Listeners to the Today Programme or The World At One on Radio 4 may have noticed a significant change in the back-announcements from presenters since the turn of the year.
Whereas we used to be told that we could – for example – see photographs of a subject discussed on the programme ‘on our website’, we are now directed to ‘our Facebook pages‘.
Does the change make any difference? For one thing, it means you have to be signed up for Facebook to see the material, so it is no longer accessible to anyone on the world wide web – it’s part of a growing ‘closed’ network. For another, it means the BBC is no longer the ultimate ‘curator’ of that material, which may have long-term implications for the archive.
It’s all part of a major redesign of the BBC’s websites, which many will see as a downgrade. Most programmes will now have only an ‘automated’ web page rather than a dedicated page with custom-built content.
In another major change, the BBC Trust has decided to allow the World Service to run advertising on some websites and radio programmes.