The BBC has chosen technology company Stream AMG, owned by the Press Association Group, to provide the facility through which it will share local news content with members of the Local News Partnership.
Stream AMG already provides streaming for BBC World Service. It will now enable approved news providers to access and use “every local television and radio news clip and package” from the BBC, a spokesperson said.
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A shared content hub is one of three aspects of the Local News Partnership agreement between the BBC and the News Media Association (NMA), along with the creation of 150 licence-fee funded local democracy reporters – and use of their copy – as well as a shared local data unit.
So far more than 600 news organisations across the UK have been approved to be part of the scheme. The next step will see 60 contracts to run the network of 150 reporters put out to tender.
Local democracy reporters “will be working across councils covering the UK, providing content for the BBC and all eligible news organisations”, said a spokesperson, adding that the first reporters were “likely to be in post early next year”.
The creation of the local data journalism unit, “will not only provide quality content relevant to every area of the country but will also help to train journalists in vital skills needed today” according to the BBC. Recruitment into the unit is set to take place from September.
David Holdsworth, controller of BBC English Regions said: “This takes us a step closer towards an exciting time for local journalism.
“Stream AMG currently helps the BBC World Service deliver content to its network of partners and we’re confident it will be able to provide a simple and smart solution for domestic news providers too.”
Jeremy Clifford, chair of the NMA/BBC Advisory Panel, said: “We are moving ever closer to seeing the first of the local democracy reporters employed by the local news media organisations.
“This is a significant investment in local journalism that will help to reinforce the coverage of our local councils.
“The partnership between the NMA and the BBC has demonstrated how news organisations can work collaboratively for a common goal.”
Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall