Talking about talking – today at 1330GMT here

UPDATE: We’ve shifted the time forward by 90 mins so Mark can make this. So it’s 1330GMT now.

We’re going to try something new today, and run a post for 20 minutes or so where some of the WHYS team will be online to talk with you about any part of how we facilitate conversations between all of you. And those of us not taking part with comments will be moderating all the time to make sure the conversation is as immediate as it can be.

I’m not sure if it’ll work, but we’ll try it. Subjects that spring to mind are, the type of subjects we choose, what could be improved about the TV version, what you do and don’t like about how we do outside broadcasts and so on.

Please post your suggestions here.

25 Responses to “Talking about talking – today at 1330GMT here”

  1. 1 Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    October 12, 2009 at 14:52

    What I hate about World Have Your Say is when you do not allow the World to have its say telling us that you are using an earlier recording and ‘please don’t call in’!

    I am so glad you are trying something new. I love World Have Your Say but it is only via innovation that things improve. So yes go ahead, discover something new or if it’s not broken don’t fix it! But, there is only one way you will ever know!


    • 2 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
      October 14, 2009 at 18:22


      I fully agree with u because this the point i’d like to raise at the moment.Meanwhile when i come to the fact.The Africa,Asia,S.America & other developing countries dont have that much internet capacity to express their views on WHYs so what is common is mobile connections where-by calling & sending texts would be the only viable means of communication with outside world.

      I please appeal to WHYs team to look onto such appalling costumes by WHYS if it wants to retain that motto called “WHYS”.Recorded program is a total blockade of viewers across the world & therefore giving advantage to the only few people from N.America & Europe plus those who have internet access elsewhere.Also WHYs must acknowledge that what we do discuss frequently does much impacts on the very people(developing countries ) that “Recorded” usually isolate.This is a serious matter…………………………!

  2. 3 Tom K in Mpls
    October 12, 2009 at 15:28

    As for management, how about having, say, four form letters to say why a post has been deleted, when it is deleted. Informative and quick. As for choosing topics, maybe never use a topic from commercial news that is specific to one nation. An obvious exception is if an accredited international agency gets involved.

    Maybe a ‘wild card’ day, once a month. Go to to someplace, ask someone what should be international news that isn’t being covered. If nothing, national, or regional etc.

  3. 4 Mark Sandell
    October 12, 2009 at 15:47

    Firstly, Tom – i like the sound of the wild card day. Thanks.
    And Ivan, you make a very fair point. For those who don’t know, for 8months of the year we have a first hour that goes out to most of the world but not Africa (unless they’re listening Online etc), which means we effectively have two programmes.
    Some nights we can’t get guests to stay for two hours , or the first hour has been (hopefully) very good and we want to give our African audience the same good programme.
    In the interests of transparency- and to save people money of course- we state explicitly that the programme is the edition which has just gone out, so don’t phone until we’re live again.
    We have no extra resources to do the second hour which also doesn’t help !
    We have looked at every way of getting round this, but it’s a commissioning issue, not a production issue.
    A lot of the time we can do a live two hours, but sometimes we can’t – we’re sorry- the least we can do is be clear about it.

  4. 5 Tom K in Mpls
    October 12, 2009 at 15:55

    Can we try to teach people what the ‘reply’ link is for?

  5. 6 T
    October 12, 2009 at 15:55

    Good for you for trying to be flexible. A suggestion: try to incorporate a wider mix of guests. I’m noticing that the BBC’s tending to use a lot of rightwing “experts”. Is this because these are the only people available? Or, is it because your management wants it that way?

  6. 7 Tony from Singapura
    October 12, 2009 at 15:58

    I wish to comment on the TV version

    It is only 30 minutes – thats not enough time – just as you work up a head of steam it’s all over. The one hour radio format works better from this point of view.

    It is clear that sometimes a guest hasn’t quite got to his main point and he/she is being shut down due to time limit.. I would rather hear what he has to say, so long as he remains on subjects and doesnt make a speech.

    Your TV live guests need to be more expert on subject material, certainly they need to be equally or better subject-qualified as your ring-in guests . For the last TV eppisode it was clear to me that the Iranian Artist didnt have much to contribute on Iranian political positions. Whereas the electronic guests were quite well qualified – this was a bit out of balance.

    I also recall a WHYS discussion on TV where you had Israeli and Palistinian guests, they were just students and their oppinions were not well thought out. When the Israeli guest started sprouting rhetoric, I switched channels because I had already heard Zippy’s rhetoric on the news. The Palistinian kid equally clueless.

    Now this is in contrast to the radio version of WHYS, where you usually have well qualified quests driving the conversation along. A very good example of this was August 25th “Is it time for Americans to stop questioning their response to 9/11?” .

  7. 8 Mark Sandell
    October 12, 2009 at 16:35

    T – apart from the editorial guidelines governing taste, decency, impartiality etc, , our “management” exert no influence over us at all editorially. It’s one of the reasons the WHYS community has been able to grow..

  8. October 12, 2009 at 17:24

    Two good points already made:- If it ‘aint broke etc. The wild card sounds good,especially regionals.
    Good points:- I recently purchased a DAB radio,means I can listen at 1700hrs, I can telephone,I can text or I can post. I enjoy it as is,It’s the first time in my life that I ever had a world stage!

    Bad points:- Appear to be moderation,esp.vanished ones. Although I generally have a good idea why.

  9. 10 nora
    October 12, 2009 at 17:24

    I like the wild card idea.

    I think it would be instructive to take two post by an individual, on the same subject–one that got censored and one that made air. Explain what the differences are. I find that if I repost I can usually get my point across without understanding why the previous attempt was ditched. Mostly a playful or irreverent tone is lost from the first post, but the meat is still there. Clues beyond the guidelines?

  10. 11 Anthony
    October 12, 2009 at 18:39

    With a lot of the world being able to access the internet with their phones and not even owning a computer, I feel that a WEB 2.0 WHYS site would make this easier for those who aren’t as technologically advanced. I think this would diversify the blog much more. Not sure how easy that would be, but it would be great.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  11. 12 Anthony
    October 12, 2009 at 19:01

    I think some kind of online voting graphs would be cool. It could also show info in the graphs, like where the person is living in the world. It could be made automated, and I feel it would really add to the discussion.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 13 Tom K in Mpls
      October 12, 2009 at 19:42

      I made a suggestion a few months ago. It would be nice to have two yes/no votes on each post: 1 is it a good post, and 2 do I agree with the poster. It could help improve posts and also let us know the general consensus on our opinions.

      They said it can’t be done now.

  12. 14 Anthony
    October 12, 2009 at 19:24

    And why aren’t you guys on Facebook? There are TONS of reasons to have a Facebook profile!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  13. 15 patti in cape coral
    October 13, 2009 at 04:15

    I like Tom in Mpls suggestion: “As for management, how about having, say, four form letters to say why a post has been deleted, when it is deleted. Informative and quick.”

  14. 16 Elina
    October 13, 2009 at 06:28

    First – I think the idea of an online get together is great, hope it works nicely!
    As to the topic; I’d agree with Tony from Singapura; the current WHYS format perhaps works better on the radio. I very much like the WHYS on TV, too, but perhaps the short, 30 minutes show doesn’t allow the best possible outcome – though I’m not sure if only extending the programme to 60 minutes would make it better. I’d imagine it must be rather challenging to make the programme work on TV in a proper, viewer friendly way. However, hearing other listeners’ different opinions is more interesting to me if I can put them into a larger context and get a wider perspective on the issue, so, what I’d wish is that the well qualified guests in the studio would be given more time to express their arguments and well thought out views – perhaps this could work as an introduction for the following debate then. So, maybe 45-60 minutes instead of the 30 minutes would also make it possible to give the TV programme a little more “structure” than it has now.

  15. October 13, 2009 at 09:08

    I like the programme, but sometimes i am not comfortable with the way the moderators try to supress certain views they are not comfortable with. I was attracted to WHYS because of the transparency and willingness to to accommodate other opinions. This may not be deliberate, but i think it has to stop.

  16. 18 Mark Sandell
    October 13, 2009 at 10:26

    A word about moderation ;we do not “supress certain views ” Mary, there are clear house rules and we try to stick with them. The expressing of the views isn’t the problem, it’s the way that it’s done – we won’t approve shouty, threatening, long , off-topic comments – probably the most common reasons for deleting.
    Patti – your idea is fine but how is it different to simply reading the house rules ? Of course we make mistakes, and some things get approved when they shouldn’t have been (i can see one above here for example) and things get deleted when maybe they should sneak through.
    I’ll be honest – i have said to the team that if they are in any doubt, delete. I’m proud of the community around WHYS and one of the reasons it is growing – i believe- is that we are fair, robust – but courteous.
    I want to keep if that way.

  17. 19 Mark Sandell
    October 13, 2009 at 10:33

    And Anthony, we ARE on Facebook
    but to my shame, we haven’t done a lot with it – open to suggestions – and also open to the idea that members of the WHYS community take it on ….thoughts ?

    (and you’re right about graphs etc…we should do that too)

  18. 20 nora
    October 13, 2009 at 14:22

    Since rape is a frequent subtopic, perhaps my experience as a guest might inform future guest identification. While I was willing to be identified as a rape victim, I wanted to be introduced for my work on reform rather than being primarily a victim. I was constantly identified as a victim. The two shrinks that were on with me were condescending at best. The show sucked. A level playing field makes for better shows. Rape victims have a hard enough time coming out of the closet without having prejudice reinforced on the radio.

  19. 21 Robert Evans
    October 13, 2009 at 14:24

    I feel that the experiment with the TV show should be stepped up

  20. 22 Chintan in Houston
    October 13, 2009 at 14:34

    All listeners are encouraged to blog on WHYS website yet very seldom are those comments read to be discussed.
    I would like WHYS to read a cooment from the listeners who have blogged or emailed and ask the experts to give replies. This shouldn’t be the only means of discussion but would definitely like to see more of it.
    I have read so many great comments from bloggers which never get discussed.

  21. 23 Chintan in Houston
    October 13, 2009 at 14:35

    One more thing you could have is polls on the website from listeners on topics!

  22. October 13, 2009 at 14:44

    I love all on BBC.co. uk. it is unique radio station where it is possible to find the truth, to find out relations, and to tell that think. The best and loved.

  23. 25 T
    October 13, 2009 at 15:33

    Hi? Hope I’m not too late here.

    The main suggestion I’d have is to try and have more of a mix in your guests. Both from the right and the progressive side.

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