BBC boss says extra local TV won't threaten papers

The BBC’s
director of nations and regions has offered the regional press an olive
branch over the corporation’s controversial plans for local television
services.

Pat Loughrey, speaking at the conference, agreed that
the BBC would share the results of its pilot scheme for local
television in the West Midlands and said it wanted to form
“partnerships”

with local newspapers.

Loughrey said he would be happy for the Society of Editors to host a seminar in which the data from the pilot would be revealed.

He
also sought to reassure editors by stating: “We are not setting out to
create a TV version of local newspapers. We cannot match the
detail and breadth of local newspapers and have no intention of trying.”

Loughrey claimed that the BBC’s own description of the new service as being “ultra-local” was misleading.

Instead he claimed it was more “akin to local radio news” and was a way of putting new content on existing platforms.

He also held out the possibility of the BBC using video material supplied by local papers.

“The
BBC is keen to buy from them, on a story by story basis, video
journalism rushes,” he said. “They would be edited by the BBC but there
would be full credits for the journalists and the papers who employ
them.”

Loughrey said the new television services would review the
local press within its area and also hoped to use local press
correspondents who would be fully credited.

He also revealed that
the BBC was in talks with PA about the supply of video journalism and
was talking to the NCTJ about funding new training for videojournalists.

He
said: “I appeal for you not to pass over this opportunity for
broadening the base of video journalism newsgathering across the whole
of the UK to help stem the collapse of the British media industry into
London and the mid-Atlantic.

“We believe the right way forward for local television news is through partnership.”

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