The BBC’s news and current affairs programming is failing to meet audience expectations according to a review by the broadcaster’s governing body, the BBC Trust.
The Trust oversees the BBC’s broadcasting and commercial operations on behalf of Licence Fee payers and has the power to call for changes and improvements to output.
According to today’s report, audiences want the BBC “to do more to cover stories and issues which stand out” and believe its online news service is failing to provide sufficient depth.
Some viewers and listeners say coverage is “distant” from their lives while others believe it fails to offer “fresh perspectives” on issues.
The Trust says programmes should make more use of the BBC’s local news teams on national bulletins and increase the amount of graphics and audio/video content available online in order to bring stories closer to audiences.
Managers are also being challenged to increase the diversity of news teams both on-screen and off-screen to provide LF payers with “a multiplicity of voices”.
Diversity should also be achieved by ensuring “the BBC does not simply duplicate what is already on offer elsewhere in the market.”
In addition, journalists and editors are being urged to give more credit to other news-gatherers by linking to and acknowledging external sources for stories.
BBC Trustee Richard Ayre said: “Though news and current affairs are performing extremely well, the issues we’ve asked the BBC to address will help them to keep pace with changing audiences and unprecedented technological shifts.
“None of this is about radical or sudden changes in editorial direction, it’s simply ensuring the BBC is fleet of foot in responding to the challenges ahead.”