The head of news for BBC Scotland has expressed his thoughts following the rejection by the BBC Trust of the plan to launch an online regional video news feature.
Atholl Duncan has fully supported the plan to launch a £68million network of local video websites despite the outcry from local newspapers which saw they plan as potentially another competitor in what is currently a difficult marketplace.
The decision was announced last week following a report by Ofcom which found that the launch of local video services would see the BBC’s annual revenues fall by up to 4%.
It was concluded that the BBC should focus on improving its existing regional services.
Following the news that the plan will not go ahead, Duncan told the Drum: "We are disapointed that the plans are not going to go ahead as every bit of audience research we do tells us that people want more news from the BBC from their region of Scotland. However, we are interested that the Trust raises the issue of regional opts on TV in Scotland and look forward to discussing that further with them in the coming weeks."
Duncan previously told The Drum that he would have been happy for local newspaper sites to use the BBC’s video reports on their own sites as well should it launch.
The decision was praised by David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society which has been active in condemning the plans at a time when regional newspapers circulation is already in decline.
“We are pleased that the BBC Trust and Ofcom have responded to the industry’s concerns and rejected the BBC Local Video plans for the time being. This is a proposal which the BBC should never have made and would have severely reduced consumers’ media choice and the rich tapestry of local news and information provision in the UK.”