Hello, Thanks for getting to this corner of the weblog 🙂
I’m Robert Freeman and I’m a media and editorial development consultant specialising in internet media, business and technology. I’ve a particular interest in long-term trends, social media, and strategic planning for the future of content creation.
I can help you think of new material to create for your audiences, and give you ideas for new ways of treating your current output, in terms of what you can produce, and how you could produce it. It’s what I call content engineering.
I’m always interested in new projects and challenges. I may even be available for yours! If you’d like to get in touch leave a comment here, or ping me on Twitter.
(If you know what a Public Key is, and want to know mine, it’s here. Fingerprint below.)
What I’m doing
I’m currently helping to lead innovation in digital newsgathering at the BBC Academy College of Journalism, part of a small team who develop strategy and deliver training around the future of journalism and social media.
As part of that, I’ve looked after aspects of strategy and development for BBC Radio 1’s newsroom.
I also do research and analysis of media trends and consumer products in the BBC’s Blue Room, and I’m a regular lecturer in radio journalism, and documentary storytelling at Goldsmiths University of London.
As a consultant, my time is spent advising senior managers about the significance of what is currently happening to the media business with particular emphasis on technology innovation and audience behaviours.
How I got here
My formal qualification is in broadcast journalism, and my area of special interest has always been technology, because I am basically, <cough> a geek.
In 1997 I had the great privilege to be in the launch team of BBC News Online, and subsequently set up the systems which make BBC News audio and video available online in multiple platforms online, which won our team an Interactive Bafta award. Back then we called it the AV Console, and when our colleagues in TV saw the merits of what we were doing it was subsequently developed into a tool for all BBC programmes. They came up with a snappier name – iPlayer.
I moved to BBC News Technology in 2003, helping to extend newsgathering in far-flung places by innovative uses of high-performance compression, video phones and broadband to name but three. More recently in the BBC’s Nations and Regions division, I worked on planning for high-definition production and the development of local video-journalists for the Local TV trial.
I’ve worked with The Press Association (where I was previously Head of Multimedia), developing an integrated multimedia newsroom, combined the resources of their reporters, photographers and now video journalists and producers.
More recently I was launch editor and Head of Video at guardian.co.uk. I recruited and managed a small team of dedicated video producers and film-makers to bring the Guardian’s brand of journalism to computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Having always been at the cutting edge of technology developments over the last 10 years my own learning has been a case of learn-as-I-go, there being no books written yet. However I’m very proud to have written a Digital Journalism training syllabus for the Thomson Reuters Foundation to add to their fantastic courses which are largely donated to reporters around the world.
It’s really therapeutic to get others benefiting from the stuff that’s been bursting to get out of my head for the last 16+ years!
Sometimes, I am also to be found on the BBC World technology programme Click, answering viewers questions on technology.
I regularly speak to industry groups about salient topics. Here are some of the more recent ones :
OpenPGP Fingerprint is 78A9 6FE4 A0BE 2411 2C29 7FF0 8CC2 90F6 60E2 31FC