BBC unveils vision of on-demand news future

By Martin Stabe

BBC journalism should focus on rolling news, on-demand offerings for broadband and mobile devices and user-generated content, according to the findings of a year-long review of the corporation’s activities for the next decade announced yesterday.

Unveiling the recommendations of the "Creative Futures" review in a speech the Royal Television Society on Tuesday, director general Mark Thompson warned that traditional, linear broadcasting would be swept away in favour of a pick-and-mix "Martini Media".

The work group looking at the implications of this new on-demand media landscape for the BBC’s journalism, headed by deputy director general Mark Byford (pictured), recommended the development of on-demand news with better search facilities and new services for mobile devices.

According to Ariel, the BBC’s in-house magazine, the corporation will develop a new on-demand service called MyBBCNews as part of its broadband MyBBCPlayer, which allows users to view BBC programmes over the Internet for up to seven days after transmission.

MyBBCPlayer is expected to be renamed BBC iPlayer before being launched later this year.

To attract younger audiences, Byford’s group recommended "bringing journalism into every secondary school in the UK through initiatives like Schools Question Time." Ariel reports that the corporation is also planning to assign a journalist to "twin" with each secondary school in Britain.

Byford’s group reiterated the ongoing strategy to make BBC News 24 the centre of the TV news operation. "Key talent" will continue to be moved to the rolling news channel, which would be expected to break stories and follow them as they unfold. In recent months, the first of these moves have already been seen as high-profile presenters Huw Edwards, Ben Brown, Emily Maitlis, and Andew Neil have been added to BBC News 24 lineup.

Sports and entertainment journalism on the BBC should also be improved, Byford’s group recommended.

User-generated content and Web 2.0 features like will feature prominently in a relaunched BBC web site.

BBC New Media & Technology yesterday launched Reboot , a competition to redesign the bbc.co.uk home page to incorporate Web 2.0 tools like Flickr, YouTube, Technorati and Wikipedia while allowing users to search through the BBC’s archived text, audio, video content.

A summary of the BBC review’s findings said: "In a growing world of opinionated news, partiality, blogging and citizen journalism, the BBC must provide the best journalism in the world, rooted in its enduring values of accuracy, impartiality and independence."

 

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