Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Congrats BBC Newsnight Editor Peter Barron off to Google (video Interview,07)

It's a biggie of a story, and I wish I could say the above rare interview with the BBC Newsnight Editor last year gave some clues, but then I'd be fibbing.

But it's worth listening to Peter nonetheless talk about extreme transparency, blogging and the rest.

Peter as I said back in 2007 in this interview republished above is one of the most progressive television bods you'll meet.


I hadn't intended the interview. I was showing Peter the gear to report digital broadcast stuff and how the next generation of journalists will really be IM6VJs ( interactive multimedia video journalists)
So as we finished talking and he was in a rush to another interview, I asked him a few questions. Now that's one of the pluses of carrying a small digi-camera, the A1 in your bag.


Peter, whom I first got to know from my tenure at Newsnight as a researcher in 1990 and then a freelance producer at Channel 4 News, is, I'm certain many will say, a good catch for the internet behemoth, Google.

He joins as head of communications and public affairs for the UK, Ireland and Benelux regions.

It certainly is Newsnight's loss, but perhaps signals something greater; that the divide between broadcasting and digital tech media is not like it was.

Yes execs have always shuffled from one job to another, but a high profile move like this at a time when there's a push and pull between broadcasters and Net media will give steam to others to throw away their inhibitions and go digital tech media.

Mind you, only recently Erik Huggers, from Microsoft joined the BBC and is now the BBC director of future media and technology, so it cuts both ways and perhaps suggest there's little between both camps.

You could also argue we shouldn't read to much into Peter's move; its a personal choice after all. The email response I got from him indicates he's raring to go.

Many congratulations to him.

I'm a few minutes away from posting my interview with former Sky News head of News Nick Pollard. If you listen to that, you'll realise no editor is safe.

NB: Alas Peter's departure means I have missed the opportunity of doing a VJ piece behind the scenes, that we discussed.

On you'll find a range of interviews including Bradley Horrowitz ( Yahoo) and Peter Horrocks, BBC Head of Multimedia News.

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