The BBC will celebrate 50 years of television news next week with a two-day commemorative exhibition from Monday and a special 100-page magazine, in which correspondents past and present relate their experiences of news reporting over the period.
The first ever BBC Television News bulletin was transmitted on 5 July, 1954, at 7.30pm. Journalists ranging from BBC Television News’s first presenter, Richard Baker, to former reporter Martin Bell will be joined by other veterans at BBC Television Centre, including former Washington correspondent and the BBC’s longest-serving reporter, Charles Wheeler, to give their insights into the art of television news over the past half century.
The walk-through exhibition will chronicle and show BBC coverage from the Suez Canal crisis to September 11.
The exhibition will be broadcast live on BBC News 24 over the period, and a set of fact files on the history of BBC Television News will be presented by special correspondent Nick Higham, who will also interview some of those who have been contributors over the years.
The magazine includes personal stories such as former head of newsgathering (now CNN International’s managing director) Chris Cramer’s experience as a hostage in the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980, the story of which was covered by Kate Adie from the outside.
One section on news safety, written by world news editor Jonathan Baker, has been swiftly brought up-to-date to include the killing of freelance journalist Simon Cumbers and the shooting of security correspondent Frank Gardner in Saudi Arabia last month.
by Wale Azeez