After a semester looking at and following BBC News and tracking how it deals with breaking issues, here are a few observations.
1 – BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT – FORMAT
BBC News writes its articles out in short sentences.
This allows for a better categorization of the main ideas, while also keeping the flow and pace of a regular article.
- BBC News will also use hyperlinks in the middle of their articles.
- These hyperlinks link the reader to other, related articles.
- This makes any article a part of a wider series, and thus part of a wider discussion
All pastiche-ing of BBC’s style aside, their constant use of brief sentences in their main articles such as the one hyperlinked here make for a quick, yet smooth reading that fully informs readers of the subject at hand. On top of this, their use of timelines, graphs and images make understanding topics much easier.
2 – KEEPING EVERYONE IN MIND – QUALITY
Over the course of covering the BBC, or more specifically BBC News’ online news page, I’ve noticed that the BBC strayed from their original mission statement (as recapped on this blog here), but only on one specific factor: servicing only the United Kingdom’s nations and regions. BBC News has evolved with the times, and instead of just providing information to Britain’s territories has instead decided to give its “impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them” (as stated in their “Public Purposes”) to the very world around them.
The BBC’s news has thankfully remained impartial to this day, yet one can’t help but notice that instead of taking a position in particular, BBC uses tone to denote any sort of leanings towards one side or another. Take, for example, their coverage on US President Trump, the latest iteration of which is the monster of an article “100 Days – America in a Time of Trump”. While even the BBC’s New York branch cannot be partisan in any way, the article’s overall tone is one of general disapproval of the current President – even ending with “One hundred days into a presidency the like of which this country has never seen before, the state of the union is disunion.” Also note that while the article deviates from BBC’s usual shorter-sentence format, its use of hyperlinks, graphs and videos make the article more than just an article – as stated before, the article becomes a piece of an overall discussion that can be fully read, if the reader gives their time to it.
3 – BBC IN 2017 – ONLINE PRESENCE
The BBC’s online presence continues their ongoing brand as a long-standing source for impartial, objective news. Their Twitter presence is especially notable for that – headlines are as objective as their articles, as seen in the examples below:
BBC’s use of large images, as well as a one-sentence summary of what the article entails, make their Twitter posts invitations towards reading their content. This, along with their overall weight as a brand, established presence in the news world, and use of “Live” technology in order to cover breaking news online, keeps their internet presence practically intact.
What’s more, BBC also created a way for its readers and viewers to directly relate their experiences to them using BBC’s Have Your Say, which shows an interest in their readerbase whether it be for opinions on political decisions in Europe or to look at cute pictures of babies smashing cakes.
4 – A SUMMARY, BUT NOT A FAREWELL
While my coverage of the BBC for any college purposes ends here, my interest in the BBC does not. As a student of journalism and a foreigner, the BBC has been my go-to source for an educated, well-informed, objective, factual… Well, the best outsider’s look on what’s going on in the United States and the world in general. The BBC has always managed to stay firm to its core beliefs and combat this slew of biased – and often fake – news seen on the internet these last few years – and hopefully, it’ll stay that way.