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Listening still a pleasure

THE canon of singer-songwriter PJ Harvey includes the critically-acclaimed album Let England Shake.

Yesterday, if some commentators are to be believed, she had Middle England quaking with rage.

Polly Jean Harvey, to give the artist her Sunday name, was guest editor of Radio 4's Today programme, and boldly changed the format of the programme through song and poetry, as well as subject matter. Many thought her approach refreshing, but by mid-morning the Twittersphere was awash with complaints about a perceived left-wing bias.

Today, Radio 4's flagship show, will not, however, founder on a wave of protest. It has over many years built up a deserved reputation for authoritative and incisive news and comment (as has Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, which this week celebrated its 40th birthday), and we have no doubt it will continue to both enlighten and enrage audiences in the years to come.

All this sound and fury only serves to illustrate that even in this digital, multi-platform age, we are fortunate to have a world-class speech radio service. It's good to talk, but it's also a pleasure to listen.

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