Publishing BBC Radio programmes on Medium

Broadcasters everywhere worry about putting their content on platforms that aren’t their own. We’re all hyper-neurotic about attribution (people won’t know it’s ours) and about losing our audience (people won’t bother coming to the platforms we do own).

Everyone’s just about got used to the idea of publishing content directly to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… There’s an acceptance that we can’t neglect these enormous platforms and that filling our fans’ feeds with appeals to interrupt what they’re doing and press a link to come back to our place isn’t going to work indefinitely. And there’s already a lot of evidence that the effectiveness of the links we do publish is declining. It’s just getting harder and harder.

Jumping onto Medium may not be the most obvious next step for a speech radio station like BBC Radio 4 (we’re on Twitter and Facebook). But we’ve got some lovely content here — transcripts of thoughtful, beautifully-paced interviews with American writers about the impending Trump Presidency. We think they’re right up Medium’s street, so we’ve bitten the bullet, created a Radio 4 account and put them up. Robert McCrum interviewed an amazing list of authors — Lionel Shriver, Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Ford, Ariel Levy, Walter Mosley and Marilynne Robinson. They’re fascinating conversations, illuminating the mental state of journalists and literary writers as Trump assumes the Presidency.

The interviews are 15 minutes long on air but, according to Medium, they’re all nine-minute reads, which is interesting in itself. Obvious when you think about it, I suppose, but it turns out that transcribing radio programmes is a way of compressing them, so people can fit more of them into their busy lives. We should do more of this.

(you can listen to the programmes online too, of course).

I’m a trustee at the amazing Poppy Academy Trust, a social media editor in radio, a poet and a volunteer at Watford Refugees.

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