Friday, September 1, 2017

Confidential memo

The Today Programme will be modifying its regular paper reviews to include online offerings - from around mid-September. Apparently those who write the stuff have to be "trained" to get this right.

The news comes from BuzzFeed, which has been pressing for inclusion for some time; BuzzFeed's political editor and cheeky monkey Jim Waterson has the internal memo (which Today wanted to keep confidential...)

Colleagues, For some time now a debate has been going on between the newsroom, the Today programme and R4 about the paper review. It is an important and popular part of the programme and the network but, as we know, fewer people are getting their news from the papers while an increasing number rely upon new media for news and comment. 

We have been asking ourselves how best to ensure the review remains modern and relevant. We have concluded that the review needs to evolve or as someone once wrote: for things to remain the same, everything must change.

Consequently, we are going to change the way we do things if the slot is retain its relevance. The papers will continue to form the backbone of the review but we are going to include some of the "new" news sources found online and elsewhere. We think too there is a case for including foreign news titles more regularly. 

Of course, changing the format means we will have to train those who write the review. Details about how we will do this will follow. We are looking to make the changes in the middle of September in time for the party political conferences. 

I'd appreciate it if we could keep this information to ourselves for the time being as the BBC will be making a publicity announcement nearer the time.

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