How to plan for big events: Birth of royal baby

A huge amount of preparation and organisation goes into providing every BBC News outlet with the tools, resources and platforms to tell a big story like the birth of a royal baby. Sarah Parrish and Duncan Knowles are senior producers and Laurie Margolis an editor at UK Newsgathering. Jonathan Duffy runs planning and production for the News website.

BBC Newsgathering journalists co-ordinate and plan multimedia coverage for all BBC News outlets and big live events, working closely with correspondents, reporters, programme editors, producers and technical teams. The required skills base is vast.

At the heart of this is the journalism: knowing what is required to tell the story across all platforms. Add to that the knowledge and experience of working in the field, juggling the demands of different outlets and the technical logistics of making it happen for every platform, all at the same time. Clear-headedness and decisiveness also count when the story or plans change. 

In this video, Sarah Parrish reveals the many demands she has to juggle for a bulletin on the formal announcement of the birth of Prince George at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Duncan Knowles explains how and when the team decides to ‘pool’ an operation or go it alone, while Jonathan Duffy outlines how online has become an integral part of the newsgathering process.

This is one of three films looking at different elements of the BBC’s coverage of the birth of Prince George - see links to the other two near the foot of the page.


The BBC Academy offers face-to-face and online courses for BBC staff:

Multimedia & Multiplatform

On-Air Performance

Online Production

TV & Radio Production

BBC training is available to non-BBC staff on a commercial basis.