Monday 11 November 2013

News/Current Affairs Blog 2: BBC Click

Next post for my Journalism Writing module - I don't think C4 had another First Cut on this week so I went with this instead.#

BBC News: Click
24m 43s
First broadcast 1.30am Sat 9 November 2013

Click is the BBC’s flagship technology programme, presented by Spencer Kelly. It comprises current news features, as well as a section with tech headlines and Webscape, which features websites and smartphone apps that may be useful or entertaining.

The first feature is about the rise of file-sharing site Bit Torrent, and how the company is trying to shed its reputation for being a piracy haven. The most interesting technique used here is superimposing diagrams and graphs onto footage of Kelly. This means he can use gestures to help explain how torrenting works, which makes it a lot clearer. I think it’s a great use of a visual medium.

Some interview clips of the Director of Analysis of NetNames, the creator of Breaking Bad and two actors from Game of Thrones are used to provide different views on piracy. The TV show interviewees are against backgrounds that feature a poster of their respective shows. David Price of NetNames first appears in front of a map of the world, which presumably shows piracy activity, although this is not made clear. The second time he is shown, a bright, messy background that quite frankly distracting is used. It really doesn’t add anything and just looks hideous.

The feature is concluded with a reporter interviewing Bit Torrent founder, Bram Cohen. The reporter is included in this interview, which could be for a few reasons. It seems more natural to feature this as a conversation, since it is an extended take, rather than short clips. The reporter also offers explanations in layman’s terms and adds extra context to the interview, which is important to avoid the audience feeling detached from a technical subject.

The technology news section is a voiceover with some relevant clips on the screen. The headline for each news item is displayed throughout.

Kelly then introduces a feature on Game City, a video game festival in Nottingham. It seems odd that the way he talks about it is like it is a new event, but the feature reporter says it is the 8th annual Game City event. I would guess that Click is aimed at people who don’t know much about technology, so it is reasonable to expect that they have never heard of the event before.

The feature is reported on by Mark Cieslak, who is filmed in Nottingham and at the event, as well as providing voiceover for clips of the event. Some developers are interviewed, with footage of their games appearing on screen.

Finally, the show returns to Kelly in the studio, where he introduces the Webscape segment. This is presented by Kate Russell. Clips of apps/websites are shown with a frame designed to look like a web browser. The address bar has the website/name of the app in, which is useful. Russell explains what the apps are for, and after screenshots are displayed, she is shown next to a screen in a studio. This stops the show from seeming too impersonal. I think it’s important to have the presenters and reporters on screen from time to time, to keep up engagement with the audience.

For such a short programme, they actually manage to fit a fair amount in. The Bit Torrent feature was around 10 minutes long, taking up just under half of the airtime. This seems like a reasonable amount of time to spend on a feature, especially as there was a range of interviewees included, as well as some technical information.

The Game City feature was also interesting, although as mentioned before, I take issue with the fact it was introduced as a brand new event. The tech headlines are good to include, but I feel that Webscape isn’t best suited to television. It would work a lot better online, with links to the content. However, it could be argued that showcasing features like Webscape on TV allows the BBC to reach a more diverse audience - people who watch Click aren't necessarily trying to seek out information on technology. I imagine people stumble across this show when watching BBC News and it has to be interesting and entertaining to hold their attention. This is evident from the opening, which is a visual joke in which Kelly has failed to load due to a bandwidth error.

No comments: