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FAQ's and Contact

You ask all the time what goes on behind the scenes at Newsbeat, and how to get involved. Here's some answers to your most popular questions.

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How do you decide what goes on air?
We start with a daily 0815 editorial meeting to discuss the day's news so far plus what's in the "diary" - a list of court cases and events in Parliament. Reporters and staff suggest ideas - and the editors decide what to cover. It's often your opinion that makes the final difference; strong emails, texts or online reaction to a story make us more likely to do it.

Why is your style so different from the rest of BBC news?
Because that's the way you like it. We've done a great deal of research into exactly what you want from Newsbeat. You tell us you want a good digest of the issues that matter to you. You're after complex stories explained well. Entertainment news and sport play a big part on Radio 1 News because that's what our listeners are into.

Some people say the BBC is 'dumbing down' stories - what do you say to that?
We aim to give clear explanations of complex issues, in modern English. We don't like tabloid language or clichés. We avoid jargon and use slang sparingly. Our extensive research shows listeners appreciate this approach and style.

Where do you find contributors?
Our reporters have impressive contacts which they've built up over time. Our planning team also have a fantastic database of contributors and we develop this all the time.

Do the reporters really go to where they say they are, or is it just sound effects?
We never fake it. Absolutely we are on location - we like our reporters to be out "in the field" every day. The best way to get the truth of what's happening is often to get to the scene and talk to the people who experienced the event. We've recently been to Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Poland, Ibiza, Jamaica and Crete. We have permanent reporters in LA, New York, Leeds and Manchester and a satellite vehicle so we can broadcast from anywhere in the UK.

Who is responsible for what goes out, and who takes the blame if you broadcast something that isn't correct?
The editor takes the blame if anything goes wrong because he is ultimately responsible for everything on Newsbeat. We do check what we broadcast several times before it goes on air.

Do you take work experience people?
If you'd like work experience at Newsbeat or anywhere at the BBC visit BBC Jobs. Know a lot about the area you are applying to - and be willing and enthusiastic if you get the chance to do it.

How can I suggest an idea for Newsbeat?
You're very welcome to email us at

What is a typical day like in the Newsbeat office?
It's a long day and very tough. Reporters are usually up at around 6am so they can read papers, get a good knowledge of the day's news and do background reading and research before they arrive in the office at 8am.

After the editorial meeting they're on the road or train to stories around the country. They have to supply short pieces for hourly news summaries in between doing interviews, scripting their piece, producing it, having it checked by the duty editor and then sent back for broadcast via satellite, radio car or mobile phone file transfer.

They have to provide longer pieces for Newsbeat at 1245 and 1745 and for our sister station 1Xtra. If the story is ongoing they'll stay with it overnight and for several days on end if necessary... otherwise it's travelling back to base which may make their working days 12 or 15 hours long.

Do the entertainment reporters actually get to go to premieres and parties?
Yes they do! Most nights in fact.....

Are the presenters friends with the DJs?
Yes - there are lots of strong friendships across all levels of staff at Radio 1 - including between DJs and news presenters.

Further information

FAQ's and Contact

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