WMNF To Add Some BBC Headline Newscasts On October 11th
Rob Lorei about about 2 years ago
In our recent listener poll the voting is finished and the result was very close: 619 people voted for NPR News Headlines, 629 People voted for BBC Headlines. The result was a virtual tie. The comments, and there were more than 600, were very instructive. WMNF listeners feel passionately about news. Some think there's no need for WMNF to carry either the BBC or NPR. Others love the BBC because (as they said frequently) that the BBC carries more stories about the world that are ignored in this country. Supporters of the NPR Headlines often said that NPR Headlines are more relevant to their lives. I listened carefully to the BBC (making lists of stories carried by the BBC and NPR.) Here are my thoughts:
- The BBC Headlines were more repetitive than NPR (BBC would lead with the same story throughout the day. NPR makes an effort to change and update headlines)
- NPR incorporated more sound and reporter’s stories into their newscasts
- BBC strayed far away from stories central to the lives of our Tampa Bay audience: cricket scandals, the private life of German pop stars, etc.
- NPR gave us up-to date coverage of recent domestic events: the primary elections, Tea Party activism, environmental reports- especially the BP disaster (which the BBC tended to ignore)
- While the long-form BBC News is famous for covering social movements- the headlines concentrated on the natural disasters and crimes (i.e. stolen paintings), giving us very little reportage on social movements around the world.
- NPR does have underwriters while the BBC does not (they are entirely funded by a government tax in the UK.) But the NPR underwriters are not all giant corporations. NPR's underwriters included many non-profits and public policy organizations that are aimed toward charity, peace and social justice.
Both BBC and NPR headlines cost money. We already pay for and carry BBC programming on our new HD3 channel The Source. Our station manager Jim Bennett was able to negotiate with the distributors of the BBC to have the fee waived for a year. So this is what we are going to do: We'll carry both NPR and BBC headlines with this new schedule beginning Monday, October 11th. Here's the schedule:
4AM BBC (new time for news)
2PM BBC (new)
4PM NPR for three minutes followed by Hightower
After carrying this schedule for ten months- we'll review the decision to see how well it's working.
Post your comments below- we want to know what you think.
Rob Lorei News/Public Affairs Director 813 238 8001 x115