BBC changes strategy for journalists to better suit mobile devices

The new guidelines include a recommendation for shorter and less formal videos to suit news consumption trends.

BBC journalists have now been instructed that their news videos should be less formal and shorter, in order to better appeal to the shift that the public has been making toward mobile devices when they consume the news.

These new guidelines were created and issued to reporters under the title of “How to Win at Mobile”.

Journalists were instructed to try to keep their videos limited to 60 to 90 seconds in length, as this is considered to be more appealing to people who will be viewing them on social media and mobile devices, said the documents. The guidelines use certain popular sources such as Vice and Buzzfeed, which were both in attendance at a recent conference. The guidelines were meant to provide advice with regards to the ways in which to better reach the millennial generation, who are much less trusting of mainstream media, and who “prize authenticity, immediacy and vibrancy.”

The BBC stated that this strategy was simply to better suit mobile devices and not to try to imitate others.

Mobile Devices - BBCAccording to a spokesperson from the company, “We are committed to providing the trusted news we know audiences value and expect from the BBC, at the same time we must also keep pace with the way people want to access news. This means more public service news via mobile so it can be personal, portable and on-demand.”

These new instructions were created as a component of Project Newstream at the BBC. Project Newstream is a type of initiative designed to ensure that the content produced by the corporation will be more mobile friendly. It was first unveiled in September by its director general, Tony Hall.

Upon first unveiling the strategy, Hall explained that the corporation would be using the next decade in order to “ride two horses – serving those who have adopted the internet and mobile media, while at the same time making sure that those who want to carry on watching and listening to traditional channels continue to be properly served too.”

This change in direction has arrived at the same time that the BBC has been struggling to justify the online news coverage that it has been creating, in face of the criticism that it has been receiving from commercial rivals. Several newspaper industry players who are in direct competition with the new media organizations when it comes to snatching up online advertising spending, have said that the BBC should be scaling back its operations in terms of digital news for PC and mobile devices.

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