Statements of Programme Policy
Future Media Policy 2009/2010
The remit of BBC Online is to serve the BBC's public purposes through the provision of innovative and distinctive online content, and through distinctive propositions that reflect and extend the range of the BBC's broadcast services, available to all.
BBC Online should enable the BBC to develop a deeper relationship with licence fee payers and strengthen accountability. It should act as a starting point on the internet from which users can develop their use of the medium and provide a trusted guide to the wider internet.
BBC online should, at all times, balance the potential for creating public value against the risk of negative market impact.
Delivering the BBC's purposes in 2009/2010
BBC Online will continue to contribute towards the delivery of the BBC's public purposes in the range of ways set out in its service licence. Key developments in the way in which the service will contribute to each purpose are outlined below. They are designed to address the priorities identified by the BBC Trust, future-proof the delivery of the purposes, and address perceived gaps in delivery in line with strategies in the BBC's purpose plans.
BBC Online will focus on a number of site-wide improvements aimed at improving its ability to deliver across all purposes:
- Improved engagement – BBC Online will offer users a range of personalisation options, allowing them to shape their experience more closely to their individual needs and interests. These will be built around a new, secure and open identity system. There will also be greater opportunities to participate, whether by contributing comments or content, or rating, recommending or sharing with friends.
- Partnership – BBC Online will reach out to a wider range of partner organisations in the UK and internationally. The aim is to become better connected to non-BBC sites and services, supporting plurality across the UK new media sector as well as allowing users to make richer journeys. A key way of doing this will be to make more content available for syndication to partner sites that wish to feature it.
- Site-wide navigation – BBC Online will implement new site-wide navigation features which will present users with additional material from BBC and external sites. The aim is to give all users easier access to the fullest range of relevant content, on any subject which interests them, wherever they are on BBC Online.
- Feedback management – BBC Online will continue to improve the ways it manages feedback from its users, seeking to make channels such as 'contact us' email systems, message boards, help and FAQ services more proactive and integrated.
1 Sustaining citizenship and civil society
- Priority: Democracy Live will be launched as the key plank of the BBC's efforts to use the internet as a means to build citizenship across the UK. The initiative will represent a step change in the BBC's ability to reflect, and allow people access to, the work of their elected representatives, whether they sit in the European institutions, in Westminster, in national parliaments or assemblies or on local councils.
- BBC Online will develop its media literacy proposition to enable audiences to access, understand and interact with different types of media.
- In the event of a UK General Election, BBC Online will offer broad and inclusive coverage.
- For the youngest audiences, CBeebies will develop the Waybuloo site dedicated to building emotional and media literacy skills.
2 Promoting education and learning
- Priority: Earth will offer users much deeper and broader access to BBC natural history content, both current and archive, than has ever been possible before.
- Lab UK will develop new ways of combining the reach and power of the internet with scientific experimentation. It will tap into popular enthusiasm around science and enable users to participate in important scientific projects.
- Improved functionality for schoolteachers will make it easier for them to find and use existing audio learning content.
- CBeebies will launch a number of sites in support of programmes that align content more clearly with the Early Years Foundation Stage and make learning goals more explicit to parents.
- The Blue Peter website will encourage its users to become part of a community which joins in activities that go beyond the broadcast experience. The aim will be to reward children who demonstrate an excitement for discovery and building their knowledge.
3 Reflecting the UK, its nations, regions and communities
- Priority: The roll-out of the redesigned BBC local sites will be completed, bringing a much more coherent offer to users based around local news, sport and weather, but also providing links to a wide range of external local sites. The reshaping of local coverage will extend beyond England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Democracy Live will have a significant local and regional dimension, providing people across the UK with easy access to their representatives at all levels, including ways to contact them and follow their work. Democracy Live will link to the many councils who stream their sessions.
- BBC Online will increase the range and depth of its coverage of Football League clubs in England, including offering extensive highlights, creating a significant point of contact with the passions of local audiences, many of whom are not regular users of BBC Online.
- BBC iPlayer will continue to make local and nations programmes available to a national audience as well as exploring ways to promote niche and specialist programmes to new users.
4 Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
- Priority: A relaunched comedy site will showcase short-form, original, professionally produced web comedy aimed at people who enjoy comedy but do not connect with existing BBC broadcast comedy output. While the site will also showcase existing BBC comedy programmes, there will be a distinct focus on new talent and work which has not been broadcast.
- The music pages will continue to build an information service around individual musicians and strengthen its commitment to new and original musical talent in the UK.
- CBBC will continue to deliver safe online spaces alongside programmes that are designed to stimulate creativity in children, including the launch of the 3D Tronji environment and the new Bamzooki Street Wars site.
5 Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK
- Democracy Live will have an important international dimension, highlighting in particular how the workings of the EU affect people's lives.
- BBC Online will increase the number of foreign languages in which users can get results from the search service.
- The number of navigation pages which present users with the best of BBC content about foreign countries will be increased.
6 Delivering the benefit of emerging communications technologies
- Priority: BBC Online content available to mobiles will be broadened, including greater localisation.
- BBC iPlayer will continue to work towards the aim of platform neutrality by becoming available on a wider range of platforms and devices.
Conditions: BBC purposes and BBC Online commitments
Unless otherwise stated, all commitments are minimum hours or percentages and include originations, repeats and acquisitions. All conditions are annual unless otherwise stated.
Sustaining citizenship and civil society
- 25% (by value) of eligible content and services from external suppliers