Coventry Conversations – Pete Clifton

Recently I was delighted to have a chance to receive a talk from Pete Clifton who works for the BBC as the head of interactive development of new media. This includes platforms such as the BBC iPlayer and Democracy Live.

I already know of Pete before I went to the talk from his work on the BBC Sport website, being the head of Ceefax and as an editor. I was particularly interested in this talk as it is something that I would love to get involved in after my degree.

To start off the talk, I was particularly impressed in how he feels where the BBC is as a media organisation currently both in the UK and Internationally and how that everything they do points to one main focus “The BBC’s online services should be sharpened and aligned with the core public views”. From the outside, I feel that for a company of the BBC’s stature and size they must make the viewing public their main priority and having Pete confirm that gives me great satisfaction that a company I would one day like to work for feels the same way I do.

Some of the developments of the BBC over the last couple of years really impresses me. “Democracy Live” is just one of those. I have heard about it before but I hadn’t seen it in action until Pete ran through it. It then made me thing of how this can be incorporated into other sections of the BBC. The first thing I thought of was the BBCSport website which could have several feeds running at the same time. They currently do a live transcripts for different live sport events but nothing that can be compared to Democracy Live. Maybe the London 2012 Olympics could incorporate this?

I was also keen to see what the BBC is doing in the future. Pete talked about a new service rolling out next year which is called IP-TV (Internet Protocol Television). This will be installed into new television sets. The IPTV service that the BBC will offer will give live updates on news stories or newsflashes why the consumer is watching the TV. It will update automatically and will include the iPlayer for a video and audio service. I feel that this service could propel the BBC even further into the digital age and take a massive lead in this kind of service. It may turn into a “Minority Report” feature for the living room especially with the increase in motion sensors and 3D.

Overall I was really impressed in how the BBC is looking to expand and especially in Pete who seems so enthusiastic in what he is doing. I also like how much the BBC do to keep us informed, how they keep things simple and how everything they do is for the consumers convenience and enjoyment.

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