One of my research interests is blogs at the BBC, so I was fascinated by the tweets coming from Paul Bradshaw and Dan Bennett on the session on blogging at the internal Future of Journalism conference organised by the BBC’s College of Journalism.
Bradshaw outlined the BBC blogs rules: authenticity, single author, impartiality, comments, commitment and obeying the rules of the blogosphere.
The BBC’s Jem Stone has posted his notes from Peston’s talk on his blog. Among the highlights from Peston’s comments:
- I do see the blog as the absolute cornerstone of the way that I work. It’s central to everything that I do at the BBC.
- The enormous personal benefits are you get to know a load of stuff that you can’t use in a 2-3 minute package on the Ten. Getting out detail that you can’t get into anywhere else is fantastic.
- It also reasserts your ownership and authority when it comes to a story.
- The comments are quite challenging and interesting and often generate ideas about where to go with a story.
- All the standards I apply to my blog are the standards I apply to any other bit of my broadcasting.
- I wouldn’t overstate the risks with blogs. Any time a reporter goes on the BBC News channel or Today programme, there is a huge risk in a two way. At least with the written word you will read it over a few times.At least you get a second pair of eyes. I assume there are many more checks and balances than with most “lives”. I think the reputational risks are diminished.
Perhaps what is most remarkable about this session is that blogs are a relative new innovation at the BBC. The first truly official blog by a journalist was launched in December 2005 by Nick Robinson. Now the corporation has more than 80 blogs, almost half of them by journalists.
It has come a long way since a BBC columnist wrote in 2003:
Blogging is not journalism. Often it is as far from journalism as it is possible to get, with unsubstantiated rumour, prejudice and gossip masquerading as informed opinion.