Tag Archives: senior producer

Press Association opens up data to BBC developers

The BBC has been given free access to data from third parties for use by its BBC Backstage developers network.

The Press Association (PA) has opened up the API and data from its event listings information for no charge, Ian Forrester, senior producer for BBC Backstage, told an industry conference.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Forrester said PA had opened up its data to BBC Backstage, because they did not have a place to showcase the information themselves.

“They have this huge events database. They know they could sell certain parts of it but only a certain amount. The admin of trying to sell that stuff is too great, they may as well give it away for free, but they are also interested in seeing the creative use of this data,” Forrester explained to delegates at the Media Futures Conference.

Several data streams from within the corporation will also be made available to the network in the next few months, Forrester added.

Data from the BBC iPlayer will be opened up through BBC Backstage, he said, with plans to create personalised search functions and alerts when content is added to the player.

Following the recent addition of full text RSS feeds for the BBC’s blogs, Forrester told Journalism.co.uk that full text feeds for the BBC’s news content would be ‘a natural progression for newsgathering’.

BBC joins OpenID Foundation

The BBC is to join the OpenID foundation – the body behind the system where website users can have one username across different participating sites.

The decision, announced by Jem Stone, portfolio executive for the BBC Future Media and Technology (FM&T) department’s social media group, on the BBC Internet blog, puts the corporation alongside Google and Yahoo, who have already adopted the scheme.

Similarly Telegraph.co.uk announced plans to introduce OpenID at the beginning of the year.

However, the system will not be immediately available on bbc.co.uk, Stone explained.

“However, at this stage, and wary of being named and shamed here, this doesn’t mean that we are going to immediately be offering OpenIDs on bbc.co.uk or even promising to do so. We would want to make absolutely sure that this is right for users, is secure and can be implemented properly across all the BBC’s many services.”

Stone’s thoughts are backed up by Ian Forrester, senior producer with the FM&T, who said in an email:

“If we were to do OpenID it would have to be pretty joined up, otherwise people would loose faith in the technology and have bad experiences. This is something I hear about some of the other (can anyone say on the bandwagon) OpenID providers.”