Tag Archives: BBC

Week 4- ‘The Future of Local News’ and BBC Coverage


‘Local websites of all shapes and sizes are providing community news and information to hundreds of thousands of people. Most of these sites are volunteer run, using free publishing platforms like www.wordpress.com with no hard costs. They show that grass roots media can provide an accurate, reliable popular source  of news and information without regulation or subsidy. Their news values and thresholds are new, reflecting grass roots interests and priorities.’ (Digital Britain:150)

This quote is significant as it reflects a positive side about blogging in comparison to the negative quotes from news organisations that I listed in one of my first posts.

Triangle of News:

1. National/International – not many news organisations are included in this sector- Sky and BBC

2. Regional/Local – BBC Radio and TV, shrinking regional press but more organisations involved. I.e ITV

3. Local/Ultra Local/ Community- 135 Community Radio Stations – 1000s of internet based comunity Media Outlets.

‘What’s clear is that the old-school of journalism can no longer continue as before. There is a future – and a potentially prosperous one – where amateurs and professionals work together to tread the difficult line between quality and extensiveness.’ (Making Good Society, 2010:108)


I have searched ‘news’ on three different search engines (Ask, Yahoo, Google and Bing) to see any significant differences or similarities that arise.

My first initial thought is that unsurprisingly the BBC online news website comes up first in Ask and Bing and comes second in Yahoo. This connotes the prestigious status that the BBC owns over other online news organisations. However, Yahoo had it’s own news group at top of the list. This may not mean that it ranks itself as more important or ‘better’ than the BBC but it does represent the loyalties Yahoo has to it’s organisation. The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Daily Mail shortly follows after BBC news on the different search engines. As I flick from page to page, the BBC remains on each page.

Political economy of search engines. Google ranks the words you use and uses the location metrics- because the word news is in the web address it comes higher than something that hasn’t got news in it. BBC comes up a lot is because people are putting links on social media sites so when Google looks at it they will say ‘ah there are so many links to the BBC’ so it goes up in the rankings.

Searching ‘War in Afghanistan’ is interesting. Particularly on Ask as by the time you get to page 45, the same page is repeated over and over again. This is intriguing. Is Ask trying to look ‘good’ or ‘better’ against its competitors? Do they not expect people to look further than page 45?

This is a commonality with the search engines I investigated apart from Google.


The BBC publishes news from all over the world. These are the countries the BBC specifically covers online: UK, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin American, Middle East, US and Canada.

It is interesting that certain areas are not included in the coverage i.e South America. However, Lee Salter taught us that news organisations are unable to afford to cover some places because of budgets. In the lecture we went through how much some channels charge to just have a programme broadcasted and it is astonishing.

Where certain places are unable to be covered by journalists, this can affect the type of news we receive from these places. News organisations cut costs by using journalists from the local areas to get their stories. This can mean that the information we receive about this country could be biased or misleading, giving our country false representations and ideas about situations occurring.

Week 2- The Rise of Online News

Today we explored the rise of online news and looked at an archive website (www.archive.org/web/web.php) which was actually interesting so now I’m going to bore you and talk about how cool I thought it was…

On archive.org you enter a website you would like to research into the homepage box. It then comes up with a time line of all the different publications that has been produced on the website and it goes back as far as 1996! It’s pretty cool to see how much online content has developed since then and the reasons behind it.

The publication I decided to research was the BBC because I wanted to know how the broadcasting company presented itself and addressed audiences in the past and I also wanted to know how the BBC developed its online publications over the years. The BBC first gained an online presence in 1994. Archive.org only goes back as far as 1996. However even looking back that far it is interesting to see what the BBC’s intentions were for the new media platform. In class, me and a mate typed in a magazine website. It went back to 1997 and was originally a porn site…nice!

It is evident that Television and Radio were the prioritized platforms and the internet was to be used as a complimentary platform. For example, links to different pages were ‘schedules’ and ‘licence fee’ and the logo included Television and Radio in it. However, it was interesting to see that the BBC was thinking about the interaction with audiences as they included links to games on the website.

I also looked at The Guardian as a comparison. The BBC was definitely more aesthetically pleasing to the eye as it was colourful and eye-catching whereas The Guardian was bland. However it is important to take into consideration the fact that back in the 90’s when the internet was first developed too many graphics and information on a page would take longer to upload and broadband was non-existent at the time so that would be one costly internet bill!

Our lecturer Lee pointed out that 1/3 of the population still don’t use broadband so if a publication crams too much information/graphics on a page then they could lose readers.

There are many Twitter and Facebook accounts linked with the BBC now. The breaking news Twitter feed has 4,361,221 followers and Facebook World Wide News page has 2,352,306 likes.

“…the reason that all these big news organizations, including mine, are investing in going into the net is because of the feeling that in three or four or five years when you can get video and when it really becomes faster and more reliable, that this will be a more [serious] news player” (transcript, CNN ‘Reliable Sources,’ 1 December 1996)

Lecture notes:

“basic technologies and approaches were kept open to benefit the community as a whole” (Barry Leiner, ARPANET Engineer Interview with Lee Salter)

“On the internet individuals construct their identities” (Poster, What’s the Matter With The Internet?:184) We have no idea who’s behind what with the internet. This quote links to the way the internet is used for businesses. Businesses use the internet as a marketing strategy and present themselves on it in a way that they want to be perceived.

BBC website is now innovative, but simple so that it is easy to engage with. When I did some research on the BBC as an organisation, I was surprised to see that I think it still uses the internet as a complimentary platform. I couldn’t find any online history about the launch of the website. (IF I’M MISSING SOMETHING PLEASE FILL FREE TO DIVULGE YOUR INFO!)

In 1995, editor of NandOnet (News and Observer) proclaimed the internet as a place to break news, noting speed. You can now get a regular sports update. 9/11 is a classic example of getting information quick and breaking information. Victims and observers of the tragedy were posting blogs, videos and pictures about the happenings and people were able to get constant hourly (or more) updates on what was happening.

History of the BBC

1920’s the creation of BBC as an institution and as a broadcaster. John Reith is the BBC’s ‘founding father’

1922-1st regular news bulletin

1923-BBC Radio times published

1936- World’s first ever TV service launched – this closed during WW2 but radio still continued during this period

1948- first regular TV news programme

1974- Regular CEEFAX Service starts


Now managed by Immediate Media Co. who works in partnership with clients (BBC Magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia) to develop innovative and engaging content across a range of print and digital channels.

Radio Times is one of the BBC’s publications. It is the 3rd largest selling magazine in the UK and is sold weekly for £1.20.