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Key links:
Primary website:
news.bbc.co.uk
Primary Twitter:
@BBCNews

BBC News is a British state-sponsored news organization and the world’s largest broadcast news operation.

BBC News is a division of the BBC, or British Broadcasting Corp., the world’s largest media organization and oldest national public broadcaster. The BBC is funded largely by revenue from British television licenses. The BBC was reported in 2014 to be considering scrapping its license system, though it denied the report. Its executives later said it was open to modernizing the license fee.

BBC News has one of the most widespread newsgathering operations in the world and has been called one of its best, as well. (It is sometimes known by the affectionate nickname “The Beeb.”) The news division had about 8,400 total staffers in 2014, when it announced it would cut about 220 positions. It has developed a reputation particularly for its foreign reporting.

BBC News Online

Traditionally, the BBC has distributed news primarily over radio and television, though its website, launched in 1997, is the largest news site in the United Kingdom. The BBC also launched a U.S. news site in 2010. In 2014, it announced widespread cuts, with the savings to be reinvested into its digital operation.

The BBC has been a pioneer among mainstream media outlets in several digital-news concepts, including citizen journalism and user-generated content, on-demand video players, topic pages, open copyright licensing, and open-source software integration. It has also launched video channels on Reddit and Instagram and used chat apps to report on news outside of the U.K.

In 2013, the BBC announced plans to turn its video-on-demand service, the BBC iPlayer, into essentially a full network of the broadcaster. It relaunched the iPlayer in 2014. It also produces a short-form video series to appear in sponsored Twitter streams.

The BBC launched the Digital Media Initiative in 2008 to develop an in-house desktop-based production tool for video and audio recording and editing. It scrapped the plan in 2013 after spending £98 million on it, calling it a failure.

The BBC has been criticized for being reluctant to link to other sites, but it has since made aggregating and linking a priority. The broadcaster issued new linking guidelines in September 2010, aiming to double its number of outbound links by 2013. The BBC has also been cautious about using social media, though BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks urged the organization’s journalists to embrace social media in early 2010. In 2012, it issued social media guidelines urging its journalists to file breaking news to its internal system at the same time as or before they posted it in Twitter.

The BBC launched a native advertising program in 2013.

BBC expansion

The BBC is obligated by remit to broadcast in the public interest, and it has been criticized for expanding too broadly and attempting to compete with Britain’s private news organizations.

The BBC has responded to those concerns by periodically cutting back on its media offerings. In 2004, the BBC shut down some of its Internet operations (a move that was criticized by one of its rivals, The Guardian). In 2008, the BBC canceled plans to develop a network of local news sites out of concern for private local news organizations.

In 2010, the BBC revealed plans to cut its online budget by a quarter and web pages by half as part of an upcoming overhaul of its website. In January 2011, the BBC cut 360 staff members as part of that reduction.

The BBC announced in February 2010 that it would begin developing apps for the iPhone and other mobile devices, though U.K. newspaper publishers protested that the expansion hindered their ability to compete in mobile markets. The apps were approved and released in July 2010. By June 2011, the BBC reported that 10 million of its apps had been downloaded worldwide.

Sexual abuse scandal

In late 2012, two parallel sexual abuse scandals led to the resignation of the BBC’s director general, George Entwistle, and leaves of absences by its top two news executives. In the first, an investigation by the BBC News program Newsnight into the BBC’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against former BBC host Jimmy Savile was dropped. In the second, about a month after the Savile scandal erupted, Newsnight falsely accused a former British politician of sexual abuse.

The BBC reached a settlement with the politician, and it also faced numerous lawsuits in the Savile case. The British communication regulator Ofcom also opened an investigation into Newsnight in the wake of the scandals.

The BBC’s internally commissioned review faulted the network for its handling of the situation and recommended a move away from the network’s insular culture.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Sept. 11, 2014 / Justin Ellis
The BBC goes global, and local, with pop up U.S. bureaus — The business of journalism looks a lot like a game of Risk right now, as media companies are angling for position with new sites and bureaus around the globe. Quartz and The Huffington Post have both recently set up shop...
Sept. 11, 2014 / John Wihbey
What’s New in Digital and Social Media Research: The realities of citizen journalism, and new possibilities for transparency — Recent papers from academe have continued to highlight tensions over letting citizens into the news process, as well as the need to be more open and transparent with the public. Many of the papers below have insights on ...
Sept. 4, 2014 / Caroline O'Donovan
Six things we learned about big news outlets from a report on editorial standards — The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism came out with a hefty report earlier this week on developing editorial standards for journalism. “Accuracy, Independence and Impartiality: How legacy media and digi...
Aug. 6, 2014 / Justin Ellis
The BBC relaunched its blacked-out Thai news service on Facebook — When a military coup in Thailand blacked out international media outlets, the BBC was faced with a choice. Without BBC World News on the air, they would have to set up a temporary website to deliver news to people in Tha...
July 22, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
From Grumpy Cat to Ukraine: How Mashable is expanding beyond gadgets and apps — Within minutes of the first reports that a Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed over eastern Ukraine Thursday, Mashable had live coverage up and running. Its real-time news staff in New York was updating the post with vid...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: July 17, 2014.
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NBC News is a television network news operation, a division of NBC. NBC News’ programming includes the NBC Nightly News, Today, Meet the Press, and Dateline. In addition, the division provides content for the cable news channel MSNBC and business news channel CNBC. NBC News is the United States’ leading television news outlet, consistently ranking…

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