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An international Magazine

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Giles Wilson Giles Wilson | 16:07 UK time, Monday, 19 September 2011

A year ago we launched a North American edition of the BBC News site, run from our bureau in Washington DC. As well as strengthening our coverage of US issues, it meant we could offer a front page of the website targeted directly at our millions of readers in the US and Canada.

Screengrab of the international magazine

 

Two weeks ago, we introduced an extra element to the website, following a further expansion in Washington - an international edition of the Magazine index. This is great news for readers of the website outside the UK, and also for the Magazine's regular followers at home, who will be able to access all the new content too. As was the case with the launch of the North American edition, the international Magazine is done with the backing of BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, which funds our services internationally.

Since we started the Magazine in the UK in 2003 it has grown to become a focus for original features, such as our piece looking at 50 years of Private Eye covers, as well as regular items like 7 days 7questions, Who What Why, and Paper Monitor. Until now, however, it has never had a high prominence on our international site. It has also been largely text and still images.
The new edition means we can bring to the international site the same focus on some of our most popular content from around the world, such as this tale about the restoration of Hitler's sea defences.

And it's particularly pleasing that a central part of this new approach will be in video. Four new video strands - First Person, Altered States, Living Online and Picture This - have joined the Magazine and will, each week, bring fresh perspectives on stories of changing lives in the US.

By far the most frequent request from Magazine readers, when they have replied to surveys over the past few years, is that they would simply like the Magazine to have more stories in it. This new edition brings exactly that, and there will be other improvements to come in the next few weeks too.

Following the changes, all readers of the website, wherever they are, can find the Magazine displayed prominently on the BBC News front page, or by going directly to bbc.co.uk/magazine. You can also follow it on Facebook or on Twitter, and I'd be very happy to hear your thoughts on our new venture.

Update 12:00, 29 September: Thanks for your comments, and for making the point that the Magazine's long-standing readers outside the UK still want access to some of the features, like Paper Monitor, which are primarily of interest to a UK audience. Following your comments we introduced a new box on the right hand side of the index on the internation edition, labelled  "From Magazine in the UK" as a home for exactly this kind of content. So thank you for the thought.  This process isn't finished - I'll post some more details when we have them.

Giles Wilson is features editor of the BBC News website

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    So why are the regular features hard to find - how do I navigate to the letters page?
    And the old chestnut - I look at BBC for English news, if I wanted US news I'd be reading PBS. Remind us all - how do we get the UK version?

  • Comment number 2.

    I, too, am hungry for Brit news. I don't want to read about the States, lifestyles in the States or other observations about them. I'm already here, and that's the only sort of news I can get. Please let me know how to get the UK version. Thank you.

  • Comment number 3.

    This is all fine. But can someone address the crippling-disgusting-punch-in-the-face-mind-numbing amount of adverts with the video content.

    I realise you have to fund this site in the US with adverts on the top and side of pages, fine, but whenever I watch any video piece, I have to wait 30 seconds EVERY SINGLE VIDEO. Some of the clips are only 30 seconds long. Its outrageous.

    No other internet video advertising system is this stupid and obviously oblivious to its users. There's an advert for some language company I must have seen 500 times. Its the same thing again and again and again and again.

    Look at VEVO, HULU or MSN, or any other company with half a braincell and you can see they allow a few views before an ad kicks in, and its not the same stupid ad every time.

    I'm British, I live here in the US and I'm always so proud of the BBC, but this really is completely indefensible.

  • Comment number 4.

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO... Do NOT introduce an American edition. As others are saying, and I am an ex-pat Brit, I come to the BBC news web site for BRITISH news. What is going on here? Are you embarrassed to be the BBC or something?

    As Chriscatz says, remind us all how to dump this horrible American focused junk and get back to the BRITISH version of the BBC.

  • Comment number 5.

    Not sure why everyone is moaning. If you want UK version just go to http://news.bbc.co.uk and click the 'UK' button in the submenu. It's really simple.

    Regards,
    Not So Grumpy in Not So Tunbridge Wells. (Los Angeles)

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sorry Willaim Smith, it is not that easy. The BBC site is recognising location and giving different content based on your region. There are ways around it, IP rerouting programs can resolve the issue.
    But without resorting to such trickery, I want to see the UK based magazine, including todays article about Private Eye, not some US article about gays in the US military.
    Before anyone corrects me today I can see that article because it is shown on the UK page, but if it was only accessible from the UK Magazine page, I wouldn't even know it existed.

    Further, I am Canadian, not a US citizen. I get most US networks in our standard TV coverage, our national broadcasters have already lost focus in their reporting and I don't need another US centric news service.

    Back to my original question - why can I not get to the letters page directly, I have to select 'Ten things' from magazine regulars, from there I can see 'other magazine regulars', which includes letters.

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree with the comments made by those who want to see the UK news and magazine. Can't you at least put a link on the front page of the international magazine that will allow us to access the UK version?

  • Comment number 9.

    I am Canadian and am irritated to find that your website now automatically directs me to the US version of the Magazine. The BBC website is my main source of global news and I resent being force-fed American-centric content. There is a reason I visit this site daily rather than CNN or another American news source. It is now much harder for me to find the stories I am interested in, and makes me wonder what else I am missing by being redirected to pages targeting the North American reader. Can you not at least put a button on the main Magazine page that allows you to switch between UK and International editions?

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    '5. At 02:15 20th Sep 2011, William Smith wrote:
    Not sure why everyone is moaning.


    Well, at least they sometimes do see them published.

    Offering answers to questions on behalf of others who don't feel obliged to do so... not so much.

  • Comment number 12.

    I live in Egypt and I can't find the letters either. honestly I went away for a few days and everything changed; I used to get to the magazine via the UK news now I have to go to the home page and no letters it isn't on!!! We ex-pats need our daily dose of Englishness it helps us remember that others do think the way we do and find the same things amusing. Please make accessing the letters etc easier. Magazine monitor we want you back!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I live in the UK but I'm also annoyed that the BBC assumes I'm not interested in British news when I'm travelling abroad. Users used to be able to choose between the UK and international editions on the site's front page but that ended when adverts were introduced for non-UK viewers. I understand that ads are a fact of life but it should still be possible for people outside the UK to select the UK version of the site, albeit with adverts. Conversely, visitors to the UK might prefer to see the international version of the site while they're here.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Chavez, just like mastercard, truly priceless.

  • Comment number 25.

    Another example of North American bias being US centric.
    The Market summary on the main page is showing S&P, Nasdaq etc. Now for us Canadians, what about the TSE ?

    I guess we haven't been very nice to Giles Wilson about the change in the web site. Is there a response coming?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well done. Love the focus on more stories and the new format. Still getting used to finding where everything lives from either the site itself or from Facebook, but the sidebar with links that comes up from the search is quite handy for locating the Caption Competition, for example.

  • Comment number 29.

    Giles,

    I have to agreed with post # 1; I preferred watching BBC World News from London, instead of the news from the States.....I

    -Dennis in Rochester, NY-

  • Comment number 30.

    I have to agree with linnett (#7) - for those of us who are currently living outside of the UK and want a different take on more localised issues, it's a welcome perspective. The US news providers in particular are lousy at looking at issues from a broader viewpoint and in that respect initiatives like the BBC magazine are great.

    Giles, what we would do with more of in the mag is the equivalent types of analysis that's produced on Euro-centric topics. I refer to things like analysis of US military intervention rather than just material like the restoration of Hitler's sea defences as you mention.

    Regardless, I think the magazine is a great idea and the layout is good (despite all the comments to the contrary above!) It's worth remembering for those commentators that BBC outside the UK is considered a world news provider rather than simply a UK-centric one.

    Oli

  • Comment number 31.

    Why are the moderators deleting and disallowing so many blogs on this issue?? Are they biased towards a pro-US expression of sentiment???

  • Comment number 32.

    @31 At least ten of the removed posts were just massively off-topic: a copy of a letter from Hugo Chavez to the UN (split into multiple parts because of its great length), a link to a transcript of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent speech to the UN General Assembly and so on. None of those posts expressed any opinion at all about the new international edition of the Magazine.

  • Comment number 33.

    What is disappointing is the lack of response to the comments, either in the blog or by simply by changing the content of the Magazine home page. Surely it's not too much to ask to have a link to all of the Magazine content at once, like we used to have? By all means add new features, but don't make life more difficult than it needs to be. Mr. Wilson, if you are happy to hear our thoughts, why don't you respond to them? It's been over a week since you posted...

  • Comment number 34.

    I don't think I fully understand this. I'm in the Netherlands and today (29 Sep) I can see what I think is the UK-version of the Magazine. As a European, I'm not interested in a US-based version of the Magzine, I'd much prefer the original UK one. So please, if you're planning to change anything, let people decide for themselves which version they like to see.
    Also, I agree with many people here who find it impossible to find regular features such as letters, 10 things, etc. I just don't understand why these links aren't featured prominently on the Magazine's homepage anymore. Is this the beginning of the end for these features? I really, really hope not.

  • Comment number 35.

    Thanks for your comments, and for making the point that the Magazine's long-standing readers outside the UK still want access to some of the features, like Paper Monitor, which are primarily of interest to a UK audience. Following your comments we introduced a new box on the right hand side of the index on the international edition, titled "From Magazine in the UK" as a home for exactly this kind of content. So thank you for the thought. We'll be doing some more fine-tuning in the next few weeks.

  • Comment number 36.

    I live in Nepal. Here in Nepali, the users of British English are growing day by day. However, thousand of Nepali-English users are beyond the access of such a widely circulated magazine. As far I know that here in Nepal this is the only one magazine that is available only in online. Although it is an online source of information, it should include a variety of news items. By nature, many media focuses on politics that is ever green business. But I believe that media should focus on the other news stories ranging from politics, economics, science and technology, history, culture and arts, education and many more. But it is pity to say that many media do not highlight the information related to linguistics. I hope that the editorial board will come up some policies that encourage the writers, including me, to write articles on some aspects of language for the sites.

  • Comment number 37.

    I live in Cooper City, also known as Some Place Special. This city in which I reside is growing day, by and large, by day. It exhibits the exhibit that exhibits exhibits for the cause and purpose of exhibiting that which exhibits, mainly The Exhibition.

    -Alexander Paul Styles

  • Comment number 38.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 39.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 40.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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