Kevill plans a news 'revolution'

Kevill: responding to research

Former Newsnight editor Sian Kevill is to spearhead a search for a "landmark" politics programme that will draw on different parts of the BBC to tackle the issues of the day.

Kevill, who is now heading up the BBC’s review of its political coverage, will also be drawing up plans for more events like NHS day when a whole day’s programming was devoted to one issue.

The ideas form part of the response to research commissioned by the BBC that confirms that under-45s are disillusioned with conventional politics.

The research shows audiences for news have been falling since 1993 and are down by a quarter among the under-45 age group.

"A lot of the findings were confirmatory rather than revelatory, but I was surprised at the extent of the cynicism about politics," Kevill told Press Gazette. "It showed that people were interested in politics but that they engage with institutions and politicians in a very different way. It’s a challenge to the politicians even more than it is to us, but we have to come up with different approaches that do engage with the interest that is there." In all, seven teams have been formed to work on new ideas.

Head of current affairs Peter Horrocks will be developing ideas for a programme aimed at the age group that falls between "Newsround and Newsnight".

Fran Unsworth, the head of political programmes at Millbank, and Vin Ray, the deputy head of newsgathering, will be looking at reinventing political coverage in BBC news bulletins.

Unsworth will also head up a team that looks at parliamentary and assembly coverage, while controller of English regions, Andy Griffee, and chief political advisor, Anne Sloman, will examine ways that political events can be made relevant to peoples’ lives in the regions.

Kevill said she wanted changes within a year to 18 months.

By Julie Tomlin

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