The Future of the BBC – my submission to the DCMS Select Committee for Charter Renewal

This is my personal submission to the House of Commons Department of Culture, Media and Sports’ Select Committee inquiry into the future of the BBC in the lead up to BBC Charter Renewal in 2016. It draws partly on my experience as a journalist (including at the BBC from 89-99 and ITN 99-2006) but mostly on my last eight years […]


What Is Visual Journalism?

What IS Visual Journalism? It isn’t just television of course. But it’s not only online pie charts and graphs and representations of data. Visual journalism is about using technology to make news more interactive, more exciting and creative, and make users more involved. This article by Polis intern Arnuradha Santhanam. The BBC set up its new “visual journalism” unit in […]


How Should Media Organisations Adapt To The Future Now? Trends In European Public Service Media (#EBUVision2020 conference report)

  These are my live blog notes from the #EBUVision2020* conference in Brussels – 160+ public service media (PSM) executives from across the continent in a rather ornate Belgian theatre that once hosted Pavarotti. Cue various jokes about fat ladies singing etc. I am the chair of one of the Vision2020 groups that led up to this event. I think […]


Saving Journalism: how far we have come in five years and where we must go now

[[Don't forget to sign up for our free annual international journalism conference on April 5th - details and tickets here]] These are the notes from a talk I gave to a mixture of Spanish academics, journalists and students at the Asociación de la Prensa de Madrid. My host was the Survival of Journalism Project of the Madrid Complutense University. This […]


What next for the BBC? More open, networked, devolved

There is an immediate mess to be cleared up at the BBC but then it needs longer term restructuring. There is a fairly superficial job to be done on getting the right people in the right posts, but then  there is the deeper challenge of changing culture. When Mark Thompson left I wrote that the BBC desperately needed an outsider […]

November 12th, 2012|Media|0 Comments|

Help! What is the value of social media to public service journalism?

Added value for society is generally speaking what public service journalism aims for.  But what’s the public value of a tweet? How should public service journalists use Twitter and the rest of social media to produce public value?

How do we define public value for this new media? Is is just about content? Do customer service and communication with the audience play a […]

September 24th, 2012|Journalism, Research|2 Comments|

It doesn’t matter who is the boss at the BBC. And yet, at this time it matters more than ever.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson was the consummate BBC suit who was promoted quickly, did much, but left little substantial legacy that can be attributed directly to him. He was an adept politician, a hard-working and dedicated servant of public service broadcasting who has left the BBC in relatively good shape considering the challenges it has faced. Overall, the BBC […]

March 20th, 2012|Journalism, Media|2 Comments|

What good is the BBC?

“To make the good popular, and make the popular good.” Huw Wheldon’s definition for the BBC remains an inspiration for George Entwistle, current Director of BBC Vision, 36 years after Wheldon retired as director from the public broadcaster. It is with this in mind Entwistle is navigating the BBC through cost-cutting times. This report on Entwhistle’s talk at Polis/LSE by […]


Don’t blame the media if your demo doesn’t work

Should you blame the media if your demo doesn’t work? Look at it from the journalist’s point of view for a second. There are three big dilemmas in reporting any major demonstration where there is violence.


Sky News Saved: But What About The Bigger Picture?

The Sky News deal is elegant in its ingenuity, but I doubt it will do enough to satisfy the critics of the full merger between Newscorp and BSkyB. Their fears were always about what Murdoch would go on to do with BSkyB rather than just the fate of one news channel.