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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
BBC chalks up 50 years of TV news
Richard Baker introduces the BBC's first TV news bulletin
The BBC is celebrating 50 years since it aired its first TV news bulletin.

The 7.30pm bulletin on 5 July 1954 began with Richard Baker saying: "Here is an illustrated summary of the news."

Newsreader John Snagge then reported on the peace talks in Indo China and French security measures in Tunisia during the 22-minute broadcast.

The anniversary is being marked with a celebration for current and veteran presenters and a series of programmes showing the history of TV news.

You put your question on the 50th anniversary of BBC News to Richard Sambrook, director of News in a LIVE interactive forum.

The first programme was more like a radio bulletin with pictures - it was a year before a BBC newsreader actually appeared on screen.


Other topics covered in the inaugural bulletin included the resumption of the Petrov Inquiry and the end of rationing.

The first commercial news bulletin followed in 1955, with the advent of commercial television.

The first regional TV bulletin was aired in 1957 and viewers saw the first female news reader - Nan Winton, in 1960.

BBC TV's Nine O'Clock News was launched with Robert Dougall on September 14, 1970 and continued for 30 years until it was moved to the 10pm slot in 2000.
Nine O'Clock News logo

Presenters have included Angela Rippon, John Humphrys and John Simpson.

In 1983, Breakfast Time became Britain's first early-morning TV news programme, presented by Frank Bough and Selina Scott.

Now called Breakfast, the programme is presented by Dermot Murnaghan and Natasha Kaplinsky.

BBC1's Six O'Clock News first appeared in September 1984 and the One O' Clock News in 1986.

The BBC is now the largest broadcast news organisation in the world, with more than 2,000 journalists.

Outlets include BBC World, BBC News Online and digital channel BBC News 24, which has been running since 1997.

BBC Director of News Richard Sambrook said: "We must build on our fantastic heritage.

"BBC television news needs to report the stories that matter and explain them in a way people can make sense of."

And he stressed the importance of helping people to "make sense of the ever-changing world they live in" by disseminating news accurately, impartially and quickly.

Speaking to BBC News 24, Mr Sambrook added: "It is no longer tenable to say we will tell you what is going on - but only at 6pm.

"People expect to be able to get the news they want, whenever and however they want it."

Three programmes charting the history of BBC television news can be seen at 1430 BST on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on BBC2.


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