In pursuing more authentic reporting, BBC News is beginning to relax its dress code for its on-air talent.
News presenters can now embrace the rugged look, emulating the reporters in the field.
In a report by Deadline’s Jake Kanter, BBC News, which is in the midst of a transformation as it combines its domestic and international news channels, is looking to make its rolling news coverage more appealing online.
The appearance of its in-studio talent is one way of being a differentiator.
BBC News digital boss Naja Nielsen says that the “sweaty and dirty” look certain journalists adopt on location can be seen as more trustworthy by viewers.
“It’s a bit like, be as sweaty and dirty as when we’re in the field is actually more trustworthy than if we look like we’ve just stepped out of an awards ceremony or a fine dinner party,” she said.
Nielsen’s comments reflect the news network’s desire to penetrate the younger demographics, particularly those who consume their content on TikTok.
She referenced how her mother is impressed by the current appearance of BBC News presenters, but her children are not.
Some presenters, like weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker, have taken Nielsen’s comments to heart and have begun dressing down their appearances.
As part of its modernization efforts, the BBC News channel will encourage more smartphone camera reporting and put their presenters in the newsroom, having them stand in front of giant iPads to give viewers a look at how they verify news footage.
With a launch date of April 3, the news network is feverishly working hard to get everything in order by then. This also includes hiring eight new journalists who will serve as correspondents and studio presenters.
The revamped BBC News channel will broadcast from London during U.K. daytime hours, followed by Singapore and Washington D.C, offering a mix of U.K. and international news.