The BBC has announced a series of significant changes to its international news portfolio, including bringing its commercially-funded TV and digital news operations together for the first time.
Multimedia journalists will work on broadcast and digital output alongside each other in ‘the world’s newsroom’, broadcasting in 27 different languages; state-of-the-art new studios for BBC World News go live this autumn; HD transmission has rolled out to Asia-Pacific; and the BBC’s news website continues the roll out of ‘responsive design’ which optimises the BBC site for smartphones and feature phones.
Jim Egan has been appointed as the chief operating officer of the newly created BBC Global News Ltd, which will merge the BBC’s commercially-funded bbc.com/news and BBC World News services, previously operated as separate businesses. BBC Global News Ltd will also oversee the weather and sport areas of bbc.com. Egan will run this business alongside Richard Porter, controller of English for BBC Global News who takes editorial responsibility.
Egan said the aim of the changes was to unlock new multimedia opportunities by bringing the BBC’s expertise in digital, social media and TV together in one place and running the operation as a single entity focusing on audiences, not platforms.
Egan, who will report to the BBC’s director of global news, Peter Horrocks, also made a number of other announcements strengthening the digital focus of the BBC’s international news services:
- BBC World News will broadcast live from new state of the art studios in Broadcasting House from the autumn. The studios will include enhanced technology including virtual reality capability, significantly improving the look and feel of BBC World News.
- HD transmission of BBC World News to Asia-Pacific launched 14th August, with the channel being produced fully in HD from the Autumn
- BBC’s news website will continue roll out of ‘responsive design’ technology which can detect and adapt to different types of mobile devices. From this autumn, the new site will automatically deliver all users of smartphones and feature phones an optimised page to provide the maximum number of features for the individual device. What audiences will see will be tailored to the device they have in their hand, for example the way a device moves around the news sections and the number of images seen. The technology will roll out to tablets and desktop in future with the aim of having one site which is optimised for any device in future.
‘This isn’t simply about running our TV channel and website together. We are entering an age where old definitions of channels and websites are breaking down – this is about the BBC’s commitment to delivering the world’s best quality international journalism, in text and in video, in an integrated way to all the screens our audiences use for their news,” Egan said.
“We are confident these announcements will cement the BBC’s place in that digital future and our role in informing and connecting the world.”