There’s good reason to feel optimistic about Radio 4’s new Saturday evening edition of PM – sorry, iPM. Peter Rippon is the editor behind both PM and Broadcasting House, both of which manage to deliver serious material with a cheeky grin. It’s precisely the sort of tone which could allow a web-literate weekly magazine show to succeed.
The PM show has a long record of electronic engagement with its particularly keen audience: by phone, fax, email, daily newsletter, blog, Flickr stream, you name it. It isn’t unusual to have dozens, sometimes hundreds of comments on an individual post. It even has a community-managed backup blog for the (apparently frequent) occasions when the official blog is ‘screwed‘. Plus, in Eddie Mair, they have the perfect man for the job. It’s almost a case of ‘what took them so long?’
They’re trying to push the boundaries on the new show’s blog, with the initial posts tracing its progress from rough notes to early running order, and presumably onwards. It’s particularly smart to be soliciting user input well ahead of broadcast, rather than during or after it. I’ll certainly be checking out the podcast when time permits.