BBC Newsbeat

BBC Newsbeat aired at 17:45 pm on the Tuesday 31st of January on BBC Radio 1, the remit of which states that “News, documentaries and advice campaigns should cover areas of relevance to young adults.” (“BBC – BBC Radio 1 – BBC Trust”, 2017). The subject matter of Newsbeat included apprenticeships and Donald Trump. With a target audience of 16 – 25, these topics fit the relevancy requirement described in the remit. The tone is serious with a humour sprinkled in subtly, where appropriate. For example, the segment around Trump is produced, editing together queues and clips with conflict (crying man and Trump calling him an actor) creating humour around a sensitive topic. This style of production is what I would call sonic memes, short sharable soundbites that create humour when edited closely together. The sprinkling of humour is important for a drive time show as the audience is likely to have finished their work day and needs to be informed, but still able to relax. Packed full of clips from the audience, listeners will be able to clearly understand the effects and purpose of the story.

The entire show is based entirely on the relevancy requirement, the format is short, full of funny sound effects and clips that fit in with the mainstream narrative their audience is likely to seeing on social media, whilst still delivering the day’s news. This mainstream spin is likely because the target audience consumes news mainly through social media, and the platforms algorithms are, “creating news “bubbles” where people only see news from like-minded viewpoints” (“Social media ‘outstrips TV’ as news source for young people – BBC News”, 2017) meaning they are used to only hearing a viewpoint they agree with. It could be argued that even though the production of the show is a clever way to help young people engage with the news, this palatable, paint by numbers, social media mimicking format could be enabling the audience to exist in these bubbles and therefore slightly bias by default. Overall the show works for the timeslot it is in not requiring the listener to think too deeply, and let them relax after a hard day’s work.

References

BBC – BBC Radio 1 – BBC Trust. (2017). Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_1.html

Social media ‘outstrips TV’ as news source for young people – BBC News. (2017). BBC News. Retrieved 5 February 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36528256

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