Horrocks prepares bigger role for BBC's News 24

By Caitlin Pike

The BBC’s newly appointed head of television news, Peter Horrocks,
plans to put rolling news channel News 24 “centre stage” as the
corporation prepares for analogue switch-off in 2012.

Revealing his aspirations for television news in the BBC’s staff
magazine, Ariel, Horrocks wrote: “Continuous news should be like live
newsgathering.

We have the biggest news operation in the world.
I’d like every journalist in the BBC to see News 24 as the place where
the biggest stories should be told, preferably first.”

Horrocks
also said his background in current affairs meant that he would be
focusing on solid journalistic values: “All our output should strive to
be first (and right) and original. We should always ask: Is that new?
Is that a new fact? Is that an original thought?

Testing every idea and argument should be the lifeblood of our journalism.”

While
announcing plans to invest in News 24, Horrocks acknowledged the
extensive savings programme in place at the corporation: “Much of the
proposed savings in news will be used to invest in new technology. For
instance, we hope to have the capacity to increase interactivity
further. The range of devices and the ability of audiences to select
the stories they want will broaden editorial agendas.”

Horrocks
also paid tribute to citizen journalists who he said had shown their
deep trust in the BBC on 7 July when they sent more than 1,000 images
to yourpics@bbc.co.uk “We need to get even better at inviting such
information, checking it and getting it on air quickly.”

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