Night shifts: Producing Newsday
Newsday is a BBC World Service programme that is listened to by millions of people around the world. Its editor, Simon Peeks, describes it as “a big beast of a programme” - effectively the breakfast programme for the World Service.
The BBC World Service programme Newsday goes on air at 3am from the BBC’s London headquarters and comprises two editions lasting a total of five and-a-half hours. There is a change of presenter at 6am.
Different time zones mean Newsday is a breakfast programme for Africa but an evening programme in the US, where it’s broadcast on nearly 400 public radio stations. On the west coast it is a drive time programme but on the east listeners are going to bed, so the audience fluctuates continually.
“Night shifts on this programme are tough, but the pay-off is the privilege of working on a breakfast show delivering the news of the day to your audience”
Producing a programme of such size and scope offers plenty of rewards and editorial challenges. There’s a complex staff rota which involves producers working staggered overnight shifts to cover both editions. The global news agenda requires producers to be extra aware of who they are calling, in what country, and at what time.
See also Night shifts: Coping strategies
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