tv The Media Show BBC News November 28, 2021 5:30am-6:01am GMT
the new omicron strain of coronavirus has been detected across europe, with cases in germany, italy, belgium, the czech republic and the uk. britain's prime minister, borisjohnson, has announced new measures to halt the spread, which include travellers arriving in britain taking a pcr test. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday to tackle the spread of the omicron variant, after a case was detected. israeli prime minister naftali bennett has said that israel is on the verge of a state of emergency. the head of the women's tennis association says he remains concerned about chinese tennis star peng shuai's ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly. ms peng disappeared from public view for three weeks after accusing former vice—premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. steve simon said it was �*clear her responses were
coming up at 6 o'clock, breakfast nina warhurst and ben thompson, but first on bbc news, it's the media show. hello and welcome to this week's edition of the media show. and this time around, we are going to try and understand why some political stories have long—lasting impact, and others, even those which feel hugely important at the time, do not. to help us look at this, we are going to speak to the bbc�*s steve rosenberg, he is our moscow correspondent, and he's just recorded a remarkable interview with the president of belarus, alexander lukashenko. we're also going to consider the new editor the daily mail, how much control will he have over which political stories in the uk last, notjust for a day or two, but for much longer. and of course, we've got to talk about pep peppa pig. i'm sure lots of people saw the prime minister's speech at the cbi this week which featured pet the pig. let's begin the program by talking to the deputy political editor at itv news.
i wonder how itb covered that story. we certainly did cover peppa pig, and i can imagine that my colleague in northumberland, who was there, was watching as we all wear, slightly through our hands at that speech, not onjust peppa pig, but at a few things, and of course, he had the opportunity straight after that interview to ask the prime minister some questions, so it all blew past us, but it was his turn to ask the questions, and you will remember that he i think spoke to the nation in a way when he spoke to the prime minister, "are you okay?" and it is kind of amazing, isn't it, how that sentiment has carried us through the week in news terms, even up to today with kier starmer using it in the house of commons. some of the headlines along the way have not been good for downing street. you are going to be staying with us through the admission. we are also going to talk about that peppa pig cbi speech with. .. he is a very well—known pollster.
he will help us gauge how we understand when lots of coverage does or doesn't translate into something longer—lasting. before we get to that, though, let's hearfrom my co—presenter of the media show, katie, because katie has been interviewing the new culture secretary, nadine dories, and we are going to release that as a podcast, so you can listen to the whole interview, but here isjust some of it where the culture secretary talks about her plans to take on online harm. we are looking at and considering making somebody within an organization like facebook or meta — rebranding doesn't work, by the way — or one of those organizations criminally responsible. that is something we are considering, including in this bill. they have had notice, they have had fair warning, this bill is coming, abide by your terms and conditions now. remove your harmful algorithms now. there's 20,000 engineers that you are going to put under the meta—verse.
put them on it making facebook a place which is a safer for young people to go to now. now, of course, facebook would disagree with the culture secretary's characterization of its company. it said recently, "our technology has had a big impact on reducing how much hate speech people see." let's also bring in chris williams, business editor at the telegraph. chris, good to have you on the media show. i wonder what you make of the culture secretary's plans to take on companies like facebook. i mean, these laws had been in the works now for a number of years. the uk will be sort of the first country in the world to attempt something like this. and it's fair to say that the regulator is taking on these powers is it self unsure about how it's going to work and whether it will work. at the moment, what is proposed amounts to not much more than the power to tell people off. and at the scale of the company like google or facebook, a country the size of the uk, it's going to struggle to have an impact, so there is a question about how and whether this will work or have an impact. government seems to bring it up as a response to everything, every news event where it's got
an online element where we have got this online harm bill that is going to sort everything out. you have to be skeptical. and chris, as you well know on tuesday this week, the culture secretary nadine dories also appeared before the department of culture, media and sports select committee to take a whole range of questions. i wonder what you would pick out as being the most significant thing that she said? well, i think it's fair to say that when nadine was appointed, there was some surprise and raised eyebrows. and i think her comment, she made a comment about channel 4, which sort of shows that she's got some work to do to get her head around the brief where she said it's taxpayers money to look after, and of course channel four is commercially funded, so there's no taxpayer money involved in that situation. so, basically, she is new to the brief and we don't really know what we're going to get from her. chris, you are staying with us
for all of this edition, and for those of you listening, you can hear the whole of katie's interview with nadine dories on a bonus media show podcast via bbc sounds, either via browser or by the bbc sounds app. now, next on the media show, let's bring in steve rosenberg, the bbc�*s moscow correspondent who is with us from moscow. steve, good to speak to you. thanks very much, ros. now, we invited you on because you've done quite an extraordinary interview with the president of belarus, alexander lukashenko, it has been going far on social media, it's been widely hailed for a range of reasons, one of them being you did the whole thing in russian. i have to say, ifound it all completely mesmerizing. i've got to ask you, when did you first think of requesting to spend half an hourwith him? do you know, when i put in my first request to interview alexander lukashenko, it was a 1999, it was 22 years ago. i made the first request, and it was a "no" that came back. so it's taken more
than two decades. but basically, this time around, we went to belarus to cover the migrant crisis that's taking place on the border of belarus and the eu, poland. several thousand migrants have gathered there trying to get into the eu, and alexander lukashenko has been accused by the west of basically inviting them to come to belarus to use his country get them into europe to try and put pressure on europe, pressure on the eu as basically revenge for eu sanctions. he denies that. but this is one of the things which has kept 10, put him in the headlines over the last year and a half, but think back to august of last year, he was accused of rigging the presidential election, then he launched a brutal crackdown on his critics, tens of thousands of people were detained. then he was accused of air piracy, rememberthe case of the ryan air passengerjet, which he forced to land in minsk so he could arrest one of his critics.
and now being accused of weaponising migrants, so we put in a request to interview him, we didn't expect to get a yes, but he agreed. and then you went. tell us about what it was like when you arrived to do the interview? we had to accept all the equipment, all the cameras, the lights the day before in the palace of independence, then we came back the next day. and belarusian state television was there. it was quite a quiet atmosphere. we were told that mr lukashenko was on his way, he could have waltzed into the room, sat down, there wasn't much small talk. i said, you know, "my russian is not native, but i will try my best." he said, "i'm glad you're going to do the interview in my language", and off we went. and very quickly, you know, he was trying to put me down. you know, he accused me of lying, he said "don't be dumb" and he is the familiar form, you know, in russian there is one form, the polite
form for "you", and a familiar form, and he used the familiar form, which i took as an insult, basically. so, he was clearly trying to get one up on me, i think, pretty early on. before we talk about any further, steve, let's hear some of the interview. translation: you told the eu that belarus had i been stopping migrants, but that now they would have to catch them themselves. the migrants took that to mean belarus is open to then. translation: i told the eu i'm not going to detain - migrants on the border, i hold them at the border, and if they keep coming from now on, i still- won't stop them. because they are not i coming to my country, they are going to yours. the west stopped talking to us and working with us, _ if you don't want to, then fine, we will. sort this problem out - ourselves as best we can. so that is some of steve rosenberg's interview with president lukashenko. and i have to say, steve, as i was watching it, my mouth was hanging open on occasions because i couldn't
believe how frank he was being. were you surprised? well, you know, i know he's an emotional person, but it was fascinating having this dialogue with him, and i don't think he expected to be interrupted, he is not used tojournalists interviewing him and interrupting. and i had to try to interrupt him because what i didn't want the interview to become was a platform for mr lukashenko, this controversial leader, who is not recognised as the president of belarus by the european union, britain or america. i didn't want it to become a platform for him to just put across his views, so i had to press him on human rights in belarus, on relations with russia. and some of the things he didn't like. he got irritated when i brought up vladimir putin. you could tell that. and he always mentioned the west, he blamed the west for everything. he used the west as an excuse. and i noticed he also
referred to you as the west, it was almost like he saw you as a representative of notjust the uk, but of all western countries. yeah, i became the personification of the west in his eyes. i was the one who is funding the antigovernment protests last year, i was the one sitting in this chair who was attacking belarus. i tried to stay as calm as possible while, you know, opposite me, this leader was getting more and more angry. and it was difficult, obviously, because russian is not my native tongue, but i did as best i could. i think you equipped yourself very well on that front. i wonder if you had any journalistic doubts or whether people who are opponents of president lukashenko in belarus had doubts about the merits of giving him bbc news airtime. yeah, certainly i did have doubts, and certainly when the news came out on friday that the bbc had recorded an interview with alexander lukashenko, before the actual interview, the content had been cut out, there was some criticism of the bbc, you know, for actually sitting down and recording an interview
with this particular person. and certainly some of the criticism came from the belarusian opposition, but once our interview aired, the 24 minute version and our 33 minute version, most of that criticism has gone and the interview has been, i think, pretty much welcomed and well received. has it been watched in belarus, can people see it? interesting question, because in belarus, you can, they can see it on youtube, that is not blocked but belarusian state television has put out a completely different version... have they? ..of our interview. what they did, they were very cunning, they divided the interview into sections, so migration crisis, relations with the eu, the situation in belarus, and they edited together my questions, like one long question, and then they had lots of lukashenko, basically
a monologue, just talking, so you didn't get a feeling that this was a dialogue. none of me interrupting him in the belarusian state tv version, just a lot lukashenko talking. which is not an accurate representation of what happened, and anyone who actually sees our version of the interview, that is the accurate version of what happened. so there are two versions out there. i wonder when you were in the thick of this, jousting with president lukashenko, a man who is right at the centre of one of the most pressing humanitarian stories in the world, certainly over the last month, were you aware that what you were it recording was unusual, was extraordinary, would generate the kind of impact that it has since it's come out? not during the interview. i was so focused on trying to make sure that things went well, you know, we had done preparation, we had a day and a half to prepare, and i had a great team with me to help me prepare, you know, my producer and the cameraman, we tried as hard as possible, but i was the one in the chair, and i felt
a huge responsibility, i have to say, we didn't do this for ratings or anything like that, i felt a responsibility there to try and put difficult questions as best i could to this controversial figure to try to show what kind of a person he was. and not, as i say, not to allow it to become the alexander lukashenko show, which it did in the belarusian state tv version, there was nothing i could do about that. listening to you, steve, is the deputy political editor for itv news. you have recently interviewed borisjohnson, you have interviewed many other high—profile figures too. i wonder if when you are doing those interviews, you can gauge when one is going to be particularly high impact, that will particularly resonate. oh, the thing i was thinking about was the idea of interrupting and making sure that they don't just get to talk freely. i mean, borisjohnson is such a very, very different figure, and absolutely does grantjournalists lots
of interviews, but when you have a very short amount of time with him, when you try to make an impact on its by pressing him, because he can allow answer to go on for two or three, four minutes and, you know, the interview you are talking about last week was the day when he was shooting around the country on trains and we were told to go to this station at this time, wait for the prime minister tojump off a train and then we had two minutes to get on the next carriage, on a very shortjourney in which we were going to be sat down and give an opportunity to get what we could from him. he wanted to talk about trains, and that is fine, we talked about trains attend, but i really, really wanted to ask him about standards. and that he might apologise on standards. and i had had a person standing behind him, one of the producers who was basically giving me little sign, three minutes and, five minutes and can it was like, ok, you need to interrupt some more to try to try to get what you want to get, and sometimes, it's quite awkward, because you are asking questions that feel quite out of place, you know, for example, a european council
meeting in brussels, standing up and asking something that might feel quite light in the context of that, but is something that our viewers, that the british public want the answer to from their prime minister when we get the opportunity to ask those questions, we have to ask them. even if it is awkward. and steve, before i let you go, because i know you're in the middle of a very busy day, speaking about awkward, what was the atmosphere like once you wrapped it up? it was strange. after the interview, that the interview is finished. we were calling 45 minutes or so, and then a second interview began. he didn't leave, so we recorded another ten minutes, and then we got up, he still didn't leave, he was chatting away, and he said, i've just spoken to vladimir putin, you know, and i told vladimir that i was going to give an interview to the bbc and vladimir putin said send my best wishes to the bbc. i don't know if that is true, that is what he said. and then he said, don't be upset, by the way, you asked for this interview. he seems to have think it gone well for him, which is quite interesting, and off he walked.
fascinating. steve thank you very much for sharing the story behind the interview. we appreciate it. steve rosenberg joining us live from moscow. you can find the full interview both on iplayer and also on youtube. now, evidently, steve's interview has very much cut through, though the degree to which it will impact belarusian politics we will see because of the way lukashenko runs the country. but if we turn our attention to public tech stories in the uk, let's consider how and why some of those stories have a lot more impact than others, and we very much had a case study this week, the speech at the cdi, i'm sure most of you listening heard it in some form. the prime minister lost his place for over 20 seconds, compared himself to moses at one point and also said this... yesterday, i went, as we all must, to peppa pig world, who has been to peppa pig world?
not enough. not that many people had been to peppa pig world at that cbi events, but let's assess whether this isa political storm that will pass or something that may have longer residence. chris williams joins us from the daily telegraph and joe is here, co—founder and director of delta poll. i'm also told that you have been dubbed the housewives favourite pollster by the times. laughter which is an interesting moniker. but let's stick to the story here. help me and to everyone assess this peppa pig story. a huge amount of attention, but in the long run, does it matter? well, when looking at any of these such events, it's important to distinguish between turning points, as in true moments that make a difference that last in the polls and simply talking points. those moments that may produce a spike in the support in one way or the other, but don't actually make a lasting different, that long—term trends are interested here, and
i would say that this peppa pig incident if you like, pig gate or peppagate, however you want to characterise it as good for a couple of days perhaps a week or so and it's definitely more of a talking point. the reason for that is it's very much on brand or boris johnson. it is certainly not the first time that he has given a rather, shall we say, bumbling speech. many of your listeners will remember the speech that he gave in front of a number of police officers in september 2019, just before the general election was launched. that was similarly criticised for being bumbling, and jeremy vine has talked before about how he would two separate speeches where borisjohnson actually bumbled in the same way at an event, as if it was part of his shtick. so i don't think this will have a lasting impact, but, of course, these things always have the potential to make a difference, so we are on the lookout for what really makes a change but very few things do. it sounds like i should
distinguish between a story which cuts through, which is simply a story we are all aware of and one which has impact, which is a story which shifts how we feel. exactly. think to yourself, well that's really make a difference to voters next week, next month, or particularly when they arrived at the ballot box on the next election arrives, and there really are very few of those because it if we look back over the coronavirus, for instance, coronavirus itself, a massive turning point for public opinion, but throughout that, various different things going, dominic cummings and his speech in the rose garden of downing street, that attracted a lot of attention at the time and there was discussion about what the massive impact that might have, but actually, think of it this way, if that hadn't happened, if none of that had occurred, with the polls really be in a statistically significant difference from where they are now? i think it's difficult to argue that they wait. but when it comes to something like the vaccine campaign, that really did make
a lasting impact that has lasted for all the way through now and may last into the future, but will that even last until the next election? it remains to be seen. instead, it's about how the stories come together to form a broad narratives in the minds of voters about the way they think about politicians, with a can trust, who they think is effective, who they think is competent, and who they think will do the right thing by them. and the think that a next time to understand, and you can help me here because you held a very senior role at the guardian, you now hold a very senior role at itv news, is which forms of media decide that broader narratives thatjoe is describing. which is the most influential, is it the print press, is a tv, how do we gauge this? i think it's a combination of all of them, and sometimes, the print press drives a lot of what you see on tv and vice versa as well, often what you hear on the radio where what you see on tv
will drive what the papers are interested in. there is something that has shifted. i agree absolutely, i have used a lot of his data here at itv, and it's been very helpful at showin- us that a lot of these things don't cut through. i've remember being in hartlepool during the by—election and there was a lot of focus on sleaze and it didn't come up once on the doorstep, but it feels to me that this is part of a context and a bigger story which began with the ellen paterson debate, and ever since then, there is a narrative that's negative for the government. now, in terms of media, let me give you an example, yes, it matters that all the news channels were watching what was happening at cbi, and some people were watchin- that, but what really mattered is when that evening a celebrity started to make fun of the prime minister, i think i saw a tweet that said, "i think this is what pollsters talk about
when they talk about cut—through", because over 10,000,000 people watched that, so it allows them to set up and pay that little bit more attention, if you like them and that then goes on to the news bulletins as a result of that. so that could be a factor, chris williams from the telegraph, let's also talk about certain papers being a factor, because we talked about the owen paterson story come have a part of that story in its momentum was the daily mail which devoted huge amount of coverage to it. how do you assess the mail's impact on the fact that the government ended up u—turning on a range of fronts around the owen paterson story. i wouldn't overstate the impact of any one paper. i think what you saw at cbi and one of the reasons this cuts through is the prime minister looking weak in front of a home crowd, essentially, the cbi should be an easy venue for a conservative prime minister speaker, and it was clearly a bit of a disaster. that is what i think cuts through. clearly the owen paterson affair, the start of a narrative which has now built up to things looking slightly
out of control. and that's the kind of thing that cuts there and change as people perception of who a prime minister is. one of the reasons i asked about the mail is because it's all changed there, and you are going to help me understand this, out has gone to help me understand this, out has gone the daily mail editorjordi greg, ted verity who is already editor of the mail on sunday is now editor of the daily mail now editor of the daily mail on sunday, and to make things even more intriguing, the former editor of the mail, paul baker is back as editor in chief of dmg media, which is the group that owns the male titles mail online, metro and ei, so chris, it's all going on, what is the story? it's a complex picture about business and about politics as well. so three years ago, the 26 year editor of the mail, huge figure on fleet street hands—down and appoint he is seen as a more softer for gary
who makes friends more easily and takes the mail in a slightly to some people less nasty, to some people less sharp direction. now, in the meantime, print media is declining rapidly, and that includes the mail, even though it is now the biggest paper in the country, that doesn't really, being the biggest paper doesn't really matter any more. it's all about digital media now, and losing jordan gragg and putting ted in charge of two papers also allows martin clark who runs the mail online to have a bigger role, and i think that's what a lot of this is about. the business side of this is quite interesting, which is that the parent company, the public company, is seeking to take it private partly because they are going to go through some fairly drastic changes and it's very difficult to do that on the public market, so bringing paul back who had been pressing the chairmanship of off time,
to an extent steers the ship a bed for what is going to be a fairly rock neck rocky period for that organisation. about 20 seconds, but to the people who are may be suggesting that jordi greg's attacks on the owen paterson story led to then being removed, it sounds like you are saying that is not the story at all. i don't think so, no. we talked about billions of pounds of investment and a large organisation, the single story about sleaze is not going to change the direction of the company. chris, thank you very much for taking us through that. i'm afraid we are completely out of time. many thanks to chris williams, the business editor at the telegraph, deputy editor for itv news, and the director of delta poll and earlier my colleague steve rosenberg, the bbc news correspondent in moscow. that is set for this edition, thank you very much indeed for watching. katie razzle will be with you next week.
hello. storm arwen brought wind gusts close to 100mph across northumberland. the storm has now pulled away south and eastwards and with pressure building from the west, the winds will continue to ease, but sunday will be another cold day, further wintry showers in the forecast and the risk of ice through sunday morning and an area of rain, sleet and snow originally across scotland and just clipping northern ireland, will move into the north of england and into the midlands and wales by the end of the afternoon. on either side of this there will be some good spells of sunshine but further wintry showers just clipping the east coast and more cloud pushing into northern ireland, but we will see some late afternoon sunshine here. by comparison to saturday, the winds will be much lighter but still fairly gusty down these eastern coasts for a large part of the day and in that way and it is going to continue to feel cold. temperatures for some struggling to get much above two or 3 c and we could see seven or 8 c for some western coast. the area of rain, sleet and snow starting to move its way south through sunday evening,
clear skies behind it, another cold and frosty night and more cloud and outbreaks of rain, a little bit of higher levels no pushing into north—west scotland and maybe northern ireland. temperatures across northern ireland staying above freezing, elsewhere another cold and frosty night. this is how we start monday, with this system moving into northern ireland and scotland. it is a warm front and behind it the air is going to be slightly less cold but it will bring a lot of clout, initially some snow on monday, through the grampians, the southern uplands, more like rain come the afternoon. further south, mainly dry, often cloudy, the best of any brightness, i think across southern and south—east england, where temperatures again, just four or five celsius. further west, they are starting to rise a little and we could see nine or ten across parts of north—west england, north—west scotland and northern ireland. as we move into tuesday, we see another frontal system pushing in from of the atlantic and this one is going to provide some heavy outbreaks of rain, initially in the scotland and northern ireland and gradually sliding
its way south and east words through tuesday. some parts of central, southern and eastern england may stay dry through daylight hours, but as the temperatures recover into double figures, 11 or 12 celsius on tuesday. behind that rain band, it will be turning colder again on wednesday with some wintry showers and feeling cold in the wind, still quite cold on thursday.
good morning welcome to breakfast with nina warhurst and ben thompson. our headlines today: mandatory mask—wearing in shops and on public transport is being reintroduced in england, after two confirmed uk cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus. we need to take targeted and proportionate measures now as a precaution while we find out more. european ministers, minus britain's home secretary priti patel, meet for talks in calais today about trying to stop migration across the channel. weather warnings remain in place across much of northern britain, as the clean up from storm arwen continues