BBC UGC – Yes or No?

User Generated Content, Citizen media, particpatory content. Whatever you call it, it’s not going away and the number of advertisers jumping on the bandwagon with various degrees of success increases everyday. The BBC has been there for a while and now we have two stories demonstrating various successes.

In the first, BBC News 24 has started a programme made up of news stories sent in by the public, to “reflect the stories catching our audience’s eye and talking to them directly about the issues they feel really matter.”

In the second, the editor of Newsnight is suggesting that UGC has not been forthcoming for a 2 minute slot on his programme, a chance to get your message in front of 1 million viewers, and he is calling out for entries. In the comments, the lack of response is put down to many reasons: no publicity and short notice; lack of payment when the BBC gets the rights; different demographics of the Newsnight audience vs the typical 16-24 creator; a feeling that it is the BBC’s job to create not the audiences; a feeling that UGC should stay online not in the TV. Also, the difficulty and difference in creating a short video as opposed to a well crafted written piece.

I don’t know why the difference, these are all valid reasons. Maybe because the two types of programme need a different discipline. The first, on a ‘cable’ channel, just asks you to send in things as you think about them and additional work will be done by the reporters. The second gives a finite time for you to create a story that will be shown to a far larger audience.

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