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Thursday 17 Apr 2014

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BBC Two set to engage public in unique look at how the web has revolutionised our lives

To mark the 20th anniversary of the world wide web, BBC Two is teaming up with the web's inventor in an ambitious new project that will explore the profound impact of his seminal invention on almost every facet of our lives.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee will today help to launch Digital Revolution (working title), a landmark series for BBC Two with a ground-breaking open source approach to its production process.

The Digital Revolution team will give web users early access to programme content by making their rushes available online and sharing some of their key arguments, inviting comment, input and story leads from the web community.

George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning, says: "After 20 years of tumultuous innovation, now feels like the right time for us to take stock of the profound change our society has undergone since the birth of the web.

"I'm delighted the BBC audience will have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the creation of this project, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it unfold online in the months leading up to TV transmission."

Journalist and academic Aleks Krotoski will kick the project off with a series of manifesto blog posts at bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution.

She will ask the web community to join in an open debate, sharing opinions and suggesting stories.

The team will also marshal web users in a series of online experiments, developed in consultation with the Web Science Research Initiative – a joint endeavour between the University of Southampton and MIT – which Sir Tim Berners-Lee co-directs.

This online debate will shape the production of the BBC Two documentary series, informing Aleks' arguments as she assesses the claims made over many years by the web's key innovators and testing them against the hard realities of the emerging web today.

She will uncover some of the extraordinary human stories that illustrate how the web is being used and abused today, and look for clues to evaluate its – and our – uncertain future.

Dominic Crossley-Holland, Executive Producer for the BBC Two series, says: "This is a hugely important and timely series and it's very exciting that the father of the web himself, Tim Berners-Lee, is involved.

"The production team is committed to being as open as possible in a way that may have far-reaching consequences for the way that TV is produced in the future."

The four-part documentary series will be aired next year on BBC Two.

Digital Revolution is a co-production with the Open University. The commissioner for the BBC is Martin Davidson; the commissioner for the OU is Emma De'Ath.

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