Digital Media and Reporting Conflict
Blogging and the BBC’s Coverage of War and Terrorism
Routledge – 2013 – 280 pages
Series: Routledge Research in Journalism
This book explores the impact of new forms of online reporting on the BBC’s coverage of war and terrorism. Informed by the views of over 100 BBC staff at all levels of the corporation, Bennett captures journalists’ shifting attitudes towards blogs and internet sources used to cover wars and other conflicts. He argues that the BBC’s practices and values are fundamentally evolving in response to the challenges of immediate digital publication. Ongoing challenges for journalism in the online media environment are identified: maintaining impartiality in the face of calls for more open personal journalism; ensuring accuracy when the power of the "former audience" allows news to break at speed; and overcoming the limits of the scale of the BBC’s news operation in order to meet the demands to present news as conversation.
While the focus of the book is on the BBC’s coverage of war and terrorism, the conclusions are more widely relevant to the evolving practice of journalism at traditional media organizations as they grapple with a revolution in publication.
"This book offers a rare insight into the processes of negotiation within a globally renowned news organisation as it seeks to rethink editorial roles and rules for a networked society." -- Alfred Hermida, University of British Columbia, Canada
Introduction: The Impact of Blogging on the BBC’s Coverage of War and Terrorism 1. The "War and Terror" Blogosphere 2. Blogs: "Rumour, Prejudice and Gossip" or "Standard" BBC Source? 3. Reporting Conflict from News Needles in Digital Haystacks 4. Information Overload, the 24/7 News Cycle and the Turn to Twitter 5. "Outside the BBC Universe?’ Blogging at the BBC 6. "Can You Teach Granddad How to Dance?’"Involving the Audience on BBC Programme Blogs 7. "Live Blogging" Terror: The BBC’s Coverage of the Attacks on Mumbai 8. Reporting Conflict: War in Gaza and the Limits of the News Revolution. Conclusion: The Two Faces of Janus: The Future of Journalism
Daniel Bennett is currently an independent scholar and author of the blogs Mediating Conflict and Reporting War (The Frontline Club).