BBC Radio Five Live has become the first radio station to devote a week of programming across the network to user-generated content. From 20 January, during Your Five Live week, listeners have been given the chance to edit, report and decide on the news and sports stories that the station covers. For Five Live, the week has been an opportunity to showcase the ‘wealth of listener input’to the station.
Weekend Breakfast, Five Live Reports, Drive and Five Live Sport are just some of the programmes that have been given the UGC touch.
Matthew Bannister, whose eponymous daytime show has featured reports from ‘citizen reporters’all week, said that by asking listeners to create news lists and to file their own reports, the show developed a different perspective on the agenda and different kinds of voices on the air, which was positive.
He said: ‘There is a house style to the way in which professionals do things and it is pretty good to have that jolted from time to time. I’m keen on it [user generated content] because I think it is very easy to do things to a formula if you do them on a regular basis and I think it is jolly good to take a different and fresh perspective on that.’Listener David McLean on the subject of the forthcoming smoking ban, contributed one of the reports featured on Bannister’s morning show.
As the Glaswegian credit card adviser was moving from Scotland to England, he felt he could give an interesting angle on the forthcoming restrictions. McLean said that while he keen to see more user generated content in some instances, he was less keen to see unedited material taken directly from viewers.
He said: ‘Quite often on television news when they ask people to send in footage from a big event, as long as it wasn’t completely unedited, which makes it a little less useful to the average consumer, it is a good tool.
‘I guess the days have changed since it was just the journalist that counted; now the public has more of an input across the board.’Five Live recently established an audience team, is charged with chasing leads from listener generated stories and offer the station’s programmes news stories that can be followed up.