Friday, 15 October 2010

Johnston boss: 'Limit BBC's local web stories'

Regional newspaper groups will not be able to charge for digital content unless the BBC local ambitions are controlled, John Fry, chief executive of Johnston Press, tells the Daily Telegraph today.

Fry says he has written to the BBC Trust calling for it to limit the number of local stories it can publish on the internet in a geographical area to no more than three stories per region or city . The Telegraph says his demand comes as he wants the group to introduce more paid-for digital content but claims the BBC could prove a stumbling block to Johnston's efforts.

"We've not got a response yet, as it is part of a wider review. The danger is that it could be pushed into the long grass," Fry tells the Telegraph.

The Telegraph adds: "High on his agenda is deciding whether to follow some national newspapers and launch paywalls on regional newspaper websites, with the popular an obvious target. He says that this is something that is being considered, but he is waiting for greater penetration of internet-enabled devices such as iPads and iPods."

Fry says once iPhone penetration grows, there will be significant take-up for local news apps that offer anything from local library and cinema times to speed camera locations.


Anonymous said...

John Fry is right. The BBC should make its radio and TV news available online but it should not generate stories specifically for the web at all. Its remit is to broadcast, not webcast. Let's not lose site of the fact that in order to fund the BBC, it is the ownership of television sets - not internet devices - that is licenced.

The type of stories John Fry is complaining about are often those which would naver make the cut on radio or TV - and if that's the case, the BBC should leave them to other publishers. Frankly, I'm surprised no-one has debated this before.

Anonymous said...

"Its remit is to broadcast" I think you'll find that does include the web (look up the definition of broadcast!)

Anonymous said...

The web is broadcast, broadcast is the web. Wake up Fry, it's not 1980 old boy.

Anonymous said...

I think back to the sound of a world war two film, jap plane heading for the carrier...