Leaving BBC News
Three months have gone by since I left BBC News to join the team at Government Digital Service. A quarter of a year. It feels like a few weeks at best. In my last couple of weeks at the BBC I started to write a blog post gathering together some ideas I had about how I felt digital news might evolve next, shaped by my 3½ years engrossed in the product. Ideas that existed only in my head and were too vague for me to have really promoted as product concepts, but were still relevant & (I felt) worth discussing.
But before I’d even had a chance to finish writing that post, ITV News launched a fantastic redesign courtesy of Made By Many, somehow beating me to every clever point I thought I had worth making and actually getting it built in the process. The bastards. If you haven’t done so already you should check it out the thinking behind it. It’s a great product, and although I’d probably tweak a few details here and there I’m very jealous of it.
Which left me without the constructive, poignant blog post I had intended to write. And before I knew it, at GDS we were delivering cool stuff fast and often. Then a family member died. A quarter of a year.
I was fortunate enough to work on some cool things for BBC News, and now I’ve found myself again in the fortunate position to be working on cool stuff for GDS. For me, both of these organisations are super important, leveraging the internet to empower normal people through provision of accessible and unbiased information and services. Both are also stuffed to the brim with clever, dedicated people. The difference is that unlike the BBC, the government is a sole service provider. Whilst the likes of The Guardian and Channel 4 News can pick up the slack for the BBC, no-one picks up the slack for government - and the difference between good and bad government services can cause real suffering.