BBC boosts Scotland local coverage team

By Hamish Mackay

BBC Scotland has appointed four text journalists in its drive to boost local news coverage through online and Ceefax outlets.

Ken
Banks, chief reporter of Newsline Scotland freelance agency, will cover
Aberdeen, Northeast Scotland and Orkney and Shetland, based in
Aberdeen; Gian Carlo Rinaldi, sports editor of the Dumfries &
Galloway Standard weekly, will handle South Scotland from Dumfries;
Angie Brown, of The Scotsman, will cover Edinburgh and East Scotland
from Edinburgh; and Alex Robertson, crime reporter of the Glasgow
Evening Times, will be responsible for Glasgow and West Scotland, based
in Glasgow.

Further appointments for Inverness and the Highlands and Islands, and Dundee and central Scotland will be made shortly.

Meanwhile,
BBC Scotland will begin hiring video journalists to cover the same six
geographical areas of Scotland from this summer.

Six video
journalists will eventually be based in each area – providing 36 more
journalistic jobs. They will provide material for local television and
also contribute to BBC Scotland’s flagship evening news programme,
Reporting Scotland, and regular news bulletins.

BBC Scotland is
pursuing an initiative on enhanced local news television coverage
which, as Maggie Brown revealed in last week’s Press Gazette, could
yield up to 480 new jobs for journalists across the UK.

The BBC
began its local television news experiment in the West Midlands in
December, and it is embedded in existing local radio stations – Radio
WM, Stoke, Shropshire (Shrewsbury), Coventry, Hereford and Worcester,
with a sixth service for Wolverhampton.

The local television journalists report in the first instance to the radio station’s news editor.

It
follows a challenge from Pat Loughrey, BBC director of nations and
regions, for regional journalists to up their game and break more news
stories.

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