BBC Breaking News Alerts

The amount of BBC News notifications that aren’t worthy of the title of “Breaking News” appears to be increasing and is ridiculous.

The BBC used to used Breaking News alerts for only the most serious newsworthy events.

Today’s BBC News Alert “Eurovision 2023: Hosts include Graham Norton and Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham” Is this really Breaking News ? I don’t think so !

According to the article It’s time you turned off all those breaking news push notifications from Wired in 2017

Nick Sutton, mobile and online editor for BBC News, says the corporation’s UK news app pushes out alerts to 3.5 million people, with as many has half a million immediately clicking the link on a big story.

No doubt the number of subscribers of BBC News Alerts has increased in the last 6 years.

The BBC News Alerts page states :-

Push notifications are available to users of smartphones and tablets who download the BBC News App, allowing you to receive breaking news alerts.

A FOI request made in 2018 to the BBC Criteria for Pushing “Breaking News” Alerts to Mobile Devices was rejected as quite handily the BBC have a legal exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

Is an irrelevant Breaking News Alert really an act of journalism, art or literature ? Who in the BBC authorises the dissemination of such trivial news ?

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By Dom Watts

Dom Watts is the founder of the Ministry of Injustice. Dom has no legal training and is not a lawyer. You can find Dom on Twitter or Google.

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