262MC: Formats Production Blog Task 2

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BBC Radio 3- Free Thinking

“Do men and women have different attitudes to rule breaking? With changing ideas about gender, can we say that our minds are wired differently? Helen Fraser, head of the Girls’ Day School Trust said recently that ‘being the compliant girl is never going to get you anywhere’. What are the rules today for relationships and getting on in society? Is it time to throw out received ideas and challenge the advice given to young people?

Free Thinking presenter Rana Mitter chairs a debate that takes the shape of a rule-breaking game show. Our panellists are:

Sheila Hancock – actress and author of three non-fiction books and a novel Miss Carter’s War

Journalist Bim Adewunmi – culture editor at Buzz Feed UK, who writes often about popular culture and how it intersects with gender and race

Neil Bartlett, theatre director and author whose most recent novel is The Disappearance Boy

Jonny Mitchell, the headmaster in Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire and now the Head of the Co-operative Academy of Leeds

Recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.”

This particular programme is recorded in front of an audience so there are diegetic sounds of clapping, and laughter and actual involvement from the audience itself. The presenter (Rana Mitter) discusses the subject of the two sexes making and breaking rules and how they are able or unable to do it, with both the panel and the audience which encourages more people to listen because they are able to hear different opinions from different people. Audiences are able to question and put across their own opinion.

No music is played throughout the programme, most likely because they want to focus only on the discussion taking place. No other sound effects or clips are played either possibly because of the seriousness of the discussion and the overall formality that they want to be kept continuous.

What I would say could be improved is that because it is a discussion which allows the audience to take part, clips could be shown in order for them to relate to the subject more and to let them relax and create more of an informal atmosphere.


Presenters: Sarah Brett and Dan Walker

This begins with the breaking news and other international affairs that are taking place in order to update the listeners. It then speaks about sport before telling the audience that they can find out other information on their website. They begin with elaborating on the main piece of news that was briefly spoken about at the start of the programme, using clips to support the information being handed out.They move onto other pieces of news so they can inform the audience listening.

They encourage audience interaction by having phone-ins and also discussing with guests (for example in this programme Gary Kemp) they also encourage audience interaction by mentioning their website, and tweets etc.

This programme is recorded in a studio therefore it doesn’t have an audience in front of it for the presenters to personally talk to face-to-face. The Free Thinking programme however did, making it an open discussion due to the fact they wanted to speak about the differences and similarities between the two sexes regarding making and breaking rules as children which involves everyone, whereas BBC 5 Live specifies its subjects to those who interested in politics and sports.

Neither of the programmes use music or sound effects except BBC Live 5 at the start to insinuate that its the beginning of a new show.

When it comes to recent development in the world of radio, the internet springs to mind. Technology has evolved so quickly in terms of the world wide web that the entire world has access to it and can learn anything in the blink of an eye, which makes it no surprise when it has given radio a helping hand to survive in the fast-paced ever changing world. Its helped radio to evolve by allowing radio stations to create websites to promote themselves, to create social network accounts such as twitter and facebook for their audience to follow and like and keep themselves up to date with the latest news from the radio station/show. This also enables audiences to interact and encourage the idea of becoming a prosumer by sending clips or information of whatever is happening in the world that can affect the public. Its allowed audiences to stream shows from the website so they can catch up and listen to discussions and quizzes or whatever content is being played.

Another development is Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) which has helped radio survive probably more than the internet itself, as the internet has only allowed it to move on to the present day and keep itself up-to-date, whereas DAB has made radio become more versatile, more self sufficient, and less of a hassle than it was before. This is by DAB making radio digital for a start rather than analogue, allowing more broadcasts to be made using the same frequency. Another way is by DAB ensuring that there is no interference when listening to the station. Lastly DAB automatically finds different channels for you rather than you finding them manually.

Overall radio will continue to survive in the mass media, not only is it convenient and mobile for us to listen to without having to watch it, but it also has a way of staying alive and strong by updating itself to new technology. It will always provide the masses with media and information which we will always need as well as entertainment which we will always want. It surrounds us, as its on our phones, broadcasted by satellites which are all around us, and is now on the internet, and with technology only getting more and more its very unlikely that radio will ever cease to exist.


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