BBC boss plans to adapt to suit audience

A leading BBC figure says the corporation needs to adapt ahead of its 2016 charter renewal.

Helen Thomas, head of regional and local programmes for the BBC in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, discussed how the internet and social media has altered how the news is told.

She came to Leeds Trinity to discuss a recent BBC report called ‘The Future of News’. Helen raised a debate about how the BBC can best keep viewers informed in a rapidly changing industry.

The first part of the report looks at the various ways in which people consume news and it is intended to shape the future of the BBC. The second part will be presented in the BBC’s overall case for the Royal Charter renewal.

Helen said: “Social media allows us now to have a conversation with people we could never have before, and tell the stories we never could before – it’s a two way dialogue.”

However she also highlighted the need to distinguish between ‘news not noise’ on the internet and identified the BBC is needed now more than ever to be the trusted institution which ‘makes that noise clear’.

Helen told students the corporation will be more open to ideas, working closely with community stations and piloting a late night news programme in an attempt to move with new audience trends.

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