Do you ever get the feeling that the BBC News website is campaigning at you? Well, it looks as if it could be (surprise, surprise!)
Sarah Shenker, front page editor for the BBC News website, wrote a blog on the BBC College of Journalism Academy's website last July headlined How could you help people take collective action on climate change?
Sarah headed a BBC team attending a conference in Barcelona. Here's what happened next:
We wanted to look at goal number 13, which is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The idea we settled on was to look at using the News website’s real-time analytics data to show readers the potential impact of collective action.The UK government wants to reduce C02 emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Consumers will have to make some radical changes to their behaviour if we are to reach that goal.The News website has a contract with a company called Chartbeat which provides data on how many people are reading the site at any one time, and how they behave on pages and indexes - showing, for instance, how long they spend reading a piece and where they click to next.Most people understand the climate problems and are concerned about them, but they feel helpless as individuals. We wanted to show in a dynamic way that together our audience could have an impact: “If you were one of 300,000 people on the website now and you all changed your behaviour, what would that mean? How much C02 could you save?”...........
So they got to work on a prototype.
Wonder if it ever got used?We called it BBC Together and see it potentially as an umbrella brand with other journalistic possibilities.We finished the prototype on Thursday evening. We pitched it to the judges, along with the projects from 13 other teams. Ours didn’t win, but we had a good time putting it together, and, who knows, maybe one day it’ll even lead to the saving of some CO2.
A commenter below the line asks the obvious question:
How does this campaign equate with the need for the BBC to remain impartial on controversial issues?