BBC tells news staff to embrace social media

BBC journalists must keep up with technological change – or leave, the director of BBC Global News Peter Horrocks says

BBC news journalists have been told to use social media as a primary source of information by Peter Horrocks, the new director of BBC Global News who took over last week. He said it was important for editorial staff to make better use of social media and become more collaborative in producing stories. “This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary”, he is quoted as saying in the BBC in-house weekly Ariel. Horrocks said that technology was changing journalism, adding that it was important for the BBC to leave a programme-based mindset behind and adapt to new technologies. Internationally, news organisations already have professionalised their approach towards user content and social media. For CNN the deep integration of social media marked an important step in improving their reporting and get closer to their sources – as seen recently with the coverage of the Haiti earthquake. For BBC news editors, Twitter and RSS readers are to become essential tools, says Horrocks. Aggregating and curating content with attribution should become part of a BBC journalist’s assignment; and BBC’s journalists have to integrate and listen to feedback for a better understanding of how the audience is relating to the BBC brand. Following the creation of a social media editor post in October, this marks another fundamental change in the Beeb’s attitude towards social media

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/feb/10/bbc-news-social-media

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