BBC television centre

This is the very last day of occupancy of the iconic BBC Television Centre in West London. I was lucky enough to go for a tour of the building just a few weeks ago and amongst a myriad of fascinating elements (Pauline Fowler’s laundrette tabard included) was the news room. In the middle of the photo you will just be able to make out a wall of TV screens. This was described as the centre of BBC news. It showed images from a ‘satellite’ farm which keeps an up to date eye on current happenings around the world, and provides subjects for the writers within the ‘tri-media’ service of, radio, TV, and internet, to write about. In addition, one of the teams working within this room was tasked with scouring social media, and in particular Twitter, for images to use on the news channels as this is seen as a legitimate, quick and cheap way of reporting.

This, I think, is an example of how transliteracy has developed over the years. Images, rather than words, are central to the dissemination of information; whether or not they are subsequently translated into verbal copy, the nexus of power is within the image. Also, the BBC, long seen as an, or even the, authority now crowdsources the news. Progress indeed.

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