By Sean Coughlan
Essay writing services say their business is expanding
Essay-writing services are reporting a sharp increase in demand from overseas students at UK universities.
UKEssays.com says it has had a threefold increase in overseas students buying university essays - representing almost half of its customers.
Universities have accused essay writing firms of fuelling plagiarism.
But a spokesman for UKEssays.com says the rise in demand is caused by universities recruiting students with inadequate English language skills.
"It's another example of universities turning into businesses. They're happy to get the fees from overseas students - but they don't provide enough language support," says Jed Hallam, spokesman for the essay-writing firm.
The rise in students buying essays, he claims, reflects the number of overseas students studying in the UK with "very poor written and verbal skills".
Last year, the online essay firm says it had had 1,683 overseas customers - and already this year, in January and February, it has sold essays to 725 overseas students, three times the corresponding level of last year.
Mr Hallam says overseas students have paid high levels of fees and feel under great pressure to get a good degree - but find themselves struggling with written English.
As such they seek help from essay writing services, he says, with some students buying essays throughout their time in UK universities.
Mr Hallam claims that "one Chinese customer, who is sent an allowance over from his family, spends the majority" on essay services.
There have been cases where students have had difficulty even understanding the question they have been set, he says, let alone being able to produce a degree-level written answer.
The essay-writing firm accuses universities of turning a blind eye to the problem of overseas students with poor written English - with financial pressure overcoming any academic doubts.
And Mr Hallam said that essay-writing companies are to recruit bi-lingual essay writers to serve this growing market.
Essay writing services provide custom-written essays for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Charges range from £120 for an undergraduate essay written in five days to £3,200 for a 10,000-word postgraduate dissertation.
They say that they provide model answers and study aids, which students should not attempt to copy or submit as their own.
But universities accuse them of selling essays that are used dishonestly by students - and that students caught submitting such essays run the risk of not being awarded degrees.
About one in seven students in UK universities are from overseas - about 330,000 students who bring in an estimated £10bn each year.
Higher education body, Universities UK, rejects the suggestion that universities recruit overseas students on anything other than their "individual academic merits".
And it warns of the damage that can be caused by the mis-use of "online essay mills".
"Plagiarism devalues the efforts of students who work hard to achieve their degrees. It also damages the student who commits plagiarism, as they will not benefit from the research and learning experience," says a spokesman.
"Universities UK members have severe penalties for those students caught cheating."
Some of your comments on this story:
I am a final year undergraduate studying business, a discipline with a high proportion of overseas students. I have worked in many groups with overseas students and the majority of these experiences have been negative, with a startlingly low level of verbal and written competency in English prevalent. How many of them pass each year is a mystery, and despite their commendable perseverance, with many examples to the contrary, the presence of these students acts to the detriment of English speaking students.
As someone with teaching responsibilities at a prestigious UK university, I have found recently that significant numbers of overseas students (almost all Chinese) have been admitted with language abilities that fall dramatically short of the English test scores submitted with their applications, to the point that they can barely communicate. There is a widely held suspicion that these students have paid someone else to take the test for them. However, I do not have the authority to make these students to re-take their language tests, nor is it likely that they would be removed if they failed (no procedures are in place to deal with this). I spend far too much time trying to teach students who simply cannot understand a word I am saying (even though I speak slowly, using clear, standard English). It is very stressful! This problem seems to be especially severe for one-year taught Masters courses, for some reason. P.S. Of course, we do have many Chinese students who can speak ! English sufficiently well! It is the growing minority who cannot that I am concerned about.
I am an overseas student (American) doing a PhD at the University of Bristol. I share a flat with other postgraduate students, all from overseas, mostly China and southeast Asia. All struggle seriously with English. As a native English speaker and someone doing a Literature degree, I have an above-average command of the Language and often help my flatmates with grammar and proofreading. Several of them write at about the level of a 10-year-old native speaker. This is not adequate for university-level work, and the emotional pain they endure as a result of daily feelings of inadequacy is heart-wrenching to watch.
I saw this regularly while at university. I graduated last year, and I felt that throughout my 3 years at university I was expected to carry the overseas students through their studies.
I'm not saying that all overseas students are bad students, far from it. Some of them had excellent English language skills. But far too many of them little to no written English skills, and very basic spoken English. It was common knowledge amongst us students that our university overlooked their English exam results, or lack of, as they got an extra £5000 by taking an overseas student over an student from the United Kingdom. I often found myself in a group of 5 or 6 people for group coursework, where I was the only person with English as a first language. As a result I found myself having to edit everyone's work, and do much of the research myself as everyone else would just sit around, not knowing what to do as they didn't understand what the lecturer had told them.
Well, I'm a senior lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London. We have lots of overseas students. I only know about my department, but I can say that we do not admit overseas students lacking English qualifications, we don't dumb things down for overseas students with poor English (some do seem to have worse English than would be suggested by their qualifications) and we deal with plagiarisers very severely.
Regarding essay writing services, if they really are only providing model answers that they don't expect to be plagiarised, then they should be happy to provide copies of all their essays to Turnitin, the online anti-plagiarism service that a lot of UK Universities use. If they aren't happy to do this then the obvious explanation is that they are lying about what they expect their products to be used for.
Rob Knell, London
I'm currently a 2nd year studying Economics. There's a large proportion of foreign students on my course. It can cause problems in several ways, the most notable is in tutorials where we do group work for example. Some of them cannot contribute and it is often left to other students to carry them in these situations. I don't however think this is the students' fault, I am angry at the universities for taking them on. Everyone knows that however they sugar coat it they get thousands more in fees from a foreign student than a UK student.
Buying and using ghost-written essays is already a part of the academic culture all English-speaking countires. To just focus on foreign students' efforts to use the service of essay companies is to diminish the significance of the problem. The question is why should there be companies that make a living writing essays for sale? Such companies are still likely to more than break even if there are no foreign students. To make students -- foreign or national -- do the work that forms a basis for their degrees, all essay-writing companies should be made to make all copies of their essays available to the turnitin site, to make it easy for teachers to check for plagiarism.
Ropo, Lincoln University, PA USA
UK universities for too long have adopted a "take the money and run" attitude to foreign students. At the lowest level this is admitting foreign students at the undergraduate level who do not have a strong enough grasp of English. At the upper end it is outrageous neglect of doctoral students, supervisors being so lazy that they don't read a chapter for 5 months or more. Foreign students just shouldn't attend UK universities. The services are simply too poor.
Plagiarism is rampant amongst British students - and has been for a long time. I did my undergrad and PhD here as a foreign student, and many of my colleagues were plagiarising in their undergraduate essays and some were having their masters and PhDs written by others.
This is a very serious issue and one that could totally undermine all higher education in the UK. As someone who has worked in British universities for 30 years, I cannot support the view that our universities are happy to take students' money and run. Far from it, they do provide students with a great deal of support (far more than students of my generation received in the 1970s when I was one). I feel that British universities have been naive in defending themselves against a variety of forms of cheating. Many contributors note the poor quality of English of many foreign students. Yet, I fear that just as there is a market for plagiarized essays, there is a market for forged English qualifications. I have no other way of explaining how students with strong qualifications prove unable to communicate or write in proper English.
Second, I fear that where plagiarism is established, many UK universities are timid in the extreme in applying the sanctions that they have at their disposal, often restricting themselves to token or insufficient punishments. It is my view that plagiarism is cheating and should attract the most severe penalties. Unless strong action is taken, I fear that the very quality that foreign students look for in UK education will be eroded - the integrity of the degrees.
Yiannis Gabriel, Royal Holloway, University of London
I totally agree with the take the money and run allegation.I study in the Uni of Bristol and find ironically a lot of Chinese students in Economics(written based) and very few in the course I do (Maths). Also many of them don't have the adequate conversational skills and certainly not the witten skills.
And just for the record, I am a an overseas student from a country where English is not a first language but it is one of a few languages in my home.
I think unis take the money and run away.I am also very disappointed in the lack of financial support,the food is not subsidised,rent is rocket high, tuition fees are absurdly proposterous as well as severe lack of reinvestment in infrastructure.
How the hell can these Chinese students not cheat?
When you are charged more than £10,000 a year in tuition fees alone, failure is just not an option, "by any means necessary" becomes the order of the day! I know many of my counterparts especially from the Middle East have no problem paying upto £500 for a piece of course work....Blame the examiners for not spotting them.
Putting all the blames on overseas students are just not the right way. As an international student myself, I admit that there are some overseas students who do not have the adequate level of English to deal with university work. However, most of the time, overseas students put in more effort and time than home students for a similar piece of work to get similar results because of language disadvantage. Moreover, having to cope with emotional pain due to language deficiency and not being appreciated in group work makes their university life in UK worse. After all, having charged overseas students with tuition fee as high as £13,000 per year, the university as a higher education institution should at least employ some system e.g. Oxbridge tutorial system as mentioned by Dr. Andrew Edmonds to cope with plagiarism.
Having spent over 14 years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, I too am depressed about the extent to which Educational Institutions in English-speaking countries are taking a narrowly business-centred approach to marketing courses for non-native speakers.
The latest - not to put too fine a point on it - 'scams' are 'out-sourcing' University courses with a guarentee -regardless of real performance - of a place in the home university's undergraduate programme.
Co-existent with this trend is the increasing effort Universities put into 'Bridging Programmes' where, after a derisory few terms of supposedly 'intensive' English, those who merit the description 'Modest User' (or worse!) are magically transformed into students competent enough to present 3-5,000 word assignments!
It's ALL about "Show me the money!" and has NOTHING to do with a concern for equipping students with the language skills that they need.
"Someone Who Knows", Christchurch, New Zealand
As a mature student for the last two years it is noticeable how many overseas students there now are compared with my first degree days and the extent to which "dumbing down" occurs to allow for them. Many can barely speak English and typically are divided amongst home student groups for group work so that their lack of contribution can go unreported. The more you look at British education the more full of holes you see. The reality is that there are far far too many home and overseas students who should NOT be there. At the end of the day it is a waste of everybody's time and money.
I am currently studying for a law course in London and there are strong and frequent rumours that overseas students 'get others to do their work for them'. There are a few students, mostly from south Asia, whose English is really a barrier to success - and for the advocacy assessments in particular there is no way that they can disguise this.
Plagiarism or other forms of cheating are never acceptable but questions should also be asked of the schools that put these students into this difficult position. Colleges should, indeed MUST, test the English language ability of applicants in order to avoid the students wasting their money and impacting the learning of their classmates.
I have no evidence of any cheating actually taking place, and I do not suggest that it is - but it is clear that there are quite a few on my course whose English is well below par and this must certainly lead to temptation.
I am currently studying a Law degree and there are a large number of international students on my course who cannot speak basic English. I often find new and difficult legal terms when reading and in lectures, so I cannot begin to imagine how these students who cannot speak basic English can comprehend the lectures and text books. Yet there are a great deal of international students in the final year, so they must have passed the essays and exams. But my question is how? If native English speakers find Law a challenging subject how are people who don't speak English passing?
Laura, Milton Keynes
I study in this country for four years and finished with my doctorate and been in three top universities in UK. This report is a spin to cover the backwardness of British youths. When I was in university, just last year, British students are most likely to copy, plagiarize and copy essays from all those dubious websites for money paying business and shenangians.The country unfortunately, I found out, thrives in passing buck and blaming other ethnic groups and nationalities for their woes. In football, politics, good governance and NHS.
It's sheer hypocrisy on the part of the universities. They're keen enough to shunt anybody through the system if they can extract money from them; then they think they have the right to come over all precious about their 'academic standards' and the iniquity of plagiarism. What do they expect these substandard students to do? If the students aren't good enough, they can either cheat or fail - and the universities can't afford to start failing them. Because that would queer their lucrative source of income - and they'd far rather queer their academic standards and keep the till ringing.
As a former English teacher and someone who has lived abroad I can understand the concerns of people who have posted here, but would like to clarify for those who are not familiar with English language learning.
1. There are two reasons why a student's spoken/listening is lower than their ability to read/write
(i) they paid someone to take their IELTS exam (that's the English exam they usually have to pass) for them (easily done in certain countries)
(ii) they come from a country where there is a little in the way of speaking practice. I used to teach in China and know for a fact that with honest students there can be an enormous gap between their ability to read/write and speak/listen. You must remember that English is not entirely phonetic, so just because a student knows a word doesn't mean that they can understand it when it is said to them at native speed or pronounce it correctly. IELTS exams are quite predictable so students can have coaching to improve scores in oral exams. They can also take the exam as many times as they like. They only need to get the magic 6, 6.5 or 7 once.
2. IELTS levels are pass marks, but too many students are content with the pass mark. Once they have the 6.5 or 7 they need, they consider that sufficient, rather than aim to improve it.
3. Language support varies from university to university. I think it is unfair to simply label all universities as simply taking the money. Imagine the outcry if they start saying that just having the certificate isn't enough. They need to be able to predict student numbers.
4. Plagiarism rates in some countries are horrific (when I was in China I had plagiarism rates of 80% plus as a minimum) but the idea that British students are somehow blameless is ridiculous.
5. Saying that the interests of British students are seriously comprised by poor English speakers is ridiculous. I have recently completed an MA with over 50% foreign students. Ok, the shy ones can be irritating at times, but it isn't going to seriously affect grades. (ii)
This makes me so angry, when I see my own daughter working into the early hours on her essays at Manchester Uni. I think these essay writing firms should be made illegal.
I certainly think essay writing sites are unethical, but I really wish I could never hear again the phrase 'x' or 'y' should be 'made illegal', as suggested by Joanna of Twickenham. Every new law is a freedom removed. I'm a visiting fellow at the university of Buckingham, which has a very high proportion of foreign students. They use the Oxbridge tutorial system, which means that the lecturers all know the students well, and written work of dramatically different capablities to their oral skills would soon be spotted. There are also technological solutions to plagiarism, which can detect if work is copied off the internet and might be used to detect differences in style.
Dr. Andrew Edmonds, Woburn Sands
I work as a researcher at a relatively prestigious University Department where most of the students are foreign (I have not quoted the city here, for obvious reasons). The Department is happy to take their money and allocate disproportionately few lecturers or unsuitable supervisors to them. Why? Because these students are recruited to provide a justification (as a teaching institution) for the employment of most of the other lecturers, who have no teaching purpose but are here to bring in RAE money (=governmental funding for research). The fact that some foreign students cannot cope does not necessarily have to do, as many have stereotyped here, with their intellectual ability. Apart from unsuitable or inadequate academic support, the cultural barrier is also bigger than you think, which the University itself imposes on them with the "international student" label, already at the stage of applying. And language difficulty does not mean intellectual weakness (which indicates some covert discrimination in this forum)! Moreover, lecturers who are trying to help these students (linguistically, academically) are chastised by their superiors and are instructed to neglect them, in order to concentrate on the RAE (i.e. produce publications) and therefore keep their jobs. After a few years, Higher Education in the UK will see a slump of overseas recruitment, when these people assert their rights to educational resources worthy of their fees. Then the UK Educational establishment might reconsider how it treats its customers, wherever they come from, but the damage to its reputation will have been done.
We have one of the highest proportions of foreign students of any UK university, and of those that I have spoken to or worked alongside, the levels of conversational and written English are generally really poor. I would wholeheartedly agree with the point made elsewhere that often they are not only incapable of answering the questions properly, but often of even understanding them. Last year I was asked by an Italian student, about an hour before a deadline, to have a look over his work and see what I thought of it. He had utterly missed the point of the assignment, and submitted something completely different and about one tenth of the length. This is unfortunately not a one-off incident, but an illustration of the total lack of comprehension most foreign students seem to possess.
Plagiarism is by no means limited to overseas students. I am a PhD student who teaches undergraduate classes, and last week I marked a piece of work from a final year British student that was at least 50% plagiarised from a single book. This was by no means the first time I have encountered something like this, either. Many claim that they don't understand what constitutes plagiarism, but by the third year in higher education, that excuse becomes somewhat tired.
Emily, West Midlands
As a visiting lecturer at postgraduate level, I agree mostly with Rob Knell's comments. However, where I teach, a small proportion of overseas students clearly have quite inadequate language skills to cope with the courses. The university does provide quite extensive language support, but the impact is very patchy. This inevitably interferes with the learning experience of other students.
"BBC News 24" redirects here. For the BBC department of the same name, see BBC News. For other uses, see BBC News (disambiguation).
BBC News (also known as the BBC News Channel) is the BBC's 24-hour rolling news television network in the United Kingdom. The channel launched as BBC News 24 on 9 November 1997 at 17:30 as part of the BBC's foray into digital domestic television channels, becoming the first competitor to Sky News, which had been running since 1989. For a time, looped news, sport and weather bulletins were available to view via BBC Red Button.
On 22 February 2006, the channel was named News Channel of the Year at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards for the first time in its history. The judges remarked that this was the year that the channel had "really come into its own."
From May 2007, UK viewers could watch the channel via the BBC News website. In April 2008, the channel was renamed BBC News as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output, complete with a new studio and presentation. Its sister service, BBC World was also renamed BBC World News while the national news bulletins became BBC News at One, BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. Across the day the channel averages about twice the audience of Sky News.
As a major part of the BBC News department, the channel is based at and broadcast from Broadcasting House in Central London.
It was named RTSNews Channel of the Year in 2017.
BBC News 24 was originally available to digital terrestrial, satellite and cable television subscribers. To this day, it and BBC Parliament remain the only BBC "digital" channels which are made available to analogue cable subscribers. This coverage was improved in 1998 with the advent of digital television in the United Kingdom allowing satellite and digital terrestrial television viewers to also view the service. Initially it was difficult to obtain a digital satellite or terrestrial receiver without a subscription to Sky or ONdigital respectively, but now the channel forms an important part of the Freeview and Freesat channel packages.
The BBC had run the international news channel BBC World for two and a half years prior to the launch of BBC News 24 on 9 November 1997. Sky News had had a free hand with domestic news for over eight years (since 5 February 1989) and being owned by News Corporation their papers were used to criticise the BBC for extending its news output.
Sky News objected to the breaking of its monopoly, complaining about the costs associated with running a channel that only a minority could view from the licence fee. Sky News claimed that a number of British cable operators had been incentivised to carry News 24 (which, as a licence-fee funded channel was made available to such operators for free) in preference to the commercial Sky News. However, in September 1999 the European Commission ruled against a complaint made by Sky News that the publicly funded channel was unfair and illegal under EU law. The Commission ruled that the licence fee should be considered state aid but that such aid was justified due to the public service remit of the BBC and that it did not exceed actual costs.
The channel's journalistic output has been overseen by Controller of the channel, Kevin Bakhurst, since 16 December 2005. This was a return to having a dedicated Controller for the channel in the same way as the rest of the BBC's domestic television channels. At launch, Tim Orchard was Controller of News 24 from 1997 until 2000. Editorial decisions were then overseen by Rachel Atwell in her capacity as Deputy Head of television news. Her deputy Mark Popescu became responsible for editorial content in 2004, a role he continued in until the appointment of Bakhurst as Controller in 2005.
A further announcement by Head of television news Peter Horrocks came at the same time as Bakhurst's appointment in which he outlined his plan to provide more funding and resources for the channel and shift the corporation's emphasis regarding news away from the traditional BBC One bulletins and across to the rolling news channel. The introduction of simulcasts of the main bulletins on the channel was to allow the news bulletins to pool resources rather than work against each other at key times in the face of competition particularly from Sky News.
The BBC Governors' annual report for 2005/2006 reported that average audience figures for fifteen-minute periods had reached 8.6% in multichannel homes, up from 7.8% in 2004/2005. The 2004 report claimed that the channel outperformed Sky News in both weekly and monthly reach in multichannel homes for the January 2004 period, and for the first time in two years moved ahead of Sky News in being perceived as the channel best for news.
On 21 April 2008, BBC News 24 was renamed BBC News on the channel itself – but is referred to as the BBC News Channel on other BBC services. This is part of the creative futures plan, launched in 2006, to bring all BBC News output under the single brand name.
The BBC News Channel moved from the Studio N8 set, which became home to BBC World News, to what was the home of the national news in Studio N6, allowing the channel to share its set with the BBC News at One and the BBC News at Ten – with other bulletins moving to Studio TC7.
Move to Broadcasting House
The channel relocated, along with the remaining BBC News services at Television Centre, to the newly refurbished Broadcasting House on 18 March 2013 at 13:00 GMT. Presentation and on-screen graphics were refreshed, with new full HD studios and a live newsroom backdrop. Moving cameras in the newsroom form part of the top of the hour title sequence and are used at the start of weather bulletins.
BBC News HD
On 16 July 2013, the BBC announced that a high-definition (HD) simulcast of BBC News would be launched by early 2014. The channel broadcasts on the BBC's new HD multiplex on Freeview. HD output from BBC News has been simulcast on BBC One HD and BBC Two HD since the move to Broadcasting House in March 2013. The channel launched on 10 December 2013 (at an early date), though will roll-out nationwide up to June 2014 (as will BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD).
Each hour consists of headlines on each quarter-hour, extended at the top of the hour to form the main part of the daily schedule though these are interspaced with other programmes, generally at weekends. This will be often be displaced by rolling news coverage including reports and live interviews. This channel also provides half-hourly weather summaries by forecasters from the BBC Weather centre and the sports news from the BBC Sport centre at MediaCityUK. At 21:25 a global weather forecast is broadcast and 21:55 Weather for the Week Ahead is broadcast.
The BBC maintains guidelines for procedures to be taken for breaking news. With domestic news, the correspondent first recorded a "generic minute" summary (for use by all stations and channels) and then priority was to report on BBC Radio 5 Live, then on the BBC News channel and any other programmes that are on air. Since 5 Live's move to Manchester, this has been reversed. For foreign news, first a "generic minute" is recorded, then reports are to World Service radio, then the reporter talks to any other programmes that are on air.
A key claim made by Lord Lambert in his report had been that the channel was slower to react to breaking news compared with its main rival Sky News. To counteract this, a new feature introduced with the 2003 relaunch was a 'breaking news sting': a globe shown briefly onscreen to direct a viewer's attention to the breaking news.
The graphics relaunch in January 2007 has since seen the globe sting replaced by a red strapline to highlight the breaking story immediately.
To complement this, a permanent live news ticker had earlier been introduced in 2006: this had previously been in use only sporadically. News statements are shown as continuously scrolling upper-case text located at the bottom of the screen; some past ambiguities noted have included spelling the plural of MPs as "MPS", together with other occasional spelling and grammatical errors. The design of this ticker was slightly altered with the 2007 graphics redesign and from June turned red to indicate breaking news, as Newswatch reported viewers' confusion. The ticker is removed during trails and weather forecasts.
Overnight and BBC World News simulcasts
The BBC began simulcasting the channel overnight on terrestrial channel BBC One with the launch of the channel, ending the tradition of a closedown but at the same time effectively making the service available to many more viewers. In the early 2000s, BBC Two also started simulcasting the channel, although the weekend morning show Weekend 24 had been simulcast on the channel in the early days. During major breaking news events, the BBC News Channel has been broadcast on BBC One; examples of special broadcasts include the 11 September 2001 attacks, 7 July 2005 London bombings, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and the death of Osama bin Laden. Coverage of major events has also been simulcast on BBC World News. Currently, overnight viewers receive 25-minute editions of BBC News every hour, and on weekdays 00:00–02:00 receive Newsday, live from Singapore and from London which also includes Asia Business Report and Sport Today between 00:30 and 01:00 and also between 01:30 and 02:00 From 02:00–06:00 (00:00–06:00 on weekends) receive BBC World News.
BBC One and BBC Two daytime simulcasts
BBC Breakfast has been simulcast since launch (in 2000) on BBC One and BBC News, replacing the individual breakfast shows that had run on both channels. Since May 2006, the simulcast runs from 06:00 until 08:30. Breakfast on BBC One then continues from MediaCityUK until 09:15 with entertainment and features, whilst BBC News goes to BBC Business Live until 09:00 and reverts to its traditional format from 09:00.
The BBC News at Ten began simulcasting on the channel on 30 January 2006 as part of the Ten O'Clock Newshour, followed by extended sport and business news updates. The bulletin was joined in being simulcast on 10 April 2006 when the BBC News at One (with British Sign Language in-vision signing) and BBC News at Six bulletins were added to the schedule following a similar format to the News at Ten in terms of content on the channel once each simulcast ends.
During the summer, the hour-long programme News 24 Sunday was broadcast both on BBC One and the BBC News Channel at 09:00, to replace The Andrew Marr Show, which is off air. It was presented by a news presenter, and came from the main News channel studio. The programme was made up mostly of interviews focusing on current affairs, and included a full paper review, a weather summary, and a news update at 09:00, 09:30 and 10:00. Sunday Morning Live and alternate programming now fill this slot.
From 2013, a new programme was created for BBC Two for 11 am – 12 pm weekdays, consisting of 30 minutes domestic and 30 minutes of BBC World News. On Wednesdays, when parliament is sitting the latter is replaced by the Daily Politics for coverage of Prime Ministers Questions. In March 2016 the channel started showing Newsnight at 23:15.
- The Briefing - Sally Bundock with news, business, and sports from BBC News.
- Beyond 100 Days - The latest news from both sides of the Atlantic, presented by Katty Kay from Washington and Christian Fraser from London (Monday to Thursday)
- BBC World News – The latest international news as they break from the BBC.
- BBC News – The latest national and international news as they break from the BBC.
- Newsday – Live international news from London and Singapore every weekday. Presented by Babita Sharma, Kasia Madera, Rico Hizon and Sharanjit Leyl.
- Asia Business Report – Live from Singapore, the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day. This is presented by whoever has covered the Newsday shift.
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- BBC Newsroom Live - Stay up to date on the day's top stories, with the latest breaking news as it happens.
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- Afternoon Live - Simon McCoy and the team with all the day's top stories, weather, business and sport and breaking news as it happens. Including news from the BBC's nations and regions, as well as the BBC's global network of correspondents. Rachel Horn/Ben Bland business
Pre-recorded programmes include:
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- Panorama – Current affairs programme, featuring interviews and investigative reports on a wide variety of subjects.
- The Editors – a monthly programme looking at what's happening in each editor's area.
- The Travel Show
- Inside Out England – A selection of stories from the regional programmes across England, presented by Elaine Dunkley.
- Witness - A monthly round up of BBC World's stories of global events told by the people who were there.
- Victoria Derbyshire Interviews – Uncut versions of the original stories, exclusive interviews with Victoria Derbyshire and Joanna Gosling.
Previous BBC News programming includes Head 2 Head, Your News, E24, The Record Europe, STORYFix and News 24 Tonight, a weekday evening programme which ran from 2005 to 2008, providing a round up of the day's news.
2015 schedule changes
As part of budget cuts, major changes to the channel were announced in late 2014/early 2015. This included axing some bulletins and replacing them with Victoria Derbyshire and BBC Business Live with Sally Bundock and Ben Thompson in the morning. Outside Source with Ros Atkins – an "interactive" show already broadcast on BBC World News – aired Mondays-Thursday at (During major stories 18:00) and 21:00 and a new edition of World News Today Friday-Sunday at 21:00 (During major stories 19:00/20:00 Monday-Friday) adding to the 19:00 edition on BBC Four. HARDtalk was moved to 20:30 in May. The 00:00 edition was replaced on Sundays-Thursday with Newsday and on Friday-Saturday a standard edition of BBC World News.
BBC World News shared programming
Between 00:00-06:00 (weekdays) UK time, the channel simulcasts with its sister channel, BBC World News, for the first 25 minutes of each hour with world news shown all through the simulcasts. Previously UK output continued until 01:00.
Simulcasts may also happen during major or set-piece events; the News Channel presenter will join the BBC World News presenter in Studio C as it used by both channels, or a journalist will present on location. Examples include the Glasgow helicopter crash, the election of Pope Francis and the Boston Marathon bombing and certain elections.
On 1 October 2007, BBC World News started broadcasting BBC World News America and World News Today at 00:00 and 03:00 GMT respectively. World News Today was simulcast on the BBC News channel at 03:00 GMT. BBC World News America used to be aired as a reduced length, time-delayed version at 00:30 GMT, with ABC World News Tonight with David Muir also being shown at 01:30 every Tuesday-Friday.
From 13 June 2011, the weekday editions of BBC News at 01:00, 02:00, 03:00 and 04:00 were replaced with Newsday. The programme acts as a morning news bulletin for the Asia-Pacific region and is broadcast as a double-headed news bulletin with Rico Hizon in Singapore and Babita Sharma in London. Asia Business Report and Sport Today are aired at the back of the first three hours of Newsday. But Newsday changed to 23:00–02:00 on BBC News a year later meaning. Mike Embley presents Tuesday-Friday BBC World News 23:00–02:00 with Kasia Madera on Saturdays and Daniela Ritorto 00:00–06:00 Sunday, 02:00–05:00 Friday/Monday. the slot's focus is placed on audiences watching on PBS in the US in June 2015 this was changed to Newsday at 00:00-02:00. BBC World News and World Business Report air at 05:00 this was previously known as The World Today, However, since November 2017 this has been rebranded as The Briefing and Business Briefing on both channels and in lieu of commercials seen on the international broadcasts, the presenters give a brief update on UK news for domestic audiences.
In June 2015, BBC News began simulcasting Outside Source with Ros Atkins on Mondays-Thursday at (During major stories 18:00) / at 21:00 and a new edition of World News Today Friday-Sunday at (during major stories Monday-Friday 19:00) 21:00.
Traditionally, during simulcasts in December, care has been taken to conceal the newsroom Christmas tree for international audiences. From 2015, the 21:00 bulletin has always been an edition of World News Today, replacing Outside Source with Ros Atkins.
Since 5 March 2012, sports bulletins come from the BBC Sport Centre in MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, where the sports network BBC Radio 5 Live is also based.
Headlines are usually provided at 15 minutes past the hour with a full bulletin after the bottom-of-the-hour headlines. There are also extended sports bulletins per day, entitled Sportsday or Sport Today (when simulcasting with BBC World News) broadcast at 00:45, 01:45, 02:45, 03:45, 13:30, 18:30, 19:30 (weekends only), 22:30 (weekdays only). Each bulletin is read by a single sports presenter, with the exception of Saturday Sportsday, which is double headed.
The channel's sports bulletins (internally known as Sport 24) have always had a separate, dedicated production gallery, which is also responsible for the graphics.
Bulletins during BBC Breakfast are presented by Sally Nugent or Mike Bushell, with the latter also appearing on other sports bulletins on the channel. As of March 2012 the main sports presenters on the channel are Olly Foster, Katie Gornall, Katherine Downes, Damian Johnson, Andrew Lindsay and Jenny Culshaw.
Until March 2012 bulletins came from the News Channel studio at the quarter to the hour. Presenters for bulletins on the channel have included: Reshmin Choudhury, Amanda Davies, Sean Fletcher, Olly Foster, Matt Gooderick, Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, Amelia Harris, Celina Hinchcliffe, Rachael Hodges, Damian Johnson, Adnan Nawaz, George Riley and Olympic gold medallist turned journalist Matthew Pinsent.
Before BBC News moved to Broadcasting House, an hourly business update was included during the weekday schedule from the BBC Business Unit. There were two shifts, from 08:30–14:00 and 14:00–23:00, presented by Penny Haslam, Maryam Moshiri, Ben Thompson, Adam Parsons, Susannah Streeter, Joe Lynam, Sara Coburn or Sally Eden. News Channel updates were usually broadcast at 40 minutes past the hour between 08:00 and 23:00. The 21:40 round-up was often earlier and the 22:40 bulletin is an extended round-up of the day's business news. Until May 2009, the business updates on the BBC News Channel were broadcast from one of the London Stock Exchange's studios in central London. From then until March 2013 the bulletins were provided from the channel's studio at BBC Television Centre. The business updates were axed in March 2013 as part of the BBC's Delivering Quality First plan. But after complaints returned in November 2013. Stock market updates now only appear during the quarter-to-the-hour headlines, but it was changed after complaints in November with Ben Thompson and Victoria Friz are the main presenters sharing 08:00–14:00 or 14:00–18:00 between them. With Alice Baxter, Jamie Robertson, Aaron Heslehurst and Sally Bundock offer relief. There is normally an extended bulletin at 16:45 when the main business stories of the day are discussed on Afternoon Live.
Bundock and Thompson present Business Live on weekdays at 08:30. Declan Curry presented Your Money, a weekly round-up on a Saturday morning.
Rico Hizon or Sharanjit Leyl regularly present the main business stories during the early hours of the morning from Singapore during the BBC's Asia Business Report, which is simulcast from BBC World News. Alice Baxter and Sally Bundock present World Business Report.
Further information: List of BBC newsreaders and reporters
- Sally BundockThe Briefing, Business Briefing, World Business Report, Business Live, BBC World News, The Papers
- David EadesThe Briefing, Business Briefing, World Business Report, Business Live, BBC World News, The Papers
- Ben Thompson World Business Report, Business Live, BBC News
- Aaron HeslehurstWorld Business Report, Business Live, The Papers
- Simon McCoyBBC News at One, BBC News, Afternoon Live
- Sophie LongBBC News
- Ben BrownBBC News, BBC Weekend News, World News Today
- Jane HillBBC News, BBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, The Film Review
- Huw EdwardsBBC News at Five, BBC News at Ten, BBC News Special, Election Night
- Ros AtkinsOutside Source
- Katty KayWorld News America & Newsday (the latter is when broadcasting from US during significant events), Beyond 100 Days
- Christian FraserBBC World News, World News Today, BBC News, Beyond 100 Days, The Papers
- Joanna GoslingNewsroom Live, Victoria Derbyshire with Joanna Gosling, BBC News
- Annita McVeighNewsroom Live, Victoria Derbyshire (Newsreader), BBC News, BBC World News
- Julian WorrickerBBC News, Victoria Derbyshire with Julian Worricker
- Emily MaitlisBBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News, Newsnight, Election Night
- Clive MyrieBBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News, The Papers & World News Today, Beyond 100 Days
- Babita SharmaNewsday, BBC World News & World News Today
- Kasia MaderaNewsday, BBC World News, BBC News & World News Today
- Rico HizonNewsday & Asia Business Report
- Sharanjit LeylNewsday, BBC World News, World News Today & Asia Business Report
- Mike EmbleyBBC World News
- Maxine MawhinneyBBC News, BBC Weekend News, BBC World News, Victoria Derbyshire
- Naga MunchettyBBC World News, Breakfast, Victoria Derbyshire, The Papers
- Nicholas OwenBBC News, BBC Weekend News, The Papers
- Martine CroxallBBC News, The Papers, World News Today
- Victoria DerbyshireVictoria Derbyshire
- Fiona BruceBBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News
- George AlagiahBBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten
- Sophie RaworthBBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News
- Kate SilvertonBBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News, BBC Weekend News, BBC World News
- Reeta ChakrabartiBBC News at One, BBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News, BBC Weekend News, Newsroom Live, Victoria Derbyshire (Newsreader)
- Mishal HusainBBC News at Six, BBC News at Ten, BBC News, BBC Weekend News, BBC World News, Election Night
- Nuala McGovernOutside Source, World News Today
- Alice Baxter BBC World News, World Business Report, Business LiveWorld News Today, BBC Business, The Papers, Afternoon Live
- Alpa Patel BBC World News, World News Today, Newsday
- Chris RogersBBC News, The Papers, Newsday, BBC World News, World News Today, Our World, Inside Out England
- Philippa ThomasWorld News Today, Outside Source, Reporters
- Tim WilcoxBBC News, BBC World News & World News Today
- Shaun LeyBBC News, BBC Weekend News, The Papers
- Gavin Grey BBC News, BBC World News, The Papers, Newsday, World News Today
- Carole WalkerBBC News, BBC Weekend News
- Ben BlandBBC World News, BBC News, World News Today, Newsday, The Papers, BBC Business
- Karin GiannoneWorld News Today, Newsday, BBC World News
- Maryam MoshiriBBC Business Live, World News Today, BBC News, BBC World News & World News Today
- Tanya BeckettBusiness Live, World News Today
- James MenendezBBC World News, The Papers, World News Today
- Geeta Guru-Murphy BBC World News, World News Today
- Lebo Diseko BBC World News, World News Today, Newsday
- Reged Ahmad BBC World News, World News Today
- Lukwesa BurakBBC News, BBC News at Five, BBC World News, Inside Out, World News Today
- Samantha SimmondsWorld News Today
- Carrie GracieBBC News, Afternoon Live, BBC World News, World News Today, 'HARDtalk
Sally Bundock, Alice Baxter and Ben Thompson present Business Live and World Business Report. Ros Atkins presents 'Outside Source'. Philippa Thomas, Alpa Patel, Karin Giannone or Kasia Madera present World News Today on Weekdays on BBC Four and weekends on the channel. Rico Hizon and Sharanjit Leyl (Reporting from Singapore), Babita Sharma and Madera are the main overnight presenters on the channel, appearing on Newsday and generic BBC News bulletins. These programmes are simulcast with BBC World News and either BBC One or BBC Two. Madera, Ben Bland and Mike Embley regularly present 02:00–05:00 weekdays and 01:00-06:00 weekends. Bundock or David Eades present The Briefing and Business Briefing on weekday mornings on the channel and BBC One.
The simulcasting of the main national news bulletins has led to the presenters of those bulletins appearing on the channel and offer relief on the news channel including Huw Edwards, Victoria Derbyshire, Fiona Bruce, George Alagiah, Sophie Raworth, Kate Silverton and Mishal Husain. The main Breakfast presenters have also appeared on the channel since it was first launched as a simulcast programme in 2000, with the current presenters being Dan Walker, Louise Minchin, Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty.
Thomas presents the BBC World News programme Reporters on the channel, while Gavin Esler presents Dateline London. Stephen Sackur appears on HARDtalk, which is aired weeknights and at weekends, while Zeinab Badawi, Carrie Gracie and Sarah Montague provide cover for him. Spencer Kelly presents the technology news programme Click. Newsnight host Evan Davis presents The Bottom Line. Lee McKenzie presents Inside F1 on Grand Prix weekend's. Tanya Beckett presents Talking Business and Witness. Ade Adepitan, Rajan Datar, Christa Larwood, Henry Golding and Carmen Robert present The Travel Show
During a major news event one or more of the main news presenters may be sent to present live for the channel from the scene of the story, where they will conduct interviews with the people involved, question correspondents, introduce related reports and also give general information on the story, much as a reporter sent to cover a story would. The presenters often have expertise in the story they are sent to cover, for example channel presenters and former reporters Ben Brown and Clive Myrie were dispatched to Cairo and Tripoli during the Middle East uprisings.
The channel was criticised at launch for its style of presentation, with accusations of it being less authoritative than the BBC One news bulletins, with presenters appearing on-screen without jackets. Jenny Abramsky had originally planned to have a television version of the informal news radio channel BBC Radio 5 Live, or a TV version of Radio 4 News FM both of which she had run. The bright design of the set was also blamed for this – one insider reportedly described it as a "car crash in a shower" – and was subject to the network relaunch on 25 October 1999. The channel swapped studios with sister channel BBC World, moving to studio N8 within the newsroom, where it remained until 2008. New music and title sequences accompanied this set change, following the look of newly relaunched BBC One bulletins.
Graphics and titles were developed by the Lambie-Nairn design agency and were gradually rolled out across the whole of BBC News, including a similar design for regional news starting with Newsroom South East and the three 'BBC Nations' – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The similarity of main BBC News output was intended to increase the credibility of the channel as well as aiding cross-channel promotion.
A graphics relaunch in January 2007 saw the channel updated, with redesigned headline straplines, a redesigned 'digital on-screen graphic' and repositioned clock. The clock was originally placed to the left hand side of the channel name though following complaints that this could only be viewed in widescreen, it was moved to the right in February 2007. Bulletins on BBC World News and BBC One also introduced similar graphics and title sequences on the same day.
In 2008, the graphics were again relaunched, using the style introduced in 2007 and a new colour scheme.
The Lambert Report
The Lambert Report into the channel's performance in 2002 called upon News 24 to develop a better brand of its own, to allow viewers to differentiate between itself and similar channels such as Sky News. As a direct result of this, a brand new style across all presentation for the channel launched on 8 December 2003 at 09:00. Philip Hayton and Anna Jones were the first two presenters on the set, the relaunch of which had been put back a week due to previous power disruptions at Television Centre where the channel was based. The new designs also featured a dynamic set of titles for the channel; the globe would begin spinning from where the main story was taking place, while the headline scrolled around in a ribbon; this was occasionally replaced by the BBC News logo. The titles concluded with a red globe surrounded by a red stylised clamshell and BBC News ribbons forming above the BBC News logo.
Bulletins on BBC One moved into a new set in January 2003 although retained the previous ivory Lambie-Nairn titles until February 2004. News 24 updated the title colours slightly to match those of BBC One bulletins in time for the 50th anniversary of BBC television news on 5 July 2004.
An important part of the channel's presentation since launch has been the top of the hour countdown sequence, since there is no presentation system with continuity announcers so the countdown provides a link to the beginning of the next hour. A similar musical device is used on BBC Radio 5 Live, and mirrors the pips on BBC Radio 4.
Previous styles have included a series of fictional flags set to music between 1997 and 1999 before the major relaunch, incorporating the new contemporary music composed by David Lowe, and graphics developed by Lambie-Nairn. Various images, originally ivory numbers fully animated against a deep red background, were designed to fit the pace of the channel, and the music soon gained notoriety, and was often satirised and parodied in popular culture, perhaps most famously by comic Bill Bailey who likened the theme music to an "apocalyptic rave". Images of life around the UK were added in replacement later with the same music, together with footage of the newsroom and exterior of Television Centre. The 2003 relaunch saw a small change to this style with less of a metropolitan feel to the footage.
A new sequence was introduced on 28 March 2005, designed and created by Red Bee Media and directed by Mark Chaudoir. The full version ran for 60 seconds, though only around 30 seconds were usually shown on air. The music was revised completely but the biggest change came in the footage used – reflecting the methods and nature of newsgathering, while a strong emphasis was placed on the BBC logo itself. Satellite dishes are shown transmitting and receiving red "data streams". In production of the countdown sequence, Clive Norman filmed images around the United Kingdom, Richard Jopson in the United States, while BBC News cameramen filmed images from Iraq, Beijing (Tiananmen Square), Bund of Shanghai, Africa, as well as areas affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami and others.
The sequence has since seen several remixes to the music and a change in visuals to focus more on the well-known journalists, with less footage of camera crews and production teams. Changes have also seen the channel logo included during the sequences and at the end, as well as the fonts used for the time. The conclusion of the countdown was altered in 2008 to feature the new presentation style, rather than a data stream moving in towards the camera. Also in 2008, the graphic for the countdown changed, resembling BBC One Rhythm and Movement Idents, due to the logo being in a red square in inferior-left corner.
To coincide with the move of BBC News to Broadcasting House, on 18 March 2013 the countdown was updated again along with several other presentation elements. Three of the most striking features of the new countdown include music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, a redesign of the "data streams" and the ending of the sequence no longer fading to the BBC News globe and logo, but instead stopping with a time-lapse shot outside the corporation's headquarters. The countdown was also extended back to 90 seconds, of which approximately 86 were seen before the first hour from Broadcasting House.
A full three-minute version of the countdown music was made available on BBC News Online and David Lowe's own website after a remix on 16 May 2006.
An international version of the countdown was launched on BBC World News on 5 September 2005 featuring more international content and similar music. Various changes have been made to the music and visuals since then, with presentation following the style of BBC News. The visuals in the sequence were updated on 10 May 2010. In June 2011, further imagery was added relating to recent events, including the conflict in Libya and views of outside 10 Downing Street. In January 2013, as part of the relocation of BBC News to Broadcasting House in Central London, BBC World News received a new countdown in the same style as the BBC News Channel's updated countdown, with some minor differences.