Odds and Ends #11: Don't salt the earth with the HS2 sell-off
Plus the BBC militant controversy, an excellent stand-up recommendation, turbulence free flights, and how to fix Batman.
Better late than never, here’s this week’s edition of Odds and Ends, your premium subscribers-only round-up of links, videos and shorter takes that I think you’ll find interesting.
Apologies for the late arrival of this week’s edition (I might just move it to Fridays permanently, to ease you into the weekend), but I hope you will think it worth the wait. Because this week, I’ve been speaking to important people, ranting about trains, and responding to commercial pressure by explaining how to fix another famous franchise.
Richard Sambrook, former Director of BBC News and the World Service on the ‘Militant’ vs ‘Terrorist’ controversy (Me for What’s Happening Now)
For What’s Happening Now this week, I was thrilled to speak to Richard Sambrook, the former Director of all of BBC News and the World Service. Richard spent three decades at the corporation, so was the perfect person to speak to about how the news works, how to navigate difficult editorial decisions, and the future of the BBC.
It was a real professionally exciting moment for me, because though he was a behind-the-scenes executive, I’ve known his name for years. When I was younger, getting interested in Media Stuff, I’d see his name regularly appear in the pages of MediaGuardian, and slightly tragically, I spent some of my teenage years reading websites and forums about TV ‘presentation’ – talking graphics and continuity, and taking an interest in how the news was made from a production point of view1.
So what I’m saying is that Richard is very lucky I didn’t force him to sit there for absolutely hours answering all sorts of byzantine questions about how the BBC works2.
Anyway, the full interview will be out as a podcast over the weekend, but in the meantime, above you catch watch the short clip above where I asked him about the on-going controversy regarding how news organisations are referring to Hamas – with some (including the BBC) choosing to use ‘militant’ over ‘terrorist’.
Now! Some more interesting things!
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Odds and Ends of History to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.