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1
The BBC goes blogging: Is
‘Auntie’ finally listening?
Alfred Hermida
Graduate School of Journalism
University of British...
2
Points of View, BBC, 1962
2
Points of View, BBC 1962
3
Accountability
BBC labeled as:
Bloated monolith
Monopolistic
Elitist
Complacent
Poorly managed
Photo: Joe Dunckley (http...
4
The J-blog
New form of journalism (Wendland, 2003; Singer, 2005; Wall, 2005)
Platform for accountability and transparenc...
5
Methodology
BBC public policy documents
Internal BBC reports
Blog content on BBC and personal websites
Correspondence wi...
6
Newslog, BBC 2001
6
7
Blogging the US election, BBC 2004
7
8
Blogs?
Dissemination of information is great,
but how much of it is trustworthy? They
are an interesting phenomenon, but...
9
Resistance
“The latest Internet phenomenon of
which much is said and little
understood”
“Fears by some that a new openne...
10
The Editors’ Blog
“Explain some of our editorial
decisions, our priorities, answer
criticisms”
“Hopefully draw other pa...
11
December 2005 - 1 blog
November 2006 - 43 blogs
11
12
Editorial values
Same rules apply as on air – impartiality
is the watchword. Which means
bloggers have to tread a caref...
13
Journalistic voice
It allows us a different tone of voice
which, being less formal, can convey
more of an insight into ...
14
Repairing trust
We do have an interest in hearing the
public’s views about our news
coverage, so we run an Editors' blo...
15
Limits of the conversation
Few links to other websites, including blogs
A one-way process
Demands on time
Unstable infr...
16
Thoughts for discussion
A new openness
A more personal form of journalism
Journalistic authority
Questions over accepta...
17
E-mail: alfred.hermida@ubc.ca
Blog: reportr.net
17
18
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ISOJ 2008

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  1. 1. 1 The BBC goes blogging: Is ‘Auntie’ finally listening? Alfred Hermida Graduate School of Journalism University of British Columbia
  2. 2. 2 Points of View, BBC, 1962 2 Points of View, BBC 1962
  3. 3. 3 Accountability BBC labeled as: Bloated monolith Monopolistic Elitist Complacent Poorly managed Photo: Joe Dunckley (http://www.flickr.com/photos/steinsky/) 3
  4. 4. 4 The J-blog New form of journalism (Wendland, 2003; Singer, 2005; Wall, 2005) Platform for accountability and transparency (Andrews, 2004; Glaser, 2004; Singer, 2003) Photo: JKim1: (http://www.flickr/photos/jkim1)
  5. 5. 5 Methodology BBC public policy documents Internal BBC reports Blog content on BBC and personal websites Correspondence with senior editorial executives
  6. 6. 6 Newslog, BBC 2001 6
  7. 7. 7 Blogging the US election, BBC 2004 7
  8. 8. 8 Blogs? Dissemination of information is great, but how much of it is trustworthy? They are an interesting phenomenon, but I don't think they will be as talked about in a year's time. Mike Smartt, 2003
  9. 9. 9 Resistance “The latest Internet phenomenon of which much is said and little understood” “Fears by some that a new openness would lead to embarrassing disclosures and uncomfortable headlines” “Lots of grappling with very practical problems and frustrations” “People who argued vehemently that it was not the route for the BBC to go down”
  10. 10. 10 The Editors’ Blog “Explain some of our editorial decisions, our priorities, answer criticisms” “Hopefully draw other parts of BBC News into the process as well” Pete Clifton, 2005
  11. 11. 11 December 2005 - 1 blog November 2006 - 43 blogs 11
  12. 12. 12 Editorial values Same rules apply as on air – impartiality is the watchword. Which means bloggers have to tread a careful line – they can be engaging and judgmental, but must not take sides. BBC correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, 2008
  13. 13. 13 Journalistic voice It allows us a different tone of voice which, being less formal, can convey more of an insight into the perspectives, predicaments and personalities of our reporters (and editors) Rachel Nixon, BBC News website, World Feature Editor, 2006
  14. 14. 14 Repairing trust We do have an interest in hearing the public’s views about our news coverage, so we run an Editors' blog and host discussions about that – an essential part of a push towards greater accountability and openness and a way of enhancing and repairing the damaged trust in the BBC Peter Horrocks, Head of BBC Newsroom, 2008
  15. 15. 15 Limits of the conversation Few links to other websites, including blogs A one-way process Demands on time Unstable infrastructure
  16. 16. 16 Thoughts for discussion A new openness A more personal form of journalism Journalistic authority Questions over acceptance
  17. 17. 17 E-mail: alfred.hermida@ubc.ca Blog: reportr.net 17
  18. 18. 18

ISOJ 2008

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