BBC News has outlined its initial plans for how it will continue to offer its audiences trusted and accurate news throughout the Coronavirus crisis.
Director of News, Fran Unsworth, said: “These are unprecedented and difficult days. Trusted, accurate information is vital in a public health emergency and the BBC has a key role to play. We will continue offering our audience a continuous news service on TV, radio and online but this will look a bit different in the weeks ahead.
“Like many organisations we are unable to have all our staff on site due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We are therefore making some changes to what we do to streamline our output to ensure we can work with fewer people and protect the staff who are at work.”
The BBC will be making some visible changes to our output to focus on the latest news, information, live events and audience questions in the coming days. Breakfast, News At One, News At Six and News At Ten will continue to perform a vital role on BBC One, while making some changes to support the BBC’s continuous news channels.
Some visible changes to the BBC’s output will be made to focus on the latest news, information, live events and audience questions in the coming days.
BBC News has moved to a core news service on the BBC News channel in the UK – with fewer branded programmes. This core service will replace some scheduled programmes on BBC Two including Politics Live and Victoria Derbyshire.
BBC News will also provide live coverage of major news conferences and government briefings on BBC iPlayer, TV and News online.
There will also be a reduction in branded programmes on BBC World News – and more integrated working across live TV output behind the scenes. Some Persian TV programmes will be suspended.
Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show will remain on air but will be operated by fewer technical staff; while The Andrew Neil Show, Newswatch and The Travel Show will be suspended. HARDtalk will also be suspended from next week.
Question Time will be broadcast at 8pm every Thursday without a studio audience for a period. It will be broadcast from a fixed location each week. Audiences will submit questions in advance and the BBC are particularly keen to hear from those in vulnerable groups.
The BBC is confident that it can protect much of its regular output at this point – though it is keeping the situation under close review, although it will be making some initial changes.
On World Service English, The World This Week will be suspended, with World Update and Weekend suspended from next week.
In the UK, radio BBC News summaries on BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 5 live will be brought together into a single output, with 6 Music using the same script. There will be shared production and output on Asian Network and Newsbeat. The Week In Westminster on Radio 4 (Saturday mornings) will be suspended.
BBC Radio are also making some other changes to radio studio usage and working methods to protect staff.
Over the last few weeks the BBC have seen unprecedented use of its digital news services in the UK and around the world – with high consumption of live pages, explanatory journalism and in-depth reporting.
The BBC will be making some changes to the way its teams are organised to sustain these vital services – and to ensure it can distribute important information via social media.
BBC Online said; “As a result of this we will be focusing content on the accounts that reach the widest number of people, drawing in effort from across the BBC to support our social media activity, and suspending posts on some smaller accounts over the coming days.”
Newscast will change into a daily edition of The Coronavirus Podcast. Americast, Beyond Today and The Next Episode podcasts will be suspended.