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BBC’s Atomised News aims to capture young eyeballs

BBC R&D is looking to engage a generation of Snapchat addicted viewers with a technology that breaks news stories down, taking them on non-linear journeys aimed at deepening their understanding of important stories.

Highlighted as one of the innovative technologies on display at IBC this year, in Sunday morning’s ‘What Caught my Eye’ (WCME), the technology is aimed at the 16-24 demographic, who consume the majority of their news via social media.

BBC R&D senior producer Barbara Zambrini explained to WCME speaker Iain Millar, a managing partner at brand experience agency Rufus Leonard, that the technology hopes to help them engage with young audiences by breaking news into smaller self-contained “atoms”.

“Atomised news provides the consumer with summaries and deeper information – if they wish – by breaking down news stories into components and describing them with structured data so that we can then reassemble them back together in interesting ways,” she said.

“The challenge is to provide the news in a quick, snappy format while also providing the opportunity to deepen their understanding when needed.”

According to Millar, who spent yesterday trawling the floors for innovative technologies, the project is part of BBC R&D’s work on object-based broadcasting and new ways of telling stories on the internet.