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Executive News Editor, Commissioning UK

  • BBC
  • London W1A 1AA, UK
  • 03/05/2022
Full time Media-Journalism Editing / Editor

Job Description

Any offer of employment with the BBC will be conditional upon you having the right to work in the UK.

Job Application Requirements:

  • CV
  • Questionnaire with opportunity to detail your experience

Job Introduction

BBC News is the most widely-used and most trusted news provider in the UK. We are undergoing a transformation to enable us to be a more diverse, inclusive and agile organisation that responds quickly to changing audience needs, providing our employees with exceptional career opportunities and strengthening our position as a trusted, impartial, world leading news organisation.

Our Commissioning team is at the heart of this transformation.  By working closely with both our specialist story teams and our programme output teams,  it will ensure our best original journalism reaches the widest audiences, including those that might be currently underserved.

Over the last year significant strides have been in this new way of working, with the Commissioning team ensuring significant original stories have made a major impact across our various  platforms – digital (news websites, social, iPlayer and Sounds), TV and Radio - setting the news agenda internally and externally.

As the leader of the UK Commissioning team, the Executive News Editor will play a central role in driving BBC News’ editorial output. You will need exceptional interpersonal skills for this role as you are working every day with senior programme editors, correspondents, picture editors, production staff, and junior members of staff – anyone in news who pitches stories.

Main Responsibilities

We are looking for an experienced and creative Executive News Editor to run UK Commissioning working alongside their counterpart on Global Commissioning

They will work to the 5 key aims of commissioning:

  • Serving all audiences better, by encouraging creativity and collaboration  
  • Ensuring our best journalism travels further across all platforms 
  • Delivering on diversity – both on air and in the range of stories
  • Reflecting growing digital audiences on the site, social, iPlayer and Sounds
  • Reducing duplication and the overall supply of content

Commissioning puts audience research and data at the heart of our journalism in order to meet BBC News’s goals of serving and growing audiences across the UK.

Working to the Controller of Programmes and Commissioning the successful candidate will be senior leader at the top of News management. 

Additional information on Responsibilities:

  • Commission accurate, engaging, fair, original journalism through the Commissioning Group which brings together representatives from our programmes, story teams and digital output
  • Work with our audience research team to build all of the commissioned stories on data and insights
  • Ensure a diverse range of voices are assessing pitches at the initial stages at the story selection stage
  • Ensure diversity on-air, off-air and in our choice of stories commissioned, including regional diversity
  • Regularly meet one-on-one with individual stakeholders individual story team leads, output editors, the News Group Board
  • Build up strong relationships with programme editors across News and Current Affairs while always looking for new ways to work together.
  • Promote close working relationships between content makers with output editors
  • Lead weekly meetings bringing content makers and programme/digital editors together to ensure collaboration and that stories that are being made are suitable for and wanted by output
  • Offer feedback on pitches and stories after broadcast as well as lead wider reviews with the Commissioning Group
  • Manage and develop a small commissioning team of a senior news editor, a news editor, three senior journalists and data journalists liaising between departments to ensure maximum impact of original stories on our various platforms.
  • Curate stories following successful pitches at the commissioning group and work with the necessary teams to ensure the commissions are published on various platforms.
  • Take responsible for budget and make sure we operate efficiently as well as meet our annual financial targets
  • Regularly review the ongoing strategy of commissioning
  • Follow all BBC safety requirements and instructions, especially in relation to emergencies: and to report any accidents, dangerous situations or defects in safety arrangements.

Are you the right candidate?

You will have an extended experience of both traditional & digital media with a deep understanding of audiences including how they consume news. Over the course of your career you will have developed an acute editorial judgement covering domestic and international news as well as some specialism, which might include sports, politics, investigations or entertainment news. A good experience in managing complex culture changes and leading teams through challenges over a sustained period of time with the ability to cope with conflicting demands in pressurised situations is very much what we are seeking.

You will also have in-depth experience of interpreting data to inform editorial decision making, using audience research to drive commissioning decisions, with a keen knowledge of audience engagement techniques and tools, as well as a track record in agenda-setting original journalism.

You will be passionate and committed to the aims of Modernising BBC News, with the ability to work at a strategic level. You will understand how stories can affect audiences in many different ways encompassing non-traditionalist news consumption. A collaborative approach to working allied with the necessary authority and confidence in dealing inside with programme and output editors, story team leads, other areas of News and Current affairs, as well as external news makers and partners is expected

You will have excellent communication skills to support relationship building both inside and outside of the BBC at a senior level, and you’ll look for opportunities to forge partnerships at a variety of levels.  A strong ability to nurture, motivate and develop staff, and good interpersonal skills, are at the centre of the BBC News values.