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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 10:14 GMT
BBC News 24's revamp is launched
BBC News 24
The revamp includes a new-look set
A redesigned version of the BBC's digital rolling news channel, News 24, has been launched.

It has a new studio set and redesigned branding and graphics to try to make it appear more dynamic to viewers.

A greater emphasis will be placed on the BBC's regional newsrooms to counter an impression that it is London-biased.

The unveiling of the new service had been delayed from last week, after BBC services were affected by a power cut the week before.

The changes follow a government review a year ago which called on News 24 to become more distinct from its rivals.

News 24 changes
Bolder graphics for breaking news
Vibrant, "energetic" studio set with newsroom in view
More regional/national, less metropolitan agenda
Viewer-friendly news analysis spots
Sport and business revamped

A report compiled by former Financial Times editor Richard Lambert said the channel, launched in 1997, needed to put greater emphasis on public service.

As part of the changes, bulletins include viewer-friendly analysis of news issues, presented by former BBC media correspondent Nick Higham.

At regular times throughout the day, he will provide background details to major events in a spot called The Fact File, using advanced graphics.

BBC versus Sky
BBC News 24's weekly reach is 4.2m; Sky News reaches 4.8m per week
Sky audience is younger, more tabloid-reading, listens to commercial radio
News 24 appeals more to broadsheet readers, Radio 4 listeners, aged 35+ without children at home
Big news stories such as 11 September, Soham and the Iraq war draw in millions more viewers
Presenters operate in a larger, more flexible studio replacing the current "static" set-up.

Roger Mosey, head of BBC TV News, said there was a perception that the channel was slower than its main rival, Sky News, in airing breaking news stories.

He said in fact the channels were about even on breaking news. The BBC's enhanced graphics will emphasise this area of its output, he said.

News 24 controller Rachel Attwell said speed was important, but accuracy remained the priority.

She would not be drawn on the cost but said it was a planned-for upgrade and had fallen within budget.

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