WAN-IFRA

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How blogging has changed journalism and the BBC

How blogging has changed journalism and the BBC

"Blogging is the biggest change to BBC journalism", Kevin Marsh, the head of the corporation's College of Journalism, said at the Journalism rewired conference. He added that blogging by senior figures like Robert Peston and Nick Robinson has helped to fundamentally change the way BBC delivers its news.

Kevin Marsh told conference attendees that in the last couple of years, the BBC had shifted its news focus away from its traditional TV bulletins, adopting a "live and continuous" model centered on multimedia content on the web, according to the PressGazette.
In April 2008, the BBC moved its news operation to a multimedia newsroom, and with the rising importance of the blog, big-name journalists, like business editor Peston and political editor, Robinson were now willing to break stories on their blogs rather than just on flagship TV bulletins.

Marsh cites Peston's choice of breaking the news of Northern Rock's emergency loan application to the Bank of England back in 2007 through his BBC blog, as an example of the importance blogs have gained in the last couple of years.

While some have lauded the BBC's blogs for their effort to retain their journalistic integrity and impartiality, some have complained that these rigid guidelines undermine the casual and uncensored nature of blogs. According to Reportr's Alfred Hermida, who has been conducting research on the role of BBC blogs, explains that BBC journalists mainly see blogs as a way to expand on stories they are working on for broadcast and write about news that is hard to discuss on TV or radio in a more personal style. However, they must still follow BBC guidelines on reporting and maintain an unbiased approach to writing.

At the conference, Kevin Marsh also explained that "blogging has done more to change the way journalism works than anything else thus far...without really intending to have, it has pulled us away from the idea that a story isn't a story until it appears on the the 10 o'clock news."

He also added that BBC's successful incorporation of blogs into its operation shows that big news organizations can and have responded successfully to the rapidly changing journalism industry. He added that by responding to "bottom-up" change, big news organizations can adapt to new forms of relaying information and that "entrepreneurial journalism" is not the only way forward.

Although Marsh stressed the importance of incorporating user interactivity and multimedia capabilities in news production, he emphasized that established skills should still be the number one priority.


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Author

Maria Conde

Date

2010-01-15 14:12

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