How are we doing?

At the World Service, we have something called Annual Reviews. This is where the editor of a programme (so Mark in the case of WHYS) goes to see the most senior editorial people in the organisation (they’re called commissioners and directors) to discuss how the show is getting on. Everything is considered from editorial direction, production style, budgets and presentation. We have to make a representation ahead of our Annual Review, and thought that it’d be in the spirit of the programme to ask for your contributions. So here are some questions we’d be interested in you answering (and don’t hold back, we’ve got reasonably thick skins)…

– What you do you think of the subjects that get discussed? Are there issues and stories that you feel we should cover more?

– Are you happy with the presentation style? If not, how would you like it to change?

– Which trips have you enjoyed listening to? Which ones didn’t work for you? And do you think we get our choice of places to travel to right?

– What do you like about the production style of WHYS? And what would you change?

– If you had one message for our editor Mark what would it be?

We’ll let you know how we get on?

91 Responses to “How are we doing?”

  1. 1 Ronald Almeida
    March 1, 2010 at 16:27

    I just wish both the editor, his team and those who comment were a lot more mature.

  2. March 1, 2010 at 16:48

    Exciting, Bold!
    The last couple of years have been challenging for the media. Many dropped out but you haven’t. We in Iran would never have been heard if it were not for “World Have Your Say.”

  3. 3 Peter Gizzi UK
    March 1, 2010 at 16:50

    Overall I think the subjects chosen are reasonable with the exception of Tiger Woods! The BBC also showed bias when discussing Global Warming. As I am totally anti-European Union it might be interesting to see what the rest of the world thinks of this undemocratic organisation? That is of course if they have heard of it?

    Presentation is fine.

    I don’t listen to the trips.

    Production is fine.

    No further comments. Keep up the good work.

    • 4 Kenneth Ingle
      March 1, 2010 at 20:04

      Hello Peter,
      I left England in 1960 hoping that Britain would soon take a leading role in Europe. It did not! Instead it keeps blaming Europe for the financial chaos caused by the chumps in Westminster.
      Europe is in no way perfect, but it could be a lot better if everyone stopped just looking at what has gone wrong instead of forgetting what we could do, if we all worked together.

      • 5 Peter Gizzi UK
        March 2, 2010 at 17:44

        I’ve been off line for a few days but thanks for your reply. My main moan about The EU is we have not been asked! I am also interested in how other countries view The EU? Ministry of silly laws perhaps? As present I feel we have been forced into a union against our wishes which to me suggests dictatorship?

  4. 6 Drake Weideman
    March 1, 2010 at 16:53

    Personally…I love WHYS. I think it is arguably one of the best programs (programmes, if you prefer) on the air, be it radio or TV.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure BBC can take much of the credit…other than having the original idea and then following thru with it….it is truly the listeners/responders worldwide who make this program fascinating and, in my view, invaluable.

    The only downsides I see are that not enough people worldwide participate, and all of the comments must be in English ( a benefit to me, as that is my only language, but it somewhat limits those others throughout the world whose English is not polished and whose comments are therefore not quite as easily understood).

    But these downsides are rather trivial compared to the ability to hear opinions and views…which is wonderful.

    I also must congratulate the staff, as they do a great job of moderating what must be a difficult program to produce….all in all—keep up the good work!

  5. 7 Elias
    March 1, 2010 at 17:07

    For a start, I must congratulate th BBC for its very existance, the one and only independant organisation that keeps us all factually informed in world news and on the spot reporting.
    The production of WHYS is near perfect, perhaps it could be improved in some ways, but in the meantime keep it going as it is. For it is the best way to collect world opinion on what matters in our daily lives.
    Yes I have one message for editor Mark, KEEP IT UP.

  6. March 1, 2010 at 17:10

    – As a loyal listener, I think that religion and sex have been widely discussed to the point of repetition sometimes. Personally I take interest in political topics. Sometimes, topics sound sensational as they are about celebrities, mostly from the US. There was the exception of Shah Rukh Khan who was detained at Newark airport in New Jersey.Maybe, because the incident took place on US soil. The stories that should be covered depend on the geographical distribution of listeners.

    -Concerning presentation style, it is OK as long as there is a balance in presenting views from both sides, which I think WHYS has succeeded in maintaining. However, sometimes, the speakers on the show have apparently much to say that reading comments from the blog, twitter or Facebbok are set aside. Sometimes, they are used to fill the gap when there is problem getting a speaker on the phone or when there are bad lines and they are as a space used to shift to another speaker.

    – The trip I enjoyed listening to was the one WHYS had to India, I suppose, in 2006. And also the long one WHYS made to Africa in 2007 about which I wrote an article: http://abdoukili.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/bbc-whys-footprints-in-africa/ It was really fascinating to hear commoners from Africa to talk about their hopes and despair. I also enjoeyed the show from Israel in February 2009.

    – Concerning production I think it’s OK. Frankly I know very little about production.

    – My message to Maestro Mark is that against all the skepticism about the success of WHYS show from the BBC and others, WHYS has proved a success. It strangely connects people globally. I think WHYS enthusiasts are eager to listen to you presenting at least one show a month. You and Ros have established the show on firm ground. With due respect to other WHYS team members, WHYS means essentially Mark and Ros. I wish WHYS continuing success.

    P.S: The dates mentioned in my comment aren’t from memory. I searched the blog archive. I may have an elephant skin, thick; that is metaphorically, but I don’t have an elephant memory in many cases!

  7. 9 patti in cape coral
    March 1, 2010 at 17:11

    1. I’m reasonably interested in the subjects WHYS discusses. There have been a few I wasn’t interested in, but I’m loyal enough to the show to listen anyway to see if I get interested. I admit there have been some I didn’t listen to at all, but I know my disinterest in sports, entertainment gossip, and athletes puts me in the minority.

    2. I like the presentation style. The only thing I could say is that sometimes you guys only read a portion a comment, so the true meaning isn’t really apparent. I realize though, that there is a time constraint and you can’t always read the whole thing.

    3. The trips you guys take are fascinating, except for the US trips, since I’m already here and it isn’t new to me.

    4. I’m not sure what production style means, but I love the format of the show, the calling in, etc. I wish there were a way to hear from people who didn’t speak English, maybe technology will catch up soon.

    5. My one message to Mark would be, I really enjoy your show. A couple of times I wasn’t happy with your choice of guests, but even then I usually learn something. At the risk of being labeled a butt-kisser I will say it has to be hard to be informative, educational, and entertaining all at the same time. I don’t know if that’s your goal, but you guys definitely manage it.

  8. 10 Clamdip
    March 1, 2010 at 17:13

    My only criticism is the huge number of topics covered. Is it possible to cover one topic/ day or two so that people can digest the subject matter and make meaningful comments. You don’t really get a consensus of opinion at the clip that you’re broadcasting. Older people like to swill their thoughts, ruminate, digest then ruminate again. It would also be nice if comments could by carried sideways along the page so that you can respond directly to other people’s comments.

  9. 11 steve
    March 1, 2010 at 17:16

    I think you base too many show ideas on what bloggers, certain bloggers are discussing. Maybe another system should be used so we get more newsworthy stories and less tabloidish topics?

  10. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    March 1, 2010 at 17:28

    WHYS is doing fine as is, for the most part. Keep two things in mind — first, you’re never going to please everyone. Second, nobody is perfect.

    The Tiger Woods coverage did get old. Like others have said in the past, it made WHYS seem rather tabloid-esque, which is the complete opposite of what WHYS really is.

    The presentation style is just what it should be. It’s interesting to be able to listen to (and occasionally participate in) a global conversation on whatever the topic du jour is. The presenters are excellent at challenging callers’ opinions and keeping the conversation going, while keeping their personal opinions out of it.

    I second Elias’s “keep it up” message.

  11. 13 Robyn Lexington, KY USA
    March 1, 2010 at 17:30

    I am pleased with WHYS. Its a great place to vent on world issues. Also some small issues. People have a variety of opinions and its good to see them post. You are never going to please all the people all the time. Someone will always complain about something. I think your staff that handle the live conversations do a good job of policing the people who lose their tempers. They also do a good job trying to include everyone in the conversation. Thanks for all the hard work. Looking forward to another year of WHYS.

  12. March 1, 2010 at 17:39

    I find that the show has become very pro America and the American Agenda. Ross cuts people off when they are saying things he does not want to hear or things that work against his overall agenda. He has become arrogant and narcissistic in his approach. Sometimes he is rude. I used to love the show and never missed it. Now I check in about once a week and depending on the topic I listen for a few minuts or not. I juts find that in the begining the entire world really did get a chance to state their views and the comentators where not biased. Now it feels more like “America have your say” rather than the whole world.

  13. 15 Tony from Singapura
    March 1, 2010 at 17:51

    The shows I like the best are those that have a moderate amount of conflict between the participants to the extent that the moderator needs to step in occaisionally to restore order.

    One problem is that WHY’s is geared to the amount of discussion going on on-line for different subjects. The problem with this is that the subject is biased towards the group that is most connected as well as the relative timezone diff to GMT (who is active during this measurement window).

    Sometimes there are very important current affairs being totally missed, due to being overwhelmed by trivial electro-babble on subjects like Tiger Woods.

    WHYs could have one show per week that could be editors choice – that would give some opportunity to catch up on important subjects that get overwhelmed or pushed aside by the bias in measurment.

  14. 16 Anthony
    March 1, 2010 at 17:58

    GREAT!!! The most FAIR and UNBIASED show that I’ve ever listened to. I love WHYS and can honestly say that it has changed my way of thinking, and life.

    Also, how do I get my hands on one of those WHYS shirts???

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. 17 Rhoda
    March 1, 2010 at 18:01

    I absolutely love this program!!! It is wonderful to hear opinions from people all around the world.The one issue I have is that sometimes just a new and interesting avenue of discussion has opened up, the hour is up and the radio program ends. Sometimes the issue gets picked up on the next program and sometimes it doesn’t. Is it possible to have special WHYS editions, say, once every 3 months or so where instead of the program being one hour, it goes to an hour and a half or slightly more?

    You guys at WHYS are doing a great job!!!

    March 1, 2010 at 18:11

    I am totally pleased by the format and the team behind the sow. It runs like a family that includes as all.

    Personally I do accommodate differences and even if I do not want to contribute I always take enough time to read others views. I learned long enough not to use the email because it seems you guys do not take them seriously. I type directly from the blog.

    One topic I have always found annoying is the subjects related to sexism and primarily the issue of gays. The fervor with which you present this subject has made me feel like BBC is made of homosexuals who want to thrust their own agenda on us – if so keep it to yourself. This is not the image of England that we want to get or even from western europe.

    If I have something to say about Mark, I’d say he is a great human being with loads of understanding and a greater sense of maturity. He has rare and memorable moments of humor and he is relenting – he draws you closer even if its so hot like the famous “that woman from Idaho” episode – when he let it fly. I learned a good deal by the way he defused the whole issue without trying to make himself a selfish winner – “I am off for coffee”. I’d say the same about Rose and our nice sisters – I won’t mention all by name but I have loads of nice things to say about them.

    Probably BBC does pay attention to this blog because some how there is great improvement in recent days to shed some bias on issues. This is immaturity – you are not the government; your government sometimes behaves priggish .

    Good luck and remember that you shouldn’t be fascinated by the idea that so many changes at a go means progress


  17. March 1, 2010 at 18:25

    On the whole the subjects discussed are spot on, topical and informative. While it is very instructive to get experts on the programme, the balance seems to have been lost. Listeners seem to have been side-lined! Lately the balance seems to have shifted with the experts hogging the limelight with listeners having less time to put pointed questions! On the whole ‘Have your Say’ is a great program.

  18. March 1, 2010 at 18:28

    I love the show when it is dealing with important worldly matters. I appreciate the wide ranging views and have learned a great deal regarding other cultures and their views on the world.

    I don’t particularly enjoy topics that are as much gossip as fact. I see this as a show to improve the world and enhance our understanding of current affairs not a soap opera.

    I appreciate the views of a variety of people of all ages, cultures and political ideology.

    As for the staff. They are awesome. I’ve enjoyed the kind, considerate attitude of all of the people there and I’ll continue to turn in via the web.

    Thanks for widening my view and understanding of the world!


  19. March 1, 2010 at 18:36

    No topic deserves a whole week of programming,it appears you were “played” during the Iranian election by interested groups and communities or did the FCO “set the agenda”.3 shows in a week is enough on a single compelling subject .

    OK,Ros you are from Cornwall and you like to make shows down there,got it,but you should do a programme about the underlying problem which has led the to buzz around its new found popularity, “white flight” from British cities.

    Why don’t you do some shows in Central and South America eg.Belize,Costa Rica,Brazil and Argentina.Even Russia,Ukraine and Georgia in the summertime might deserve a visit.

    There are certain things that come up again and again,why don’t you see which issues you have NOT been covered and then “fill in the gaps”.

    You could try a few debates like BBC World TVs “Doha Debates” occasionally.

  20. March 1, 2010 at 18:49

    I am content with BBC WHYS. It presents the world with an alternative news source that is lacking in mainstream media. Please remain on the air.

  21. 23 T
    March 1, 2010 at 18:49

    The basic concept is great. The fact that you’ll call people back (to save them money) is great. And the global mix of voices is nice as well.

    One suggestion: please try to stay away from the MSM mentality of “it’s getting millions of hits! So it MUST be news!” Tiger Woods admitted that he cheated on his wife. And His Apology Statement was treated like a Prime Minister’s Address to Parliament. Why do we need to talk about this? How can you justify running this story to your news editor?

    Please don’t fall into the trap of being everything to everyone. Because that just undercuts the credibility of your original idea.

  22. 24 nora
    March 1, 2010 at 18:50

    Seems that twitter is the deal once the show is live and that the blog is unattended once the show starts. That makes things less interesting to me.\

    The fat show was an example of poor preparation on already existing discrimination combined with an onslaught of mean spirit and shallowness from the callers. Body issues are popular but generally bring out the worst in the audience.

    Chile should not have to have an earthquake to make the show. More Latin America.

    Your Africa shows stood out for dynamic interaction and lively discourse.

    Like most radio talk shows, sour males make up a disproportionate hunk of the participating audience, and when they take over, the IQ of the show goes down.

    Loved the world youth stuff.

  23. 25 T
    March 1, 2010 at 18:57

    If possible, please try for more variety when booking your guests.

    I’ve worked as a producer in both radio and TV. And yes, I know what it’s like two hours before air and the host is screaming “who’s the guest?” Yet, there’s a trend on many shows to play it safe and book the same people all the time.

    On WHYS, by NOT doing that, that will only add to the oveall quality (IMO).

  24. 26 Mohammed Haruna
    March 1, 2010 at 19:00

    I luv whys, more especially because of the love i have for Ros. But the only problem is one needs to be very lucky for his comment to be read on air if he post it on the blog.

  25. 27 Saut
    March 1, 2010 at 19:01

    This is just a forum for some privileged folks. Many times,my comments have been rejected including one where I told a regular poster not to be condescending towards me for my use of English. I have contributed to the BBC news blogs, and not once was I ‘moderated out’. WHYS is not on my list of high priority for putting out my say.

    • 28 Alex in Corvallis
      March 4, 2010 at 18:10

      I agree – what does it take to get a comment posted here? I listen to WHYS at work and try to comment on topics I am interested in but often they get moderated out and I am left not understanding why, especially when you see comments that are one-liners that add little to the conversation or are just plain mean-spirited that do get posted. Perhaps you could post our comments regardless with “moderated out for: ______” with a reason typed in if they’re blocked? If I am making comments that are too long or make too many points, please let me know, otherwise I feel like I’m wasting what little break I have and definitely NOT “having my say”, which is sad because I love the show!

      Otherwise please keep up the good work! Hearing people from around the world, no matter the opinion, is always educational and helps remind us that we’re all human.

  26. March 1, 2010 at 19:11

    WHYS is one of the best programmes that I know of.

    I cannot be shouted down,I cannot be interupted.I can be qestioned,but then I can answer back,as long I remember that it is not the David Price and whoever show.I can be erased altogether but,a five minute huff,try again and all is forgiven.

    Nothing wrong with the presentation.Subjects must be quite difficult to find every day,that would be of interest.I think you do quite a good job on subject.Prouction is not my field but,if you get on air on time it must be OK.

    Message to Mark,keep going Mr.You are doing very well.

  27. March 1, 2010 at 19:27

    You could also checkout http://social.ndtv.com
    It has facebook,twitter plus blog comments on the same page, one can also sign in with a google account.

  28. March 1, 2010 at 20:34

    Let me commend the WHYS team highly for a job well done. I believe the subjects covered in the past were good. I would like for you to focus more on Politics, Technology and you name the rest.

    The presentation style is right, however, if it were possible, when discussing politics, I would like for you to invite any of the former head of states or former high level headed personality in order for us to interact with him/her on the show.

    I like the way you have been inviting some of your contributors to have their say live on the radio and wish it continues. I also appreciate the invitation of the high school children on the program. This will motivate majority of them to take after you or other hard working personalities.

    My message to editor Mark is am grateful for your support to WHY. I love WHY and wish you continue to facilitate the good work of this program more than ever before. One thing that keep bordering my mind is, we have discussed a lot of issues from politics, environment and a lot of other social issues. For instance, with regards to politics, do you think some of those figures concern do listen to us. If not, how can some of these people listen to our says?

  29. 32 Ali
    March 1, 2010 at 21:20

    Living in the uk I tend to forget there is a big wide world out there.. Listening to WHYS means I get to see a side of the news that you just don’t get on mainstream. I listen to it via the podcast so never comment, but I’m glad it is always available to do so online if I want.
    I admit some of the subjects don’t really interest me, but you can’t please everyone all the time. I do have the guilty pleasure of liking your celeb subjects but I’m glad you only do these once every so often. I see it as an extension of channel 4 news as they always do great/ different new to the BBC or ITV ( not that I watch that trash!)
    thanks WHYS keep up the good work.
    Oh and Ross is the best presenter and that ‘funky’ start jingle should be used all the time!!

  30. 33 gee
    March 1, 2010 at 21:51

    The BBC is far from independent, you only have to look at the UK side of it. What was once independent is now tainted by politics and behind the scenes controlled by the Government. What a shambles.

  31. 34 Bert
    March 2, 2010 at 00:00

    I think that WHYS is generally excellent. I think it’s balanced and covers, for the most part, topics that interest me.

    Some topics have gotten stale and repetiious. For instance, Tiger Woods and overweight people. Surely, people on the blog have commented on this already.

    One small complaint I have is that some days, the blog seems to be overburdened with new topics. It makes it impossible to follow, unless one were to make it an almost full-time job.

    My overall comment: Keep up the good work!

  32. 35 gary indiana
    March 2, 2010 at 02:30

    I like WHYS very much. I like both the tabloid stuff and the very moving shows, as were the programs on Haiti and the one that featured entirely the conversation between Lubna and her friends surviving in the world’s war zones.
    There isn’t a thing I’d change about the presentation; but I’d certainly like to hear a show about Iran, and certainly one or more each from China and India.
    From all evidence Mark does an excellent job.
    Here’s a thought for those who may prefer Ros to other presenters and an encouragement to Mark as well: Ros didn’t get to his level of professionalism without lots of practice. Let the young folks present more!

  33. 36 T
    March 2, 2010 at 03:32

    A suggestion. Any chance you could have a show (or series) focusing on the role of the arts in society? In many countries there’s state funding which can be very beneficial for both artists and the community. However, in the States it’s the complete opposite.

    For a great example of how this could go, check out this Jeremy Paxon link:

    • 37 Linda from Italy
      March 2, 2010 at 13:09

      Brilliant T,
      things I miss about the UK: decent Indian food and J. Paxman.
      Think this might be a bit esoteric for WHYS, how about getting The Forum to do a phone-in?????

    • 38 T
      March 2, 2010 at 17:36

      Tell me this doesn’t remind you of the old Python sketch “Is it ____”?

  34. 39 Richard in Arkansas (USA)
    March 2, 2010 at 03:54

    There is a reason that the BBC has been called the largest and most respected journalistic organisation in the world. It’s because it is true. BBC is much better than the corporate owned media here in the states.

  35. March 2, 2010 at 04:37

    – What you do you think of the subjects that get discussed?

    I usually like the subjects (except for Tiger), however lately I think the questions have been poorly worded.

    -Are there issues and stories that you feel we should cover more?

    I think Afghanistan should be discussed more, and Iraq.

    – Are you happy with the presentation style? If not, how would you like it to change?

    The presentation style is great… WHYS is great radio!

    – Which trips have you enjoyed listening to? Which ones didn’t work for you? And do you think we get our choice of places to travel to right?

    I always enjoy your broadcasts on the road. The Africa trip was wonderful to my ears.

    – What do you like about the production style of WHYS? And what would you change?

    In the words of the highest paid radio personality Howard Stern, “Don’t ever change!”

    – If you had one message for our editor Mark what would it be?

    I got hooked on WHYS when you had the 24 hour blog. There was always something going on there, and there were many outstanding contributors. Plus, the show’s topic was often taken from what posters were discussing. That whole aspect of WHYS is lost now, and I miss it. I’d like to see it resurrected… there was nothing like it.

  36. 41 Linda from Italy
    March 2, 2010 at 11:40

    On the whole I’m a WHYS addict, obviously some topics are of more interest to some listeners than others, that is only natural, and I wouldn’t criticise some of the more “tabloid” stories as this produces elements of balance and more widely reflects the world in general and its preoccupations. I do think perhaps, as someone has already mentioned (steve?) going directly to an arbitrary selection from the wider blogosphere may not be the best way to gauge the interests of this particular community, diverse as we may be.
    What I do find interesting about WHYS is when an apparently narrow interest story throws up more general, if not quite universal, themes e.g. the Woods story and the role played by celebrities in the public consciousness, particularly the notion than some sportsperson should be a “role model”.
    Re the OBs, these can be interesting, but only up to a point, don’t overdo them please. Apart from anything, these need a lot of pre-planning and this can interfere with the spontaneity that is so essential in a programme of this kind, since your “tame” audience may not be the slightest bit interested in or knowledgeable about a burning issue that may present itself on a particular day.
    I too think there is maybe a bit of a bias toward US venues, but since, at least at the moment, what goes on in that country, particularly in the mind of the electorate, affects all of us, wherever we may be.
    Thumbs up to all presenters, production values as good as can be expected given dodgy mobile phone and SKYPE connections.

  37. 42 Linda from Italy
    March 2, 2010 at 11:58

    To echo Pancha Chandra, I think the balance has been creeping too far in favour of “experts”, many of whom are more ignorant than many of we listeners and not nearly as articulate.
    Over the last 2/3 months, there has been a tendency to let a couple of these pundits hog the whole programme with comments from the blog (etc.) being interjected as snippets and thus dismissed as less relevant. They tend to be rushed through at the opening of the programme, either side of the half-hour news, then a few dumped in at the end, just to show willing.
    If you were to confine the “experts” to the first 10 minutes max. of the programme then let them chip in (briefly) to answer listeners’ comment, that would restore the balance. Any programme entitled “World Have Your Say” should indeed allow us to have our say, particularly now that the blog seems to work something like European office hours, so the discussion dies as soon as the programme ends.
    I also wonder if you are casting the net a bit wide adding FaceBook and Twitter to the blog, the latter particularly since it encourages facile one-liner sound-bites.
    Most of the listener phone-ins are now also confined to the last 10 minutes and very rushed, particularly when someone may be struggling a bit with English or be used to different conversational conventions that demand a less direct, immediate approach.
    Please give us back our programme, like many of us, I am beginning to feel a bit crowded out.

  38. March 2, 2010 at 12:51

    Salaam gang,
    Well, what can I say about WHYS ? I am more than proud to say that have been a loyal listener and contributor to this really super-fantastic programme since Oct. 2006, and here’s what I want to say about WHYS :
    1-I may be a bit (or alot !) biased, but I do believe that Middle East news stories (Iraq and Palestine in particular) should get more coverage on WHYS, also you guys should make a trip to the Middle East at some time in the near future
    2-The presentation style is more than excellent, I am a huge fan of Ros Atkins so I can’t complain 🙂
    3-My message to the WHYS chief editor Mark Sandell is this ”You rock, come over here to my Baghdad pretty soon OK ? And oh, proud to be a Hammer” 🙂
    With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad

  39. 44 Luci Smith
    March 2, 2010 at 14:30

    I agree with T’s first posting.

    Pop / tabloid gives lots of hits, but it’s empty calories.
    And who can stand to hear about disaster at dinnertime every night?
    You cannot be all things to all people – it’s in the mix.

    After visiting the show, I have great respect for the WHYS team – your dedication and professionalism are amazing.

    You produce good radio and this is one of the BBC’s best websites. Probably the best forum for discussion that I know of.

    All the best to the WHYS team and your listeners.

  40. 45 patti in cape coral
    March 2, 2010 at 15:25

    Just a comment about the show being too pro US… When I first started listening, it was very humbling to hear all these different accents from all over the world speaking in English, and being so well-informed on US issues. Most US Americans I know are not at all as informed about the rest of the world as they are about us. We tend to be very insular, so I hope the show continues to live up to its name and continues to give us an armchair tour of the world, and doesn’t concentrate too much on the US.

  41. 46 pendkar
    March 2, 2010 at 16:02

    Hello Ros and the rest of the team,

    we have some interesting shows. Some days, the topics are not engaging, but that does’nt matter. I like the way you handle the discussions – not intruding but cutting in at the right moment. I dont listen in often because the show happens very late in the night, accoding to my local time.

    About the trips, the Florida trip, where you talked about the issues of the farm workers was very good.(I only only followed the blog) To reach a location and bring attention to pressing local problems was a productive thing to do.

    I wish the blog would draw in new people each day – the ones directly affected by or involved in the day’s topic.That would bring in information along with opinions

  42. 47 Cabe UK
    March 2, 2010 at 16:57

    I am fairly new to WHYS and mainly join online as opposed to listending to the show, so my comments are limited, but I agree with the huge majority above that it is an enjoyable and liberating experience to be able to leave comments along with everyone else around the world! I actually LIKE most of the ‘gossipy’ / middle-of-the-road / and Poking-at-things – type content, and reckon the subjects people complain about the most as regards to rubbishing the Topic, are the ones that get the most hits / comments !

    The only reservation I have is with your on-line moderators. I am sure they are totally Cool and Ab-FAB (Hi Mods!) but I think its maybe a tad too heavily moderated and controlling on the ‘Allow-Gate’? It is interesting for me that they bar some of my online comments which are NOT Politically INcorrect, abusive or threatenting in anyway, yet if the BBC were to exploit these comments themselves as an actual news item then they would not hesitate – so I am a bit confused about that aspect.
    The mods could chill out and relax a bit more? After all you can’t stop people thinking these things and if you are going to stop questions, then you will limit your awareness and your audience, and these same questions will just be asked somewhere else. (So, come on guys loosen up please 🙂 ).

  43. 48 patti in cape coral
    March 2, 2010 at 17:31

    I would like to ditto Anthony – How can I get a WHYS T-shirt?

  44. 49 T
    March 2, 2010 at 17:33

    Another suggestion. Since the world could use a lot of laughter (esp. now), why not have a programme devoted to comparing humour in different countries?

    If something is funny in one country and not another, why not? Keeping cultural differences in mind in a polite way, I think this would be a fun break from all the doom and gloom going on.

    And if you see Paxman ranting on about blue rabbits, you know something’s up :).

  45. 50 rob z.
    March 2, 2010 at 17:51

    HI,WHYS is great.
    Living in the USA, we do not get to hear what the rest of the world thinks or how they feel about what is going on.
    WHYS does incredible work,from locations around the world “Live”;and talks to the people more than politicians.
    Don’t change!
    WHYS is excellence in radio,the BBC should be proud of you!
    Robz in Florida.

  46. 51 viola
    March 2, 2010 at 17:55

    The one thing I would say is “Thank you for letting me throw a tiny pebble into a great big pond.” Responding to your presented issues gets me to thinking a lot harder about issues than I might otherwise do and then forces me to figure out how to express what my conclusions are in a coherent, rational, hopefully unbiased (I try) way.

    Oh, one more thing. Your program is illuminating even when the occasional, obviously virulently biased, irrational raver gets heard, as long as that type is not allowed to control a conversation. We might otherwise not be aware of those types in the world and that would be hugely dangerous.

  47. 52 T
    March 2, 2010 at 18:03

    Just thought of a new feature you could occasionally run. “Frustrating Daily Global Mysteries”. It looks at those weird and wacky things that happen all over the globe.

    If someone directly answered one of Jeremy Paxman’s questions, would he be out of a job?

    Why do Americans insist of calling a mobile phone a “cell phone”?

    How do we know Obama isn’t playing games on his Blackberry at work?

    For more, you know where to find me.

  48. 53 Tom D Ford
    March 2, 2010 at 18:36

    Probably the only thing I see that doesn’t line up, is the idea that “we set the agenda”.

    It seems to me that the WHYS team somehow searches out what is going on in the internet overall on blogs and all and then chooses a topic, but the actual WHYS listeners and participants are a self selected group that does not participate in some things like the celebrity gossip blogs.

    So sometimes the topic does not line up with what the WHYS community would rather talk about.

    But I don’t know a better way to go about it. I guess you just shoot for percentages, and in that you WHYS guys do very well.

    So. Overall I give you something like a 99.7 percent grade, great job!

  49. 54 Eileen in Virginia
    March 2, 2010 at 18:45

    When I heard on the radio this morning that the BBC is cutting some websites as an economy, my first reaction was ‘I hope they don’t cut WHYS!’ You appeal to so many people about such a variety of topics, I often read the blog even if it’s not a subject I feel moved to comment on, because you take the world’s pulse. It’s good to hear from people in many countries. How else can the majority of us share our opinions with so many? I don’t expect to be interested in every topic – it’s our choice to chip in or stay out.
    I like your tolerance, your broad range of topics, and your fairness.
    I don’t want you to suppress the viewpoint of homosexuals (as one of your bloggers suggests above). For every nine straight people there is a tenth who is not, and why exclude them? We don’t want to hear only from the majority.

    WHYS is truly international in its appeal and some of your bloggers are so familiar, I’ve got to know their values, whether I agree with them or not. It’s like belonging to a discussion group.

    I enjoyed Jeremy Paxman’s video! Knickers and shampoo bottles do not make a work of art. I like to sew creatively: a piece of unworked rag would count for nothing artistically. I consider that lazy and pretentious rather than elite. May we have a debate about what constitutes art?

    Keep up your excellent programme please, for all our sakes.

  50. 55 nora
    March 2, 2010 at 18:47

    Agree with Linda about ‘experts’ dominating is an unpleasant way. Base of knowledge rather than letters after the name should be the rule if possible.

  51. 56 Lyndon Antle (Mr)
    March 2, 2010 at 19:01

    I am a UK listener to WHY’S with disrupted sleep paterns, which is why I get as much opportunity to listen as I do.
    Having read all the comments displayed I begin to think I am easily pleased.
    I am just really happy with the broadcast output and am just profoundly grateful for the programme.
    Thanks to all you guys n gals(if that’s not too un-pc.

  52. 57 Ottile
    March 2, 2010 at 21:07

    WHYS is a wonderful show. I am pleased with the range of topics, although I would say that it works really well when you have a couple of well-informed guests representing different aspects of an issue. Some really unforgetable radio monments for me have been when you paired up Israel and Palestinian youth to talk to each other, or when a survivor of the Rwandan genocide talked to a perpetrator, to cite a couple of examples.
    Ross is a great presenter: i realize what a difficult job it must be, but some of the substitute moderators at times come off as a little wooden.
    Keep up the good work!

  53. 58 Joseph A. Migliore
    March 3, 2010 at 02:30

    Krupa, Sheetal, Heba and Ros,

    WHYS presents the best broadcasting and engagement with the international community on the planet!

    Your programming, engages with current international hot-topic issues in a exemplary manner, whether covering a catastrophic disaster in Haiti, Chile, presenting a controversial arguement on the notion of Islamaphobia as a global dilemma, or on the banning of the Minerates in Switzerland, to the contraversy surrounding the lack of affordability in attending World Cup soccer matches in S. Africa for main-stream Africans. Your topics and engagement with the international community, rocks!

    As an academic in conflict resolution, what I enjoy and welcome most of all is how your programming, regardless of topic, compliments my discipline by presenting both points of view, always enriching your audience with the other sides perspective, this type of journalism is un-characteristic and lacking in U.S. main stream media.

    Your programing is number one in the Conflict Resolution field, the best international broadcast on the planet! I look forward to participating and with engaging in WHYS programming in the future and I simply cannot wait to hear the discussion during the FIFA World Cup begining in June 2010.

    Your programming gets a well deseved “A+” for the year.

    Thank-you WHYS team, best wishes.

  54. 59 T
    March 3, 2010 at 04:10

    Will the current round of BBC cutbacks affect WHYS?

  55. 60 Subhash C Mehta
    March 3, 2010 at 07:10

    I rarely get to listen to the BBC World Service, but I do comment and contribute on-line, in my own humble way. However, I do know for sure that the topics discussed, and the participants/personalities invited, are mostly impressive. But, the presentation is generally and at times unnecessarily loud, uncaring about the somber or serious subject/mood of the topic. And, please Mark, while editing, do not allow too much and/or very fast talking in the allotted time-slot, however little it may be at times.

  56. 61 Ibrahim in UK
    March 3, 2010 at 12:38

    +1 WHYS fan!
    I am mostly an onliner rather than a listener (that will have to change), but I do thoroughly enjoy the topics and different perspectives and imagining the different personalities behind the names. It’s great that we can hear from people like Lubna who can give us another side of the story that mainstream media force upon us.
    I would also second T’s suggestion of having some light-hearted subjects too to take the load off the strain of “solving” the world’s complex problems.
    Also apologies to all the online moderators, it’s always going to be a difficult job subjectively differentiating between House Rules and personal taste, you’re bound to get complaints and borderline comments … but we don’t plan to make your life any easier 🙂 (I’m sure the Friday morning mods already have it in for me).
    Keep up the good work at letting us “talk” to each other.

  57. 62 Nigel
    March 3, 2010 at 13:11

    1. Comments from post on blogs and call-in generally very good. Many deal with the point only from a US and EU perspective but I guess we cannot expect different. By and large the comments from outside of these areas are good,
    2. Choice of panel, Usually Ros’ choice…..most time poor and seem to be designed to support his agenda/view.
    3. Unlike Lubna I am not a fan of Ros……I think that he is too biased and needs to put more balance in to who he selects and how he deals with the points made.

    That said he has produced some really really good shows but once it comes to things not accepted/understood by EU/US he can’t seem to open his mind to the validity of many of the points made by non EU/US contributors.

    Yeah! WHYS.

  58. 63 Sajeev Nair
    March 3, 2010 at 14:03

    I wish to join the WHYS’ fans around the world in congratulating Ross and his vibrant team for conducting and moderating this marathon programme in an interesting and listener friendly way over the years. I also wish to support the comments by Ottile on 2nd March that when you had a couple of well informed guests sharing different aspects of the same issue the programme went pretty well. I used to devote full one hour from 20.00 to 21.00 hrs (Southern Africa GMT!) every day for listening WHYS. However, over the years I have noticed a kind of some what secular decline in the selection of topics for discussion- from a more “broad public interest based and socially relevant and stimulating topics” to a sort of cyberspace based but so called sexy topics including personalities and stars. I also thought that ever since the US Presidential election and Ross’ famous continental bus convoy, too much attention was given on getting contributions from LA times and featuring American issues, though I would not dare to call that Ross is tilting his focus towards the Americas. I should mention that discussion in certain topics such as “Mercy Killing and experiences of people using the clinical killing facility in Switzerland and also a programme on Downs Syndrome, a bit depressing and some what unpalatable. However, in overall rating, I terribly enjoyed the programme over the years. I should highlight your debate from Kibera slums in Nairobi, profiling the life of Zimbabwean refugees living in a Methodist Church in Johannesburg, etc. In recent days, I hear more debate airing from terrace gardens and plum locations. I should say that some of the facilitators can be much more diplomatic when cutting short certain callers and contributions instead of saying that “your line is not very clear”, though it is not very common these days. Lastly, by looking at your score board, I would happily give you 8 out of 10 marks and long live WHYS, you are still socially relevant.

  59. 64 dan
    March 3, 2010 at 14:25

    From the days of the Cold War when I traveled the world, the BBC was the voice of honest news and was a beacon of light in a sometimes dark world.
    Technology and the world have moved on but the light of the BBC persists now in various technological outlets. You all may be proud of yourselves.
    The only criticism revolves around Islamic terror and the Middle East.
    You cannot call any Islamic city being called “holy” unless The vatican, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris, London, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tokyo and other cities are also referred to as “Holy”
    Palestine does not exist and a unified Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel.

  60. 65 George Williams Bangirana
    March 3, 2010 at 15:07

    I am no media geek so I do not know what production is.
    Overall, You guys are doing a good job. I wonder though if you do not censor out opinions that you may not agree with before you air them since you initially talk to the people you call.
    I also wonder how you choose the placs you go to.
    COuld it be my mind that is doing me in or is it that you love- Florida???

    Choice of topics is sensible and understandable but some do not make sense in certain environments-Tiger Woods comes to mind- Are you becoming a tabloid whatever that is.

    Then I have never understood the logic behind airing two different bits of the program to different parts of the world yet there is no indication that the part you are receiving is actually a continuation from an earlier broadcast.

    Generally, I love the programme and indeed Keep up with a few improvements.

  61. 66 jade
    March 3, 2010 at 16:18

    – What you do you think of the subjects that get discussed? Are there issues and stories that you feel we should cover more?
    >> Most of the subjects interest me, except those that are either too remote from me, or that I know too little to have an opinion. I try to listen to WHYS everyday, because I gain some basic knowledge to subjects I know nothing about, and go from there.

    – Are you happy with the presentation style? If not, how would you like it to change?
    >> not happy about the half-time news interuption, but rules are rules.

    – Which trips have you enjoyed listening to? Which ones didn’t work for you? And do you think we get our choice of places to travel to right?
    >> I enjoyed trips to Africa and America esp. the ones during big events where you interviewed participants on the ground.

    – What do you like about the production style of WHYS? And what would you change?
    >> I won’t change anything. It’s good when you give local people esp. the children a chance to “chair” conferences. They have less inhibitions and speak from their hearts.

    – If you had one message for our editor Mark what would it be?
    not sure if this is relevant. I recall there was a time when contributors mediated weekend forums. can you set up weekend forums again? also, most of these forums become mere archives but some topics can be continued because the events are still happening. maybe link up some forums to revisits?

  62. 67 Mark Sandell
    March 3, 2010 at 16:30

    Thanks all of you for not just taking the time butengaging with WHYS. I’m very chuffed that so many of you feel you know what WHYS “should” be – that suggests you’ve taken it to your hearts. And i appreciate the tolerance you show (“I don’t agree with ALL the subjects but ” etc etc)

    So thanks but let me try to answer some of your points :

    RONALD – we should be more mature – help me a bit with this one, in what way ?

    DRAKE – not enough people can participate : absolutely right, there are all sorts of barriers against a truly global conversation but we are working on them..

    ABDELLILAH ( gold card WHYS holder)- religion and sex discussed too much – fair point but they are subjects that affect most of our lives…but will take on board..

    CLAMDIP – make the blog better, conversations easier to have – yes, and we are changing the blog in the next few weeks..

    STEVE/ROY _ tabloidish subjects _ another word for tabloid is “popular”…it’s funny that no-one ever complains when we do phliosophers, historians, or issues that affect only one country, but do something everyone is talking about, and it’s somehow beneath everyone…i completely stand by the fact that we are broad and tolerant and Woods is not a “celebrity” story any more than a story about Ahmedinijad is “celebrity”..

    ASSIYA – pro-American ? – really can’t agree with this (why do we get so many complaints like “there you go, America- bashing again” etc etc) but i WILL agree that at times our contributors are too dominated by American voices, which isn’t the same thing. We are aware of this, so thanks again for reminding us..

    ANTHONY and PATTI: t- shirts – will try, but can you pick them up at Bush House directly ?

    RHODA- more than an hour ? – actually we are on air for 2 hours a day most of the year..it’s just not everyone can hear both hours..

    Tom D FORD – too much reliance on wider BBC community, not enough on WHYS posters only – fair enough, but as much as i admire each and every one of the thousands of you who make WHYS what it is, i also want to know what the millions around the wider BBC want to talk about too…it’s a fine line..

    EILEEN – thankyou, especially the comment about tolerance..

    T- cutbacks ? – no (luckily) but we are being asked to do more and more (TV< specials, trips, collaborations etc) on no extra money…

    IBRAHIM _ many thanks but when we do something a bit lighter, people don't engage (maybe similar to Woods stuff, considered beneath them ? – i'm just asking !)

    • 68 Linda from Italy
      March 3, 2010 at 18:58

      Hi Mark, what about the listener/invited “expert” balance. Much too much pontificating from “experts” and not enough input from us having our say.
      Pity about more OBs. still I suppose you have to do promotion.

  63. 69 patti in cape coral
    March 3, 2010 at 17:33

    Hi Mark! Sorry, I couldn’t pick them up direct at Bush House, no matter how much I would want to. That’s okay though, my niece loves making personalized T-shirts, so I’ll see what she can do for me.

    Thanks again for such a great show. My daughter often listens and reads the blogs in preparation for a politics/current events class she has at University of South Florida in Tampa, and she tells me this is the most original, unique show she has ever heard. I agree!

  64. 70 John in LA
    March 3, 2010 at 18:05

    I love WHYS. Its on at 10am here in LA, so I usually listen to it on Podcast, the next day if I can. All your hosts are terrific, and keep excellent control of the flow of conversation. I also love the shows on location, in front of a live audience, with background noise — those shows have a particular freshness and immediacy to them.

    I have two comments: 1) The best shows are those which start with commentary from an expert or two (perhaps with different perpesctives) on the issue at hand, with callers then joining the conversation, etc. Although your presenters usually do an excellent job at framing the issues, I find that experts usually get to the issues more quickly and the following conversation is more constructive. 2) Sometimes the questions used to set the theme for the program are framed in an unhelpful way, especially those that start out “How do you feel about . . . ” People will tell you how the feel. I think if you frame the questions more neutrally you will still get a lively conversation.

    Thanks again for the program, and keep up the great work!!

  65. 71 Dave in Florida
    March 3, 2010 at 18:08

    Firstly, WHYS is depending too much on tabloid topics. It’s sad to see a show like this deteriorate to that level.

    Secondly, as far as being pro-American, maybe. However, most of the listeners (responders) are without a doubt anti-American. Why is that any different? Why are so many of the shows about America? The show is called WORLD Have Your Say — why the obsession with America from both the show and the listeners? As an American I find it a bit unnerving and “stalker like” on the part of the show and its listeners. If I wanted to hear endless banter about America all I have to do is turn on my TV, radio, or open a local newspaper.

    Lastly, maybe just an extension of my second comment, the WHYS blog seems to have been taken over by Americans — of which I used to be one. I get the American point-of-view shoved down my throat everyday in dealing with people here in my life.

  66. 72 Mark Sandell
    March 3, 2010 at 18:20

    Dave, i’m sorry we’ve got it so wrong and have deteriorated to “that level”, but thanks for your comments.
    I’m pleased to say we have a big audience in the U.S and that they are as entitled as anyone to their views and the blog will of course favour those with good online access, which is why we try to weight the subjects alongside our texts contributors (overwhelmingly African ) and our e-mail contributors (a majority of which are in Europe).
    Without stating the blindingly obvious, U.S culture and politics has a big influence around the world, but you know that already..

  67. 73 Kate M.
    March 3, 2010 at 18:21

    I first listened to the show when you were in Mexico during the swine flu outbreak and I was instantly hooked. Living in America I feel very cut off from the rest of the world. I was excited to hear an internationally broadcast show where anyone could give their opinion. It’s fascinating to know what others in the world think about different issues and that I can talk to them via the blog. I think it’s awesome that WHYS uses it’s powers for good and helps loved ones connect with each other during hard times. Haiti and Chili come to mind first. As far as the issues go – you can’t make everyone happy. I cannot think of anything I would want changed.

  68. 74 Cabe UK
    March 3, 2010 at 18:25

    Re: being *pro-American* – I imagine the Beeb has a lot of US subjects because they have a lot of US listeners… don’t take my word for it – go to the WHYS “where and how are you listending to?” Topic with 468 comments – this of course is just a tiny proportion of the “listener-ship” but the majority of the listeners commenting seem to be from either the US or African /middle Eastern countries?

    The BBC don’t come across to me as purpously being pro-anything although the US Does have one of the largest English speaking populations … so it figures – ??

  69. 75 CJ McAuley
    March 3, 2010 at 18:51

    I listen live whenever I can and often “listen again” if the subject is of interest to me. By far the most frustrating thing, as a listener, is the seemingly incessant occurrence of people all talking at the same time or talking over each other! This gets no one’s view across properly and has made me turn it off much more than once. You must simply find a way to curtail everybody talking at once or you are in danger of becoming “un-listen-able”.

  70. 76 John in LA
    March 3, 2010 at 19:26

    PS, when are you coming to LA?

  71. 77 Tom D Ford
    March 3, 2010 at 19:38

    @ Mark

    “i also want to know what the millions around the wider BBC want to talk about too…it’s a fine line..”

    I want to know that too. My complaint is that you say “you set the agenda”, when it is more like your WHYS guys set it by looking at what is going on in the world blog and media-sphere. Just a picky point on my part, I guess. You certainly provide every opportunity for anyone in the WHYS community to participate in suggesting topics, even to the point of participating on the phone during your daily meetings, if we want.

    So. I have no real complaint, just a nerdy technical disagreement about the meaning of words. I get what you mean, I just don’t agree with the words you use to say it. To be technically correct I guess I would revise it to “You, the world, set the agenda”.

    Signed, Word Nerd.

  72. 78 rowan
    March 3, 2010 at 20:21

    WHYS is perfection in talk radio imo.
    Likely the only radio show that prompts me to start discussions irl on a regular basis.
    It makes other talk radio shows pale in comparison. I normally don’t gush about media, but whys is my island of sanity and thoughtful debate in the media sea.
    I love how whys actually presents differing viewpoints and the staff, esp Ross, are able to referee the resulting conflict.
    Contrary to what some other commentors are saying, WHYS is noticeably ~not~ biased.

    minor quibbles:
    sometimes it seems like you only were able to find one or two “experts” who can comment on a topic from an unpopular viewpoint, and they end getting a lot of time.
    it seems like you deliberately make the daily “question” simplistic so as to keep people on topic. while I can see the benefit of doing so, some topics are more complicated than yes/no

    overall, you are doing amazing though and it’s gratifying to hear diverse world opinion.

    I liked the visit to Oregon in the US. I also loved the London olympics show today (3/3/10). It’s amazing when you can hear the ambiance of a place while the show is recording, like the pancake house episode in Oregon and the boxing club in London today.

    the production values are good.

  73. 79 amos (NIGERIA)
    March 3, 2010 at 22:07

    The attitude of Ros has itself got to be moderated. He tends to gag people on air. Maybe he is not a bully as it were, but so it seems.

    A concept of WHYS that trips me is their ability to find their way into any country of their choice, setup a studio stage in some of the most strangest places. Some how people gather and THE SHOW COMES on LIVE with perspectives from every angle. Most times 50 mins of being LIVE appears to be too small at the end of the day. One of the best trips I had on WHYS was that American bus trip, in the days culminating in the Obama election. The montage that gets the show started is unique and compelling.

    In some of the LIVE shows, sound quality has been horrible, compute keyboards are at times heard taping away at the background,

    Someone in the Team needs to let me have access to one of those WHYS souvenirs T-shirts, Face caps, etc

  74. 80 Shannon in Ohio
    March 3, 2010 at 22:09

    I first stumbled upon the program when you were broadcasting from Africa–fascinating stuff. Have been hooked ever since. Although I am not always able to listen live, I keep up via the podcasts and the blog.

    I love the whole concept of this show, and , like several other Americans who have posted, I really appreciate the global perspective WHYS offers, which is sadly hard to come by here in the U.S. unless one aggressively seeks it out.

    Like many other listeners, I confess that some of the gossipy topics are not my favorites, although I have been impressed by the way that discussions of tabloid stories have often morphed into extremely salient conversations about media and free speech in general.

    I hope that WHYS will continue to focus on reporting the opinions of rank and file people all over the world. I would love to see the show keep covering the plight of ordinary citizens and communities trudging through the current dismal economic climate in particular.

    Taking the show on the road must be incredibly difficult. I can only imagine the host of logistical nightmares you must face, but please keep traveling. Continuing to broadcast from the developing world would be especially valuable.

    Many thanks to Ros and the other very capable hosts for their hard work and unending patience in the face of (at times) less than reasonable guests, callers, and bloggers. It is also important to mention that every time I tune into WHYS I am very thankful for all of the “invisible” people who toil behind the scenes each and every day and are responsible for making the show so successful. Bravo!

  75. 81 Matthew in Texas
    March 4, 2010 at 00:27

    Q: What you do you think of the subjects that get discussed? Are there issues and stories that you feel we should cover more?

    A: Quite simply: I love the subjects that are chosen. I find them wonderfully timely and quite important for immediate discussion by those who keep up with world events. Issues to cover more…? 1) Should economic figureheads continue to be given such a loud voice in the discussion of whether or not man-made climate change is taking place??


    Q: Are you happy with the presentation style? If not, how would you like it to change?

    A: The WHYS hour goes by so fast… can you slow down that hour for me? Actually… I hope the WHYS hour is the seed of something bigger and more widely broadcast in the future. I believe these discussions are so healthy for a planet that is essentially shrinking each year.


    Q: Which trips have you enjoyed listening to? Which ones didn’t work for you? And do you think we get our choice of places to travel to right?

    A: Can’t say I have single complaint about any of your trips. Again, I find the topics (including the “trips”) to be of an important part of world discussion.


    Q: What do you like about the production style of WHYS? And what would you change?

    A: I could go on-and-on about what I like about the WHYS program. I’d rather tell you what I fear… I fear WHYS disappearing from the air waves. I know that probably sounds odd, but I really value a program that brings such topics to a “worldly discussion table” so to speak. What would I change…? Hire me to passionately help the future development of WHYS grow into a wonderfully healthy and progressive discussion forum that becomes more and more central to international debate and cultural understanding!! 🙂

    I found the Capitalism and Morality program to be my favorite recent program. I hope that BBC and WHYS come back to this discussion topic again. Better yet, I hope that such a discussion topic gets elevated to more than just an hour discussion.

    Thanks again BBC World Service for bringing me WHYS, please do not let it go away!!

  76. March 4, 2010 at 00:43

    Many thanks Mark for the gold card. I agree with you that sex and religion affect the lives many people. Although I have no religious fervour I contribute to topics about religion whether Muslim or Christian. I must point out I am among the minority who are neutral if not indifferent about religious affairs. But as the number of comments reach its highest when there are debates about sex and religion shows that they are still popular with posters and listeners.

    As the show is fundamentally of the listeners , for the listeners and by the listeners, let any topic that fits and has the majority be on the menu.

    Once again, thanks for the WHYS daily efforts to connect people of different orientations, be it political, religious or sexual.

  77. 83 T
    March 4, 2010 at 03:22

    Just finished watching some You Tube clips on Tony Benn on the BBC and some other shows.

    Lately it seems like you’ve been giving a lot of time to supporters of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In the interest of balance, any chance you could get someone like Mr. Benn on for an hour? I think a lot of people would appreciate his point of view.

  78. 84 John in Salem
    March 4, 2010 at 07:15

    It blows me away that some people can dump so much negative criticism on something they particitpate in every day and don’t have to pay a dime for.
    I have no complaints. You guys do an awesome job.

  79. 85 Ibrahim in UK
    March 4, 2010 at 16:11

    Hi Mark,

    I did think about it after I posted, that non-controversial or light-hearted topics wouldn’t get as much attention, maybe just a “Meh, that’s amusing”. I tried looking for a nice example, Maybe something about the decision to destroy all future UFO reports? Or the story of the Tree Excorcist? Or the Bollywood movie producer challange offering $10,000 to watch his scary movie? I don’t know how engaging something like that would be. Could be useful for an End of Week wind-down… but I have no idea what people would be interested in and could contribute to.

  80. 86 Chintan in Houston
    March 4, 2010 at 17:07

    I love the show, i want that T-shirt too and yes i can come to Bush house and pick it up. Who do i have to contact to get in the BBC studio hopefully watch a live taping.
    I think thats what i like best about it is that it is LIVE.
    Only 2 complains 1. Stay away from sensational topics and 2. Make the show atleast two hours long.

  81. March 4, 2010 at 18:31

    I love BBC, including WHYS. It’s great to hear comments from all over the world. And love the presenters; they handle sometimes difficult situations with great skill.

  82. 88 clonapin
    March 4, 2010 at 18:54


    i listen to WHYS on kalw in san francisco. the favor of the program is too sensational for my tastes. all too often the show seems to court controversy. often i tune-out until the hour is up.

  83. 89 Don Coolidge
    March 4, 2010 at 20:11

    I listen on KALW in San Francisco – that is, when I do listen to WHYS. I disagree profoundly with the philosophy of courting controversy, especially when it’s about matters of settled scientific fact such as anthropogenic global warming. It’s correct to present both sides of an issue when there is reasonable doubt as to whether either side is better supported by the facts – philosophical discussions and questions of political policy can fit nicely into this category. However, when WHYS presents only one side of an issue that is already settled as though there was still general doubt, that only gives extra credence to the deniers and takes credence away from the side that is supported by facts. The series of shows on global warming was a perfect example, with deniers like MIT’s Richard Lindzen, whose ideas are almost universally dismissed by his equally distinguished peers, being an invited guest, while no equally qualified scientist who accepts the reality of anthropogenic global warming was invited to actually engage in a debate based on the facts. WHYS is anti-journalism – it does not seek the truth; it seeks ratings through the generation of artificial controversy, and by doing so, leads its listeners to hold opinions that do not correspond with reality. I would like to see it either change to a program that presents things objectively (as opposed to equally) and become more like a forum for investigative journalism, or if that will not be done, I want to see it off the air.

  84. March 6, 2010 at 13:30

    The World Sevice approximates to the last bastion of beeb sanity.

  85. March 7, 2010 at 18:23

    It’s too noisy and chaotic for me.
    Here in the Bay Area, we have a similar one on KALW, which also broadcasts WHYS. IT’S YOUR CALL w/Rose Aquilar. A near perfect program: Intelligent, interesting and inclusive.
    WHYS is bombarding, clipped, noisy and all over the place. Good idea, but unevenly broadcast.

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