Category Archives: Broadcasting

Channel 4 News: Obama picture by Welsh photographer goes viral

A photo taken by award-winning cameraman Dai Baker to highlight the ‘For Luca’ campaign has gone viral on Twitter.

As Channel 4 News reports here, Baker snapped a photo of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office while visiting the White House to accept the new photographer’s association award, having smuggled his mobile past security.

The ITN photographer from South Wales was raising awareness for the ‘For Luca’ campaign, which aims to raise £1.5m to buy prosthetic legs for a three-year-old with meningococcal septicaemia.

After an interview with Baker’s local paper, the South Wales Argus, his stunt attracted the attention of news outlets around the world, as Baker told Channel 4 News.

It’s quite surreal appearing in the Huffington Post, the Mumbai Mirror, and some foreign newspapers I can’t even read.

Baker has been a winner at the White House press awards for six years running, this year claiming prizes for best day feature, best magazine feature, best news features, and best special report/series.

Norwich Evening News: An interview with departing head of BBC East Tim Bishop

Tim Bishop, head of region for BBC East, has spoken about his decision to leave the BBC for his new role as chief executive of the Forum Trust in Norwich.

Bishop, who will take up his new position in June, told Emma Knights at Norwich Evening News:

I feel as I leave the BBC it is in a really good place in lots of ways. Radio Norfolk has now got more local born and bred presenters than it has ever had and it is resolutely and robustly about Norfolk life.

People are very keen to knock the BBC but we would all really miss if it went. I still love it – I see its faults as well but there’s something about it.

A world without the BBC would be a lot poorer.

Bishop has been at the helm of BBC East for ten years. The broadcast region incorporates Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Bishop was previously editor of Radio Norfolk and later, editor of Look East.

The full interview can be found here.

BBC ‘not expecting any disruption’ during World Service weekend strike

Picture: copyright BBC

Following a ballot of members, media and entertainment union Bectu has announced that some staff working in the BBC World Service’s network operations will strike for 30 hours this weekend.

Journalists are not taking industrial action.

Bectu warned that “output is set be hit” by the strike but the BBC has this afternoon issued a statement to say it is “not expecting any disruption to World Service programming”.

The union’s dispute with the BBC centres on the corporation’s refusal to allow around 15 staff to join a final salary pension scheme following their transfer of employment from a private company, Babcock Communications Ltd, to the BBC late last year.

Bectu feels demands should be met because it claims some of the staff involved were allowed to keep a final salary scheme when they transferred to Babcock Communications following the privatisation of World Service Transmission Operations in 1997.

Bectu supervisory official Helen Ryan said in a statement:

This is a classic case of staff pension provision being disrupted by contracting out. When these staff were transferred out of the BBC in 1997, the BBC backed their demands for continuing membership of a final salary scheme.

Now, 15 years on, the BBC wants to wash its hands of its responsibilities to deal with the disruption to pension provision which these staff face.

The BBC has said in a statement:

We are disappointed that Bectu members have opted to take strike action … we have only allowed access to whatever pension scheme was open to new entrants at the time.

It would set an unsustainable precedent to allow people transferring into the BBC to enter pension schemes that are now closed to new members.

The industrial action will take place between 3pm on Sunday (15 April) and 9pm the following day. The staff involved route programmes to transmitters around the world.

BBC Breakfast moves to Salford: Early reaction

Hello this is Breakfast with Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid.

BBC Breakfast started this morning’s programme like any other, but it was of course a little different as it was the first to come from the BBC’s new base in Salford.

The launch was fairly understated. Early in the show it was only mentioned as part of the headlines sequence, just before the programme’s main news story but viewers were treated to a new, apparently smaller, studio and a refreshed backdrop featuring the Salford skyline.

Reaction to the programme’s new surroundings were mixed. Some viewers expressed concerns about how close the camera appeared to be to the presenters:



Although BBC colleagues that had already made the move north were happy to see Breakfast in Salford:

The show’s move is a significant moment for the BBC North project and follows similar moves by BBC Radio 5 Live, CBBC and a Question of Sport. However it has not been without problems.

Less than half of the team made the transition to Salford, including two of the show’s stars Sian Williams and Chris Hollins, both of whom left a few weeks ago.

The show’s long-standing weather presenter Carol Kirkwood has remained, although she’ll present from a studio in London or on location as she has done since 1998.

Technically the programme went off without a hitch, although fans of the show’s Irish dancing business reporter Steph McGovern will have been disappointed as she had to miss the relaunch because of laryngitis. While she wasn’t on air though she spent her time tweeting pictures from behind the scenes:

Her role was taken over by reporter Ben Thompson who travelled from London last night, raising questions of whether the programme’s producers have finished building the show’s full stand-in line up.

It’s also yet to be proven how the show’s move up north will affect the calibre of guests it can pull in for the lighter section of the programme after 8.30am, although with an estimated seven million viewers producers are confident they can still attract the biggest stars.

Speaking to the BBC before the show’s launch deputy editor Adam Bullimore said: “We’ve had some researchers booking guests in advance of the move and the indications are that we will get talent on the sofa.”

Salford move for BBC Breakfast confirmed for 10 April

BBC Breakfast news will be broadcast from MediaCity in Salford for the first time on Tuesday, 10 April, after the long Easter weekend, the corporation confirmed today.

The transfer north for the flagship morning programme on BBC One completes the broadcaster’s current move of some news output to Salford. BBC Radio FiveLive has already moved, as have the children’s department and some parts of BBC future media and technology.

BBC director of news Helen Boaden said in a release:

Breakfast completes our current moves of news output to Salford. The move means we now have 400 journalists based in Salford reporting locally, regionally and nationally, helping us find new emerging stars and better reflect our audiences right across the country.

From local radio to national current affairs this will be a lively creative hub for journalism bringing extra depth and richness to our reporting.

Independent: UTV could sell television business to focus on radio

UTV Media, which owns the Channel 3 television licence in Northern Ireland as well as national radio station TalkSport, could be interested in selling its television arm to focus on radio and online.

The Independent quotes UTV director Scott Taunton as saying: “If that was something they [a buyer, presumably ITV] were interested in, we’d have a conversation. Less than a quarter of profits come from TV now. We’re essentially a radio business.”

UTV’s end-of-year results, published yesterday, revealed the group makes 70 per cent of its profits from radio.

Digital news editor @fieldproducer leaving Sky News

Sky News’s digital news editor Neal Mann, known to 43,000 people on Twitter as @fieldproducer, has announced he has decided to leave the broadcaster.

Mann announced on Twitter on Friday night:

Another Sky colleague, former social media correspondent Ruth Barnett, is also leaving to become head of communications for Android app producer SwiftKey. She wrote on Friday:

Sky News introduced new guidelines for journalists about the use of Twitter last month, including the line: “Do not retweet information posted by other journalists or people on Twitter. Such information could be wrong and has not been through the Sky News editorial process.”

Reuters’ Anthony de Rosa commented at the time:

These new rules will hamstring Neal and make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to continue to do what he did to garner so much appreciation from people like me. I suspect Sky will come to their senses and realize the error of their ways. If not, they’re going to lose one of their best ambassadors in Neal, and I would suspect many people working at Sky may wonder if they’re working for an organization that is writing policies that will drive them into obsolescence.

Al Jazeera to broadcast Syria documentary filmed entirely on iPhone

In an interesting development for mobile journalism, Al Jazeera is due to broadcast a documentary tomorrow night (Wednesday, 14 March) on Syria which has been filmed by a journalist using just an iPhone due to safety concerns.

According to a press release, the film, called ‘Syria: Songs of Defiance‘, “follows the journalist, who is not named to protect the people he spoke to, on a journey amongst the uprising in Syria”.

At the start of the documentary, the release adds, the correspondent for Al Jazeera will be heard saying:

I can’t tell you my name. I’ve spent many months secretly in Syria for Al Jazeera.

I cannot show my face and my voice is disguised to conceal my identity, because I don’t want to endanger my contacts in Syria.

Because carrying a camera would be risky, I took my cell phone with me as I moved around the country and captured images from the uprising that have so far remained unseen.

#ftmedia12: BBC’s director of future media on plans for ‘connected studio’

Speaking as part of a panel on ‘technological innovation – shaping the future of media’ at the Financial Times’ Digital Media Conference today, the BBC’s director of future media Ralph Rivera briefly introduced the broadcaster’s new idea for a “connected studio”.

The plans were first reported in an FT report earlier today, based on an interview with Rivera ahead of his appearance at the conference.

According to the report, Rivera is “keen to bolster the corporation’s reputation as a finishing school for digital entrepreneurs”.

Mr Rivera is set to announce the creation of a £3m “Connected Studio” project which aims to connect BBC developers and producers with their commercial counterparts, and establish a new technical platform for outsiders to build digital services around BBC content.

Speaking about the plans at the conference today Rivera said “the studio is that space where technology and the creative storyteller come together” and that it “made sense” to “create a connected studio”.

He told the audience this could see the creation of a virtual space and possibly a physical one also.

BBC ‘does not fully understand’ effects of savings on services, committee reports

The Public Accounts Committee issued a report earlier today claiming that the BBC “does not fully understand” what effects its savings have had on the output of its services.

In the report, which was published on the Parliament website today, the committee said the broadcaster “has made good progress towards the efficiency target set by the BBC Trust in 2007” but criticised the BBC for not carrying out “a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of what it produces to support its decisions about where to make savings.”

The BBC does not know with confidence whether the savings it has delivered have affected the quality of its services. In future the BBC will be going beyond efficiency savings by making cuts to services, and it must be clear about the distinction between the two.

The BBC should publish how it expects cuts to impact on services, the level of impact it is willing to tolerate, and how it will respond if these levels are breached.

According to the report, in trying to make savings the BBC analysed more than 50 audience measures covering its services, comparing them to similar analyses carried out in 2007-08.

As a result the BBC was said to have found that although some quality measures had fallen over the interval, these were not the same measures that had been under-performing in the earlier analysis.

The committee’s report also included criticism of the BBC’s accounting, claiming that it was “unambitious” in delivering cost savings.

See the full report here.

The BBC had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.