BBC Trust warns cost cutting should not reduce news quality


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 8, 2012 | 2 min read

The BBC Trust has warned that cost cutting should not lead to a decrease in quality programming, and has backed plans to have only one presenter on BBC News in the evenings instead of detracting from the range and depth of stories covered.

The review by the Trust found that both the News Channel and BBC Parliament are meeting audiences' expectations and fulfilling the aims set for them by the Trust.

It a statement, the Trust has said that it has ‘urged BBC management to build on this success and keep the channels' content and style distinctive, particularly given the challenge of delivering the savings needed under the new licence fee settlement.’

The report found that 19.9% of UK adults viewed the News Channel during 2010/11, up from 11.5% in 2006/7, but the Trust has said that the channel must continue to improve and innovate, to keep it distinctive in an increasingly crowded marketplace for news.

BBC Trustee David Liddiment, who led the review, said: "It is clear that News Channel and BBC Parliament users see these services as distinctive, offering coverage and perspectives they cannot find elsewhere. It is also encouraging that these services are so consistently providing value for money for licence fee payers.

"The past year has seen some hugely significant news stories – from the summer riots and Royal wedding at home, to the Japanese earthquake and Arab Spring uprisings abroad – and audiences tell us that for big national stories the News Channel is their ‘go-to' service.

"Despite this strong performance the News Channel must keep seeking new ways to improve and innovate. There is no doubt that the marketplace for news is becoming increasingly crowded, so it is vital that the channel uses its resources wisely and maintains its distinctiveness and quality, to ensure it continues to deliver for licence fee payers."


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