Written by Paula Toole
This week, the BBC World Service launched BBC Minute news, a global update that lasts just 60 seconds.
Described by the corporation as ‘a lively, bite-sized summary of the day’s global news for younger audiences’, its usefulness has already been called into question by some of the traditional media outlets, such as Radio 4’s flagship Today programme (duration: three hours).
After all, how can you summarise complex world events in such a short timescale?
We live in an era where teenagers are no more likely to read a newspaper than they are to use a VHS player.
So, after being criticised for axing youth-focused channel BBC 3, and failing to attract young listeners to Radio 1 (average listening age: 32) the BBC should be applauded for taking its offering to a younger audience in a format that suits their habits and preferences.
The bulletin is designed to appeal to young adults whose shorter attention span and desire to skip seamlessly between multiple social platforms makes even five minutes of news seem tedious and unnecessary.
BBC Minute aims to slot into its users’ existing online lifestyles which, according to Ofcom, can see young people aged 16 to 24 cramming 14 hours of media consumption into just nine hours by multitasking and multi-screening.
These digital natives are absorbed in countless social media platforms from Tumblr and Instagram to Vine and Snapchat. With all this in mind, 60 second news makes much more sense.
With the same Ofcom report suggesting that tech-savvy teens are shaping the media landscape more than ever, could all of this be a sign of the times to come?
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