Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The digital future of the BBC

For those who haven't been following what's been happening with the BBC recently, I'll try and recap:

  1. The BBC Trust on Friday (21st November) has rejected plans, described as 'controversial', to launch a network of local BBC news websites with video content.
  2. This scheme would have cost around £68m, but was judged "unlikely to meet [licence fee payers] needs" or improve the service
  3. The regional press has welcomed this decision, as it saw these plans as direct competition to their own local efforts (less laughing at the back there please) and would potentially affect their revenues by 4% per year.

This is in direct contract to nearly every other major media player, who is currently cutting back its regional news operations (e.g. even ITV). For more information see the well-balanced report on the BBC website.

What I believe the BBC management have done is find an area of communication (e.g. local coverage) that isn't the subject of innovation and ground-breaking new models that we would have once hoped for from the regional press. By planning a new, alternative and professional service that moves the Corporation one step further from broadcaster to local media hub, it surely is only trying to provide what people want?

This isn't necessarily the end of the matter. There is still a public consultation process which will see the final decision given on the 9th January 2009.

Perhaps the BBC now needs a new Media Relations Manager?http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/job/776268/media-relations-manager
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