Window on the Newsroom

Status: active
Allow journalists to find relevant content quickly with the help of machine learning, automatic metadata enrichment and structured data.

This workstream uses a set of BBC R&D technologies, linked data, and content connections to Broadcast systems to demonstrate how we might use machines to do the heavy lifting, to free up Journalists to concentrate on storytelling.


The BBC recieves and produces a huge amount of journalistic material every day. Individuals across the organisation have to expend a lot of effort finding the elements they need for their work and often either fail, or decide that enrichment of their work does not justify the effort. This leads to duplication and a poorer service for audiences.

Window on the Newsroom (aka WON) was a concept that arose from The Juicer when, during a series of demos, some Journalists commented

we could really do with something like The Juicer to quickly search and group all the content we are working on inside the BBC!

From an initial simple step, Window on the Newsroom has evolved into a prototyping workstream, looking at the opportunities around structured data in the Newsroom, from planning, through Newsgathering and curation, to Broadcast and archive workflows. Our ambition is contained in the title - we want to allow transparency across the BBC’s news processes.

The project kicked off in 2013, just before #newsHACK 1

Next Priorities

  1. Speech to text tools and optimisation
  2. Production scaling
  3. Media segmentation and inline concept tagging
  4. Making broadcast segments available for format prototyping