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Journalism News

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    BBC

    The BBC will offer staff and content to local newspapers and allow rival shows to be seen on its iPlayer catch-up service in plans for a major shake-up of the corporation.

    Director General Lord Hall (pictured, Reuters) will give the first of a four-part response to the Government's review of its royal charter, which runs out at the end of next year, in a speech outlining a "fundamental reshaping of how the BBC operates".

    The move comes a week after national and regional newspaper publishers urged the corporation to share resources and do more to promote commercial news rivals with a major report issued as part of the charter renewal debate. The BBC's current ten-year charter expires at the end of 2016 and it is currently facing a fight to defend and justify its use of licence fee income.

    Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is currently consulting on possible replacements for the licence fee and considering whether the BBC should be "all things to all people" or have a more "precisely targeted" mission.

    Chancellor George Osborne has also criticised the BBC website for "becoming a bit more imperial in its ambitions" in a hint at possible moves to scale it back to protect newspapers.

    Among his proposals for a new "Open BBC", Lord Hall will reveal plans for a new multi-million pound partnership with local news groups to provide a network of 100 public service reporters.

    A new on-demand children's service called iPlay and an "ideas service" linking BBC programmes with material from partners including the British Museum, the Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company, will also be announced.

    Lord Hall will say: "Let me be clear, an Open BBC is a million miles away from an expansionist ambition. Indeed it is the polar opposite.

    "It comes from the belief that the BBC must do even more for Britain as a whole. That's the direction of travel I favour - to make public service broadcasting better, by modernising it.

    "A BBC that continues to help Britain be a creative powerhouse, recognised the world over. A BBC that's creating jobs - in one of the industries that's a great British success story. We will strengthen the things people love about the BBC while making them fit for the new age."

    A BBC source said: "The growth of online news has had a big impact on the local news industry. While the BBC is not the cause of that, we do believe local news is essential for a strong democracy and we want to be part of the solution.

    "This is an unprecedented offer that would put millions into a genuinely exciting local journalism partnership."

    The Sunday Telegraph reported that the corporation is considering the future of BBC Four as it looks for funds to develop new dramas to compete with online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

    But the BBC insisted Lord Hall will make a "positive case" for the corporation's future and will not announce any closures in today's speech at the Science Museum in central London.

    The corporation will give three further responses over the coming weeks on plans for production and BBC Worldwide; the Government's consultation on the future of the BBC; and finally on efficiency and money-saving.

    Services abroad will also be widened, the BBC reported, with a daily radio news programme for North Korea and services for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    Coverage in North Africa and the Middle East will be increased on the BBC's existing Arabic Service, and more services will be made available for Russian speakers through either a satellite TV service or digital coverage on Youtube and the Russia version, Rutube.


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    Talksport today launches a sister 24-hour radio station today at the Cheltenham Festival of horse racing. The launch of Talksport 2 is accompanied by news that the station has live rights to broadcast ICC World Twenty20 cricket matches in India and the ATP World Tour of tennis. After the station's launch at 10am today it … Continue reading "New UK national sport radio station Talksport 2 launched"

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    Journalists working for the BBC’s Chinese Service fear that its ability to report freelly will be undermined by moving most key editorial staff to Hong Kong. Some 16 editorial position in London will close as a result of the move with ten new jobs opening in Hong Kong. The service has been based in London … Continue reading "Press freedom and safety warning as BBC moves 75-year-old Chinese Service from London to Hong Kong"

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    Lord Patten said it was sometimes going too far to demonstrate “balance” because the shadow of the process led by anti-EU Culture Secretary John Whittingdale was “hanging over it”. “The BBC has an extremely difficult job. It is having to cover this referendum with the shadow of a charter review and Mr Whittingdale hanging over … Continue reading "Lord Patten says charter renewal concern has made BBC ‘excessively deferential’ pro-Brexit campaign"

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    The BBC claims that the total audience for its international services has grown 12 per cent year on year to 348 million. The breakdown is: TV: 162m Radio: 147m Digital (including social media): 80m. The BBC uses its own methodology to de-duplicate these figures to come up with its weekly audience total. This figure is … Continue reading "BBC says audience for international services has grown to 348 million per week"

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    Questions have been raised about why the BBC has recruited Sunday Times business editor Dominic O’Connell to join Radio 4’s Today programme despite a claimed freeze on external recruits. BBC director general Tony Hall announced an external recruitment freeze for BBC News in September 2014 after 400 redundancies were announced across the department. However a … Continue reading "BBC insiders complain about Sunday Times business editor joining Today despite external hiring freeze"

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    Former BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has spoken out in defence of the “besieged” BBC as the Government prepares to publish a White Paper on the corporation’s future. As part of a speech at the Reuters’ Institute Lecture on the future of the BBC, he also addressed reports that Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is said … Continue reading "Lord Patten says ‘besieged’ BBC must no longer be ‘plaything of the government’"

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    The BBC is set to regulated by Ofcom for the first time and run by a unitary board appointed by the government and the BBC itself. The move means Ofcom, rather than the BBC Trust, will have responsibility for adjudicating on serious complaints and imposing sanctions where necessary. Ofcom currently regulates commercial broadcasters and has … Continue reading "BBC white paper: Broadcaster to be regulated by Ofcom for the first time and run by new unitary board"

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    Income from public money frozen at £3.7bn for five years New powers for Ofcom to regulate BBC journalism Funding scrapped for Jeremy Hunt’s Local TV network £8m of BBC money to fund 150 new local press council reporters All TV and radio commissioning to go out to open competition Licence fee safe and non-payment still … Continue reading "BBC white paper: More cuts on way, licence fee income frozen at £3.7bn, Local TV subsidy scrapped"

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    Radio 4’s Today breakfast news show lost 300,000 listeners in the first quarter of 2016 following the departure of long-serving presenter Jim Naughtie at the end of last year. According to figures released by Rajar, it had an average reach of 6.8m listeners per week in the first three months of this year compared with … Continue reading "Rajar radio figures round-up: Radio 4’s Today loses 300,000 listeners following departure of Jim Naughtie"

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    A journalism podcast investigating one of the UK’s most notorious unsolved murders has gone to number one this week in the iTunes downloads charts. Untold tells the story of Alastair Morgan’s 29-year campaign to find out why his brother was murdered and to expose the police corruption which saw five investigations fail to bring those … Continue reading "Journalism podcast investigating notorious unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan goes to number one on iTunes"

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    The BBC is the most important source of information on the EU referendum, according to a poll of eligible voters, with newspapers coming in second and social media also factoring. More than a third (34 per cent) of the 1,638 UK adults, polled by BMG Research on behalf of the Electoral Reform Society, put the … Continue reading "EU referendum: BBC most important source for voters, but social media most likely to inform the young"

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    A reporter for the BBC Radio 4’s Today has revealed being racially abused while reporting from Basingstoke. Sima Kotecha was interviewing people to discuss reports that the Leave campaign’s focus on immigration had led to an increase in hate crime. She said on Twitter: “In utter shock: just been called p**i in my home town! … Continue reading "BBC reporter racially abused in Basingstoke but later touched by ‘outpouring of support’"

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    News Corp has agreed a £220m deal to buy the owner of UK national radio station Talksport. Wireless Group also owns weekly free titles Sport Magazine and 21 local radio stations in the UK and Ireland. Wireless Group was born this year out of the sale of UTV Media’s TV stations. News Corp is paying … Continue reading "Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp makes major move into UK broadcasting with purchase of Talksport owner Wireless Group"

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    Talksport’s Colin Murray has today resigned from his post as a presenter at the radio station in protest at its acquisition by Sun owners News Corp. Liverpool FC supporter Murray used the hashtag #JFT96 to make the announcement on Twitter, understood to mean “Justice for the 96” in reference to those killed in the 1989 … Continue reading "Liverpool fan Colin Murray leaves presenting role at Talksport because of News Corp take over"

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    The BBC’s flagship radio news and current affairs programme, Today, recorded record figures in the second quarter of this year with 7.3m listeners. The figures, compiled by Rajar, compared with 6.8m listeners a week in the first quarter of the year and 6.7m in the same period last year. They are the highest figures Today … Continue reading "Rajar radio listening figures: Record numbers tuned in to Radio 4 and Today ahead of Brexit vote"

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    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has completed a £220m deal to buy Wireless Group, with Talksport and Virgin Radio now under the media magnate’s ownership. It is a major further move into UK broadcasting for the group, which publishes The Sun, Times and Sunday Times under subsidiary News UK and has a 40 per cent stake … Continue reading "Rupert Murdoch's News Corp completes Wireless Group takeover"

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    Outgoing BBC director of radio Helen Boaden has said she values “slow news” and questioned whether the media does enough to “explain and explore” in today’s fast-paced environment. Boaden announced on Friday that she will be retiring from the corporation after 34 years of service in March and leaving her current role as director of … Continue reading "Helen Boaden speaks up for 'slow news' as she steps down after 34 years at the BBC"

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    The former editor of investigative journalism agency Exaro News has launched a weekly podcast reporting on child sex abuse issues. Mark Watts has joined Talk2Me Radio for the CSA Exposed podcast, which aired its first episode this week and has already called on listeners to help crowdfund its continuation. Watts was dismissed as Exaro’s editor-in-chief … Continue reading "Former Exaro chief launches podcast reporting on child sex abuse issues"

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    Bloomberg Radio has launched across Greater London. The new channel, broadcast on DAB digital radio, will include morning show Bloomberg Daybreak Europe (6-10am), Bloomberg Markets: European Close (4-5pm) and a simulcast of Bloomberg Television London throughout the day. Al Mayers, global head of Bloomberg television and radio, said: “This is an exciting step in the … Continue reading "Bloomberg launches radio channel for London"

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