Engage with bloggers, says the BBC

    February 10, 2006

BBC journalist Paul Reynolds regards the blogosphere as a source of criticism that must be listened to and as a source of information that can be used.

In a lengthy article on the BBC News website, Reynolds presents a number of examples to back up his conclusions that mainstream media has to sit up, take notice and develop some policies to meet the challenges presented by an alternate news and information channel – an “army of irregulars,” as he puts it.

It’s a two-way street, in my view – bloggers need to reach out and build connections with the mainstream media, too. With this in mind, Reynolds’ concluding commentary is especially worth paying attention to:

[…] Richard Sambrook, head of the BBC World Service and Global News Division (who runs a blog himself) accepts that the BBC needs to do more.

“The BBC should proactively engage with bloggers. This is a new issue for us. Some departments look at blogs, though haphazardly. But it pays dividends. The BBC is a huge impersonal organisation. It needs to come out from under its rock,” he says.

As for using blogs as a source he says: “The key is careful attribution. It would be a big mistake for the MSM to try to match the blogs, but they can teach us lessons about openness and honesty. The MSM should concentrate on what it can do – explain, analyse and verify.”

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Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.