Following The Box
Today we're starting a major editorial project which I am very excited about, and I hope many of you will be too. A few months ago, we in the Business and Economics Unit were set the challenge to come up with a way of telling the real story of what's happening in the global economy in a tangible, challenging and ambitious way that worked for television, online and radio.
What we came up with was the idea of following a shipping container around the world for a year, as it criss-crosses the globe with its various cargoes and telling the stories behind those goods, those who make them and those who consume them. So, we've painted and branded a BBC container and bolted on a GPS transmitter so its progress can be followed here on the webpage all year round.
We're calling the project The Box from a fantastic book of the same name by Marc Levinson which tells the story of how the humble shipping container changed the face of world trade. Lots of people have worked hard to make this idea happen and I'm very grateful to the CSIS who represent the container shipping industry and have helped hugely with the logistics and planning along with shipping company NYK.
The container starts its journey in Southampton today and you'll be able to see it on Breakfast and the News Channel with Declan Curry. The journey this container follows over the next few months will be a real one, and whilst we will control some aspects of the process for logistical reasons, the story it tells will be a truly representative one, painting a picture of what globalisation really means.
And, if anyone is wondering, that means it won't be costing the BBC much over and above the coverage costs for the editorial content. Whilst we have paid a little for the branding of the box and some technical costs, the fact this is a working container means it will be earning its own keep! I am keeping my fingers crossed the Box doesn't fall overboard (it happens!) and would love to hear your thoughts as it progresses on its journey around the globe.