Tuesday, April 5


Today preparing the launch of a new local radio station in the west midlands. this is part of the BBC's strategy to be more local. The vision is for a broadcasting network which is better suited to the way future consumers will use the media - more local, more interactive and participatory. The station will be small and will eventually be cross-media hosting not only radio but local TV. The local TV experiment will be piloted in the autumn (i think this is no secret) and will be supported by audience generated content - i.e. the audience will have access to the air and the opportunity to file reports (possibly using mobile phones and cheap movie cameras).

In this setting the role of the journalist becomes editor and balance keeper rather than reporter. I suspect some of the BBC's political programming in the run up to the elections may be looking to be more "democratic" in its provision of stories and, I think, may offer the public the chance to upload comments from video mobile phones direct to a designated web site.

One speculation is that it may be possible to have a virtual tv/radio station which does away with centres, buildings and studios altogether. The BBC in my experience has always been quite keen on buildings and departments - uncomfortably so in my view, so any move in this direction will represent a significant change.

I guess these thoughts begin to raise the question of what actually is the BBC? We might say it is a place (but not a building or channel) - a set of boundaries - within which you can find content which is controlled by a set of common values. Within this space you will have the tools you need to both navigate and contribute to the landscape. (Note: For once the Church of England may be ahead of the BBC - see Grace)


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