BBC plans ‘to bring country together’

Tony Hall
Image caption Director general Tony Hall outlined the BBC’s priorities on Wednesday

Tackling fake news, bringing Britain together and playing “a vital role” for the country abroad are among the BBC’s priorities for the year ahead.

Investing in content that “no other broadcaster would make” is among other aspirations detailed in the BBC’s second Annual Plan.

Further improvements to the BBC iPlayer have also been promised.

Challenges facing the BBC include the changing nature of media consumption, particularly among the young.

The Annual Plan’s ambitions were outlined to BBC staff by Tony Hall, director general of the corporation, on Wednesday morning.

The far-reaching plan outlines the importance of the BBC’s role in society and in tackling false information.

Up to 1,000 schools around the country will be offered mentoring from expert BBC journalists to help young people identify real news.

The BBC also pledges to invest in “a uniquely distinctive mix of content… new talent and new voices around the UK”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Armando Iannucci, James Corden and Steven Moffat started their careers at the BBC

Hall included the likes of James Corden, Steven Moffat and Armando Iannucci as examples of writers who cut their teeth at the BBC.

He outlined his commitment to ensuring new talent is recognised and nurtured at the BBC to create a new generation of original content providers.

This will counter the likelihood that the total amount invested in UK content will fall over the next decade.

Hall said that 2018 was “about delivering for young people” and outlined the competition the BBC faced from streaming services.

He assured his audience that, despite the popularity of Netflix and Amazon Prime, the BBC had an audience share of 57% amongst young people.

Image caption Gangster drama Peaky Blinders was a hit on iPlayer

Hall said customisation was key to engaging viewers with BBC content on the iPlayer.

More than 15 million people are currently logging into the on demand service each month.

Improvements to the iPlayer this year will include increased availability of content, enhancements to the user experience and more personalisation.

Series like Blue Planet II, Taboo and Peaky Blinders saw the service record its best ever year in 2017.

The BBC’s global reach will be further boosted by the BBC World Service, said to be undergoing “its biggest expansion since the 1940s”.

This year’s plan follows the BBC’s first Annual Plan last year, which pledged to spend extra money on children’s content.

The annual plan is separate from the BBC’s annual report, which looks back over the previous year’s performance and publishes details about the corporation’s finances and spending.

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