BBC spotlights viewer content


LONDON -- The BBC plans to launch its first all user-generated content news show on round-the-clock news network BBC News 24, the pubcaster said Monday.

"Your News" will feature news stories and video sent in by the public and draw on the wealth of user-generated content sent daily to the BBC news Web site, which receives more than 10,000 emails a day, the network said.

The news came as the BBC released research suggesting that viewers are abandoning television for the Internet or mobile viewing and entertainment.

According to a BBC News survey, about 43% of people who watched video via the Internet or a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less normal TV as a result.

The study also found that 75% of online and mobile viewers said their viewing had increased over the last 12 months.

However, online video users were still in the minority, the survey found, with just 9% of those polled calling themselves regular viewers.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, whose audio and video podcasts have become hits on the Web, said amateur video will never replace TV but broadcasters will harness the power of the Internet.

"You can't knock up an episode of 'The Sopranos' or '24' on a little handheld digital camera," he told BBC News. "I don't think you'll ever be able to sidestep TV or DVD. But TV companies will embrace it."

The BBC's forthcoming user-generated news show aims to take advantage of the trend toward more mobile technology by allowing viewers to set the news agenda.

" 'Your News' will make use of the huge range of material being sent in to the BBC by the public, some of which has already provided real newsgathering value," said BBC News 24 controller Kevin Bakhurst. "The show will reflect the stories catching our audience's eye and talking to them directly about the issues they feel really matter."

Bakhurst said that the BBC News portal receives thousands of story suggestions, comments, videos and pictures every day, and that "Your News" was a way of broadening the audience for such content.

The show will hit the air in December with features including a piece about dangerous road barriers in Manchester and a campaign to help multiple sclerosis sufferers donate tissue for medical research.