As Matthew Amroliwala, Presenter-Global, BBC World News addressed the audience at NewsNext 2015, he set the tone for the evening’s discussions around the state of the media in India. In his keynote address, Amroliwala threw light on the changing face of news reporting, stressing on the need for innovation and change. BBC had survived because it had changed and constantly innovated, he said.
In India for BBC’s coverage of the Obama visit for his show ‘Global’, Amroliwala treated the audience at the conference, organised by the exchange4media group, to snapshots from BBC’s past. The process of news gathering has undergone a dramatic shift with everyone becoming a reporter. Amroliwala cited examples of citizen journalism, the Hudson river crash landing being one of them. The incident marked a change in how news could be broken in today’s times. A picture clicked by an ordinary citizen had broken the news of the extraordinary landing on water by the pilot. News was now being shared at a rapid pace and BBC, the most shared news brand in the world.
Explaining the process of news presentation on the BBC, Matthew said, “For us at the BBC, breaking news is just a start. We believe in verifying information and giving local stories a global perspective. Crucial facts have always been important for us which is why we have journalists in more than 100 locations to gather and verify the news.”
“Even though news gathering and reporting have changed, there is still place for traditional news sources like the BBC and that’s because the BBC has evolved with time. We still answer the most important questions for viewers. If they see it on BBC they believe it. We have innovated to remain relevant in a complicated eco-system,” he added.
Citing examples of innovation at the BBC, Amroliwala spoke about how Instant Messenger Services were used for sending updates during the Indian elections. Chat Apps have proved successful at the BBC, which is now using them in providing quick and relevant coverage of the Ebola crisis. BBC Trending was yet another example of the station’s new age feature. It is the BBC bureau on the internet which reports on what’s being shared and it matters. It’s the source of the goings-on on social media. The show ‘Outside Source’ captures this reportage on the Television platform.
The BBC believes in telling stories rapidly and accurately, giving people reasons to come back to it for the big stories. Amroliwala also stated that BBC was looking to capture extraordinary stories, pieces of real life that it could depict through its reports. With a new government in place in India, it was time to tell the story of India around the world, through pieces of real life.