Why is the BBC Giving a U.S. Media Corporation an All Day Advertising Boost?

Tomorrow BBC 5 Live will partner with the US-owned left-wing news site Huffington Post for an all day ‘Twenties Takeover’. Guest presenters will be joined by twentysomething producers and reporters to direct the day’s editorial planning, social media and phone-ins from 6 am to 1 am. Rozina Breen, head of news at BBC 5 Live, said: “The idea behind commissioning the Twenties Takeover was to put young people at the heart of BBC 5 Live’s journalism, from editorial leadership to commissioning and storytelling”. Sounds like an innovative idea to empower young journalists.

For some reason they are partnering with the left-wing Huffington Post for the project. Surely out of the thousands of journalists at the BBC some are in their twenties? Why bring in twentysomethings only from one outside left-wing website? We at Guido Fawkes have spent days attempting to help the BBC out and get involved, bringing a bit of left/right balance, to no avail. We asked the producers to be involved and have been firmly rebuffed...

Guido’s news editor wrote on Tuesday to the producer who originated the idea:

Dear Jason,

As the 27-year old News Editor at Guido Fawkes, I was very excited to see your #TwentiesTakeOver article in HuffPost this morning about young people taking over BBC Five Live for a day in collaboration with HuffPost this week. I think it’s a fantastic idea to help nurture young talent and get different perspectives heard.
Both myself and my colleague Tom Harwood are young journalists in our twenties, and we would be delighted to get involved in the project this Thursday. As a right-leaning site we would help to balance out the left-leaning HuffPost and provide a broader range of perspectives from people in their twenties.
Incidentally, Guido Fawkes is the only UK tabloid publication with a 9/9 NewsGuard rating. For comparison, HuffPost only scored 8/9, failing on the criteria: “handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly.”
Please do let me know how we can help take this project forward.
Best wishes
Hugh Bennett

After an initial phone call with the BBC to get a response, it seemed as if they were willing to work with Guido’s twentysomethings. Another call to firm up details found Guido rebuffed, told that the BBC and Huffington Post were running this project and there was no room for any other twentysomething voices editorially. Producers wouldn’t tell Guido how or why Huffington Post are exclusively involved, why a partnership was needed at all considering the thousands of 20-somethings hired by the BBC, and why no other publications were offered a similar deal…

Huffington Post is part of a multi-billion dollar US media and telecoms conglomerate. The value of an entire day of promotion on one of Britain’s national radio stations is hard to quantify. According to one advertising executive we spoke to it would be worth “hundreds of thousands”. Imagine if the BBC was partnering with The Sun or Mail Online, and giving them a entire day’s free advertising to 5 Live’s millions of listeners. There would be an outcry…

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