Atholl Duncan Bites Back At Scottish Press

BBC Scotland’s head of news Atholl Duncan has strongly defended plans by the Beeb to increase online local news video after newspapers attacked the idea on grounds it will erode their markets.

He told The Drum today that he would expect such a development to actually enhance the local and regional news coverage of rivals.

Duncan claimed: “We want to support Scotland’s local newspapers.”

The full article can be read here.

A decision on the plans will be made by the BBC Trust in March.

The Scottish Daily Newspaper Society has already voiced its objections.

They claim it will “seriously distort” the market.



Categories: Blogs

3 replies

  1. Yeah, can agree that the longer-term plan here could be horrific for local press, unless some of them did something radical to try and retain readers.

  2. That’s precisely the big concern of many, Craig. The BBC using its huge resources to drive its tanks onto the lawns of local and regional publishers who don’t yet have the capability – or the management conviction – to launch a full scale assault on Web 2.0 let along compete with such a massive an organisation.
    Although, let’s face it, watching Reporting Scotland bulletins is often embarrassing enough when it cuts away from the ‘proper’ main news, without it getting even more tcheuchter like.
    It strikes me that the BBC is playing a long game here and gearing up for the day when it is no longer funded by the likes of us, positioning its businesses in a way that can either (a) attract advertising or more likely (b) make lots if money if broken up and sold. Might also explain why so many of its recent senior editorial management appointments involve executives with significant marketing backgrounds.

  3. I don’t see the big concern here because the BBC is likely to concentrate on local stories that can be of interest nationally, while the local papers can stick to local interest.
    Also, local papers are hardly running out there and pulling together video and audio snippets, so there’s a cross-over (and I’m sure there will be times the BBC staff take their leads from what the local press are reporting on).

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