Extract of an interview given to The Guardian by Ros Atkins, published 2/01/2022, interesting insight into a form of straight-talking news.

The ‘explainer format’ : I’ve long been passionate about explanation as a form of news journalism. I launched Outside Source in 2014, so it’s a culmination of seven years of honing how we use language and images to explain stories as clearly as possible. I’ve definitely ended up using a different tone to a classic news bulletin. Three years ago, I noticed that the format was very successful on TV but not getting traction digitally. It wasn’t working for audiences who consume news online. I started to study different types of storytelling – how friends do it in the pub, how comedians, podcasters and documentary-makers do it. That took me to a different place in terms of how I offer up information.

In some ways, what we’re doing is new. In others, it’s as old as the BBC itself. The BBC’s journalism has always been rooted in facts, fairness, objectivity and providing context. These videos reimagine how we do that. Partly because of how politics has evolved, our approach to impartiality was struggling to cope. There was an appetite from audiences to be more robust in our assessments of what’s true. Let’s properly dissect what people are saying. If it’s not true, let’s say so – in no uncertain terms. You don’t bring opinion or emotion into it. It’s simply about using language that’s sparse and direct to help viewers understand. “Assertive impartiality” isn’t my phrase, but it’s not a bad description.

Updated/maj. 03-01-2022

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