The Media Show

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The Media Show
Media Show.png
Logo used in The Media Show podcast.
Genre Current affairs, Media
Running time 30 mins
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Steve Hewlett
Recording studio Broadcasting House
Air dates since 1 October 2008
No. of episodes 431 (to 23/12/16)[1]
Website BBC Radio 4
Podcast The Media Show podcast

The Media Show is a British current affairs radio programme and podcast on BBC Radio 4 which examines the current state of the media. The first episode was broadcast at 13:30 on 1 October 2008, with episodes broadcast weekly.[2] Prior to his death in February 2017, the show was usually presented by Steve Hewlett, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper and visiting Professor of Journalism and Broadcast policy at the University of Salford,[3] although it has also been presented by Emma Barnett, Andrea Catherwood, Paddy O'Connell, and Julian Worricker.

At times when Hewlett was absent, Edward Stourton has acted as guest host.[4][5] The series is seen by some as a replacement of The Message, a previous BBC Radio 4 series covering the media that was hosted by Jenni Murray and was dropped earlier in 2008.[2][6]

Over the years The Media Show has been produced by Katy Takatsuki, Paul Waters, Simon Tillotson and Ruth Watts.


The Media Show looks at various different kinds of media, including print, television, radio, online, and telecommunications. It also features discussion of various media areas such as creativity, culture, censorship, business, and ethics. Hewlett has said of the programme that: "I hope [it] will be able to lift the lid on many of the current stories within the media, offering genuine insight and intelligence, making this show a must-listen for both those within the industry – but always accessible to a wider audience of those interested in a subject that affects all our lives."[2]


Reviews of The Media Show have been mixed. Elisabeth Mahoney in The Guardian has said that she was pleased that the show covered "a pleasing range of stories" and that it was better than The Message because "it's better to have a BBC outsider hosting [compared to insider Murray], and to place the show right in the middle of the week, allowing some looking back, but also some consideration of the unfolding media stories that will dominate the rest of the week."[7] However, Mahoney criticised the way it dealt with the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row saying that, "you'd hope for in-depth analysis and insight. Instead, they left the story until last, and zipped through it."[8]

The Daily Telegraph was cautious about the series before it was broadcast, in particular in relation to Hewlett, asking: "Can he voice on a BBC show such astringent comment on the Corporation's flaws as he does in print? His sources at Ofcom are enviable; will they dry up now he is inside the BBC? Ask me a year from now."[9]

Special edition[edit]

On 14 November 2012 the programme broadcast a one-hour-long special edition, prompted by the controversy that the BBC was undergoing at that time, partly highlighted by the resignation of George Entwistle from his job as Director-General of the BBC.


  1. ^ (available now + 14 episodes from 2008 that are not available now)
  2. ^ a b c "The Media Show: new weekly programme on Radio 4 presented by Steve Hewlett". BBC Press Office. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  3. ^ "1 October 2008". BBC. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  4. ^ "Episode 21". The Media Show. 2009-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Episode 28". The Media Show. 2009-04-08. 
  6. ^ Plunkett, John (2008-05-08). "Radio 4 silences The Message". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  7. ^ Mahoney, Elisabeth (2008-10-02). "Radio Review - The Media Show". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  8. ^ Mahoney, Elisabeth (2008-10-30). "Radio review - The Today Programme, Matthew Bannister, Jeremy Vine and The Media Show". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  9. ^ Reynolds, Gillian (2008-09-27). "Here is the Radio 4 news – about the BBC". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-02.