How the BBC Rewrote Journalism – London Paper – By Danielle Duggan


Aside from being packed with history, culture, and plenty of tourists, London is a city filled with media. From advertisements lining the walls of the tube stations, to the various newspapers that are handed out on street corners, there are multiple forms of communications constantly at play. A media outlet that’s both similar and different to similar establishments in the United States is the British Broadcasting Corporation. Though both the BBC and large news outlets in the United States share similar journalistic standards, their format, size, and various other things are very different.

The size and reputation of the BBC is unlike any news source in the United States. It is the primary provider of news in the United Kingdom and also provides news to audiences all around the world. This puts a large amount of pressure on the BBC to be completely accurate and always tell the full truth. The BBC has done a remarkable job of gaining the trust of audiences and proving to them that they are a reliable source of accurate news. In the United States, there is no single institute that’s dominates over other news outlets. There are a few news organizations that are larger than others, but none come close to comparing with the incredible size of the BBC. Audiences look primarily to local news channels to find their local and global news. In England, a local news station was created and declared as a failure. Though it is still running, there is a very small pool of viewers and the program was unsuccessful.

Due to the BBC’s massive size and dominance in the industry, they are able to hold a very high standard for those who they employ. This organization hires only the best of the best in every aspect of the station. The BBC has the most talented journalists, producers, editors, and camera men in the world and can continue to recruit this level of talent. In the United States, because there are so many different news organizations, no single place has all of the best talent. The larger stations have a higher level of talent than the small, local stations, but the talent pool of journalists is spread out throughout stations in the US.

Another difference between the BBC and United States news outlets is a difference in funding. The BBC is publicly funded through the License Fee. This fee is a cost that everyone using a TV for a certain year must pay in order to obtain programs. This money goes toward financing the BBC and funding their programs. News stations in the United States don’t have that luxury. There is nothing of any similar sort in the US, which forces news stations to earn their own funding.

Though the news outlets differ in size, they both follow very similar journalistic standards. Broadcast news organizations in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, aim to provide audiences with the complete, unbiased truth. As far as priorities go, they put the need to get news out quickly directly below the need to get the news out accurately. Though speed is important, news outlets in neither country want to compromise quality and accuracy for speed. They also both value remaining unbiased. Though the BBC sticks to this better than news organizations in the United States, their goal is the same. Print newspapers tend to have slight bias, but broadcasting channels do a better job stating facts and keeping opinions out.

While most news stations in the United States broadcast news and do much little else, the BBC provides a large variety of services. Along with providing news, the BBC has numerous channels that broadcast television shows, documentaries, and other TV programs. The BBC shares its news on radio, TV, and Internet forums as well. It is a giant corporation and news is only one of its multiple features. In the United States, one news organization typically only provides news. Almost all stations share news only on TV and Internet forums and very few times do they do much else.

News organizations in both countries are being faced with the issue of a changing news industry. People no longer sit in front of their TV screens every night at 6 p.m. to watch the nightly news. Most seek news on Internet forums or on social media. Even if someone does want to watch the TV broadcasted news, they’ll often watch a clip on a news station’s website or record the program and watch it at their convenience. The news industry is being forced to adapt and change and alter their skills accordingly. Journalists in both countries are now being expected to obtain more skills and be more versatile in the newsroom. One must be able to put together an entire story package on their own and no longer have the luxury of having a camera man to shoot for them and another person to edit for them. Journalists in both countries are also expected to increase their technological and social media skills. So much of the world uses social media to find their news and journalists are expected to spread news using these forums. The days of printed newspapers are long gone, and in their place are days of scanning Twitter feeds and hash tags for details on the latest story. Journalists are learning to adapt and in both the US and the UK, are prepared for the constantly changing world of news to only keep changing.

Overall, regardless of size, format, or viewership, journalism in the United States and the United Kingdom are the same. Journalism, regardless of what country it is being broadcasted in, is storytelling. It’s informing the public of the information they need to know in order to form an educated opinion about an important topic. Journalists need to be well trusted by their audiences that they’re broadcasting true facts and avoiding any sort of bias. Though the news industry is constantly changing, it will never go completely away. It will continue to change and evolve like it has done in the past and both the United States and the United Kingdom will work to keep up with it.

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