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Your News

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 15:48 UK time, Monday, 27 November 2006

At the weekend, BBC News 24 launched the first news programme entirely driven by our audience. It is a short pilot run at first to see how it goes, but the first edition was watched by more than 300,000 people (you can watch it by clicking here).

BBC News 24 logoThe programme's name has been used by the BBC News website for around a year along with 'Have Your Say', 'Your Pics' and so on and this underlines the close relationship with the website - it shows which stories have been most popular online that week; it shows pictures and video clips sent in by our audience; and it asks for ideas for stories we should be covering.

This week we followed up a moving story of one viewer who tried to honour his late wife's request to donate her tissue to research and the obstacles he found at the local hospital.

It's work in progress - and it is Your News - so we would really welcome views, ideas, story ideas and pictures...


No doubt it's an interesting idea, but perhaps it is unfortunate that the BBC chose to go with the exact same name as a similar Channel Five feature:,,1958204,00.html

Also, is it just me that finds the second person plural a little patronising?

  • 2.
  • At 04:38 PM on 27 Nov 2006,
  • Adam wrote:

Not a knee-jerk reaction to story that Five News may take legal action over the "Your News" name/concept usage?!

  • 3.
  • At 05:11 PM on 27 Nov 2006,
  • Tim wrote:


As Kevin pointedly said - it seems the BBC were calling it "Your News", "Your Story" and "Your Pictures" long before Channel 5 came along.

And the point is not what people are calling it - it's the fact that BBC News 24 got it on-air first that matters.

Channel 5 are just annoyed because someone beat them to it. But it's not unusual for a Murdoch news outlet to be all spin and no substance.

I couldn't care what you call it - it was dire, car crash television of the worst kind.

You're meant to the controller of the UK's premiere 24 hour news channel yet you commissioned this sub-You've Been Framed strand.

Why? Were you really deluged with requests from Licence Fee payers for this nonsense?

When a show like Dateline London is squeezed into a half hour slot how is there time in the News24 schedule for this tripe?

Had I not already been watching the channel when this awful waste of time started I'd have thought someone had installed a Sky dish whilst I was out.

Without once using the words 'new', 'exciting' or 'future' can you tell me the news value of showing a notice on the door of the restaurant at the centre of the radiation killing?

Was our understanding of the story in any way enhanced by knowing someone who works at the restaurant had scribbled out a notice and taped it on the door?

Come of Kevin, the Licence Fee payers invest a lot of money in BBC News services is this really the best you can do with our money?

  • 5.
  • At 08:00 PM on 27 Nov 2006,
  • James wrote:

Whilst I like the idea an overall summary at the end of the week... the thing that doesn't sit well here is Richard Bilton "counting down" the week's top stories.

"In at number three.... the death of Nick Clarke."

It doesn't quite sound right does it?

Perhaps there is a more tasteful way of doing this, bearing in mind that the stories that often attract the most are often those involving (many) people dying.

  • 6.
  • At 11:18 PM on 27 Nov 2006,
  • Kelvin Smackhurts wrote:

This programme is an excellent idea. Really, really good. So hats off, and well done.

However, it's incredibly plodding in pace. Slooooooooooooowwwww.

Richard Bilton seems a good bloke as a presenter. But he needs to speed up a bit.

Likewise, a section on the most commented on stories is a good one. But the idea of a Top of The Pops countdown is poor. It seemed totally out of place, using the TOTP theme is lame and has been done a million times before.

That section is interesting... but should have its own music (not TOTP's) and be much much faster.

Also Richard was counting down the top ten saying they were the most commented on stories, however the texty-thing on screen was saying number of 'hits'. Surely these are two entirely seperate things?.

Anyway that's all, I'm sure it will get much better in the fututure.


Josh, I assume the "The programme's name has been used by the BBC News website for around a year" bit in the blog post is to establish their counter claim.

My TV viewing is not monitored, and therefore if counted me in the 300,000 that was a guess. As it happens, this programme actively made me turn the channel - the presenter was offensively patronising, and the show seemed very empty. The big question is whether 300,000 people will stay tuned next time "Your News" comes on, or decide to provide their own User Generated Content by looking out of their window instead.

What is this show supposed to be? "You've Been Mildly Newsworthy"? Rubbish. If it's a story, bung it in the real news. If it's a good picture of a minor event, just show them while playing the Vision On music whenever there's a slow hour.

  • 8.
  • At 12:18 PM on 28 Nov 2006,
  • pippop wrote:

Thrilling. I'm going to take the curtains down now and wash them, I'll be out to lunch, as I assume the programme producers are in Gindburg sort of way.


Thanks for all these comments so far. Some are really useful. It is a pilot series - so it will evolve. Tim is right: the BBC website has been using "Your News" for over a year so I'm not quite sure quite why Channel Five thought it was their idea. To answer Paul - the viewing figures came from BARB - which as you know are the standard figures the TV industry uses. And Kelvin is right - I think we should be using the most-hit stories for that bit and not the stories that have attracted the most emails. I'll have a think about the TOTP music also Kelvin. Any better suggestions out there?
Finally to answer Martin: News 24 does Dateline, Head to Head, Straight Talk, a half hour Current Affairs Strand, HardTalk - all very good heavyweight analysis and discussion programmes and trying a different part of the news agenda - driven by what the audience is choosing to watch/view should surely have a place in our schedule?
Kevin Bakhurst

Sorry Kevin but I don't accept that much of that content was part of any news agenda and the one worthy story about the hospital licence deserved more than to be squashed between the rest of the el-cheapo content.

I'll make you two predictions, 1) this show won't be airing in a year's time.

2) It won't be long before an MP or three make a fuss about BBC demands for an above inflation LF settlement and asks why this is justified in light of you abdicating your newsgathering duties to the public.

  • 11.
  • At 04:33 PM on 28 Nov 2006,
  • Ian Kemmish wrote:

Can you tell us how this program was originally pitched? I don't understand its purpose at all... unless it's to advertise that Auntie believes in "convergent media".

Top ten lists? Well, these are useful for editors to know when it comes to doing annual appraisals for the journalists working under them. But what earthly need could I have to know them?

Viewers telephone photographs? Isn't that what a website is for? A real-time slideshow just means you can't see very many and those in not very much detail.

The story about tissue donation was good, but this was not the vehicle for it -- the hospital and the minister gave mutually contradictory explanations, yet because of the time constraints of this program's format, neither could be challenged. All I know is that there is some problem here, but I'm no wiser as to what the problem actually is.

To digress a bit: This story, and Kevin Bakhurst's reply listing a plethora of analysis slots (not sure I'd agree all of them are analysis, though) both underline my biggest beef about News 24 at the moment - the slots into which you are trying to cram stories are all too frequently TOO SHORT for the stories themselves. Worse still, analysis interviews are increasingly frequently being interrupted to cut to a picture of someone setting up a press conference. Surely a simple measure such as putting all press conferences through a 20 second delay would allow you to eliminate all such mistakes completely?

  • 12.
  • At 04:48 PM on 28 Nov 2006,
  • Richard Morris wrote:

Re Top Ten Stories. Are these comments made, as Bilton claims or hits on the story as the caption states? I find it hard to believe that the BBC got 149,000 comments on the BA cross story.

It also seems that the programme has a scoop on the poisoning story. An employee of the restaurant has solved it...

'as a result of the... KGB business...'

Really? Where is the evidence?

  • 13.
  • At 09:34 AM on 29 Nov 2006,
  • Ragnar wrote:

Any excuse so the BBC do not have to pay to make programmes. This is shown ADMIRABLY by world service, which adverties it's self as a 24 hour news programme.

Really? NO it is NOT.

What it in fact is, is the same 4 hours of programmes, repeated five times per day, and a little space for "news" to be squeezed in at the sides.

THEN a "special" programme so that the hard of comprehension can ask to listen to it again.

"Your news" is just ANOTHER "up yours, we got your money, and I want a new swimming pool in my cellar. So it's going in MY pocket, NOT to make programmes for you shower", from the BBC to it's public.

One day, HOPEFULLY, they will save themselves out of existance.

  • 14.
  • At 03:48 PM on 29 Nov 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

Sounds a lot like The Call on NY1 - New York City's 24-hour 5-borough news channel launched a show of this type about a year ago. It's good, but the host has a tendency to get bogged down in commentary and the callers in don't usually have enough time to really debate, just a few seconds to offer a quip here and there.

In my humble opinion, the BBC does a great job at reporting 'big news' and providing suitable analysis. I would suspect that a lot of the UK would turn to the Corporation whenever a really big story breaks.

The BBC does not connect particularly well though with 'lighter news'. the 'tabloid' style news programmes don't sit easily on N24 but does that mean the corporation should not tackle some of these lighter (or more informal) issues?

I think the BBC should be applauded for introducing this programme. It is only a pilot and hopefully it will lose some of the awkwardness of the first broadcast, who knows? It may even attract a new audience to the news channel altogether. Go for it and keep and eye on those blogs for interesting stories... There are millions out there!


  • 16.
  • At 10:41 PM on 30 Nov 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

The main story this December (CHRISTMAS) is FAREPACK.

The “unacceptable face of capitalism” at its most ugly.

Let us hear from the CBI, the Bankers, the Holding Companies, the Insurance Companies who in the pursuit of profit do not see that there should be built in protection for such victims, whose weekly savings they take on deposit.

I hope that on Christmas Day they spare a moment from their feasts to wonder how far the 15% sop is going.

  • 17.
  • At 01:10 PM on 21 Jan 2007,
  • Allie wrote:

I saw Your News on News 24 this morning. What exactly is the point of this programme? Some poor-quality pictures sent in by members of the public of not much interesting happening (a toppled crane on Merseyside, but the picture was so poor you couldn't tell what it was; likewise, pictures of a fire rescue; and `a small fire in Chinatown'!), a voxpop which seemed to suggest there was tremendous concern about crime and immigration in Worcestershire, where there's not much crime and hardly more immigration; a distinct lack of context, the crucial element you get when you send actual proper journalists out on stories; a bunch of videos lifted from YouTube, including footage of a newsreader who didn't know she was on the air - mean-spirited and unnecessary, and did she, or Anglia TV, give permission for you to re-broadcast that clip?; and a Top Ten countdown of the most popular stories viewed on the BBC News website, a device or such staggering inanity it's hard to know where to begin to comment: `viewed often' doesn't equate to `significant' or `important', people may have been choosing to watch online items they'd already been alerted to by TV news ... I'm still at a loss as to what exactly the Top Ten device was attempting to achieve, but then, that goes for the programme as a whole.

And this programme takes up twenty-odd minutes of News 24, when you could be covering actual stories properly using professional journalists to do a worthwhile job. Wouldn't that be a better use of the time?

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