Britain Brightens Communications: An overview of BBC

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.23.58 AM.pngA news organization has the good, the bad and the ugly. Throughout this semester I have been following bbc.com as they cover the biggest stories across the pond and around the world. Here is my listicle of the highs and lows this news organization experienced during the past few months:

5. Nature:

~BBC not only covers a wide variety of environmental issues, but also animals in the wild. They explore different species and how the environment impacts them.

~ They have dedicated a whole section to creating wildlife documentaries that are aired on television. They even included a section on how their videographers are able to capture those never before seen footage.

4. Data Visualizations:

~BBC lacks data visualizations. It is very difficult to find one story that includes some form of data. Including data in stories is becoming more important and while BBC excels in other areas, they do not in this category. For example: this article was the only one of many I found that actually included a graph of some form.

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3. Breaking News:

~Social media coverage of live events is great. BBC has found new ways to interact with the public. For example they post Instagram stories that include polls. That way people can feel they were directly involved with the event unfolding. BBC also has multiple Twitter accounts that allow people to follow the big story and updates along the way.IMG_7268

~While Twitter and Instagram are used heavily, Facebook is used as an outlet to post articles. There are not many live updates on Facebook and I think this could be an area of use in the future.Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.09.49 AM

2.Covering the news around the world:

~While only a few news sources cover world wide news, BBC goes out of their way to keep everyone updated. The best example I saw of this was when BBC covered a small incident in Georgia revolving around a teacher who shot a single shot through a high school ceiling. Not even the U.S news outlets covered this story heavily or had coverage at all because it came just days after the Parkland Shooting.

~BBC is able to capture the worlds attention and is a leader in doing so.They cover each event equally and unbiased adding a new twist to their stories just like their mission statement exclaims.

1. Visuals:

~Visuals, visuals, visuals. WOW. Does BBC do a great job with visuals. They even have a whole section dedicated to storytelling through photos. Every story has a visual even if it

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.21.40 AMis a small screenshot of a phone. They incorporate a photo of some form in every story.

~While there are a lot of photos, BBC also links to other related articles with even more photos from different angles. They capture the all around feeling of their article with visuals as well as their storytelling.

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For the future:

BBC is on the right track. They are up to date with all of the latest trends including social media. However, there are areas that can be improved. Their data visualizations need to be taken to the next level. Without the data visualizations it is hard for readers to understand all of the numbers being thrown at them in fancy words. Other than that BBC is excelling and becoming one of leading news sources around the world. Although based in Britain they are encouraging other news outlets to step up their game and cover more. They are brightening the world of communications.

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Who’s your Data?

Data visualizations are becoming more and more popular with the rise of access to information. People can now easily scrape websites for information instead of running numbers. They can even put together a story that includes a lot of analysis, but in a way that is easy for readers to interpret.

BBC is no exception when it come to data visualizations, but I was a little surprised as to how long it took me to find an article with graphs or charts. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to dig my way through enough articles and links that I found two articles that stood out.

Scientist have recently discovered that the more popular an animal is the greater the disadvantage they have. Thus, the more popular the animal the more likely they are to be in danger of extinction. Researchers surveyed participants about whether they thought the animal was extinct or not. The results were very surprising. In the graph below we are looking at the percentage of people that answered ‘no’ stating that they did not think these animals were endangered:

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This graph allows readers to understand how many people believe that these animals are okay. That is not the case. The data visualization allows readers to comprehend how serious this issue is around the world.

The second article I found was solely about data visualizations to explain how the NHS is in trouble. Every section of the piece was accompanied by a graph of some form. Check out the ten charts here. 

Overall, BBC writes many articles that could use data visualizations. The fact it was difficult to find a chart makes me think BBC is a little behind in the game.

This just in…

Breaking news: newly received information about an event that is currently unfolding. As a news organization it is the duty of the people who work their to unfold a story as

 

accurately and as time sensitive as possible.

If there is a big story breaking then the public must know immediately because they

could have family, friends or acquaintances in the area. It is our job as journalists to let the public know what is going on.

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Egypt votes for President while BBC breaks the news to us via Instagram story.

BBC takes a different angle when covering breaking news. They post 40 second videos on their Instagram, contribute to their Instagram story and update their Twitter consistently.

While many news sources are still getting into the game with updating their social media, BBC has already gone above and beyond. Below is a their Instagram post on the recent Siberia mall fire. They posted to their story, page and Twitter.

News outlets are constantly coming up with new ways to break news. Some are doing better jobs than others. But in the end it is about getting it right.

Security! Security!

Facebook is under fire as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been summoned by a parliamentary committee to give personal evidence around the use of personal data by Cambridge Analytica (CA), who is accused of utilizing over 50 million Facebook users information.

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The formal document that Mark Zuckerberg was sent summoning him to the parliamentary committee.

CA, a London-based firm, has denied any allegations. BBC has covered this story over the past few days taking many different angles. They touched on the fact that Facebook has lost over 50 billion dollars from its market value.

Another short story explained how Zuckerberg was not in attendance at an open meeting, Tuesday, to discuss the issue. The story is staying hush hush right now as no one has publicly spoken about the issue since it was released.

Protecting your private information, and data, on Facebook and any other social media platform has become a great issue today. BBC has put together a tip sheet for those looking to protect themselves from people stealing data in the future:

  • Keep an eye on apps, especially those which require you to log in using your Facebook account – they often have a very wide range of permissions and many are specifically designed to pick up your data
  • Use an ad blocker to limit advertising
  • Look at your Facebook security settings and make sure you are aware of what is enabled. Check the individual app settings to see whether you have given them permission to view your friends as well as yourself.
  • You can download a copy of the data Facebook holds on you, although it is not comprehensive. There is a download button at the bottom of the General Account Settings tab. However bear in mind that your data may be less secure sitting on your laptop than it is on Facebook’s servers, if your device is hacked.

Another simple way to save yourself is to simply delete your Facebook account, but in a world where we are in constant connection one another that is not a truly viable option. Especially for journalists. Data is being exploited all the time, so to protect yourself 100% is going to be difficult.