Michael Buerk: Radio 4 host The Moral Maze claims ‘freedom of speech is under serious threat’ at BBC


Michael Buerk, who presented Radio 4 debate program Moral Labyrinth for more than three decades, has stated that “freedom of speech critically endangered” at the BBC.

The presenter said he was concerned that his show, which saw different guests debate the ethics behind the week’s news stories, would no longer be able to provoke in a time when “public discussion, poisoned by social media, is increasingly inclined to view anyone with a different point of view as not only wrong, but evil”.

In an article for Radio Times, he writes that Radio 4 has a “hopeless desire to connect with you”.

“We used to be proud that this was a show on which ‘the unshakable’ speaks,” he continued. protected from views they may not like.

“Arguments aren’t arranged or choreographed, and they don’t need censorship because the whole point of the show is to test them to the point of destruction.”

He added: “It persisted, even prospered in a modest way, despite the impatience of the times. In the wider world – and it must be said, in some parts of the BBC – more and more people are being pushed beyond the bounds of, unspeakable, mainstream views that are beyond challenge. I think the right to freedom of speech is under serious threat.”

Buerk said Moral Labyrinth was “less abrasive” than before, and added that half of the audience “felt like drowning in their tortillas” after listening to the Today show because of the “sobering” editorial choices. ” its.

Responding to Buerk’s comments, Radio 4 said: “We pride ourselves on the same massive, rigorous and curious programming quality as before, serving and representing a wider range of listeners.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/michael-buerk-bbc-freedom-speech-b1968320.html Michael Buerk: Radio 4 host The Moral Maze claims ‘freedom of speech is under serious threat’ at BBC

Emma Bowman

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