The Future of News Report

Date: 28.01.2015     Last updated: 28.01.2015 at 14.07
Category: News
Today BBC News presents the first part of the Future of News project. It is intended to capture the many different views of what’s happening in the news industry as a whole and set out the thinking that will shape BBC News’ plans for the future.

The second part will follow, when BBC News presents detailed proposals as part of the BBC’s overall case for the renewal of the Royal Charter.

The report, commissioned by James Harding, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, has been pulled together with input from people inside and outside the BBC, including journalists, academics media leaders and technologists.

The report makes the case that in the internet age, the BBC is more necessary and valuable than ever.

The main conclusions are:

  • The internet has made information more available, but it will increasingly be a channel for misinformation, polarisation and disengagement - making recognised, reliable and impartial sources of news all the more important.
  • The BBC will need to make the most of its global reach in news as it faces a strategic choice in the coming years about the role of the World Service – growth or managed marginalisation.
  • A combination of devolved power and a decline in the regional press is creating a real need for local news to fill a growing void in both information and accountability.
  • The BBC must continue as it always has to innovate in news, capitalising on the opportunities that will come from data journalism, personalised news and audience engagement.

James Harding says: "This is the most exciting time for journalism since the advent of television.

"But, more than ever, it’s going to be the job of the news to cut through the noise. The BBC must be the place people come for the real story - what really matters, what’s really going on, what it really means.

“To make this happen, the BBC is going to have to think about how to deliver on its mission to inform beyond broadcasting. It has a singular responsibility to provide the best quality global news coverage to people in the UK and audiences who sorely need it around the world. In local news, devolution and the relative decline of the regional press are creating a democratic deficit - the BBC needs to consider how it can better serve people in the cities, the regions and the four nations of the whole of the UK.

“The job of the news is to keep everyone informed - to enable us to be better citizens, equipped with what we need to know. In the exciting, uneven and noisy internet age, the need for news – accurate and fair, insightful and independent – is greater than ever.”

You can read the full report here from 1400 Wednesday 28 January.

JH