Media Websites

The decline of BBC News online

BF
BFGArmy Channel Channel Islands
The website has noticably gone down the tube quality wise in the last year or so. Headlines are rather clickbaity at times and the content is dumbed down these days. You expect better from a broadcaster that by its own motto is there to 'inform and educate'. And it certainly feels like there are less news stories on the news and sport pages than there once were - especially when you get to the 'specialist' sections like business.
CW
Charlie Wells Moderator Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
I wonder how many of the more dubious quality news articles have actually been produced by local TV (e.g. That's TV) and brought by BBC under the requirements/agreement for receiving a slice of the licence fee.
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
NT
Night Thoughts London London
I've been told there's been a drive to attracted "underserved" audiences to the website - working-class women was one element mentioned to me. Trouble is, I fear you could count the number of people in BBC News who know anything about working class women on the fingers of one hand.

On a broader level, over the past decade the site has lost a lot of the text journalism specialists (people with backgrounds in wire services, etc) who had built up its reputation for basic competence - they've been replaced by people with a broadcast background who don't have the same grasp of how to present this stuff*. Add in the pressures of SEO, trying to compete with newer entrants, the bizarre decision to integrate Newsbeat into the website, a lot of job cuts, and a more complex and tricky news agenda, and you've got the mess it's become now. It's a real shame.

There's always a place for strong entertainment coverage - the annual Sound of... stuff actually started out as a BBC News Online feature, before being moved into BBC Music more recently - but covering Love Island felt like crossing a line because it was ITV2 rather than one of the big five (and because the coverage was also poor). This stuff is cyclical, though - I have a feeling the BBC will end up buckling under pressure from the commercial sector to rein back on this kind of coverage, which it has done before.

*"Here's what you need to know this morning" is a brilliant example of this - nobody needs to know anything in the morning except where the light switch is, which shoe is left and which is right, and which tube dispenses the toothpaste.
BF
BFGArmy Channel Channel Islands
Some of the particularly hard-hitting news articles on the website today:

"Does sex addiction really exist?"
"The gamer who spent seven years in his dressing gown"
"How Tom Hardy saved bedtime".

It's not exactly the sort of content that is underserved elsewhere.
NT
Night Thoughts London London
Some of the particularly hard-hitting news articles on the website today:

"Does sex addiction really exist?"
"The gamer who spent seven years in his dressing gown"
"How Tom Hardy saved bedtime".

It's not exactly the sort of content that is underserved elsewhere.


Well, the sex addiction long read goes back to a Radio 4 documentary, and the gamer is a story about social isolation, so they probably pass muster - it's just the presentation of this stuff that has changed.

That said, the Tom Hardy piece is a lousy and lazy puff for CBeebies' Bedtime Stories that the world could have done without.

This is pretty weak too: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-46152707. If BBC3 hadn't been axed, 60seconds would have been rebranded Newsbeat and they would have been in a stronger position to do stuff like this, but it just looks bizarre in a News template and I suspect the commercial sector will be gunning for this sort of content to go.
BA
bilky asko Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Some of the particularly hard-hitting news articles on the website today:

"Does sex addiction really exist?"
"The gamer who spent seven years in his dressing gown"
"How Tom Hardy saved bedtime".

It's not exactly the sort of content that is underserved elsewhere.


Those are all in the "Features" sidebar - none of them feature on the main section on the homepage.

Avatar Credit: © Independent Television News. Avatar Subject: Jonathan George Snow HonFRIBA
LL
London Lite Recently warned London London
Ezra Miller's gender-bending red carpet look

Is this from a tabloid newspaper generating clickbait? No, this is a Newsbeat piece on the 'Must See' section of the BBC News homepage.
HC
Hatton Cross Central (West) Midlands Today
Which is aimed at Newsbeat listeners, who, like it or not, are these days hardwired to stab fingers on screens at clickbait liners.

So although the headline and story is not exactly Reithian in language and tone, it is aimed at the Newsbeat target audience.
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
DE
DE88 UTV Newsline
I was quite astounded when I came across a *very* detailed article on this year's Love Island final - not only featuring a considerable number of pictures as well as tweets from viewers and Caroline Flack, but also the winners' declarations of love.

And it wasn't a Newsbeat article.

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-44943562

Did the Beeb do such detailed articles on Big Brother and X Factor finals during these shows' glory days? (Although in BB's case, of course, Twitter and Facebook didn't exist yet.)
"What is two plus two?" "Rather more than three." "Yes, but can you be more specific?" "The Belgians."
GO
gottago London London
DE88 posted:

Did the Beeb do such detailed articles on Big Brother and X Factor finals during these shows' glory days? (Although in BB's case, of course, Twitter and Facebook didn't exist yet.)

As I said earlier in the thread, yes they did loads of articles like this back in the day.
AJ
AJ London London

My problem with the use of social media on TV and in news articles is that it's not a true, random cross-section of society. Believe it or not but not everyone is a user of social media. So, if they increasingly go down the route of using social media content as opinion, they are excluding a probably quite large section of society. At least by standing there harassing people in the streets, they were more likely to get a cross-section of all walks of life.


I disagree. With a degree of effort, it's much easier to get a much better cross section of society on social media. Sticking a camera on a high street is all well and good, but the reality is that you are getting a very specific demographic who happens to be in that place at that time (depending on location, time of day etc etc)

The problem is that the effort required in getting views from a decent range of voices and opinions isn't often put in.

In any case, both are utter nonsense and I really couldn't care what Deirdre from Ruislip or Joe from twitter.com thinks about whatever. Content filling of the worst kind really.
NT
Night Thoughts London London
DE88 posted:
I was quite astounded when I came across a *very* detailed article on this year's Love Island final - not only featuring a considerable number of pictures as well as tweets from viewers and Caroline Flack, but also the winners' declarations of love.

And it wasn't a Newsbeat article.

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-44943562

Did the Beeb do such detailed articles on Big Brother and X Factor finals during these shows' glory days? (Although in BB's case, of course, Twitter and Facebook didn't exist yet.)


The BBC certainly piled in with the best of them in Big Brother's early days, but the tone of the coverage has changed over the years. That Love Island story's notable for assuming whoever is reading it was really into the programme, which is pretty poor.
London Lite and DE88 gave kudos

Newer posts