Saturday, May 24, 2014

BBC News 'punching below its weight in the digital world' report finds; 'BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first'.

BBC News is "punching well below its weight in the digital world" and describes BBC News' web presence as "lacking character" compared to other web and news sites, according to a new report BBC News commissioned from Sir Howard Stringer, a non-executive BBC director.

South African viewers get BBC World News (DStv 400 / StarSat 400) as a 24-hour TV news channel on MultiChoice's DStv and On Digital Media's StarSat services.

The Guardian reports that BBC News' online audience is not significant enough, while sites like Buzzfeed has developed a bigger audience in 8 years than what BBC News and BBC Worldwide manages internationally.

"Given Buzzfeed, for example, was only founded in 2006, this raises the question of why the BBC's global digital reach is not more significant," says the report.

"This is not about dumbing down. It is about having an acute understanding of the audience and making news relevant to them ... while never deviating from the core journalistic values of the BBC".

"The BBC needs to think about how it can add character and personality," says the report and advises that BBC journalists should be encouraged "to respond to the shifting needs and tastes of a specific audience. To be as effective as possible in serving audiences online, journalists must have the freedom to tailor their output to appeal to them".

"The BBC cannot offer an opinion of its own due to its rules on impartiality but could "explore curating opinion online" by having an international op-ed page" on its website suggests the report.

"The BBC's global reputation helps it get significant interviews. There is no reason why a BBC international opinion service should not have the same draw for international figures".

"Fundamentally the BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first to putting mobile first. By 2022 the BBC should be mobile first in every country," says the report.