to join a planned european super league have been met with outrage from several quarters. -- 12 —— 12 football clubs. the british government has said it will do "whatever it takes" to prevent the move. meanwhile, the president of european football's governing body has threatened to ban players. and cuba's ruling communist party has elected the president miguel diaz—canel to replace raul castro as party chief, ending six decades of rule by the castro brothers.
now on bbc news — the media show. hello. scenes of violence in northern ireland, threats to journalists, attacks on cameramen. the key question many news rooms are asking right now, "how do we cover what's happening in belfast?" there's been criticism about the slow uptake from london—based newsrooms. so what do reporters on the ground who have been covering this for decades think? how are they navigating the volatile story and protecting their staff? plus french media giant banijay licenses many of the uk's favourite tv shows from masterchef to peaky blinders. so what's their role in determining the tv we all watch? let me introduce you today's guests. noel doran is editor of the irish news, a daily newspaper based in belfast. suzanne breen is political editor for the belfast telegraph. marianna spring is the bbc�*s disinformation reporter and cathy payne is the chief executive of banijayee rights.
and overseas a mammoth roster of programmes from black mirror, keeping up with the kardashian to masterchef. so kathy, what is next best thing you are cooking up at the moment? well, put me right on the spot with that question there. i think that banijay is a huge company, 120 production companies across 20 territories. a huge catalogue. we have — in terms of cooking shows and what we are cooking up at the moment, i think as you know, we've got a masterchef finale. i would say on the theme of cooking masterchef is a global phenomenon. it's produced all around the world. it's about real people, real food, and is a fantastic reflection of culture everywhere. let's start with the scenes of violence that have been playing out in the streets of belfast and other towns in northern ireland. almost 90 police officers have been injured as protesters,
mainly teenagers, threw petrol bombs and fireworks. the riots began in loyalist areas of belfast. they've been broadly linked to anger over controversial republican funeral and the irish seaboard imposed as part of the brexit deal. this has proved to be a very difficult story for the media to cover. which is what we're here to talk about, of course. and i'm joined by two leading figures in northern irish journalism. noel doran, editor of the irish news, your paper has historically had a catholic nationalist readership. is that how you would summarise it? yes. we are very much in the catholic and nationalist tradition, constitutional politics. but we do circulate in the community — we're very proud of the fact that we have readers from protestant and unionist as well. certainly, our goal is mainly to produce a newspaper which is read within the catholic and nationalist tradition here. and suzanne breen, political editor of the gulf
last telegraph, how would you categorise your readers? our readers would, we hope, reflect the northern ireland l population. traditionally, probably the biggest seen as ai constitutional unionist paper but it is read by all sectionsl across the community - and we are there to reflect northern ireland's society as it is. i and i'd imagine you both picked up quite a few international readers in the last couple of weeks trying to figure out what's going on. suzanne, there's been a widespread feeling that london—based newsrooms have been late to the story. there's of course a judgement call to be taken when anything like this happens. when there's a disturbance, which initially only involved a couple of dozen teenagers. when does that become a serious event and a story? how long have you been covering the build—up to this and what did you think right, this needs to be covered? well, we've been covering - the build up of this for weeks. we thought it was very-
serious from the beginning. we watched it spread from derry in the northwest part _ of northern ireland and to further down near belfast| and then through belfast. i think the media caught up not paying attention - to the violence at the start. they missed about a week of it. then, they did arrive and then when they arrived it mainly. started to tail off. there was a bizarre moment in the middle of this, - there were petrol—bombs being thrown in northern ireland, - very serious disturbances in the street. _ the police under- attack, tensions high. the daily telegraph had on its front page a story about rory mcilroy accidentally hitting his father— on his head with a golf ball. that was the northern ireland person— that was the northern ireland person they— that was the northern ireland person they chose _ that was the northern ireland person they chose to - that was the northern ireland person they chose to focus i that was the northern irelandl person they chose to focus on. northern ireland is very much a part from the british - mainland. there may be 500 miles - between london and belfast but it really seems - psychologically at times like five million. and if petrol— bombs were being
thrown and those disturbances. in london, in manchester, in cardiff, in edinburgh, . there would not have l been a gap of a week. that's the history of the troubles. i it's nothing new right now. generally, the british media focused on northern irelandj when there were ira attacks . in england or there was british soldiers being killed in northern ireland. | as opposed to local- northern ireland people. noel, do you agree with that? it seems to me there is a squeamishness in london—based newsrooms about these sorts of incidents in northern ireland. i know myself, when i was a reporterfor newsround back in 2013, i was sent there to cover the flag rights. the last time there was a major flare—up of violence. and it was the most intimidating story i ever covered. i spent a long time researching it but in terms of the identity politics, everything that you could say wrong that could upset, or worse, offend a large group of people.
do you think there is a problem with london—based newsrooms simply not wanting to tackle these issues? the flags issue was probably easier to cover because of the symbolism and the notion that a flag was being taken down from public buildings and there was an erosion in a sense of identity. even though it was a result of a democratic vote by an elected body. people could probably focus on it much more easily and people could probably also focus on the dispute over because you have the orange order marching down a particular route and interface being stopped and the violence which would follow. this is been so unusual because this was there were different factors involved. clearly a connection to brexit and the northern ireland protocol. clearly anger over the bobby storey funeral story and the decision not to prosecute individuals as a result of their involvement in it. but also this vague sense of alienation and the allegation that people in protestant
and unionist areas were missing out on some sort of peace bonanza — thatjobs, investment, housing was going elsewhere. which i think we definitely in the newspaper have a responsibility to challenge. because the evidence is very much to the contrary. but when it all started to kick off, it did, it was difficult to explain exactly why these people were gathering. initially, in derry, and then, in newton abbey but then when it came to the place where it all started in 1969 the imagery was unmistakable. people on the loyalist side started to attack the police, burned buses, trying to get through the piece lines, which are still with us, to confront people on the other side they are. it was almost a primeval sense to that. and people were entitled to wonder how do we come out of that? and i think some of the people involved didn't know it themselves. other than hatred of outsiders, hatred of their and enemies and a chance to attack them came along and things developed very, very quickly.
yeah, some of those scenes are extremely violent. petrol—bombs being thrown at buses, violent disturbances always hard for journalist to cover. and this weekend sees the second anniversary of lyra mckee�*s death she was working as a journalist in derry when she was shot during a riot. last week, kevin scott, a cameraman working for the belfast telegraph was also assaulted while covering a protest and he spoke to bbc radio ulster about what happened. as i was making my way down to the vehicle i heard steps running behind me. just as i had turned around, there was a man wearing a mask. naturally because of the pandemic most likely, but also to cover his face. he was already on top of me. i was trailed to the ground. one of my cameras was pulled from my shoulder and thrown across the road. he then proceeded to kick that camera and the other camera as i turned around, the second male had approached me, as i stood up and moved just
towards him, he decided to step back, thankfully. as i turned around the other male was on top of me, standing in front of me, i confronted him at that point by loudly shouting in the street and throwing things at him. and including asking, what are you doing? extremely distressing. another photographer also had his car trashed as well. we don't think that was a targeted attack, but suzanne, kevin is a colleague of yours, have you spoken to them, is he 0k? yeah. he is very, very- courageous young man. he's 26 years of age. what wasn't said there is that i he's from a catholic community, the attack was loyalists. there was a sectarian abuse hurled — there was a sectarian abuse hurled at _ there was a sectarian abuse hurled at him. _ he was told to go - back to his own area. he was back on the job, i and really that is what you have to do. you have to show these people that they are not going to be i you and they are not
going to defeat you. j the security measures - taken by photographers... photographers are actually up close in a way that journalistsj and reporters aren't. the security measuresj that they adopt varies. we will see some tv crews i coming to the riots and they'll actually have a security person with them. - someone with warzone training. and it will be that person's job to look after the backsl of the camera crew. they will have a first aid kit. they will watch and see where the journalists i park their cars. there was one, i don't know. whether it was russian tv crew and they came through with ppe, flakjackets,| military grade helmets... but most commonly, i think... would you advise against that suzanne? i think it's up entirely- to the individual to make their own call and . what they feel safe. most local photographers just prefer to wear a baseball cap i with a hard shell. or maybe at most i skateboard helmets. they don't want to drawl
attention to themselves, they want to stay low key, i they want to be understated and be able to move around quickly. - but it's very much a balancing act. . what i have found is _ photographers may be choosing not to work on their own, they would better work . in small groups. to have a wee bit of cover. kevin's experience was awful i but a lot of photographers that i would speak to say - there hasn't been a major problem with the rioters. it will maybe only be if there are too close and people feel that their- identity is going to be shown. rioters are legally wearing mask because of covid — l those problems are not arising. there have been some - exchanges — what happened kevin was horrendous. but generally, i think- there hasn't been that much confrontation. noel, do you think there has been a rise in attacks or threats against journalists in northern ireland? sadly, there has been.
but they've taken different forms. suzanne and kevin have outlined the particular experience that photographers has had to deal with. they've been largely out of the blue. almost spontaneous attempts to attack photographers, who are obvious because of the cameras. but quite separate to that, there's been a very sinister attempt to intimidate journalists from a number of different papers including our own. there were threats being formed in the past to police through crime stoppers and other intermediaries. making suggestions that individual journalist would be shot. examples of graffiti being painted on the wall threatening journalist both from our paper and other outlets. which is very difficult to cope with. one of our colleagues who has now moved on to work with suzanne had to deal with her name being painted on the wall. she had to deal with threats being phoned through crime stoppers against her. which are very destabilising.
she stock to her task throughout that. people are aware that journalists have been targeted in the course of the troubles as well. it's something that we have to get very serious consideration to that we are in regular contact with the police. we had the unusual experience of having to deal directly with senior police officers about the security of ourjournalists. it's worth pointing out that there's been a change in the police attitude. they take these matters much more seriously than was previously the case. i had to take calls from the chief constable about our staff and the safety of ourjournalist. it's very much appreciated. so it has definitely moved up the agenda. there are reasons it's moved up to the agenda. these tensions are inevitably being stoked on social media. a quote earlier this week from david blevin of sky news northern ireland correspondent said putting out the fire on the street will be difficult while someone somewhere is pouring petrol from a keyboard. marianna spring, the bbc�*s
disinformations specialist, a video was posted on twitter last week appearing to show a dozen or more young boys holding petrol—bombs. adults are seen in the video clapping. the videos now been viewed more than half a million times at least, but its origins in the context around it are being pored over by people like yourselves. what do we know about it? in many ways this is been a blueprint for how disinformation spreads online. particularly when you see protests or writing in the streets. it's not something that unique to what's been happening in northern ireland over the past few weeks. we've also seen it happening in the us and in some parts of the uk. with regard to different kinds of protest happening. i think when this is happening on a very political background then we inevitably see videos like that when you spoke about being misused, misappropriated in order to feel certain narratives sometimes it's confusion, people are unsure about what's going on.
often we see people deliberately accusing one side of the other behind a particular video. in this case the video appears to show young people - on the loyalist side. it was shared a couple time with people claiming it might be fake, these are active is actually on the other side. this is all part of an attempt to further stoke tensions. i messaged the man who first made it go viral heat he gave the details to me for that i think it also improves how important it is when scrolling through media fees to try to verify and get to the bottom of what happens video. a single what is being shared and other kinds of images to point the finger elsewhere or to inflame tensions. these videos, they travel so far so fast because they are very watchable and very dramatic. the general picture in northern ireland there is an interesting study from digitalforensic research lab part of an american think tank, it's warning that fake social media profiles are also being used to stir up tension in northern ireland in general.
what can you tell us about that? definitely. it's very interesting and concerning at the same time to see this happening. again, it something you see happen a lot when there are tensions or protests. because people look to further inflame those. and they have different reasons for wanting to do that. these inauthentic accounts which were removed definitely had the hallmarks of an influence information to begin asking the question who would do this and why? we've seen other messages circulating on places like whatsapp where it's very difficult to get to the bottom of who sharing in them. similarly with facebook profiles it can be very hard to figure out who originally set up these accounts and why they did that. why they're looking to further exacerbate violence or cause trouble. often when we talk about foreign influences campaign see to do just that. to destabilise countries. in this case this could be domestic, it could be people looking to destabilise for their own gain. another thing to really watch out for on social media, be wary of how inauthentic accounts or influence operations are used to
deliberately make things worse. to deliberately make people angrier. i think that quote you mention is so poignant because what happens on social media very much bleeds into what's happening on the streets. suzanne, have you seen much of this activity on social media? yes, there is a lot - of activity on social media. and threats and can sprayed. in the past maybe a threat to a journalist was more direct. | now hundreds of thousands of people can see it. there's a colleague of mine, a fantastic young female - journalist on a sister paper of the belfast telegraph's, she works for sunday world, called patricia devlin, - she's received multiple death threats for her work on loyal to loyalist paramilitaries. i her name has appeared, - there's actually been a threat to rape her baby son. i feel that the police have - been good in dealing with some
of the cases that noel has - outlined but they weren't good at all initially in dealing with patricia's threats. i they didn't take it seriously. enough and she's actually had to get the attention that it deserves. i let's take a sharp turn now and think about the world of tv. cathy paine here. the bbc announced last month at bbc would, in its words become the home of the most distinctive content from across the bbc�*s archive. basically it will no longer commission original content for the channel. vice media is also closing its linear channel in the uk, a0 years after it launched on sky. what is this all mean for the viewers? kathy payne is one of the biggest players in television heading up the arm of banijay that sells programmes. banijay is the biggest international content producer with over 120 production companies under its umbrella. and kathy is responsible for some of the most famous and love shows in the world including big brother,
keeping up with the kardashians and peaky blinders. kathy, a picture of your work, let's take it back if that's ok to one of the first major deals that you did. back in 2001 you sold home and away. the much loved australian soap opera. although i'm more of the neighbours man myself. but you sold that to channel 5 for £40 million. there were reports that itv had offered twice as much to keep the show. can you take us into the auction room for that deal? what was your role and why did you accept the channel 5 offer. yes, it was a long time ago. the deal was actually done in 1999. and in terms of the process, it was a 9—month negotiation process. and the values that have been stated there, the show has been on—air on channel 5 for 20 years. so it's a long period of time. home and away had been much loved and was on itv and been
on there for many years. it was up to a renewal date and itv made an offer to renew the show and at the time there was a lot less than what the show had been achieving and for a lot less commitment. myjob at that time was to think what was the long benefit for this show, the audience and the ip owner who was channel 7 in australia. so we were able to take the show to market. at that time channel 5 were launching. they needed some shows, they needed to steal some audience. they came on board and made an offer that itv at that time were not prepared to match. and that was the history. it was a risk. there's always a risk of moving a very stable show from one network. it paid off? that's when it paid off.
you make it sound like they all have. there is always those words but i think at the end of day you've got to look at the commitment of that time and at that time and it was really hard to move it from itv. channel 5 stood up and made a commitment and is continued with that commitment. so it's not always about the money then. there's a lot you have to weigh up when you do these deals. just to give you a bit of a bio to help the audience as well, perhaps best known for reality tv shows and games and in 2015 merged with shine group. that deal had to be signed off by the european commission because it was so big. and potentially powerful. sorry banijay, i should say. how do you respond to people who worry about so much tv power resting in the hands of a company like yours, banijay? well, i think what you have to remember is that we do
operate 120 production companies in 20 territories. that's where we physically produce content. and for a large part of the rest of the world where we don't have production entities we licence the right to produce shows or licence shows that are already made. we are governed by broadcasting standards in each of those territories. and whatever you say about content and how you consume content, an audience in any market tells you what they want to watch. and there is culture tastes that are so specific to any territory. and that will never change. that is why many of these global streaming companies who will come under pressure to have quotas on them, they already know to be successful on a global footprint they've got to be telling stories that are very relevant to local audiences in those local markets. so i think the audience dictates.
surely size does matter in your game. do ever, with that with power, do you ever strong arm a channel into perhaps taking a drama series that you are trying to push in exchange for something else? you might say to the bbc yes you can have a mastermind for this much but you have to take this series as well. do you ever find yourself making those sorts of deals? well, in some territories on some programmes we have, the division i'm responsible for, distribution, so we are doing original productions we do co—productions we do finish programme sales. yes, sometimes it's leverage that comes into a negotiation. that's no different to the way that you could say a lot of the talent to be a valid available exclusively for them. but if you use leverage in the wrong way it never pays off. that is my experience.
right, 0k. it sounds like you have had lived experience in that. such as masterchef. let's talk about this huge back catalogue of content that you've got. the pandemic is obviously put limits on much of the productions students had to close down or furlough. does that mean that channels have been rushing to buy your repeats? has it been a bumper time for you? i think there were two things. you've got the rise of streaming platforms globally. we all know the global ones the netflix, amazon, disney plus, but then what you will have is all the domestic streaming platforms who are looking to develop probably what was a catch—up service originally into a proper demand offering. people like britbox in the uk or iplayer for the bbc. where they actually acquire programming just for those
services in addition to their linear services. definitely with the pandemic, the real delay for scripted production. unscripted was able to get up and running quite quickly. except for some biggerformats that require international travel. certainly there were slots available and it did have attention on library rerunning classics. and that has been great to be able to do that. but the real big growth is from streaming services who are looking for long running franchises. and in our catalogue we do have a lot of those. on that topic, tim davey, the head of the bbc has said that national broadcasters can't and shouldn't try to compete with the deep pockets of us streamers like netflix, prime and disney. do you agree with that? i think that they compete in a different way. they compete by having a very focus on domestic shows where they can give them attention. and deliver something
to an audience that is very focused for that market, that a streaming service may not. where a streaming service do want shows that work globally. thank you very much to all our guests this week on the media show. we had of course kathy payne, chief executive at banijay, marianna spring, the bbc disinformation reporter. we will be back next week, thank you for your time. goodbye. hello ther. april showers have been in short supply. it's been a very dry month so far.
and for most places, tuesday will be another dry day with some sunny spells. but across the north of the uk, we can expect some patchy rain, courtesy of a weather front — you can see it here on the chart — drifting in from the northwest, moving slowly southeastwards through the day and weakening all the while. for much of england and wales, we're starting off the day dry with some spells of sunshine, although quite misty and murky for some of these eastern coasts. through tuesday night into wednesday, the weakening with the front gets down.— the front gets down. clear skies of — the front gets down. clear skies of northern - the front gets down. clear skies of northern ireland | the front gets down. clear i skies of northern ireland and scotland, a cold start wednesday morning but the days predominately dryer, spells of sunshine and the potential for frost at night.
this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughanjones with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the jury in the trial of the former police officer charged with killing george floyd retires to consider its verdict — the case is seen as a key moment in us race relations and policing. 0utrage as europe's richest clubs announce plans to join a new breakaway football super league. russia's opposition leader alexei navalny is moved to a prison hospital as his health deteriorates, piling on the pressure for president putin. and, mission accomplished, if only for a few moments. nasa flies a drone over the surface of mars, in yet another first for human—kind's efforts in space.