BBC aims to engage with local media

tony_hall07:57 Monday 7th September 2015

DOTTY MCLEOD: The BBC is to offer content to local newspapers, and allow rival shows to be seen on its iPlayer catch-up service. These are some of the plans that will be proposed by the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall in a speech this morning on the BBC’s future. Media commentator Steve Hewlett has more details.
STEVE HEWLETT: This is the first as you’d say of what BBC is describing as ‘rather W1A-ish’, as the first of four ‘moments’ they’re going to have. So this one is not about the cuts and efficiencies which will be necessary on account of the licence fee settlement. What this is however is going to be lots of talk about partnership. The BBC has had a problem with this, which is the BBC in its origins has always been a doughty competitor in the world of TV and radio, and there have been bumps and scrapes with competitors, but nothing quite like what’s happened in the online space. As all media converge in the online space, the rumpus with newspapers, who suddenly find the BBC is now delivering written content, websites and all the rest of it, which is they regard as being right in their heartland, and that is what today’s talk of partnership, an open BBC, a platform of British creativity. The Times has a headline, has an opinion piece, a headline, ‘Broadcast Behemoth – the BBC’s publishing ambitions are a threat to the provision of local news.’ So it’s quite a tough call for the BBC, or quite a hard argument to win.
DOTTY MCLEOD: Steve Hewlett there.