Guardian's news podcast to 'offer alternative to BBC'

The new daily morning news podcast service launched this week by the Guardian is the only commercial radio news alternative to the BBC, according to the paper’s head of audio.

Matt Wells said: ‘I thought it would be worth seeing if it would possible to do a good daily show to a good professional standards and put it out first thing in the morning.”

Wells said it was designed for ‘people who are otherwise dissatisfied with what they get in the morning.”

‘There is no serious commercial news at that time in the morning – you’re stuck with the BBC…Since the demise of the Channel News morning report there is nothing at all. We thought it would be having a go ourselves.”

The daily podcast, which can be downloaded from 7.30am every weekday, is a more advanced version of the paper’s Newsdesk podcast which has been published at midday – something Wells admits was inconvenient for listeners.

The new podcast features stories from Guardian reporters and correspondents and a news bulletin read by long-standing LBC newsreader Sandy Warr, now a newsreader for Guardian Media Group-owned Smooth Radio in London.

The Guardian’s audio-visual production team has two audio studios and uses Adobe Audition for sound editing, but will soon move to the Apple-based Sound Edit Pro. Reporters use Roland Edirol MP3 digital sound recorders.

The Guardian NUJ chapel last year spent months negotiating with the paper’s management to draw up a new agreement on multimedia and Wells said reporters would not be forced to contribute to audio.

‘There’s only about six or seven items in the show each day and many of those are very straight-forward interviews with correspondents which isn’t a very onerous thing to do.

‘Many reporters enjoy it and to be honest quite a lot of journalists like the sound of their own voice”.

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