Moving BBC World News, the BBC’s largest television channel, from west London to New Broadcasting House in the centre of the city is a huge project that has taken years of planning.
Relaunching and rebranding every hour of its 24 hours of output to give audiences around the world a new exciting polished HD product has made that huge project even more challenging.
Hopefully on Monday at 1200 GMT, the hard work of our 100 dedicated staff will give our audiences a bolder, brighter, more engaging look for the channel they trust to give them independent, objective news and analysis from more correspondents, in more locations, than any other international broadcaster.
Meticulous planning began about three years ago – everything from the new look of our studios to bicycle parking. We tested our studio systems – literally to breaking point – then fixed them and began the dual-running piloting that has split our newsroom teams between those keeping us on air back at Television Centre and those training and developing our programmes in our new home.
We’re calling our new location The World’s Newsroom because it truly reflects the world we report. We now work with colleagues from 27 language services who report for us from far flung bureaus and in London, allowing us to celebrate their unique expertise – something no other broadcaster can offer.
We’ll be introducing you to those new colleagues and our new location in special live reports from inside New Broadcasting House and offering enhanced social media access so you can enjoy behind-the-scenes access.
Audiences have also told us they want to engage more with the stories we tell – to feel closer to the issues we report. We’re going to help you “live the story” with us. It’s our new channel ethos.
Our correspondents – expert, brave, tough, determined – live and work where they report, and we want audiences to understand their passion for the stories they cover. So expect a new style of reporting from the field. And we’ll be everywhere for our relaunch with live and exclusive reports planned from Syria, China, the US and Burma to name just a few.
In the studio, trusted and familiar presenters will be sharing the day’s top stories – with a sprinkling of new faces on air. We’ll have a more dynamic look, with robot cameras whizzing around our studios, improved graphics and high definition screens to enhance our ability to explain and analyse. We even have some virtual reality surprises planned.
We’re also developing new long-form programmes, so expect to see new hard-hitting and timely documentary series. There’ll be fresh new editions of favourites such as HARDTalk with Stephen Sackur (our interrogator-in-chief), Click for the latest on tech and Health Check for medical breakthroughs.
BBC World News has come a long way since it launched as a shoestring commercial operation in a backroom at Television Centre more than 20 years ago. Our audiences have grown massively. We’re required viewing from the President’s White House in Washington to the President’s Blue House in Seoul. And in an era when bad mortgages in the US can trigger a global economic meltdown, we know there is a huge appetite for world news delivered fast, accurately and objectively.
We hope you’ll enjoy our new look. And we hope you’ll join us in the world’s newsroom.
Andrew Roy is head of news for BBC World News