TV Home Forum

A new BBC World newsroom

Will there ever be one and what will it be like? (July 2004)

MA
Marcus Founding member
harshy posted:
Marcus posted:
harshy posted:
Marcus posted:
There is a wish to refresh the set and the newsroom. Don't expect to much though as BBC World has no budget!


Yes BBC News 24's gets ever brighter, while World is going in the opposite direction, I guess that explains why no one wants to switch the lights on in the BBC World newsroom!


The lights in the World Newsroom are kept deliberatly low for Health and Saftey reasons. People have to work in there for 10 hour shifts. There is no natural lighting and if the television lights were to high then everyone would have a spliting headache by the end of the day.


It used to be brighter before in the World newsroom, hence those circular lights, at least someone switched one on today!

BBC News 24 workers must work the same, they have a much brighter newsroom, I am sure they must go home with a headache every day then!


No The News24 newsroom has a lot of natural light. It is also much bigger.

Also most of the News24 desks are away from the set. The most anyone sits behind the set is for three hours. World has a much much smaller team and all their desks are behind the set in the newsroom.
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
Marcus posted:
harshy posted:
Marcus posted:
There is a wish to refresh the set and the newsroom. Don't expect to much though as BBC World has no budget!


Yes BBC News 24's gets ever brighter, while World is going in the opposite direction, I guess that explains why no one wants to switch the lights on in the BBC World newsroom!

I take it BBC World must not make a packet from advertising and sponsorship then.


I don't think any News Channels actually make a profit. BBC World certainly makes a loss at the moment

Of course if the Government had any sense they would fund it from the tax payer in the same way as World Service Radio is funded.



CNN pays for itself most of the time, and CBC Newsworld and SRC RDI, the French-language Newsworld, have both paid their way since inception.
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
I'm going to comment on the look and presentation style of the news on BBC One.

Firstly, the visuals on the opening titles are vile. They are boring, uninspiring and cheap looking.

The previous titles were far more glossy, faster and were visually pleasing. The music, however is and has been since 1999, absolutely dreadful.

It's a kind of europop interspersed with the GMT pips. The 1999 music was far better than what's been used since last Christmas, as it has more gravitas and authority. Saying that though, the air of authority from BBC News has totally gone down the drain compared to the 1999 era.

OK, I agree that by 1999 the BBC News look on BBC One was getting rather out of date, but what replaced it threw us right back into the 1980s. Lambie-Nairn did their best to produce some sparkling modern titles, but since the BBC have decided to do most things in-house these days, we're left with a mish-mash of dull, cheesy and boring set of titles.

I hope that in 2008 when the BBC moves its news to central London, that a new way of branding itself will emerge.

No more europop music, no more dull and clunky graphics. Let's return to the powerful, glossy and authoritative days that we saw during the 1990s.

It's almost as if the BBC wants to be subtle about branding the news. It shouldn't be like that. There's nothing wrong with boasting about yourself, providing you know you're the best news organisation in the world!
DA
DAS Founding member
A Major Setup posted:
I'm going to comment on the look and presentation style of the news on BBC One.

Firstly, the visuals on the opening titles are vile. They are boring, uninspiring and cheap looking.

The previous titles were far more glossy, faster and were visually pleasing. The music, however is and has been since 1999, absolutely dreadful.

It's a kind of europop interspersed with the GMT pips. The 1999 music was far better than what's been used since last Christmas, as it has more gravitas and authority. Saying that though, the air of authority from BBC News has totally gone down the drain compared to the 1999 era.

OK, I agree that by 1999 the BBC News look on BBC One was getting rather out of date, but what replaced it threw us right back into the 1980s. Lambie-Nairn did their best to produce some sparkling modern titles, but since the BBC have decided to do most things in-house these days, we're left with a mish-mash of dull, cheesy and boring set of titles.

I hope that in 2008 when the BBC moves its news to central London, that a new way of branding itself will emerge.

No more europop music, no more dull and clunky graphics. Let's return to the powerful, glossy and authoritative days that we saw during the 1990s.

It's almost as if the BBC wants to be subtle about branding the news. It shouldn't be like that. There's nothing wrong with boasting about yourself, providing you know you're the best news organisation in the world!



The thing about BBC News is that when the whole beige tubthumping simplicity was introduced in 1999, it was a complete breath of fresh air. I'd even go as far as saying that it was revolutionary. News had always been blue, orchestral and boringly authoritarian. But here, the BBC took several steps back and returned with a unique and completely modern way of presenting the news (boxes didn't need to be bevelled or gradient filled - they just needed to be boxes!). It wouldn't have been an easy task creating a strong and uniform brand for all BBC News output across the board - yet they managed it with apparent ease. The Greenwich Time Signal, combined with drums instantly said "BBC News" while the set design, graphics and titles were radically different. Basic shapes and non-fancy graphics were highly fashionable.

The uniformity was great because on the one hand, the overall BBC News was tight and rigid. Yet the programmes and sub-brands themselves had enough freedom to make it interesting.

The music has changed, the titles have changed, the graphics have changed, and the sets have changed - but not together. In my opinion, the problem is not the change itself. The problem is that nobody has had the courage to grab the whole package, take it away, look at it from several steps back, make all those changes, and put it back. Instead, small changes have been made in different places over a period of time. And this has caused the brand to look slightly messy in places. The reluctance to shock and maintain familiarity (which in itself is certainly no bad thing) means the once-revolutionary look and feel has become a bit stale, a bit uneven, and a bit, well, nothing much.

Instead of making the tweaks, make the change™.
ND
ndp
DAS posted:
A Major Setup posted:
I'm going to comment on the look and presentation style of the news on BBC One.

Firstly, the visuals on the opening titles are vile. They are boring, uninspiring and cheap looking.

The previous titles were far more glossy, faster and were visually pleasing. The music, however is and has been since 1999, absolutely dreadful.

It's a kind of europop interspersed with the GMT pips. The 1999 music was far better than what's been used since last Christmas, as it has more gravitas and authority. Saying that though, the air of authority from BBC News has totally gone down the drain compared to the 1999 era.

OK, I agree that by 1999 the BBC News look on BBC One was getting rather out of date, but what replaced it threw us right back into the 1980s. Lambie-Nairn did their best to produce some sparkling modern titles, but since the BBC have decided to do most things in-house these days, we're left with a mish-mash of dull, cheesy and boring set of titles.

I hope that in 2008 when the BBC moves its news to central London, that a new way of branding itself will emerge.

No more europop music, no more dull and clunky graphics. Let's return to the powerful, glossy and authoritative days that we saw during the 1990s.

It's almost as if the BBC wants to be subtle about branding the news. It shouldn't be like that. There's nothing wrong with boasting about yourself, providing you know you're the best news organisation in the world!



The thing about BBC News is that when the whole beige tubthumping simplicity was introduced in 1999, it was a complete breath of fresh air. I'd even go as far as saying that it was revolutionary. News had always been blue, orchestral and boringly authoritarian. But here, the BBC took several steps back and returned with a unique and completely modern way of presenting the news (boxes didn't need to be bevelled or gradient filled - they just needed to be boxes!). It wouldn't have been an easy task creating a strong and uniform brand for all BBC News output across the board - yet they managed it with apparent ease. The Greenwich Time Signal, combined with drums instantly said "BBC News" while the set design, graphics and titles were radically different. Basic shapes and non-fancy graphics were highly fashionable.

The uniformity was great because on the one hand, the overall BBC News was tight and rigid. Yet the programmes and sub-brands themselves had enough freedom to make it interesting.

The music has changed, the titles have changed, the graphics have changed, and the sets have changed - but not together. In my opinion, the problem is not the change itself. The problem is that nobody has had the courage to grab the whole package, take it away, look at it from several steps back, make all those changes, and put it back. Instead, small changes have been made in different places over a period of time. And this has caused the brand to look slightly messy in places. The reluctance to shock and maintain familiarity (which in itself is certainly no bad thing) means the once-revolutionary look and feel has become a bit stale, a bit uneven, and a bit, well, nothing much.

Instead of making the tweaks, make the change™.


I don't think the change from the 1999 look was needed - especially given whats replaced it. For example, the 1999 studio (after they tweaked a few minor things) still looks as good as ever, but the new studio... well, doesn't.
DA
DAS Founding member
ndp posted:
I don't think the change from the 1999 look was needed - especially given whats replaced it. For example, the 1999 studio (after they tweaked a few minor things) still looks as good as ever, but the new studio... well, doesn't.


And then this forum would be moaning that while ITV News had the swish Theatre of News, the BBC were sitting in a five year old magnolia room. Changes are necessary - but the gradual tweaks that have taken us from 1999 and 2004 are not the way to go, is what I'm saying.
ND
ndp
DAS posted:
ndp posted:
I don't think the change from the 1999 look was needed - especially given whats replaced it. For example, the 1999 studio (after they tweaked a few minor things) still looks as good as ever, but the new studio... well, doesn't.


And then this forum would be moaning that while ITV News had the swish Theatre of News, the BBC were sitting in a five year old magnolia room. Changes are necessary - but the gradual tweaks that have taken us from 1999 and 2004 are not the way to go, is what I'm saying.


Changes shouldn't be made for the sake of change though (which is what the BBC have appeared to do) - that mentality brings us the poor look of BBC News and the dire dancers.

I think TV companies should concentrate on a quality look and then continue with it until it really needs changing - and IMHO the 1999 corporate look could easily have lasted at least 2 years longer, if not more.

After all, News At Ten didn't become popular be changing all the time - indeed the fact it was always the same seems to be to have been a strength over the ever-changing 9 o'clock News - and IIRC this was the justification for the 1988 rebrand - to come up with a quality and long lasting look for the programme.
:-(
A former member Anglia (East) Look East
ndp makes an excellent point about needing brand durability. You can't claim to have a news programme that's as reliable as the rising and the setting of the sun if the image of the programme changes frequently. Such inconstancy makes the programme look fickle.

DAS makes a further excellent point about the need to roll out branding changes in one swoop, rather than in a staged manner, for maximum effect.

But why can't the BBC news programs be more different? Evolution in news programming isn't just about what colour the wall is and what sort of music you use to introduce the program. In other words: an image is important, but it isn't everything.

The last great innovation in television news was the introduction of the satellite, which enabled live broadcasts from anywhere in the world. The effects of this registered in the 1970s and 80s.

It's 2004 and whether the newsreader is seated in ITV's Theatre of News or BBC's Computer-Generated Newsroom we're still seeing the same old thing: a newsreader at a desk with over-the-shoulder graphics reading short pieces or introducing reporters on-location or in the studio somewhere else.

Not to say that this approach isn't good, but that it fails to make better use of current technologies.

If I were to rebrand BBC's bulletins, for example, for the "Information Age" (a tired term, I know, but I have nothing newer to use), it would look something like this:

Set: a simple black desk (table top only, no clutter, maybe a laptop for each presenter) with a transparent glass backdrop with a large world map etched into it; the real BBC newsroom behind it.

Music: instrumental fanfare...this is, after all, the BBC NEWS, not Top of The Pops nor Newsround. It's important to remember that the audience will come back crawling as long as the news is informative, accurate and timely...the image itself is secondary to these qualities.

A Digression: I honestly don't know why some news producers act like they have to keep with all of the current styles and fads or else they'll lose mass market appeal. In my opinion, these producers don't seem to understand one critical aspect of the news business: people consume news products because they lack information that the news broadcasters have. And, people don't watch the news to see the latest styles or find a nice hairdo that they might try out (they have other shows for that). They watch the news to get the info they want to cure their ignorance. Based on this premise, the focus of news producers should be delivering a news product that is informative, accurate and timely, because the highest quality that can be offered will win. And as regards the impact of tabloid news: the BBC should simply ignore it; dabbling in tabloid products would ruin the BBC's long-standing brand reputation for quality.

Titles: up-to-date computer graphics, something class and timeless...maybe someone could think of something resembling the traditional BBC mirror globe...that's a symbol that's both part of the BBC's heritage and could be used in successive titles in a more updated way. Now imagine the titles running down the entire contents of the programme over about two minutes. A sort of "miniature news programme" for people who'd rather get a quick summary and then switch over to another network (hopefully a BBC one), and also a good way to give viewers the full menu of what to expect over the following half hour. It might even be possible to broadcast these "titular summaries" Wink on more than one BBC network between programs instead of promos.

The Program Itself: I would not begin in the studio. If at all possible, I'd like the program to begin on-location with the reporter who is at the scene of the top story. Then they could hand back to the studio where a follow-up report could be made (say, for example, the program opens with a reporter in Jerusalem, talking about a major event there, then he/she hands back to London, where a feature providing background information and context for the top story is presented). Then, without transiting via a newsreader at a desk, it would be on to the next reporter on-location, or the next prepared report.

The only time that a newsreader seated at a desk would be required would be for stories for which no filed report was made. On normal days this would encompass stories that were deemed worthy of the bulletin, but for which no report was assembled, nor was any reporter sent on-location for a live feed.

The other time that a presenter would be required is, obviously, breaking news/special events.

To address any concerns about a lack of continuity, we could take advantage of one of the marvellous properties of widescreen television: room for a sidebar, on which a select contents could be presented. For example, the story just before, the current feature, and two or three of the upcoming features (preferably with the times they will be presented, e.g., :06 minutes past the hour).

In any case, using this sort of format the news itself would be "the star", rather than the newsreader.
MA
Martin Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
Phileas Fogg posted:
The Program Itself: I would not begin in the studio. If at all possible, I'd like the program to begin on-location with the reporter who is at the scene of the top story. Then they could hand back to the studio where a follow-up report could be made (say, for example, the program opens with a reporter in Jerusalem, talking about a major event there, then he/she hands back to London, where a feature providing background information and context for the top story is presented). Then, without transiting via a newsreader at a desk, it would be on to the next reporter on-location, or the next prepared report.

The only time that a newsreader seated at a desk would be required would be for stories for which no filed report was made. On normal days this would encompass stories that were deemed worthy of the bulletin, but for which no report was assembled, nor was any reporter sent on-location for a live feed.

The other time that a presenter would be required is, obviously, breaking news/special events.

In any case, using this sort of format the news itself would be "the star", rather than the newsreader.


Not all leading news stories require on the scene reporting. Natural disasters, wars, elections and sporting events sure but not for everything else. Take for example today’s top story on Blair ready to resign - Blair along with the likes of Tessa Jowel were taking part in the Sports relief runs. Coming live from the scene would the reporter be left standing in the middle of a fun run talking about political issues or come from Downing Street where nothing is happening.

Even if every story was worthy of on the scene reporting I would imagine it would be a logistical nightmare – coordinating all those satellite links into the one bulletin, and if they fail? News reporters in the field gather the facts and reality behind the story, Newsreaders deliver the story. How can a news reporter get behind the story fully if they are devoting all their time to scripting and presenting the story also?

I’m not a fan of being live at a location purely for the sake of being there – it certainly doesn’t add to your understanding of the story.
RE
Re-it-er-ate
Quote:
News had always been blue, orchestral and boringly authoritarian


Good - and thats what they should go back to now. The news bulletins were done properly then, with decent presenters not just chosen to make it seem equal (ie. Madame Raworth). All of the newsreaders had strong commading voices, and you could trust them.

The Nine o Clock News theme tune played - superbly orchestral powerful theme, and you knew you were going to get a half hour of in-depth, global, political, highbrow, important, commanding news. Now its Edwards plodding through the script, in an awful set, with relatively cheesy, tacky in house titles.

I agree also that any changes should be made all in one go, across the board. Not just tinkering with little bits one at time, then by the time you've finished, the tinkering starts back around again in another cycle. Total relaunches appear to be the best.
HA
harshy Founding member
Marcus posted:
harshy posted:
Marcus posted:
harshy posted:
Marcus posted:
There is a wish to refresh the set and the newsroom. Don't expect to much though as BBC World has no budget!


Yes BBC News 24's gets ever brighter, while World is going in the opposite direction, I guess that explains why no one wants to switch the lights on in the BBC World newsroom!


The lights in the World Newsroom are kept deliberatly low for Health and Saftey reasons. People have to work in there for 10 hour shifts. There is no natural lighting and if the television lights were to high then everyone would have a spliting headache by the end of the day.


It used to be brighter before in the World newsroom, hence those circular lights, at least someone switched one on today!

BBC News 24 workers must work the same, they have a much brighter newsroom, I am sure they must go home with a headache every day then!


No The News24 newsroom has a lot of natural light. It is also much bigger.

Also most of the News24 desks are away from the set. The most anyone sits behind the set is for three hours. World has a much much smaller team and all their desks are behind the set in the newsroom.


OK, thanks for your reply Marcus, but I still think something needs to be done to the newsroom of BBC World, me thinks the new white red transparent desk should go there, others on the Forum will have a different idea on this, but there needs to be something in the BBC World set that ties in with the rest of BBC News!

and at least switch on some of those circular lights, what's the point in having them otherwise, I don't think it will damage peoples brains on the World set!
BO
boring_user_name
Quote:

Good - and thats what they should go back to now. The news bulletins were done properly then, with decent presenters not just chosen to make it seem equal (ie. Madame Raworth). All of the newsreaders had strong commading voices, and you could trust them.

The Nine o Clock News theme tune played - superbly orchestral powerful theme, and you knew you were going to get a half hour of in-depth, global, political, highbrow, important, commanding news. Now its Edwards plodding through the script, in an awful set, with relatively cheesy, tacky in house titles.

I agree also that any changes should be made all in one go, across the board. Not just tinkering with little bits one at time, then by the time you've finished, the tinkering starts back around again in another cycle. Total relaunches appear to be the best.


I agree. News should have authorative, uncluttered titles to grab attention, and only use graphics during the programme to improve clarity.

In terms of presentation, I think ard (the German BBC) has one of the best formulas: it uses a simple countdown and short authorative titles, and then plunges straight into the news. It is refreshingly informative because it is uncluttered and undistracting.
The programme also has continuity with the past, using the same theme since it's inception in the 1950's!
Also, presenters just wear smart business clothes and sit behing a desk - comfortable for the presenter, and easy for the viewer to watch - allowing the news to take precedence.
http://www.tagesschau.de/sendungen/0,1196,SPM7,00.html

Incidentally, I find it interesting that even the television presentation enthusiasts here find the style of BBC News overkill - god knows how the general population percieve it!

Newer posts