Comments on changes
Thanks for your comments on the BBC News branding changes. I'll try to answer some of your questions about our thinking. We will be waiting before we get the results of some quantitative research on how viewers have responded to the new look before deciding whether to make any tweaks to it.
Many of you have been perplexed about why a branding change was necessary and you wondered whether we had consulted any members of the audience. We did talk to the audience and that's exactly why we have introduced these changes. Not every user of BBC News is as passionate (positively or negatively) as readers of this Editors' blog. As one comment put it, "the brand of the BBC goes without saying". But I'm afraid that is not the case. Younger people use BBC News less than older viewers. In a competitive environment news content, especially when accessed via aggregation sites, is sometimes hard to identify. Clarifying and reinforcing the BBC News brand is about defending its values for the future, not throwing those values away.
We were accused of "spending tons of money". The £550,000 cost of the changes is a large sum of money, but spread over all of BBC News services in the UK and around the world, and over many years, we feel it gives real value.
In terms of specific criticisms, the changes to the channel names and the bulletins were probably the most contentious. But we believe they do make sense in the context of the increasing lack of awareness of the BBC News brand. Of course if you'd like to carry on referring to the channel as "News 24" and the bulletin as "The Ten O'Clock" then that's fine by me. But I'm proud of BBC News, so I see no harm (and plenty of benefit) in us telling the audience where their programmes come from.
One contributor says that the BBC News brand has been foisted on the regions. You are right that there is an impression amongst some audiences of BBC News as being too London-centric, but we are making great efforts to change that. BBC News needs to reflect the interests of the whole country. So rather than reinforcing a metro-centric impression we want to make sure BBC News is embedded in our first class output in the nations and English regions.
These changes are not about style over substance. They are part of a massive series of changes that are equipping BBC News as an organisation to deliver multimedia journalism to all our audiences. We are spending far more time and money on investing in improvements to the content of our journalism than we are on marketing and branding. I hope later to return to these themes and explain further how BBC News is improving what we provide for you.