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Read this: Deborah Turness, boss of ITN

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Deborah Turness, boss of ITN…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, hi, I'm Clive myrie, and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4.

Hello, no don't adjust your set this is the media show on the BBC but that's theme tune to News at Ten on the famous bombs apart of a popular culture along with the high-angle sweep across London over the rooftops along the Thames to meet the face of Big Ben all of that is part of the iconography of British television news, but who watches the big network, but it is these days more and more gen z and millennials are increasingly moving line for their fix of news and information some older demographics to are attracted to more parties an opinionated platforms GB news.

I'm looking at you even some politicians open marriage the so-called mainstream Media so how can ITV's News at Ten and Channel 4 news with a soon-to-be departing Jon Snow winback audiences? Is it a lost cause?

Fractured multimedia environment or can trust be gained well.

If anyone's got an idea, it'd better be my next guest Deborah Turness the boss of ITN overseeing on ITV channel 4 and Channel 5 reaching around 10 million people a day and on top of all that having to deal with a financial black hole big enough to induce nightmares dead.

It's good to see well.

Thank you very much for inviting me to be on the phone with a quick fire round.

Where do you get your evening news? What do you watch? I watch a course.

I put of my own platforms because that's of course a critical part of my job and I was dead anyway, so I watch ITV News at Ten from a bit more and even use because I'm still working for the news on the Channel 4 news.

I watch channel 5 news on the American but it seems as well because

The last decade iPad and it's hard to wean yourself away from it will get into your jaunt across the the pond does it work you've got an impressive CV first woman editor of a network TV new show in the UK when you took the reins at ITV News move to America to head up NBC News and later become president of NBC one of America's big three networks, what made you want to get into journalism first place when I started volunteering on a local newspaper sites that was looking for Corsa in in local school that was going on in the school that was the Hitchin and Stevenage Gazette and I started really enjoying it and then from there to do local music from music venue that often attracted some quite good bands and realise that I could get some access behind-the-scenes and start the exciting things even at the age of 16 17.

About college I started making plans to launch a student radio station this articles for the London student newspaper it just Roofing they're really and then I was given the opportunity for my year abroad because I did put my degree of French to go and do a postgrad journalism at the university and I spent a year there and I was completely smitten and I was completely focused on that as my career path and from there.

I was able to do my my stars my work experience not the French leader, but I went to work for nothing in the Paris Bureaus as Den was and that was my kind of sides doorway into.it.

Yeah, you help to Jon Snow I understand cover a French presidential election.

Working for nothing making the tea etc and then Jon Snow's producer fell ill and he needed to somebody to go to the south of France in Paris at the time you go cover Jacques chirac rally.

It was the eve of the election and he was the prime minister and he was standing to be president against one for me and he's just the French hostages from Beirut that day had used his powers Prime Minister to the electorate to vote for him.

These messages were national celebrities incarcerated in a very long time national news bulletin the number of days, but they have been incarcerated 21 at the Thai 122 and managed to block a back corridor and get exclusive in English that I said that to Paris and Jon Snow made.

It has Lee story.

And at that point he pledged to support me and to help me get into to ITN and so he did your way up to become head of ITV news in 2004.

How print was the ITV news room then do you think compared to now?

The really great question you know what I think what's wonderful about the ITV news.

Is that it continues to be a place of absolute commitment to finding out the truth to digging up stories that others aren't digging up.

There's a real sense of family and that Newsroom Robert more exclusive on the steps of the capitol in January this year where he was the only journalist in the world who was actually with those Capitol Hill writers as they went into the capitol Building and he told their story from the inside having invested a great deal time energy and good journalism in getting to know the movement who they were where the Hangouts and how they communicated in a way that even the American media had not and I think that story.

Alone tells us that the ITV News remove today still in bodies those values of really agile nimble journalism the greatest scoops comfrey because they're all about mouse and knowing where the story isn't following your butt instinct and that's what I did and that's what I continue to do today and that's a rich deep heritage.

Whether you're looking at you know penny Marshalls exclusive at the Bosnian camps and many before her that's what ITV News does at its best and continues to do we spoke to him here on the media show about that scoop.

It was incredible gems and indeed.

You've had several scripts yourself under your ship including the 2005 exclusive pictures of the capture of the 77 London bombings story came to you, Deborah

Is that really give you the element of surprise and I remember that day so vividly so obviously we're in just after the 77 horrendous 77 attacks in London terrorist attack and everybody was on edge and then came this this is news that some there was a raid happening on these flats in West London and we dispatch our cruise and you was going on because of complete around the area, but we were hearing all sorts of kind of sounds of stun grenades and there was the helicopters military action but nobody knew what has been on it.

Then we got a call on the news desk from somebody who actually lived in the flats and had literally a

View everything what's happening as the the special forces came in and raided the flats and arrested BH21 7 terrorists who had plans to follow up attacks and they had recorded everything and I thought said him to anybody else he wanted money for it and it has value and then ABC the American broadcasters came in and blue my offer to this guy for his footage out of the water.

They put so much money on table.

So I basically cold cold email this how can we do this together? Let's let's Mount join beard.

I'll have the TV exclusive I think the tapes were thrown out of the back of the flat into a garden and my producer had to climb over garden walls to go and get the tapes and then transfer them because it was the guys home camera and then James mates one of our amazing correspondence ITV news with the lightning-fast editor turned around in times even use this unbelievable school with nobody had a scrap a picture nobody has seen anything at this event that have been dominating every Media platform in this country and around the world all day and evening news headlines exclusive there it is a bit earlier saying that the best groups of three you actually paid for this one, how much did you pay more than I could afford the thank you for the Daily Mail coming in the Daily Mail involved.

No, no no because he surprised hello my gorgeous work.

No no I won't talk about the money ok sure absolutely but how do you feel in general about that kind of checkbook journalism does it concern you don't worry where material has real value.

I think it's acceptable there's somebody finds find the level in the market for they want to sell I think there are safeguards around the less desirable types of the journalism proceeds of crime except.

We would never ever become involved in that there are very very exciting moments where I think it is ok to pay for access to content in that way alright.

Ok.

What you ran ITV news for just a Rebecca donedeal 23rd.

Are there is a school of thought I think Deborah that that's the period I'm not lying all this at your door absolutely not but that's the period that the mainstream probably lost touch with ordinary people and estrangement that failed to predict the brexit vote ultimately or indeed Boris Johnson's 80 seat majority in 2019.

It was probably a long time coming up to that decade, but do you think that's fair? Do you think that's when you know the the the rubber did Hit the road and members of the public felt you know what I want my news out from elsewhere.

Do you know I think the ITV news is a new brand that has always been in touch with it's audience and recognised for that kind of connectivity.

I think it comes up through it's sort of which regional route to the iTV regional operation with no.

Considerable grassroots journalism across the country and I think that does kind of feed up and into at the kind of news ITV news is so I will I do recognise that overall the media lost touch with some members of the audience.

I I think that impacted ITV News a little less than others if I'm absolutely always gone out of its way to think about the consumer to think about the audience left Justified in using the States then you let across the pond to America 2013 Turan NBC News much bigger market bigger budgets big headaches frankly for those tuning in who don't know their way around the American media landscape, where would you position NBC News in all that BBC News is impartial politically it doesn't have a point of view.

And it's interesting because I know that you've spoken about impartiality and the fairness doctrine the US and I'm with you in terms of you when Ronald Reagan did away with the time to make way for right-wing talk radio and this was the rule that meant that all broadcasters if there in order to have a licence in the United States they had to give all points of your nipple and obviously changed the landscape and Fox News entities with an approaching a point of view.

I would say that even though there isn't the kind of regulation we have in this country NBC News very heavily to be impossible to see all sides and does it because that's because that's how they

Always done it.

I won't relent upon and Without Fear or favour in the age of Donald Trump and in fact your time and MBC come inside with the rise of of the Donald does it work and that must have been a nightmare to comprehensively report on this man.

Who won the Washington Post reckons lido made misleading statements more than 30000 times during his presidency.

It was really hard.

I think during the campaign as Donald Trump was becoming more a force to be reckoned with the challenges not only how to not spend your entire program that checking what he said was how not to your program to be consumed by the latest Tweets there was used to carry there were important issues to cover and the circus which is something which

High octane any normal American election cycle was off the charts on reflection.

Do you think you should have called him out earlier when he was laying the foundation for this alternate reality of Truth should you and others in America of called him out earlier his rhetoric became more complex if you like darker as he went on that enough.

You are the only ones you've good for the bottom line people tuned it look I think that was something that really you know the banding around other other network, she's not me and I think it it drove ratings for sure on cable channels.

Not necessarily that I was driving so I was I was never the position where I felt.

I was trying to exploit the Donald Trump phenomenon ratings game and we always try to balance, but I will say I think where where we didn't get it right after the election was was not only not to see him coming but better and respect and I think the problem is that problem still prevails because if not more was the only correspondence to be with the

Writers at the capital that day it's because nobody else was listening nobody else was talking to people in the towns where they live with their come from to stand which is why that story was missed and I think it's the exact same set of circumstances and the lack of learning if you like 7 years on shuttle back over to the UK now.

You're the chief exec of ITM you're ultimately the boss of ITV News Channel 4 news channel 5 news, how much day today journalism, do you get involved do you sign off controversial stories? I got the Jeremy Vine team behind me but 10:15 where each other news services talks about.

They got on that day any legal issues and safety issues any comes if you just let them get on with it.

We can't believe she's not so itni me nobody nobody in the world does to Run 3 incredibly distinctive news services and yes to do it with an economy of scale on sort of the backends.

That makes it cost effective so that you can really Focus enough of your budgets on covering the news going to go investing in investigations and but yes, there's there are.

Massive engineering technical infrastructure master control Studios studio support edit vehicles satellite feeds travel all that stuff that happens that is completely non-competitive, but just needs to be there so the pipes and the support mechanisms dit and all of that but the news on themselves are completely independent on the separate editors separate produces separate news presenters the teams in the field are separate when you're in the field.

You'll you'll you'll know each other is as colleagues, but there is an emphasis on keeping the final product as distinct as possible 1000.

We talk about a lot of what we do if we hold back obviously the information because it's competitive so

And for many many years you know we we actually managed to walk that that tightrope and and and it works.

It's really really works.

How much of an overlap is there then with the audiences so forgive me on this accrued summary might suggest that ITV's for traditional viewers perhaps older audiences Channel 4 is for younger left-leaning audiences looks more social media savvy child 5 years of those people who are really waiting for the next pop history documentary to start that's quite stereotype as I would say not 27 abroad of gender Channel 4 News yes it goes more in-depth.

It has more investigations that it Focuses on issues around social justice.

And if that's your cup of tea, you're gonna there a 5 years has really carved out a niche for very much.

You know it's time and non-metropolitan view 80 time audience still going to watch it was 5:30 very very interested in you since the prison of Ordinary People currently there a really big series continually on long covid and how that impacts on people out there that do more on that nobody else so each has its own target audience, but I'm sure there is something with the watch at the witcher 3 yeah, but what's distinctive about Channel 4 news for instance send as far as the government is concerned is the sense that it's a little Wing why do you think they think that I think the news it must be noted and has never once been found against by Ofcom in the impartiality.

That's going to make very important it covers news with impartiality is it robust yes is compromising yesterday asked sometimes the toughest questions yes because that's what what their brand is all about and they have an hour to do it which as you know in the world of by Night News is durations.

You know it's very hard to you when you have a half hour to tell the the Worlds story you're always pressed for time.

We have an hour you just have that extra be to go deeper to ask the second and third follow-up question but I think you know you're talking about prioritisation.

I think and and and you know the move currently is about economics.

It's about you know the longer term protection of Channel 4 is the government the government sees it under you.

Can you can keep?

Dependents with all the talk of privatisation model for Channel 4 what we're not in Pasta about is Channel 4 News it is the most critical part of channel four's remix that it is the most recognised and awarded news program in Britain it goes out there and does more world-changing impact for journalism than any other news program.

There is a young people on social platforms than any other news program.

It's incredibly important to the polarity of this country is a very important piece of our Media landscape.

If Channel 4 is to be privatised then we will fight for it to be protected by I have no reason to believe that the government protect.

It's you.

I do believe this government.

Recognises the importance of Channel 4 news, is it sometimes I fall in their side.

Yes, it is but I do think they recognise it, but I think our job is to make sure the journalism speaks for itself that we can't break exclusives and change the world and I think we look to see if we can enhance the remit in a future in the future arrangements models out there that point to how you can protect news.

You know what I was I was at comcast and compost acquired sky and compost have signed up to a 10-year guarantee of Sky News budgets, so you with RPI and an independent editorial board which protects sky's news editor.

I think they're alright.

There are models there if we're serious about it, so we're going to be obviously putting some of that into our submission.

But while the journalism might be strong the audiences.

Do you know the younger ones are migrating online? So how are you able for instance to deal with what the Telegraph reported last month to be 1864.6 million pension deficit you do with that well, and it is no secret any facts the Telegraph ask me about that that ultimately you know prophet that we will generate will mostly go for me.

I think it's a noble cause you know people are motivated different reasons I sorted the people that the Guardian feel less motivated trust the we must work very hard to make sure that the pension deficit is the pension is kept alive finally you watching mainstream TV news your whole career.

Any days where most people get their news from the television and programs like using 10 and the BBC News at Ten and Channel 4 News how long do you think that can remain the case that most people get their news from television and not migrate online or elsewhere? I think the death of the news has been off predicted, but it hasn't happened yet, and I think what needs to happen is that great brands were they are lyrics the individual program brands like a Channel 4 news on News at Ten will migrate with the audience.

They will go where the audience goes and they must do that.

That's one of the things that I'm I hope you I'm here to make happen as we accelerated migration, so I would like to predict the final Demise of the appointment of you broadcast.

News Bulletin and the best of them will migrate in different formats but with those on to new platforms with their audiences Deborah 10s.

Thank you very much indeed for your time today.

Thank you very much.


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