A review of our blog and presentation

March 19, 2009


With our presentation behind us and our final posts in sight, I thought I’d write a blog on what we’ve found out about Multi-platform Delivery. Whilst watching BBC Breakfast this morning – they announced the BBC will be televising the Cambridge v Oxford boat race in 2010 for the first time in six years. The race which has been running for 155 years (2009) will be broadcast not only on television but also on many other platforms – a thing that has NEVER been done. At the moment it’ll be broadcast on television, radio, online and through mobile phones, and I’m sure there will be other platforms that will be utilised nearer the time.

I think this example sums up the main issues I/we have found while doing this blog/presentation. Multi-platform delivery IS here and IS changing the way we consume news, sport and entertainment. Rolling news on various platforms IS the norm now rather than a unique feature. I players, Listen again and Sky Plus are all used and it would be unimaginable to be in a world without them. The way journalists work is also changing and we have to adapt to cope with the demands to compete in a multi-platform world. From speaking to journalists who are doing this NOW, we can see how our jobs are going to be hectic but also arguably more interesting. It also opens many paths in relation to media regulations and ethical decisions which have to be made at greater speed, or on media which has previously been unexplored – such as Twitter (until recently).

I think we used a variety of media platforms to try and explain these points, and I think our teamwork was really good. We could have used more quotes from more famous journalists to highlight our point. After having Sky News’ Robert Kirk watch our Live @5 show, perhaps we could have talked more about the multi-media differences between the Beeb and Sky. Robert was emphasising that Sky journalists are more specialised in a profession (reporting, filming, editing) and this works better for the corporation – whereas the BBC is searching for journalists who are capable of writing, filming and editing across at least three platforms.


Multi-platform Journalists – Regulation and ethics

February 23, 2009


CHRIS: As we’ve discussed during the blog, journalists are expected to multi task in the way the obtain and produce content for different types of media. But does this mean that ethical standards are being affected by the increased for demand of content and the ability to learn about technological advances?

Both BBC Somerset’s Journalist and the CNN Reporter have commented on the lack of time they have. The issue of checking sources and even proof reading your own work are things that may be placed to the side if journalist’s responsibilities increase. This could cast a dark cloud over the profession, if several cases do get highlighted.

Although there has been few current examples, we are at the beginning of this new world in which we will (hopefully) be working in – a media world, that previous journalists have not worked in. I think ethics and regulations should still be of up most importance when writing content for whatever media – otherwise our reliability and reputation is at risk, as a profession.


An interesting comment made by John Lilley today after Live @5 regarding the future of content for different audiences. The BBC and other broadcasters should be aware of different treatments for the variety of audiences. For example an internet treatment would be substantially different to a local feature of BBC Radio. This is should be kept in mind, when re-working a feature/story for different media platform.

“The audience will miss out on BBC, ITV, C4 on-demand merge”

February 4, 2009


Chris: These were the words from the Broadcasters, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 regarding the news that a combined, on-demand video service will not go ahead. The Competition Commission said the audience would benefit if they were competitors rather than allies. Their argument is that the three big players would limit on demand video competition from other companies, although they believe it’s an opportunity that has been missed to develop the future of broadcasting.

I think the banning of such a merge, is a good thing as it may reduce competition between the stations. At a time when new content is in short supply and on-demand is becoming a more important factor in peoples lives, people can still obtain the same content – just on different websites. Whether this will be an issue that’ll be raised in the future is likely.

Role change for BBC Broadcast Journalist – BBC Somerset

January 29, 2009


Chris: Here is one of the journalists at BBC Somerset, talking about how multi platform delivery is affecting the journalists at the station:


The key points:

– To take photos, audio and video is now the job for one journalist. This means it takes more time to cover one story and can be problematic for breaking stories where competitors could publish the news first. The positives are it uses less resources, and all media will be covered from one view point rather than several if it was covered by numerous journalists.

– Technology has helped to increase the amount of multi-platform delivery, sticking to traditional standards can result in losing a proportion of your audience.

– Citizen journalism is very important for news gathering. Journalists are still needed for content and legal judgement and how to extract the key information from the story which would be more difficult for citizens. 

– The role of the journalist is likely to change and evolve in ways unseen in the past. Previously journalists used to find and report stories, the future could see theim becoming editors, by deciding what should be done with all the information that has been gathered by a variety of sources.

– Platforms should be available which are suitable for all age groups, although there needs to be developments to accommodate a more technologically minded population – the audience for the future. Multi platform delivery is more suitable for under sixty fives.

Digital Britain

January 29, 2009


Chris: Good post on the Governments’ pledge to “make” Britain digital! Following the idea of getting broadband in every home by 2012. An example of how the audience is forced to accept the changes in the media?


Auntie’s vision for the future

January 20, 2009


Chris: I found this page on the BBC Website about how Journalists were expected to work on multimedia platforms.


The feature was posted in 2007 by Correspondent Ben Hammersley. It is clear from the article that the multi-platform role of a journalist was relatively new. The role of the stereotypical method of traditional journalism is nicely highlighted ” The days of newspapermen meeting someone in the pub, scribbling notes… and then into the office to type it up are long gone”. The reference to “multi-media creature” represents the increased amount of work  “modern” journalists are expected to do in order to publish a particular story on many platforms.

He also comments on how more “educated eyes” look at the media produced – this is another feature of the modern world as Youtube, I-player and Four on Demand all exist as an educational bank of video and audio footage. All of which can be accessed when the viewer wishes. The article also shows how they publicly planned to show backstage footage on how the BBC works in reporting this new technology – this shows how Auntie’s corporation is not being left behind, and wish to flaunt it’s progress during the time of change.


There has been debate over the BBC’s licence fee and whether a proportion should be offered to Channel 4. This is because of the losses the commercial stations are incurring, which has not been helped by the economic downturn. The BBC is strongly against the licence fee being shared, and in defence has these visions for the future.
Some of the proposals in brief are:

          To share some of it’s unique multi-platform features with the three other terrestrial commercial stations, such as the i-player.

          Sharing footage and premises with ITV to restore regional news.

          Sharing technology to develop an industry standard.

          To use the BBC website to help other public service broadcasting through links.


As multi-platform delivery becomes more important and a familiar part of everyday life, the proposal would help all terrestrial stations reach some sort of universal standard. It is clear that the BBC is at the forefront of technology across, radio, television and the Internet, all because of public funding. From a journalism point of view, regional television is an important part of public broadcasting as it offers identity to the viewers, but would the competitive angle between the BBC and ITV remain in obtaining stories? If the ‘sharing’ would take place, how successful would it be and would this be the end of traditional competitive journalism between stations and networks?

Would the sharing also result in a clone of network content, especially in terms of websites? And could this ultimately result in a single news report, that would be broadcast on both ITV and BBC ultimatley saving money and labour. Is this the beginning of the end of competitive  journalism between the two big terrestrial players?

The I-player can only be a positive addition and confirms the modern need to watch/listen when the viewer wants to. I think the proposals are positive in restoring local news, identity and offering new technologies to the audience. Whether long term this can be positive and whether each channel’s individual identity will be lost throughout it’s multi-platform delivery is a future issue.

[The proposals were obtained from the Guardian – 12/12/2008 – online version of the article:


New technologies, new platforms – new journalists?

January 4, 2009

Chris: Television, radio, internet, mobile phones and numerous social networking sites are just a few of the multi platform delivery areas news networks are utilising to bring us the stories.  Alongside this, new technologies are used to obtain the information to update the viewers when they wish to be updated, although problems can arise.

A recent example was the Mumbai bombings and how the social networking site Twitter offered new leads and story options for journalists. The tweets of people who were in Mumbai were used alongside correspondent’s reports and blogs to feature on the live update pages of the BBC website. This shows how citizen journalism is being used more readily to obtain real live accounts and footage of stories as they are revealed.

In relation to the live update pages, BBC New Website Editor Steve Herrmann reported on his blog; “these accounts move more quickly and a wider array of perspectives and sources, not all verified by us, but all are attributed”. He comments on how the live update pages are used as informative snippets of information and then the most relevant and important pieces are used in the news across radio, television and the web.  So even though there are more media options to obtain different opinions, is this proof that with an increase demand for multi-platform delivery it has caused an increase in sloppy journalism?

Steve explained the problem using the internet. “There are risks with running accounts we haven’t been able to check”. In relation to the rumour the Indian Government had requested Twitter updates to be stopped, the BBC chose not to report or investigate this, in hindsight he regrets this, but says “We’re still finding out how to best process and relay such information in a fast-moving account like this”. This shows the modern problems caused by multi-platform delivery. The increased need to rely on other sources and the need of judgement in whether they should be trusted is an issue which the internet and twenty-four hour televised news channels face.  The increased need for news on demand, in particular though television and the internet, forces networks to use new tools to obtain and utilise their content. Twitter, Flickr, using other media and public sources are examples of how journalists have to diversify and use tools.

One controversial use of twitter involved the US newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News who used the tool to update its website news alerts. The reporter attended a funeral of a three year old child, the messages that appeared were seen as distasteful and inappropriate. They included – “Pallbearers carry out coffin followed by mourners” and “family members shovel earth into grave”. Is this an example of how multi-platform delivery has gone too far? Do we need to have updates from a personal event like a funeral?

Traditionally this option would not be available to conventional journalists and in the latter case it has shown how new technology and the forced need to use multi-platform delivery (in the case of The Rocky Mountain News, both newspaper and web) can affect traditional practices, ethical and moral issues.