Meeja: It’s “BBC News ON Radio 4”, damnit…

NewsreaderEver wondered who provides the news output for BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5live?? Fear no more! The top brasses at the BBC have sat down and discussed the results of research and focus groups, audience analysis and the odd vox pop and come up with a way that will ensure listeners will not be confused anymore. Instead of beginning bulletins with the trusted reliable ‘BBC Radio 4 news, it’s two o’clock’, the bosses have instructed newsreaders to change the script!

It now reads: ‘BBC News on Radio 4, it’s two o’clock’.

Yes, believe it or not it is the BBC which organises the news output on BBC Radio. Who would have thought, eh? Now, RTÉ went through the same thing about a year ago where their newsreaders must say ‘RTÉ News on Radio 1’ or ‘RTÉ News on 2fm’, but they didn’t receive half the interest that the Beeb have. Why? Well the BBC is just a victim of it’s own honesty.

On the BBC Editors’ blog, Stephen Mitchell, the Head of Radio News (surely that should be BBC News on radio?) has gone public on the process of how they came up with this new, exciting and fresh idea. Despite the fact the post is entitled ‘A subtle change’, the same can’t be said of how they got there.

“The advice we were given was that we needed to simplify the identity of BBC News, given that it’s such a trusted and central part of what the BBC offers, and to make it as recognisable as possible across all the services we offer […] We did audience research into the new script, and people told us they were quite happy with this sort of wording. They felt it added authority and credibility to our output.”

Later today, it’s fully expected that the BBC will announce that 1,800 employees will face the chop in order to balance the books a little better. So you can imagine how news of the BBC’s audience research and professional advice seeking went down in media circles. Badly. Media Monkey in the Guardian questioned whether this will also transfer to television news. BBC News on BBC News 24, anyone? And the fee-paying public also got into the act and declared that their TV licence was going to fund this sort of professional advice? One comment on the Editors’ Blog really summed it up. It read: ‘Thanks for the clarification. I used to think Sky produced news bulletins for the BBC!’

Oops. Still, at least they have surefire newsreaders. What? Natasha and Dermot are gone…? Well, at least it’s only 1,798 BBC employees to lose their jobs later, so.

More :: A Subtle Change: BBC News Editors’ Blog


~ by waffler on October 18, 2007.

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