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A new bulletin

Craig Oliver Craig Oliver | 15:08 UK time, Wednesday, 11 July 2007

You may have read that BBC One has commissioned a short news summary at eight PM every evening. It follows a successful pilot that recently ran in the West Midlands for a five week period (I wrote about that here).

We experimented with a number of formats (there'll be a further announcement shortly about which format was picked):

Natashai) 60 seconds of national news presented by Natasha Kaplinsky.
ii) A 90 second mix of national and regional news - presented by Natasha and with a sequence coming from the West Midlands.
iii) A 60 second summary - presented from the West Midlands.

You can watch an example of one of the bulletins by clicking here.

Viewers who saw the summaries will have noticed that although they clearly came from the BBC News stable, there were some significant differences. They were written in a more "chatty" style, there was a higher instance of domestic news, and entertainment news was regularly included.

So why were we doing this - and why the difference in style?

Audience research revealed that although very strong, BBC News was losing viewers among the young and what the Americans call "blue collar" workers. We decided to find out why this was happening - and what we could do to stop it. We discovered these groups wanted us to be more informal and to include subjects that weren't in more traditional news output. They told us they were interested in the news - but didn't always feel they need to sit through a half-hour programme.

The BBC believes it is important to meet their needs - they are licence payers too.

There will be those who claim we are dumbing down - nothing could be further from the truth. BBC One will continue to carry the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News - all of which will remain unchanged.

Audiences are fracturing and changing as never before - the BBC wants to make sure it meets its public service responsibilities to everyone.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 03:30 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Dave H wrote:

Here is the news for goldfish (as you only have a memory span of 60 secs). An over mde-up newsreader, whose "journalistic experience" (the reason for sacking Moira) is rather limited, will be reading it:

"Paris Hilton went shopping today. The Spice Girls are going on tour. the latest Harry Potter film is premiered".

For heaven's sake, GROW UP. The news should cover international events outside of the Middle East and USA - how about covering Europe now and then? How about some financial news beyond the market indices.

The youth never watch the news and get their info from digitalspy. How about acknowledging that the majority of the audience you will ever have, has more than a few brain cells and would like proper news read by someone with intelligence?

This would appear to be a pointless exercise as even the late night news carries stories that were available in early morning bulletins and all day on the web.

  • 3.
  • At 03:48 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Catherine wrote:

More "chatty" than other BBC news programmes? Is that possible?

  • 4.
  • At 03:49 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Dickie Dawkins' lovechild wrote:

"BBC One will continue to carry the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News - all of which will remain unchanged."

Hurrah! These ever high-brow broadcasts will remain. How many more David Beckham pieces and explanations of what global warming is can you fit into these?

Essentially, thickos don't like news, so we change the essential characteristics of news so that they do. More Kaplinsky. More Robinson. Let's have Fearne Cotton present the news!

Some people like hardcore pornography, does the BBC plan to meet those licence payers' needs too?

  • 5.
  • At 03:52 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Saeed wrote:

It's really disappointing to see that BBC is following the same fatal path American media has gone! I've moved to Canada for three years now, and can see the difference between Newsnight or 10 O'Clock News and what they call "news" in North America. It's some gossip/celebrity non-sense and a lot of visual tabloid stuff. I'm not against talking about Paris Hilton, but that's not "News"! Talk about it somewhere else, don't bring it into the news bulletins.
And the idea that you can cover "News" in 2-3 minutes is complete non-sense!

Why not simply call it what it is: a trailer for the 10 o'Clock News.

  • 7.
  • At 03:55 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Matt B wrote:

You either change the style of an existing 30 minute bulletin or keep the same style and shorten it, there is no need to do both.

This new bulletin is already only 60-90 seconds so there is no need to make it "more chatty".

What on earth makes you think that doing 60 seconds of programming differently will make anyone else watch BBC1?

This is just like thoe annoying snippets of "entertainment news" that punctuate movies on ITV2 or the throw away news bulletin on five.

  • 8.
  • At 03:59 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

If the BBC wants to avoid accusations of dumbing down, then how about just sticking to high standards of journalism, in whatever size news programme?

On BBC breakfast this morning I watched one of your reporters interview a whole bunch of people asking them what they thought about a scheme to introduce special parking bays for the over 50s. Later in the bulletin, it turned out that the parking bays were for the over 65s, and all the comments about "50 seems a bit young for this" were revealed to be utterly irrelevant.

Checking that you've got your facts right ought to be a pretty basic thing for BBC reporters to do.

  • 9.
  • At 04:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Megan Heather wrote:

How ridiculous to suggest that the news is not already dumbed down even before this latest proposal. The paired newsreaders at 6 o'clock already indulge in ghastly false laughter, choreographed disagreements, inane jokes with correspondents and asides to the camera. I can't imagine why they don't tap-dance across our screens so much fun are they having in technicolor news world! Cut out this ludicrous banter and all bulletins could be shorter. Television is becoming more and more infantile. If I were a blue-collar potential viewer of your "bridge" news, I'd be furious at the implied insult to my intelligence and attention span.

  • 10.
  • At 04:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Dave Jones wrote:

The idea of a quick headline update is good. The chatty, informal style is not, nor is the increase in entertainment "news".

What's the betting that films, dramas, even live sport will be interrupted for this really important update.

News flash for the producers - news is just that - news. some people are not interested in it on a day to day basis, regardless of how dumb / celebrity obsessed it is. How about presenting proper news, with the presentation style it deserves? I can't see how an informal chat about the middle east troubles will work.

  • 11.
  • At 04:11 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Ben Holden wrote:

I think what there saying is.....

Please, please, please don't do this.
BBC 1 is already horrendous, sometimes i turn the TV on and it takes me checking the channel guide to work out that i'm actually watching the BBC and not Living or some other credulous digital channel.

Far from liberal concensus bias, I am often shocked at just how limp wristed the BBC news is when it comes to trying to explain anything. Explanations such as the meaning of intrest rate rises, or immigration figures are so simplified, that they couldn't possibly mean anything to anyone.

The BBC should challenge people's prejudices by explaining the facts to them. This can't be bias, unless it's biased to prefer reality to fantasy. But how on earth can this be done in 60 seconds?

which will break down into 10 second initial Kaplinsky "hello" face time, 15 seconds for sport, 15 seconds for entertainment, and 4 second Kaplinsky "over out" face time. By my reckoning that would leaves just 15 seconds for any actual news.

  • 12.
  • At 04:13 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • simon ward wrote:

UN-believable.

Keep digging!

  • 13.
  • At 04:13 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Ben Mansell wrote:

We already have a brief news programme in a chatty, informal format that covers these kind of stories: it's called Newsround, and is on Children's BBC just before Neighbours. Please keep the adult news adult, there's no need for this dumbed down children's version.

By all means a 60 second update, but the silly stories, chatty style and pointless side comments? I want to know what's happening in the world, not be entertained by it.

  • 14.
  • At 04:27 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

What little amusement can be found in this story lies in the BBC's continued insistence that the news is not being 'dumbed down'. I'm sure even the people they are increasingly seeking to appeal to can see that this is a lie. Incidentally, I note that this particular article was listed under "Top Entertainment Stories". 'Nuff said?

  • 15.
  • At 04:46 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Alistair wrote:

I cannot believe that the BBC is going to put yet another news summary, an 8pm fore-runner to the 10 o'clock news, into the weekday programming. Is it just me or are other people getting fed up with the near-constant repeating of stories, film clips and interviews that seem to run on a loop during every BBC news programme? Don't follow in the footsteps of ITV and water down the news to a sullen, patronising level either. Just tell us how it is - give us the news, show us the film, then shut up. It's quite simple.

  • 16.
  • At 04:56 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Roman wrote:

The principle of having another news broadcast at 8pm is great - if only we were talking about a NEWS broadcast.

"There will be those who claim we are dumbing down - nothing could be further from the truth. BBC One will continue to carry the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News - all of which will remain unchanged."

Well, actually, you *are* dumbing down.

a) judging by the example included this is hardly a *news* summary; more like a summary of trivial and bizarre stories.

b) you may leave the other news programmes unchanged (for the time being) but if a good part of the audience turns to the 60'' summary and stops watching the real news then the real outcome will be a less informed public. When and where does the slippery slope of audience research end? People who like to watch proper news are also licence payers; every penny spent on dumbing down and infotainment is a penny not spent for proper journalism and public service broadcasting.

c) surely the choice of Natasha Kaplinsky is not coincidental; after turning Breakfast into a celebrity-obsessed freak show, Ms Kaplinsky will certainly bring a hard journalistic gravitas into the 60 second (!!) summary of the news.

d) more domestic? The coverage of European and international news stories is already minimal in the British media - surely the BBC should be promoting understanding of world affairs rather than focus on trivial stories about people flying to weddings a year earlier!

  • 17.
  • At 05:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • mirandashell wrote:

To quote Sralan, what a load of old tut!

  • 18.
  • At 05:02 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Rob H wrote:

For those who are missing their news fix between 6 and 10, there is an existing BBC solution: News24. Surely this is the reason why that news channel was created?

And if the BBC is looking to appeal to the young and "blue collar" workers, why even use BBC1 as the medium? The young use the internet, it's what we do. I don't even watch TV news any more because of the tabloidisation with which it has been afflicted. I get my news from a wide range of websites, which are available when I want them. "On Demand" is the big thing, yet the BBC is insisting on scheduled news. Here's a hint: use the red button to provide rolling 60/90-second news summaries, for people too lazy to turn to News24.

On a slight aside, why does the post refer to "what the Americans call 'blue collar' workers"? Is the BBC unable to name the working class as something that exists, and to which it is trying to appeal?

  • 19.
  • At 05:07 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Do we really need another bulletin?Let's not forget the Six O'Clock News goes on from 6 - 7 as the main bulletin is followed by the regional bulletin and aren't the headlines given just before 7?
Are they really necessary again only an hour later?
There are other types of programming which the BBC should accommodate and other sources of news available including BBC News 24.

  • 20.
  • At 05:07 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Hannah wrote:

I'm 23 and I have no interest in watching a BBC News snippet at 8pm. Why? Because Channel 4 news, at 7pm, always gives a more intelligent, insightful view of the news than the BBC. I'm a bit tired of things being dumbed down for my generation, because guess what - we're actually not dumb! What are you achieving by giving people more entertainment news? Surely the whole point of adding more news to the schedule is to let people know what's going on in the real world? Patronising people won't make them more interested in current affairs...

  • 21.
  • At 05:10 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

Whilst I will personally find a 60- or 90-second news bulletin just as irritating as the one on BBC3, the BBC should be applauded for trying out new formats in order to satisfy ALL its customers. Those of us more interested in real news than which celebrity made the tabloid headlines will just have to stick with Newsnight and - to some extent - the 10 o'clock news. Just so long as you keep BOTH formats available to us! (And perhaps stop reminding me of the "top story" half-way through the programme and then AGAIN at the end... but I digress).

  • 22.
  • At 05:12 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • catflap wrote:

re: message 5.

i think these news bulletins in the states are slowly being taken away because everyone hated them. cnn's "late edition" on sundays has taken them out and i'm sure others will follow. now it's the uk's turn to have them.

  • 23.
  • At 05:21 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Richard Gulliver wrote:

I rather like the short bulletins on BBC3 but the reason is precisely because they are not preceded by an hour of news from 6-7 and another half hour at 10!

If the BBC really must interrupt BBC1's evening entertainment with an unnecessary bulletin, it could at least ditch the sugary Kaplinsky-on-a-pedestal approach in favour of a direct simulcast with News 24.

Sigh, yet more people sat upon their high horse.

Let's take the example a poster above me gave- Newsround. Why does the BBC show it? Why does it pander to this childhood audience, with a chatty, informal atmosphere and different focus on stories?

It's because kids won't watch the main news because it's not presented in a way that interests them. Different people like their news delivered to them in different ways, and this new bulletin is a reflection of just that.

If you don't like it, I assume you'll be joining the campaign to axe Newsround, too?

  • 25.
  • At 05:31 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Carl Davies wrote:

Cbbees seems to be running later and later.
Shouldn’t Mr Fincham’s target audience be in bed after Jackanory, sorry, I meant the 6'oclock "NEWS"

  • 26.
  • At 05:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Don't we already have one of these news snippets at 9pm? Huw Edwards comes on every night and tells us what is coming up at 10 o'clock, that lasts about a minute so surely this proposed new bulletin cannot be any more informative than that. ESPECIALLY if they are talking about including local news and weather within that timeframe also. If they changed the plan to a five minute news summary, without any local news or weather, then I think that might be a reasonable idea. If that meant cutting the length of Eastenders down by five minutes I would certainly approve!

  • 27.
  • At 05:35 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Tim B wrote:

Quite frankly an appalling idea. If there is too big a gap between six and ten, move the ten back to nine? Or is that too simple an idea... probably not, it would mean admitting they were wrong.

  • 28.
  • At 06:00 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Snape wrote:

Are people not going over the top a little for 60 seconds? I could understand if they were planning on putting a 15 minute news programme on at 8pm, but they are not. If you don't think it is a good idea then go and make a cup of tea while it's on. They'l soon scrap it if there is no one watching.

  • 29.
  • At 06:04 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • PAtrick wrote:

I have to admit, i like the quick news flash you get on ch5 before a film or something. as i work for a very large multinational company who restrict our access to the internet compeltely, i am generally cut out of whats happening out there in the world. After work, sit down, get a cuppa and get a brief run down on whats happening... and if i want more, then theres news24, etc.. nice!

  • 30.
  • At 06:19 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

So here we have it; a condensed version of the Breakfast bulletin in a desperate, futile attempt to try and force the average EastEnders viewer to care about something other than Posh Spice's weight and which 'superfood' happens to be de rigeur right now.

I wish the BBC would accept that the shallow element of the 'yoof' market is too busy watching Big Brother, burying their noses in Heat magazine or (if you're very lucky) watching 'My Dog's As Fat As Me' or some similar drivel on BBC3 to give a fig about your attempts to engage them.

The sooner you do, the sooner you'll stop alienating the rest of us (including a large number of young people; it's deeply patronising to assume everyone under 30 has a goldfish memory and only cares about celebs and fashion).

In terms of airtime there is more than enough allotted to news on the BBC at present (including an entire channel!) - problem is, whilst the quantity has increased exponentially, the quality has correspondingly suffered. BBC News at the moment is missing so many opportunities in its desire to slavishly ape ITV & Sky.

I agree with your point that young Cs, Ds and Es do pay the license fee too, but surely you can therefore see my point that seemingly everything from Eastenders to Breakfast to the vast majority of BBC1's daytime output, not to mention BBC3, Radio 1 / 1Xtra and an increasing proportion of BBC2 are already targetted at this demographic?

  • 31.
  • At 06:36 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

To Dave H, who says "the youth never watch the news"

Actually, I am a youth and I DO watch the news, in fact I watch the 10 o'clock new, newsnight and like to watch bbc news 24 when it covers worldwide news late at night (I wish there was more world news on news 24 during the day).

The BBC's audience is far more complex than "brainless youth" on one side and the "older audience" who like to know what is happening in the world.

I think narrow minded people like you should "grow up".

  • 32.
  • At 06:37 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Tim Ashford wrote:

You know what Craig? I don't think this idea is at all popular!!!! As the BBC listens to its viewers (guffaw) perhaps you'll reconsider.

  • 33.
  • At 06:45 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • John Davies wrote:

I give it a month tops before they scrap it. Can I have some of my licence fee back? Even better why dont we just abolish the BBC, then I can take my money elsewhere...

  • 34.
  • At 07:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • David wrote:

Here's a novel idea.

BBC and ITV have news at 6pm.

Then the BBC has news at 9pm.

Then ITV has news at 10pm.

Then BBC has Newsnight at 10:30pm.

Back to where we started. All the moving around of the news so we don't split films in half etc never worked anyway - you still do it.

And, anyway, there's News 24 now too!

Did I miss the news summary written in a "Chatty" style episode of "The Day Today"

  • 36.
  • At 07:22 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Richard Pond wrote:

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Less international news and more celebrity gossip - in a newscast that only last sixty to ninety seconds - and no time to explore anything in depth (yes, I know you'll keep your other broadcasts, but you've said that you're trying to attract people with short attention spans who won't watch the main broadcasts). This is an absolute disgrace. If you want a sixty-second news broadcast, it should at least stick to reporting real news (national and international). The more dumbed-down gossip you throw in, the less time there'll be for anything worth while.

  • 37.
  • At 07:24 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Alan from Oxford wrote:

Well done BBC for trying something new. This format works well on other channels and it might work well on BBC One.

Maybe we should give it a chance before labelling it as "dumbing down". And maybe some of the more self-righteous commentators on this board might do well to remember that the BBC needs to meet the needs of as broad a reach of our society as possible. I'm sick of "Indignant of Middle-England" dominating the public service agenda.

  • 38.
  • At 07:26 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Wright wrote:

I thought we already had a 60-90 second news bulletin? Isn't it called Breakfast and cushioned with three hours of celebrity tat and pointless discussions.

Interesting also how you missed Breakfast out of your list of news programs that haven't dumbed down.

Does that mean you accept that Breakfast is now beyond saving Mr Oliver?

You say that the pilot was 'successful'. How was it judged to be so?

  • 40.
  • At 07:38 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Mitchell wrote:

Admittedly I am a more mature viewer, but I don't find any need for an additional bulletin on BBC1 when I can go to specialist news channels, if required before 10pm. I frequently watch the BBC's 'yoof' channel (BBC3)too, and find the 60 seconds news updates there to be rushed, with inadequate substance to inform, an eclectic content often quite different from main channel news bulletins,and a brisk presentation style which irritates.

Has the BBC done any research to see whether younger people's reception of BBC 3 headlines has prompted significant numbers of them to seek out fuller details elsewhere? If not, it must beg the question what purpose these bulletins serve.

  • 41.
  • At 08:18 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

please dont do this, news is in our faces 24 hours a day

  • 42.
  • At 08:22 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

A good idea I think 60 seconds of news in a nice informal style that gives enough to be able to know what's going on in the world. News without the annoying - here is the history of the story....here is what a random pundit thinks.....here is what we don't know and then the story.

It's not to replace the 1, 6 or 10 news, so we're not loosing our 'real' news programmes, it's something to add to it and as for the dumbing comments why don't you all run along to your Daily Expresses or Daily Mails - i'm sure they're running the Diana murdered storyline still. Are these also the same people that moan about newsreaders standing up? Possibly.

The most important thing to remember and I think is possibly being forgotten here is that it's only 60 seconds lot and it get's rid of the BBC1 adverts that people on points of view viewers are always moaning about, and gives those who aren't even giving it a chance yet to go make a cup of tea or go to the loo - what a good idea! Go for it BBC!

  • 43.
  • At 08:44 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Rob Taylor wrote:

Please call this something else other than news, and then it will be a winner.

  • 44.
  • At 09:22 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Please, whatever you do, can you keep out the bumping music from the background.

  • 45.
  • At 09:23 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

How pathetic. The editor's blog stated that they thought that "four hours was a long gap between the six and ten o'clock news" What? Four hours? When will the media realise that we don't need 24 hour continuous news coverage. Not enough happens to justify it! This is why News 24 is unwatchable for more than 5 or 10 minutes. Personally I have almost given up watching the news; it is so superficial now - especially Breakfast, which I used to watch regularly. It's the news equivalent of MTV, constantly changing items in a desperate attempt to keep the audience's attention. I get most of my news from the BBC web site, which is without parallel. Keep it up, and ditch the pointless 90 second so-called bulletin.

  • 46.
  • At 09:38 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

How much more chatty can the BBC's news get? It already resembles those coffee ads with Anthony Head from the early 90's!

  • 47.
  • At 09:53 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Jan B wrote:

What a pointless exercise, as others have pointed out. This young person (actually at 25 I'm probably not BBC young anymore) doesn't watch the regular bulletins because of their tabloid, dumbed down, fluffy inanity. So lets have another 60 seconds! If I want to watch news, I'll watch Newsnight because its made for adults, and informs. What news should do.

Sadly, many of the feral beasts have lost sight of what news is (clue - not a gratuitous trailer for Panorama/other BBC programme for starters).

  • 48.
  • At 09:55 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Ah, thank God someone finally made a sensible comment (Ally)... All these people whingeing about dumbing-down are reading an editor's blog on a News website. Guess what people - you aren't typical.

Sad as it is, if people want informal and brief news, then fine. News is in the remit of public service broadcasting, and you can't just force people to watch a one hour programme of the quality/depth of something like Channel Four at 7. So, give people what they want.

I don't see that there will ever be a situation where there won't be an alternative (across a range of media) for those of us with a more demanding taste. If and when those sources are under threat, *then* is the time to get irate.

  • 49.
  • At 10:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Mara wrote:

Should this really be headline news on news.bbc.co.uk?

Would it be headline news if any other station had made such a minor change to its scheduling? The BBC used to report on itself surprisingly impartially. I don't think that's true any more.

  • 50.
  • At 10:08 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Rowe wrote:

I am surprised that the editor of "The Ten" can come out with comments about dumbing down.

Tonight's Six was full of News written for the masses and not for the intelligent.

Why doesn't the BBC simply run the Three minute News24 Newsloop at 8 on BBC One instead, chopping out some of the intolerable programme trailers broadcast between 6.55 and 10 to gain the extra time required.

Call me crazy, but despite some of the people commenting here thinking it signifies the end of civilisation as we know it, I don't think that 60-90 seconds of Natasha instead of programme trailers at 8pm makes much odds either way.

  • 52.
  • At 11:31 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Phil Mc Carty wrote:

MORE Kaplinsky? Oh, heaven forfend. That says it all. I wish I'd known about the trial in the West Midlands; could have warned my mother.. Might as well just cut up old tapes of "The Day Today" into 60 second chunks and have Chris Morris do it.

  • 53.
  • At 11:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Robert wrote:

I can't believe the BBC are pandering to the minority of young people who can't think for themselves and string words together in a coherent sentence...especially on BBC1. I'm 21 years old and am rather offended that this bulletin is aimed at my age group. Don't you think that I have a brain and am capable of processing detailed information?

Isn't the whole idea of BBC1 to be mainstream? By appealing to those type of people, you are going to completely alienate the vast majority of your audience. I agree that different sections of society place greater emphasis on different news stories, but I do not see why the new bulletin has to be in a "chatty" style. By all means include some entertainment news...but do it in a way which is accessible to everyone, not just some young people: use Standard English.

As for your comment about the other bulletins being unchanged, do a search on YouTube for some old BBC Six/Nine O'Clock News bulletins from the mid-1990s. They feature proper, formal presentation, serious news stories and treat the viewer as an intelligent human being. Compare those bulletins to your current Six O'Clock News. It's presented by a lightweight newsreader (as opposed to the Ford, Sissons, Buerk, Stuart, Lewis type newsreaders of years gone by) and features so many pointless fluffy stories that it is barely watchable.

In recent months, I've become so sick and tired of BBC TV News that I've had to turn to Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 4 to get proper news delivered in an intelligent way. Thanks for appealing to me.

  • 54.
  • At 11:39 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Mara wrote:

It's nice to see that this story doesn't appear on the bbc.co.uk front page headlines any more.

http://newsrss.bbc.co.uk/rss/newsonline_uk_edition/front_page/rss.xml

But to elaborate on the general point:

Right now almost all the items are genuine news stories of varying weight, obviously some interest me more than others and that's fine.

"Councillor weds Bin Laden's son" seems rather gossipy and invasive to me but I guess it's also news of a sort.

But there's one item that really doesn't fit. "BBC plans Spice Girls documentary". I can buy that the Spice Girls reunion is news. I can't accept that the BBC making a documentary is generally going to be news. There'd have to be something pretty remarkable about it, and it doesn't sound like there will be. Would ITV planning a documentary about the Spice Girls be a news headline on the BBC? I really don't think so.

  • 55.
  • At 02:28 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

The ABC in Australia does this throughout the evening and it's usually a rehash of what you've heard on the nightly news at 7pm, rarely an update, and too rushed to be of any real informative use.

As if the endless, repetitive promos between BBC programmes weren't enough, this is another distraction that is even more pointless given that there's world news on BBC4 at 7pm, 60 second bulletins on BBC3 and rolling news on News24, plus the excellent BBC website.

Why not go the full hog and overlay the news on the irritating in-screen programme promos during the credits of every programme?

If there's something really important there will be a traditional newsflash. Otherwise, just leave it for 10pm, a slot the BBC was very quick to grab when ITV shunted its news out of the way.

If you want to do anything, give us a fixed-time news bulletin at weekends instead of slotting it in as and when you feel like it.

  • 56.
  • At 08:30 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Roger Inkpen wrote:

Chatty?

If this follows the format of the ‘Liquid News’ on BBC3 it will just be a collection of bullet points. How is that chatty? Why even bother getting a presenter to read them out?

I’m not against shortening the news in principle. Most of the half hour programmes are full of recycled news, or excruciating ‘conversation’ between reporters and presenters. I’m not surprised young people don’t watch them. I’m a news junkie (Radio 4 and Newsnight), but when I do switch on the 10 o’clock news, I get bored after a few minutes and switch off!

Newsnight is generally top notch news analysis and reportage, but last night’s had a fascinating story on Chinese immigrants in eastern Russia, effectively propping up the economy. But due to nationalist sentiment, they are being booted out as ‘illegals’. Somehow I doubt any of the half-hour progs would show such a report.

Instead of giving us a further opportunity to change channels between programmes, why not use the News 24 news ticker while playing trailers. So, if you aren’t interested in the news you can ignore it. It’s time to take a reality check, Beeb, young people – and increasingly those older – are turning off TV. In fact I won’t be affected by this as I rarely watch BBC1, and certainly not at 8pm.

It’s not just a question of programming, however accessible and interactive you make your programmes, they will look old and tired against new technology. Television isn’t finished yet, but it’s on its way out.


  • 57.
  • At 08:36 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Looks very much that the beeb are back tracking and wish they hadn't changed the news from 9pm to 10pm in the beginning. Never mind - only took them 7 years to realise!!!

Steve

The picture of Natasha Kaplinsky at the top of this page says it all about the direction BBC News seems to be going in.

While I don't doubt Ms Kaplinsky's CV, she was actually quite good when on Sky News, the way she is 'used' by the BBC is insulting to both her and us the viewers.

She looks like she should be presenting a programme on fashion or cookery in that photo - she's supposed to be a journalist! She just looks so fake and vacant - not a quality that is desirable in newsreading.

I know people criticised the use of women in the early days of TV news, claiming people wouldn't be able to take them seriously, and some may equate my comments to them, but I think this is different. It's about how the BBC is making it's presenters look.

  • 59.
  • At 09:30 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • socialistdemocratic wrote:

Dear, Oh Dear BBC, your wasting your money on these sort-of things.

  • 60.
  • At 09:30 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

"Audience research" of blue-collar workers? A more chatty style? Why not go the full hog and give blue-collar workers everything they want.

"Here is the news, in brief...

Two saucy BB contestants spent wednesday evening romping as housemates slept in the room nextdoor - Phwoooooarrrr!!! Luvvin it!!

A pervert is being quizzed by cops. Bring back the birch, s'wot I say. Lock 'em all up and yes, throw away the key. Unless they're over here illegally, in which case send 'em back to where they come from.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for us to celebrate our Britishness. Good on ya my son. Now let's have everyone flying their Union Jack with pride for this great nation, and anyone refusing should be thrown in jail or made to live in Iraq. See how they like it then.

The government has reinforced its opposition to the death penalty. WHAT ARE THESE MORONS ON? Oops - outta time - see you down the pub in an hour where we can talk about the latest BB bonk fest.

("The BBC.... it's what we do")

  • 61.
  • At 10:00 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Phil Kenny wrote:

Surely in the modern era, and especially with the success of news 24, there is now little to no need for the type of bulletin you are proposing? I don't see the benefit of such a bulletin, unless it is to compete with Channel Five's bulletins which smacks of pettiness to me.

Surely the money can be spent mopre productively?

  • 62.
  • At 10:02 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • SH wrote:

It really does drive me to despair when I read these kinds of comments. The BBC provides the best news in the world and a 60second bulletin is a great idea at 8pm. I've got Sky+ and when I am watching something that I've recorded from BBC Three I always watch 60 Seconds beforehand because it is a really good little news bulletin. I love the news and the idea that providing more somehow weakens the BBC just demonstrates the reactionary nature of the people who bother to post comments on this site!

  • 63.
  • At 10:38 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • dave wrote:

Grow up you lightweights. This is absolutely the last thing the BBC should be doing.

  • 64.
  • At 10:49 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • william simpson wrote:

The BBC is very fond of saying it listens. it does not. It knows best. we will get what they decide. We will not like it. The licence fee will rise. Standards will fall. The news will feature advertisements more. And yoof pronunciation, o
punctuated by "sort of" and "You know".
Thats not the future. Its the present.
Give me my £136 back and I'll hear you listening!

  • 65.
  • At 10:56 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Chris W wrote:

This could go two ways. The pointless rubbish you get on some of the digital channels (I forget which one, but there's one where you're watching something and a moron comes on and says "Angelina Jolie Paris Hilton Victoria Beckham Jade Goody Brad Pitt and Liz Hurley. I know what I'll be doing! We're back at 10) or the very good example given above of newsround, which treats its audience with genuine respect and covers proper news. But please, please, PLEASE don't give us televised versions of celeb news married with sentimentalised chuffing "human interest". If we wanted that, we'd watch ITV!

  • 66.
  • At 11:01 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • ian wrote:

The thing that really annoys me on the news is the pointless timewasting "thank you's"...
"sport now from rob bonnet"
"thank you fiona... blah blah... back to you fiona"
"thank you... weather from that bloke with the weird grin"
"thank you... it'll be raining... back to you fiona"
"Thank you... the headlines..."

Can't they just switch from one person to another?
They're doing their jobs, not holding a class in modern manners.
"Rooney passes to Giggs. Giggs stops and says thank you. He passes to Ronaldo who stops and says thank you before doing a triple step over and beating a defender, who says thank you....

  • 67.
  • At 11:19 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Barry Moore wrote:

I don't mind a chattier quick news summary but unfortunately it seems like all of the BBC news is heading this way and not only dumbing down but becoming more tabloid. Just the other day I heard a previously respected journalist saying "The average repair bill is estimated to be at least..."

If you're giving us "average" price then it can't be "at least" - Don't tack on tabloid phrases like "at least" just to sensationalise things.

  • 68.
  • At 11:22 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

I'm sure this'll soon be cancelled when viewers switch over to ITV at 8pm as soon as the news summary starts. People say they want news when interviewed, but they don't really, it's just something they know they should say they want. If people wanted news, they could get it perfectly easily.

And what's with the term "blue collar"? Say "working class" if you mean it, or "chavs", if that's what you're thinking.

  • 69.
  • At 11:44 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Kendrick Curtis wrote:

Yawn. Channel 4 news pwns the BBC for depth and intelligence these days anyway. If you're smart and you want thoughtful news, the BBC is no longer the place for it.

  • 70.
  • At 12:28 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Ian S wrote:

If I wanted to watch moronic, tabloid "news" with no intellectual merit whatsoever I would watch Sky. Or perhaps the Breakfast "News" programme with interviews with actors plugging BBC shows. Or maybe the 6 O'clock news that recently featured a short video clip sent in by a viewer of people using a broken water pipe to clean their cars. I imagine that must be up for a Sony award or something more prestiguous.

  • 71.
  • At 01:01 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Gareth Molyneux wrote:

Good idea!

I really am looking forward to seeing this live. :)

No-one here seems to have seen the bulletins trialled in the West Midlands. In my opinion, the bulletins with Kaplinsky did not work (I have no idea of her journalistic ability, but she seems to have lost all credibility as a newsreader), the ones presented by the local newsreader did. Keep it short and simple, and please, no more "Posh and Becks" nonsense stories.

  • 73.
  • At 01:23 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Elinor wrote:

I watched the trial by satellite and thought it ok! could be a bit longer and maybe cover more European news, Natasha did it just right,a bit of irony in her delivery I realise that it doesn't suit the NK bashers, however she always speaks distinctly and is hardly an airhead. Also those who say that they crack jokes and falsely laugh, aren't watching the same news as me they very often have a pleasant expression(not a bad thing) and make a comment at the end of the news. We can't all be suited all of the time, I'm with Ally and Matt on this. Not everyone has digi and the red button is only on digi. How about a little live and let live, who knows it may force out all the trailers of programmes I'm tired of before they show them.

  • 74.
  • At 01:27 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Galbavy wrote:

I'm with Dave H, the first commentator; News for goldfish. BBC, please grow up.

  • 75.
  • At 03:48 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Henry wrote:

Surely enough news is already on the BBC. You cannot fail to escape it! If you want a good laugh - regional news is the best comedy that the BBC produce.

  • 76.
  • At 04:33 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • MIB wrote:

Good to see censorship at the Beeb is still alive and kicking. Obviously my suggesting using Huw and Fiona to do the 8pm slot in the same way they trail the Ten was just too logical so it was modded. Mr Fincham has demonstrated he is ageist with the poor treatment of Nick Ross so no doubt Huw and Fiona are too old for this new bulletin. I have seen no evidence of any research about younger viewers but the current BBC trend is to alienate older viewers so you might gain in one hand but you will certainly lose on the other.

Meh. This seems harmless enough, but also unnecessary; there's no shortage of news for people who want it, whether on TV, radio, the internet or in print.

Frankly I think the BBC's news department has an inflated idea of its own importance; the intellectual and political health of the country isn't going to live or die depending on whether the lovely Natasha gives us an extra news bulletin every evening.

It reminds me of the ridiculous fuss when MPs insisted that BBC3 should be made to show regular news bulletins, and then congratulated themselves on having kept the Beeb from being too frivolous. Only politicians and journalists would think that the daily gossip from Westminster is so vitally important that an entertainment channel needs it to justify its existence. There's no lack of news coverage; we can always do with more good original comedy and drama programming. And science programming. And documentaries.

  • 78.
  • At 10:45 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Seurat wrote:

The trouble is that everyone writing into this blog is actually interested in the work of the BBC, so therefore our opinions are of no interest to the BBC.

They're only appear to care about people who don't care about the BBC.

  • 79.
  • At 03:26 AM on 13 Jul 2007,
  • Charlie Taylor wrote:

The quickest, easiest way to get the news headlines in 90 seconds is by pressing the teletext button

  • 80.
  • At 10:11 AM on 13 Jul 2007,
  • Dan C wrote:

Generally opinion above seems not in favour.
What I didn't notice was any comment that this "idea" is an attempt to grab more audience, especially from ITV, so that they then follow on to watch Eastenders.
So, this "Bulletin" is aimed at typical Eastenders viewers then?

The BBC has made great play about adapting to the new multi-media world, but this approach would seem to have nothing to do with that; more to do with changing programming style to win viewers. OK, so do that for "entertainment" progs, but don't insult the viewers with this ridiculous "air-head" trash called a "Bulletin" at 20:00.

If the BBC carries on like this it'll be a clone of ITV with less money!

  • 81.
  • At 04:37 PM on 13 Jul 2007,
  • John wrote:

I've been laughing out loud at the near-hysteria displayed in some of the above posts.

Come on everyone - it's only a short news summary at 8pm - hardly the end of the world.

BBC News is the worlds best news provider and whatever shape and size it broadcasts in, it will always be trustworthy. An 8pm summary is intended to catch viewers who perhaps aren't home from work for the 6 o'clock News and find the 10 o'clock News a bit too intense - and may just want a very quick idea of the main headlines before settling down to watch something else BBC1 has on offer. Using language which is a bit "chattier" won't dumb down the news - surely the story is the same in whatever language you use. Besides - this is 2007 not 1957 - the world is continuously changing and anyone capable of embracing that should realise a chatty short news bulletin from the BBC really won't spell out armageddon. Newsnight will remain, the 10 o'clock News will still be at 10. This is extra and i doubt will cost much at all given the news machine is already there and in full swing in the evening.

Just give it a try. Go on. You might be surprised that some "thicko's" (to quote someones post above) may just become a little better informed.

  • 82.
  • At 06:28 PM on 15 Jul 2007,
  • David wrote:

Give credit to those with an IQ over 50 -- if people wanted to watch "dumbed down" news they'd just switch to ITV/Channel 4/Channel 5/etc etc

A vast majority of people watch channels for other programs and "catch the news" when it comes on -- spend the money to improve these other programs rather on glitzy presenters and you'd probably find the number of people watching the news will also increase!

There is so little trust in what news stations tell people anyway (less than 50% for some in the UK) -- work on improving this not trying to implement whatever the marketing departments etc thing is the latest "in thing"


  • 83.
  • At 11:01 AM on 31 Jul 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

I like this idea because it fills the gap between the 10 and the 6, but I don't understand why it isn't in the same style as the 15:25 bulletin or on BBC 2 (which I think is better suited to and has always needed a news bulletin like that).

However, I back the idea and love the graphics in the trial, but why not have a bed like the N24 headline bed but 'jazzed up' a little in the background? Just a thought :)

  • 84.
  • At 04:26 PM on 09 Dec 2007,
  • Carl Ellis wrote:

Complete waste of time and money. If the EastEnders audience wants the news then they can switch to BBCi or Ceefax.

Oh, and scrap 60 Seconds on BBC3 as well - that's equally pointless.

  • 85.
  • At 01:42 PM on 10 Dec 2007,
  • Helen wrote:

"When will the media realise that we don't need 24 hour continuous news coverage. Not enough happens to justify it! This is why News 24 is unwatchable for more than 5 or 10 minutes."
I do watch News 24 sometimes, the only reason it is unwatchable after 10 mins is because that is the length of the news loop. I watch, keep watching, waiting for a news story I consider to be newsworthy (or that I hadn't heard yesterday), keep watching.... see the same story as ten mins ago. Give up. Prowl the interweb for actual news.

Enough does happen to justify it really, there just is a little too much laziness.

  • 86.
  • At 01:20 PM on 15 Dec 2007,
  • Rachel wrote:

This is a dreadful idea which can only annoy everybody - both the people who can be bothered to concentrate for half an hour and so have already seen the news, and those who can't, who will be waiting for Eastenders (which lasts half an hour...h'm!) We do not need any more dinky pseudo-American ideas, please scrap this!

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