STV news programmes revamp with 'live' focus

STV's news programmes, Scotland Today and North Tonight, have launched this week with a stronger focus on live reporting and a "fresh" new look.

New sets have been installed in the new Glasgow headquarters at Pacific Quay and in STV's Aberdeen Television Centre, which benefit from the latest technology.

STV's head of news and current affairs, Glasgow, Gordon Macmillan, told Press Gazette: "There will be more emphasis on our reporters using live reporting techniques. That will be a mixture of live on location, but also getting our reporters involved in the studio in story telling as well rather than just packaging."

Macmillan said that where traditionally a reporter may have gone out with a camera crew and recorded some pictures, come back to the building, edited it and turned it into a package that may have lasted 90 seconds, STV was now looking to refresh that approach.

He said: "What we may want the reporter to do is to introduce a shorter package in the studio, maybe answer some questions on it with the presenter of the back of the package. It is about an interaction between the presenter and the reporter, rather than the presenter just saying here is a report by ‘x'."

Scotland Today and North Tonight will be supplemented by STV's new website, www.stv.tv, which launched earlier this week. The news section claims to offer a fully up-to-date, comprehensive news service, which also invites people to become "citizen reporters" by providing their own news, photos and video clips.

Macmillan said: "The website is the main point of contact, but like everything else there will be some things that are suitable for the web and others may be suitable for television. Obviously for big stories if you had some material on the web that was compelling, you'd want to use that in your programme."

In 2007 the channel intends to introduce a more localised news service.

Planning is already underway in order for North Tonight to split transmission in its area for the north and south, and Scotland Today to offer an east/west split for the central region.

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