In the hot seat:
Zoe Kleinman: Technology Journalist at the BBC
The BBC Online Tech Team:
- Their focus is consumer mainstream; stories that have a broad appeal; a human angle; how technology is making our lives better and what can we learn from technology; societal impact on technology; “We are here to inform the public”
- The team work from 8 – 6pm (not in shifts like the business team)
- The aim is the file 4-5 stories a day.
- 8.45am is the online team meeting where reps from each section discuss their stories
- By 9.30/10am they have a strong idea of the stories they are going to write
- No group email address.
- Their coverage is on the companies that we interact with: Apple, Google, Facebook, Spotify & Instagram etc
- And on the issues that impact us and society: Face recognition, games industry, smart phones, broadband, 5G, cyber, tech regulation, data protection etc.
Zoe’s Top Tips:
- Ideally tries to spend a day week out of the office / planning / researching
- Day visits need to be a ‘full day’ with multiple meetings / story ideas
- Very interested in regional stories etc
- Invitation to events; open to ideas but has to be engaging and valuable. Ie not keen on sitting at a conference hearing speakers. Has to be seriously worthwhile..
- Gets hundreds of emails. Can’t read them all. Not keen on PRs following up..
- Pitch before 8.45am or the day before for stories of the day
- Otherwise pitch lunchtime / early afternoon
- If pitching for TV, radio or something outside London – suggest 2 weeks in advance
- Surveys are of little interest
- Keen for spokespeople and short comments on breaking stories and themes
- Always interested in more female ‘voices’
- Technology of Business – Ben Morris
- Two features a week are written online for the Technology of Business section – appearing on a Tuesday and Friday.
- TechTent: BBC World Service on Friday’s. Focus: The world of technology
- Editor: Jat Gill and hosted by one of the team – often Rory Cellan-Jones, Jane Wakefield, Zoe Kleinman and Chris Foxx
- 26 mins show. Always interested in spokespeople (pre-recorded interviews)
- Tue/Wed planning starts.
- BBC Click: is the BBC’s flagship TV technology programme on BBC News channel.
- Different team and as TV think about strong pictures; also like a longer lead time.
- They also like gadgets – hands-on access etc