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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 08:35 GMT
BBC local TV news pilot launches
Digital television
The new service will be available through digital TV and the internet
A new BBC local TV service is launching in six areas of the West Midlands.

The latest technology will be used during the nine-month pilot to create customised local bulletins.

News, entertainment, travel and weather will be broadcast in 10 minute chunks every hour on digital satellite and via broadband internet connections.

The BBC hopes similar services, produced by a team of specially trained video journalists, will be introduced across the UK in future.

One reporter in each area will also be dedicated to producing community news, making use of material supplied by individuals and organisations.

Community role

The first areas to be covered by the pilot will be Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Stoke and Staffordshire, and Shropshire.

We know there's a strong demand for a more local television service
David Holdsworth, BBC West Midlands

The rolling interactive news service will available to satellite viewers who press the red button on their remote controls.

As well as the 10-minute bulletin, internet users will be able to watch the stories individually through the BBC website.

"We know there's a strong demand for a more local television service, but until now the technology has not allowed us to deliver it," said David Holdsworth, head of regional and local programmes, BBC West Midlands, and the project manager for the pilot.

"It's particularly exciting that local people will be able use their own cameras to help film the community part of the bulletins too."

This local television news service was first outlined in June 2004 in Building Public Value, the BBC's manifesto for its future.


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