BBC news chief outlines changes to broadcaster’s coronavirus coverage

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The BBC’s director of news has warned viewers that things will “look and sound a bit different” while the corporation adapts to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a blog post on the BBC website, Fran Unsworth outlined a number of changes its newsroom was making in light of the “rapidly evolving situation”.

Presenters are doing their own make-up, many interviews will be conducted remotely and the BBC will rely more on its network of local reporters.

Ms Unsworth wrote that it was the BBC’s responsibility to report “on the ground”, record the Government’s fight against the virus, and chronicle how the UK is faring during lockdown.

She highlighted the BBC’s new “socially-distanced interviews”, where boom microphones are more visible to viewers.

Ms Unsworth added: “You might also hear a bit more background noise than you’re used to when we’re not using our normal microphones.

Inside the BBC newsroom (Jeff Overs/PA)

“We’re cutting down on everyone’s travel by making more use of our network of local reporters around the UK, as well as around the world.

“And as you’d expect, we’ve tightened hygiene and safety measures inside and outside our offices, to avoid contact between colleagues. For example, our presenters are now doing their own make-up.

“So things may look and sound a bit different and we might need to make further changes to how we do things as time goes on. But we’ll be with you throughout this emergency.”