Digital will play a central role in the BBC’s World War One centenary coverage, bringing together the BBC’s TV and Radio programming, news and features alongside exclusive, in-depth and interactive online content.
The BBC World War One portal will be the home of this wealth of output and, in the build-up to the centenary next year, will provide audiences with a truly interactive and more personal story of the war.
World War One in the connected world
From 2014 and throughout the four-year centenary, brand new digital formats, features and content will be introduced that enable people to access and engage with BBC content in new ways. They will help all audiences to better understand the war a hundred years on, whether approaching the topic for the first time or hundredth time, to unearth new stories and challenge what people think they know about the war.
Whether the subject of World War One is completely new to someone, or it’s a chapter in our nation’s story they have grappled with at length, audiences will discover digital formats, features and content which will deepen understanding and challenge preconceptions, on the battlefield and well beyond.
As these formats and features are added, audiences will be able to interact with the Great War topics – and even the experts – that interest them. Content will also be connected across BBC Online, partner websites – such as the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War, The Open University’s free web resources site, OpenLearn and the wider internet, allowing audiences to follow their own path of discovery and get even closer to the stories, events, people and places they care about.
With more and more people accessing the BBC from handheld devices, the best of the BBC’s World War One content will be available wherever and whenever they want it, from any device they want. From next year, as the amount of digital content increases, the website will instantly adapt to fit whichever device or screen size people happen to be using, whether that’s a mobile, tablet or a PC.
TV and Radio
The BBC’s large range of TV programmes will be available to audiences online through BBC iPlayer on PC and mobile devices and via the World War One portal. As well as offering a chance to catch programming that viewers or listeners may have missed, alongside all our programming we will be providing original and additional content; the journey won’t stop just because the programme or series has.
The portal will also showcase relevant World War One content alongside each programme to allow people to continue their journey and discover new aspects of the War.
An extensive selection of BBC Radio speech programmes produced for the centenary will be available on demand throughout the centenary – and many beyond that. This will create a large archive of audio content about the war, accessible via the World War One portal and BBC iPlayer Radio, which will also be available (alongside all other BBC podcasts) on platforms such as iTunes and Soundcloud.
The BBC will enhance its radio programmes online with additional audio and visual content to create a more immersive experience. In addition, audiences will be able to access relevant factual content associated with the dramas they are watching.
Local and Learning
Content available via the World War One portal will grow throughout the four-year centenary as original online content, including behind-thescenes footage, in-depth historical information and insight from key BBC experts and historical talent, is regularly added.
As part of the ambitious World War One At Home project, over a thousand wartime stories from across the UK will be brought to life on BBC regional TV and Local Radio in England, as well as on national programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, starting early in 2014. These stories will be available online to complement the broadcasts and to ensure the stories will live on for years to come.
BBC Learning will help children and their teachers explore the war with an extensive digital resource for the World War One Centenary. This will include curriculum-linked, classroom-friendly clips and podcasts, as well as linking to relevant interactive content from BBC Bitesize and BBC History for secondary school pupils. In addition, BBC Learning will specially re-version TV programmes, including Britain’s Great War and My Great War.