Delighted to see my old mates at Sky News going deeper into blogging. From a press release today:
From Monday 10 July, Sky News will be publishing, News Brief, a news blog looking at the day’s news agenda every weekday morning at www.skynews/publicity (sic) (for the press) and www.sky.com/news (for the public)
This idea has a lot of potential. My conclusion from my two (brilliant) years working at Sky News was this: the viewers want to be ‘part of the team’. There is a very large segment of the audience who consume news almost as a hobby. They actively choose to watch the news, instead of feeling they have a civic duty to do so. (I say ‘they’, I mean ‘we’.)
This blog could be a great way to bring people into the newsroom, and into the brand. Tell them about the nitty-gritty of the morning editorial discussion. Tell them what you’re expecting to happen later in the day, and (importantly) when. Share a bit of the office banter. There’s almost an argument for someone to work on it full-time through the day? – community management takes effort.
The BBC’s new Editors blog goes some way towards this, but it’s crying out for Sky’s characteristic ‘lighter touch’.
They’ve also announced that the channel’s resident geek, Martin Stanford will take over the 8-10pm weeknight slot – with a promise of ‘an interactive ingredient to include viewers’ experiences and reaction to the stories covered’. They make optimistic noises about people contributing via 3G videophone or webcam… but they’ve been soliciting this sort of material for ages, and I have yet to see it being used in anger.