Personalised news back on the agenda

Tucked away in BBC News director Helen Boaden’s speech to today’s big Future Of News conference: a return to the concept of personalised news. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? 🙂

We have plans – still to be approved by the Trust – to build on our prize-winning website to create a service we are provisionally calling My News Now. This will be a service which allows highly sophisticated personalisation – so whatever your age or interests, you can get the subjects and the styles of news which you find attractive – when you want them, for the present moment or to download for later. There will be audio and video on demand and aggregated pages on a huge range of specialisms. This should also be a service which offers you incredibly detailed information and news on your local area. And of course, all of this should be available as a mobile service – as long as we do it with sensitivity to those already in the market place.

Truly personalised news, down to ultra-local level, takes huge resources. If you’re going to offer news about my town, even my suburb, you need an organisation with someone in my town or suburb to report on it. With its local radio network, the BBC is the only organisation that comes close to this depth of coverage on a national scale. Curiously, the only possible rival is the audience itself..?

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