In The Frame - February '17
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In The Frame - February '17

Delivering News in the 21st Century, a Bafta event that took place earlier this month, hosted a panel of news executives who gave a rounded view of how their product gets made and consumed today, with social media emerging as the big winner. According to the fifth annual Reuters Institute study, published last June, more than half of people online use social media for news each week, with increasing numbers saying it’s their main source of news.

At the event, the audio for which you can download here, Channel 4 News digital editor Jon Laurence said that YouTube is a valuable home for “directors’ cuts”. A 16-minute interview with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, for example, generated ten times more traffic on the site than a shorter Facebook edit. “Long-form video does really well on YouTube, where there is an audience searching for content they are interested in. It was a slightly counter-intuitive realisation.”

BBC News mobile and new formats editor Nathalie Malinarich agreed: “YouTube is a really massive search engine,” she said. “Long-form works much better [than Facebook].” But Buzzfeed UK news editor Louise Ridley had a warning for TV news organisations: “TV tends to think it has to put in lots of resource but that’s not always necessary. You may get better quality but that doesn’t guarantee attention.” For example, a single 22-year-old reporter covered London’s Trump protest via Instagram and Snapchat, generating millions of views.

Facebook, meanwhile, is aiming to take on YouTube with the launch of an app that enables people with Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV and Samsung's Smart TVs to watch user-generated videos directly on their televisions.

A+E Networks has partnered with Snap, Inc. to produce original content for Snapchat. Second Chance, the first unscripted show produced by a network for Snapchat that’s not based on an existing television brand or franchise, will premiere on the platform in April.

Football magazine and website FourFourTwo asks, “Why enjoy real football when you can watch a random bloke play a simulation instead?”, following the announcement that BT Sport will show FIFA 17 matches live on TV for the first time.

BBC News

Following the warning from Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater that ‘crown jewels’ events such as the Olympic Games and Wimbledon could be “abolished by the back door” if the government fails to update legislation that was “written many years ago in an analogue era”, ministers will be given the ability to "future-proof" free-to-air broadcast for certain “at risk” events through a planned amendment to the Digital Economy Bill.

Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Karen Bradley said: “We want to future-proof these regulations so that in an ever-changing digital landscape the public will still have access to the crown jewels of sport on free-to-air channels. Sport has a unique power to have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives and it is right that the biggest events are available to all with their ability to inspire and encourage participation.”

The BBC iPlayer is about to become more personal for connected TV viewers, who – following signing in – will benefit from personalised features such as the ability to resume watching an episode or series started on another device. January was a record-breaking month for the iPlayer, with 304 million requests, the highest ever.

A new three-part comedy thriller will premiere on the iPlayer later this year before being broadcast on BBC Two. Damon Beesley and Iain Morris - writers of The Inbetweeners - and Sam Bain, who wrote Peep Show and Fresh Meat, are the executive producers behind Ill Behaviour.

And finally…

  • La La Land almost won the Oscar for best picture but it actually did pick up the BAFTA award for best film this month. The whole list of winners is here.
  • Next month’s RTS awards will not be hosted by Piers Morgan, as had originally been planned. Morgan has pulled out, saying he didn’t want to become a distraction after a campaign claiming his involvement would be “damaging” and “inappropriate”.
  • ITV is expanding Coronation Street to six episodes per week later this year, as the soap focuses on comedy and lesser-known characters. The expansion will lead to more than 40 new jobs for crew and writers.
  • Nile Rodgers is to present a BBC4 documentary, Lost In Music, in April that “will guide viewers through” the Grammy-award winner’s musical legacy in a new three-part series.
  • Broadcaster, journalist and media commentator Steve Hewlett has died, aged 58. The former TV executive and producer had been suffering from cancer of the oesophagus.

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