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Webby Awards: Thank you

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 16:31 UK time, Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A big thank you to everyone who voted for the BBC News website in the Webby Awards. We have won the People's Voice award in the News category, and that is entirely down to your appreciation and support. Impressively, we have also managed to win the Webby for best News website.

BBC News website imageBoth wins are a great achievement which everyone here working on the site, and all those contributing to it - journalists, developers, designers and technical support teams - are justifiably proud of.

We've made a number of changes behind the scenes in the way we work in BBC News over the past year or so, bringing the online journalists into the heart of the BBC Newsroom, and making the website a more central part of BBC News.

The effect of those changes, I believe, already means we are getting a greater range of the best of the BBC's journalism onto the website.

We're working on some further changes to the site itself over the coming months, about which more later. For now, though, thank you again.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.


  • Comment number 1.

    Congrats to The BBC and its entire staff on winning the WEBBY Awards....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 2.

    Congratulations. One of the reasons why i use the BBC news site, is due to NO advertising. And its very user friendly and easy to use. And most of all its journalism. Peston picks are great. But just one point. Try not to over simplify articles. Some pieces sound like extracts from the SUN. And we do not want that. I also like the humour which is put on this site, very well balanced.

    Perhaps you could look at doing reviews. Occasionally there are theatre, music or film review posted, but not enough.

  • Comment number 3.


    But is it really such a surprise? Everything taken into account, the BBC is still the finest broadcasting service in the world. Others, everywhere, try to copy it! As for websites, you need go no futher than your UK competitors, try to find your way round some of them to know why the BBC has the most usable site, allowing for its huge coverage.

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    Steve - before all the cynicism and negativity descends on this thread - congratulations. It may not be perfect, but still - no other site comes close.

  • Comment number 6.

    Congratulations on the Webby. Will you be moving toward a more recognizable worldwide brand?

  • Comment number 7.

    Churlish not to say congratulations.

    That done and truly meant, can we have an editors' debate on the whole business and, yes, ethics of rolling news? Soon?

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.


    Good to know that a good news service won it. Although The Onion was my favourite :)

  • Comment number 10.

    Nice to see that people still consider that the BBC is (still) the source for unbiased news.

    One thing that concerns me though is the style of writing, many articles have a distinct 'Deja Vu' feel to them whilst reading. Quite often one reads one paragraph only to read another within the same article, further down the page, that is more or less imparting the same information as an earlier paragraph - often using the same key-words or even sentences - either the author has forgotten what they typed previous, there has bee more than one author and no sub-editor or the BBC seem to think that the average reader has the attention span of a newt!...

  • Comment number 11.

    I have arrived here fresh from the Sky News website where I have been complaining about bias in news reporting and it seems Sky are taking note. I hope the BBC editors will do likewise. I believe the BBC political news reporting is biased and unbalanced. My example is the recent story about John Prescott's comments regarding Gordon Brown. The headlines on SKY and the BBC all emphasised the "smile" comment. The real substance of the story was Mr Prescott's assertion that Gordon Brown "has the ability and intellect to do the job". Can you refute an allegation that the BBC are biased in favour of right wing party's and showed that bias in the way you reported this story? I believe you are.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes, please let me add my sincere congratulations.

    I agree with #7 Walrus in that I would also very much like to see an editor's debate on the BBC's rolling news. And I'm certain that the editors would also find it interesting.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Many thanks for the messages of congratulations. Re comments 7 and 12: I am curious to know about your suggestion for an editors' debate on rolling news. What did you have in mind? And do you want to start it off?

    Boilerplated: I'm sorry if you experience deja vu as you progress through some of our news stories. I can reassure you that we don't assume readers have the attention span of a newt. What you might have spotted is that our stories all have a self-contained top four paragraphs which aim to tell the whole story in summary. Those four paragraphs are used as standalone stories on our Ceefax and Digital text services. Sometimes, further down the longer website story, we expand on or reiterate key points or quotes from those first four paragraphs as we tell the story in more detail. I think the fact that the top four paragraphs work in this way is good for website users because it means we are conveying an overview of all the key things we think you need in order to be able to understand the story in the first screenful.

    In response to cynicaljock: I don't think we were biased in the way we reported John Prescott's remarks. We gave the context, using the full quote, including his comments praising Gordon Brown's ability.

  • Comment number 16.


    Steve, thanks for the explanation regarding my comments made @ #10, I can now understand the whys and wherefores of the style guidelines and how they are obviously being followed to the letter by some within BBC News, the explanation of the cross platform content management system also makes sense. The question now is: why does the BBC style guide (I assume) recommend trying to expand any article that has already imparted all the information there is by the end of the fourth paragraph if all that can be done is to repeat content? An example of this from today is the following URL;

    At the time of posting this comment the above story has only seven paragraphs (actually they seem to be stand alone sentences), of which paragraph four repeats content found in paragraph one whilst paragraph six repeats information found in paragraph three. The whole news article could have been written up in three or four paragraphs...

  • Comment number 17.

    I've only just seen your post Steve, or I would have replied sooner.

    Probably half your presenters are pretty good and some are first class. But my main beef with the BBC's 24 hour rolling news is the low standard of much of the rest its presentation. There are too many presenters who are clearly desperate to be seen as 'personalities', and yet don't seem to be able to string a coherent sentence together. Every other word is ''. Nobody normally speaks like that; do they do it to give the impression that they are permanently distracted by Very Exciting Things happening just out of our hearing? And is there nobody whose job it is to remind them that 'indeed' is one word, not two? Why do some newsreaders interrupt the (excellent) financial news presenters to their understandable annoyance as well as the audience's. Why do they do it? It's neither entertaining or funny; are they just trying to show us who's in charge? And please tell those who clearly think they're Jeremy Paxman that they're not. One of your female presenters was made to look, to put it kindly, unprepared and foolish by the (I think) Portuguese ambassador during an interview last year, and he was only being polite. They should not try to appear to be experts in a subject if they don't know much or, too frequently, anything at all about it. Some of your male presenters who, for whatever reason (dress-down friday?), sometimes don't wear a tie simply can't get away with it. They look as though they'd be more at home working in a scrapyard rather that a news studio.
    And, don't let me get started on the weather presenters. Ok then let me. What's this 'cloudy old day', 'gusty old day', 'rainy old day' thing all about. Is it a private joke like the 'metatarsal' that your presenters all found so hilarious? The majority of your viewers are not eight years old for heaven's sake! You sometimes have to wonder if your 'on-the-spot' reports are trying to parody 'The Day Today'.

    I usually have rolling news on all day as background to whatever I'm doing when I'm at home, but I just can't watch the BBC's output anymore and I'm usually tuned to Sky News. And I know that I'm not alone!

  • Comment number 18.

    Congratulations! Unlike the US corporate news media which is nothing but a pointing fingers culture to conceal the real problems in America.

    We in "America" look toward the BBC for honest and fair balanced coverages. In the USA, there are no moral standards required for reporters, journalists, anchormen/women. Well informed honest reporters and journalists need not apply! Just looking at the FOX news which set the standards in new coverages gives reason why sources in the USA are not taken seriously. And that goes for almost all the newspapers which are not fit for use in dogs or bird cages, much less in the family outhouses(in my opinion, of course)!

    A well deserved award, BBC, Again, congratulations!

  • Comment number 19.

    I do not intend to vote for the BBC News website next year as a result of the recent changes made which changed how the site can be viewed, depending on whether the BBC reads your IP address as being UK based or not

  • Comment number 20.

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


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