BBC.co.uk is the British Broadcasting Corporation official website
The online address of British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC is bbc.co.uk – a household name for impartial news and views. It made its debut on 6th May 2004. Tony Ageh is the current controller. It is the largest web and also the most visited one. Till date it has two million pages.
Originally the name was www.bbcnc.org.uk. It was started on 13th April 1994. The “nc” stands for ‘networking club’. Within a year BBC came forward with online discussion panels, web pages for some programmes, free web pages for associates and an Internet connection service. After being started off in 1996 the address continued to be the same for sometime. The two sites www.bbc.co.uk (corporate/education site) and www.beeb.com (entertainment) merged in 1998 to become www.bbc.co.uk.
The website is inclusive of general news, sports reporting, information relating to the world of music, technology, science and entertainment etc. It is understandable that the web has a distinct British slant with a choice for viewers between UK and International renderings.
BBC online uses the latest in technology and continuously updates it. It incorporated Douglas Adams and is now introducing into its present message boards DNA software. The Collective magazine of the site also makes use of this software. It is a website with high traffic and has information of this extensive technology. The news website is also available on the XML format. www.bbc.co.uk also allows some select material to be downloaded on the Internet.
BBC is distinctive that the site is not cumbered with any form of advertising. BBC funds itself from compulsory license fees collected from UK television viewers. This has led to some disputes. Those web users, who are outside UK, avail of the services, together with BBC radio, without any sort of contribution. Suggestions have been made that external block users of BBC services should make their specific rendering of the site and support it by their own set of advertisers. Till date this suggestion has not been received warmly. In the case of some high profile sports events (important football and cricket matches) those who are not included in the international facility scheme, are blocked from viewing it.
BBC is mainly hosted from two places – New York and London. The site in London runs on the licence fee that is collected. New York site depends on funds created from a number of grants and not from licence charges.
The BBC News website (BBC News Online) is connected to the news collecting and producing branch of the parent body. It is the most viewed news online service in UK. About 60% to 70% are from Britain. Internationally there are 15 million visitors to the site. The website gives in depth coverage of local as well as international happenings – politics, science, sociology, economics, science entertainment and art. Some clippings are borrowed from BBC’s radio and TV services.
The site took off in November 1997. Mike Smartt founded and headed it. Matt Jones was the first designer. A major overhauling took place in 2003 with the lead being given by Paul Sissons and Maire Flynn. It coincided with a repeat launching of BBC News 24. Pete Clifton replaced Smartt with the latter being promoted to head BBC News Interactive. The departments of editing and management of the site have BBC Television Centre as its base. The teams involved in development and designing of the site are in BBC White City. Both are in White City region. In the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards the site was given the top rank right from 1998 to 2001, after which year the category was discontinued.
In April 2008, the BBC website took yet another significant design change. One of the major additions to the new layout was incorporating the iPlayer in news stories for readers to be able to see embedded multimedia content.
All the articles of the site are stored indefinitely in archives. These can be searched or browsed via the Special Reports division, which contains collections of major news clippings. Hitherto news about the previous week was also readily available. The magazine department includes features based on recent happenings plus regular pieces which are light and entertaining like quizzes, competitions, letters from readers, etc. The most talked about is Have Your Say programme, which is connected to the same television programme. Readers get a chance to argue and present their points of view.
There is a detailed section of the site that presents special in depth reports of various news bits with diagrams and articles giving explanations.
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